Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jonathan Creek

I was introduced to the British quiz show QI not terribly long ago, and it's great. In addition to Stephen Fry as the host, there's Alan Davies.

I liked QI so much, I recently started watching Jonathan Creek, Alan's mystery/comedy show. Alan plays Jonathan Creek, a guy who comes up with magic tricks for illusionist Adam Klaus. Jonathan helps solve mysteries with Maddy Magellan, an author/journalist. But enough back story.

In series 1, episode 4 the following exchange takes place:
Maddy and Jonathan are eating dinner.
Maddy: Don't scrape that off, it's meant to be that color. It's Cajun; blackened catfish.
Jonathan: Looks more like halibut to me.
Maddy: Well, blackened halibut then. I had to improvise. Could we have less of the pedanticism and just eat?
Jonathan takes a bite.
Jonathan: The word is pedantry.
Love it.

(I then found pedanticism in the dictionary, although Firefox's spellchecker doesn't recognize it)

"I'm not pompous; I'm pedantic. There's a difference. Let me explain it to you."


  1. Crap. I may just have to start watching Jonathan Creek.

  2. It's actually just an OK show, and the pacing could be faster (it's not very dense).

    A guy and a girl, one writes books and together they solve mysteries? Jonathan Creek is like Bones or Castle in that regard, so it's hardly unique in concept.

    But sometimes (at least in the early episodes) they will explain little magic tricks. Jonathan talks about how the explanation (which is always simple and obvious in retrospect) really ruins the magic. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a magician, so I studied magic tricks. And yeah, it ruined the magic for me. So I could identify with this character that seems sad and maybe bitter when he talks about his job. ^_^

  3. I wouldn't say that knowing how the trick works ruins it in all cases.

    Most prop-based tricks (such as the Chinese linking rings) are pretty disappointing once you know the gimmick, but skill-based tricks (pretty much anything that requires convincing sleight of hand) can be more impressive once you know how it's done (at least in my opinion).