She usually is, of course, what with being one of my top favorite female characters in literary history. I fell in love with her when I first read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” (which can be read in its entirety here) several summers ago and much like Sherlock Holmes, she is always The Woman to me.
Therefore, it is repeatedly disappointing that I have yet to see a film or television adaptation of “A Scandal in Bohemia” or Irene Adler that exhibits her full agency, her intelligence, her refusal to play by strict gender roles, and of course, her fierce independence.
Like most fangirlish Americans, I’ve been watching and re-watching the BBC production of Sherlock on PBS and with the premiere of “A Scandal in Belgravia” a few weeks ago, Irene Adler and our reactions to her have been dancing around my head. I was originally put off by this episode for several reasons, the most overt being that my beloved Irene Adler was updated into a dominatrix.