With the third season of Sherlock officially released to the world, Chinese Anglophiles are breathing new life into Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic characters with — you guessed it — homoerotic fan fiction and amazing nicknames.
Imagine a cash-strapped Dr. Watson looking to the adult film industry to pay for his medical school loans. Or, what if the detective duo made their relationship . . . um, less professional? Perhaps you'd like to read more about Sherlock's tongue "unlocking all the doors" to Watson's heart.
Look no further than Baidu Curly Fu Bar, the official Chinese Internet forum for all those wondering what happens at 221B Baker Street after dark.
"Curly Fu," of course, is the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch, whose star has risen only higher in China since temporarily setting aside his role as Sherlock to play bad boy Khan in the recent Star Trek reboot. According to The Independent, the nickname is derived from the Chinese shortening of Holmes, fu, with a nod to the actor's wavy locks.
Meanwhile, John Watson's Martin Freeman has been dubbed "Peanut" in the fan fiction underground — a playful reworking of his name in Mandarin, hua sheng.
"I tore myself away from bed early this morning just to watch 90 minutes of my Curly Fu and Peanut. The gay-citement has finally returned," reads one online comment reposted on BBC China's blog. Notes like this flooded Baidu Curly Fu Bar following the recent season premiere of Sherlock, which garnered nearly 3 million hits in a single night on Youku, China's version of YouTube.
"The human race cannot stop the invasion of Curly Fu," posted another commentator.
"Curly Fu is the sexiest when he plays violin," quipped another. "Curly Fu is my only male god. He represents beauty and wisdom, but better with his clothes off."