Title of Work: Sherlock
Author: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Full Name, including titles: Irene Adler, The Woman, The One Woman Who Matters
Full Species(es): Human
Hair Colour (include adjectives): Dark brown and impossibly shiny
Eye Colour: Blue
Unusual Markings/Colourations: None
Special Possessions/Pets: Whip, nakedness, super special camera phone
Annoying Sidekicks: Her live-in partner Kate, whoever drove Watson to see her
Annoying Origin: Belgravia
Annoying Way of Ruining the Story: Hijacks a plot far more interesting than herself and turns a smartly-written t.v. series into a sexual sideshow for one episode
Annoying Special Abilities: Far too many. Sexuality, bargaining, intelligence, physical strength, can fake her own death (twice), can outsmart Mycroft Holmes, who's supposed to be even more intelligent than his brother, Sherlock (whom she nearly outsmarts as well). She's also unafraid of Jim Moriarity, probably the creepiest super-villian on t.v. in a while. And, of course, she makes the asexual Sherlock fall for her.
Miscellaneous Reasons The Sue Should Not Exist: She should exist, but she didn't have to be written to be such a Sue. I swear, this is Moffat's favorite incarnation of female characters. Will someone tell him that strong female characters don't need to be cheeky, overly confident, needlessly sexual, and overshadow the protagonist? Irene Adler is the River Song of "Sherlock."
You can't argue that everyone "loves" her, but everyone does respond to her in exactly the way Moffat intends her to be seen. Instead of getting angry, Mycroft just calls her--somewhat admiringly--"the dominatrix who brought a nation to its knees." Sherlock pines for her for months. Even Watson, who's clearly uncomfortable with her, plays into the "romance" developing between her & Sherlock. And the CIA agents who burst into her house are afraid of her "because she knows the code to call the police."
There is literally nothing this woman can't do, apparently, besides think of a clever smartphone password and escape a group of terrorists on her own.
And before I'm called out as a prude, let me just say I don't have a problem with female characters being sexual/comfortable with sex. I also don't care that Irene is portrayed as a dominatrix. It's an interesting twist to the character and kind of fun. What I DO have a problem with is how she has to bring it up every 10 seconds. If we're expected to care about her or like her as a match for Sherlock, we need more than lewd references and a moderately clever mind.
Nothing about Irene Adler is remotely likable, and she has the hallmark of any Sue--every character responds to her way out of proportion to her awesomeness or "bad ass" qualities.
Redeeming Qualities: It was kind of fun watching Sherlock respond to a woman like this and see a different side to him. However, this would have been possible with a really watered down version of the character. Also, she's only in one episode (so far), so there's a chance this was just an interesting one-off.
Small snippet of Sue Being Annoying:
"I make my way in the world, I misbehave."
"I told you, I misbehave."
"I know what he liked."
--in answer to every question ever.