I’m a high functioning nerd, 3.5 readers.
BQB here with a review of the BBC series, Sherlock.
I heard good things about this over the years, but was never an early convert. It came out in 2010, right around when Hollywood made the Robert Downey Jr. movies and ABC came out with their Elementary TV show.
It just seemed like the entertainment community had gone gaga for Sherlock and had created too much Sherlock supply for not enough Sherlock demand.
But I found myself developing a Sherlock interest as of late and decided to give it a go. And you know what? It’s pretty great.
As a Yank, I had to get over a few things. It’s made by BBC and is, you know, British…and made for a British audience…not like what we’re used to i.e. something filtered down for us Americans to enjoy what with all our fast fun and guns and monster trucks and so on.
Another interesting point is that each episode is roughly an hour and a half long. Thus, there are less episode. It shifts from season to season but you’ll notice seasons that are like three or four episodes long. Each episode is basically like a full length movie, so while you get less episodes, you get stories that are told in better depth.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock as the self-proclaimed high-functioning sociopath. His friend, roommate and assistant detective, Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman.
Cumberbatch and Freeman were in everything in the 2010s. Cumberbatch, most noticeably as Dr. Strange in the Avengers universe. Freeman was The Hobbit, though he also was a SHIELD agent in the Avengers.
Funny thing is as I watched this show, I realized how these two became so big over the past decade.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories are given new breath as the series is set in modern times. Watson keeps a blog on Sherlock’s adventures. Sherlock only puts on his hunting cap to mug for social media photos. Sherlock’s love interest/nemesis Irene Adler is a dominatrix with a phone full of photos of the rich and powerful in compromising positions. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a secret government experiment, and so on.
Overall, I enjoyed it. One thing with TV is I usually turn to it when I need a quick brake, whereas I usually put on a movie when I’m done for the day. You might want to leave the episodes till when you’re done for the day too, unless you don’t mind pausing and watching later.
My main criticism? The show ends rather abruptly as of the 2017 season. I don’t know why other than I assume Cumberbatch and Freeman are busy being in everything now.
My complaint is I thought they handled Sherlock’s longtime nemesis, Moriarty, well in an episode where Moriarty (SPOILER ALERT) frames Sherlock, making it look as if Sherlock is less of a genius and more of a weirdo who fakes crimes so he can solve them and garner media attention. That episode has a lot of thrills and chills and pretty much resolves the Sherlock vs. Moriarty arc.
Watson’s wife Mary comes in later with a whole SPOILER she’s a secret agent storyline and then before you know it she’s out of the picture. Moriarty comes back posthumously, sort of dangling the possibility that Old Jimbo might return from the grave at some point though the series has already used the old bringing a character back from the dead trick already so…I don’t know. Seems like they could have left Moriarty dead and moved on.
The show ends with an episode with a startling reveal that Sherlock and brother Mycroft have a long lost sister who is the world’s foremost psychopath, so evil that she can manipulate anyone, to the point where she apparently turned all the guards and staff at the prison she has been held in to her own personal slaves for years, thus trapping Sherlock and Watson and Mycroft in her own house of horrors.
It was interesting to watch them escape, but then the series just ends on a meh note. Watson finds a DVD left behind by Mary and all that happens is Mary basically says that Sherlock and Watson will keep going on solving crimes.
In other words, it was one of those holy crap we have to end the show but we didn’t have time to end it so we’ll piece it together really quick.
Perhaps there’s the rub. Each episode mainly focuses on a case, thus bits of the characters’ personal lives are worked in. The cases can’t necessarily go on forever and I suppose cases don’t always tie in together in a neat little ark.
(Except usually in Sherlockian lore, the underlying idea is that Moriarty is behind it all, so the big Sherlock vs. Moriarty showdown might have been better off left for the end.)
Overall, I enjoyed it and I’m hoping for further episodes down the line. Since the episodes are basically movies, they could always make another movie.