Introduced to this, primarily through a love of BBC British costume adaptations – which often leads to countless trips on Internet sites to find out the latest scoops, Sherlock seemed intriguing from the very start. Then, a friend saw it and despite her initial skepticism, it totally won her over to the point that she recommended it. Not something everyone will immediately like – or maybe ever appreciate, even still, for me, this is one of the BEST series… ever.
Just returned from war, John Watson (Martin Freeman) is having nightmares. It’s those nightmares that have him seeing a therapist, who is certain he is under stress. Certain no one would be interested in becoming his flat-mate, John must figure out his next step since his salary is minimal. Little does John know just how closely his life is about to intersect with the law. London police have their hands full. Four people have committed suicide… or have they? Their bodies were found in most unusual locations. Places the victim had no reason to be. It appears the poison was self-administered, so the ruling is suicide, but why the apparent rise, and all with the same MO? But someone doesn’t believe that DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) has come to the correct deductions…
“Wrong.” That is the one-word text message the police and media find on their cell phone screens during Lestrade’s press conference. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a “consulting detective” – not a single person on the police force really likes Holmes but they put up with him because they “need” him. A brilliant mastermind who can deduce things about people at a glace, Sherlock believes it’s murder. No matter that everyone thinks he a psychopath, or that after meeting through a mutual friend, Watson has been taken and is being warned against becoming his roommate, once again, Sherlock sets out to prove his theories. What better way to start of 2012 than with a review of Sherlock? At its start, we are quite skeptical of this -- for a number of reasons. The “visual” reasons being: the set-up isn’t well done… at first. There is such confusion in the first five minutes that it really isn’t clear just what is going on. And, in the end, that is okay. In looking back, that first hour-and-a-half show all comes right, and I’ve realized just how impressively the suspense was hyped. Something required as a necessary to any mystery series. Having said that, this new spin on a classic figure is – may I just say it? – brilliant!
Likely, the fact this is set in the 21st century, but still on the murky streets of London, will be off-putting to die-hard Holmes fans. And, if that describes you, then this might be best left alone. For me, I am not a part of that fandom. I suppose, I am merely a casual fan since I’ve not indulged in the novels or any of the movies apart from the latest feature film and one Basil Hawthorne title. I am a stickler about comedy and there are so many avenues of that genre. Some can be crude, some are beyond that (and past saving), and some can simply be far too slapstick-like. Rarely do script writers get it just right. Here they hit the nail on the head. The humor is fabulous! (I cannot count the number of fabulous one-liners and could probably devote an entire blog to it in combination with Holmes dry-witted persona, but then, I don’t want to bore you all to tears.) The fabulous quips add up in numbers too great to describe; the writers were on top of their game at the time this concept was being conceived. Those witty one-liners are priceless. And the actors deliver them with memorable pizzazz, to say the least.
The writing, direction and costumes are all grand, but what about the stars? Benedict is spot-on perfection. I loved his Sherlock. His punch lines were delivered just as they needed to be, and the mad way he dashes about all contributes to his character. He is depicted to be sort of a mad genius who is equally bored with anything and everything, and Benedict pulls that all together, so that we like him but understand why others do not. The supporting cast is, likewise well-cast. Martin and Benedict have a good camaraderie, working together as if they really were the infamous Watson and Holmes. The allure of seeing Holmes as an addict “texter,” who comes across as a physical loafer, is just too good to pass up. (Other than using his brain, Sherlock is not interested in “work” – he is continuously sending John on errands.) This is one visit to 221 Baker that won’t disappoint its target audience – trust me, it is just… elementary!
(By America’s rating system, this would most likely receive a PG13-rating. Cautions: several jokes in “A Study in Pink” question whether or not Sherlock is homosexual; John is annoyed to be thought his “date.”Naturally the crime scenes are most bothersome. A woman is said to have had a string of lovers. Some sexual connotations and jokes do worm their way into the episodes.)