Purists of Conan’s works were once all up in a tizzy about this BBC produced show that took the iconic character of Sherlock and plopped him on the streets of 21st century London. Little did anyone know – purist or not just what a grand success this Masterpiece Theatre series was going to be.
Following in the aftermath of a face-off with his arch nemesis – one that happened to involve guns and a bomb – Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), a consulting detective is bored. He is so bored that he paces and plays his violin for hours on end but every single case that is brought his way is turned down even if his friend and flat mate, John Watson (Martin Freeman) sees potential in it. Sherlock sees nothing but a mundane case – and he isn’t afraid to tell potential clients just that. Then Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) – Sherlock’s staid, elder brother who is prominent in the British government, summons him. As usual, Sherlock doesn’t like doing what Mycroft bids and Mycroft expects nothing less from his little brother – especially when Sherlock shows up clothed in only a bed sheet. Ordered to the royal palace, it would seem that a member of the royal family has gotten themselves in a bind. There are compromising photos of the nameless young woman with another woman known as “The Woman” – this woman makes her living as a dominatrix. Seeing her photo and her website intrigues Sherlock enough to change his mind about the case he had just refused to take only moments before.
The alluring Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) knows of the by-now famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to Dr. Watson’s popular blog, the woman has heard of Sherlock’s escapades and photos were simply a means to catch the selective private detective’s attentions. Irene has other things in mind for Sherlock Holmes. Irrespective of the promise he made that the photos would be in his brother’s hands by the afternoon, Sherlock is beaten by the equally clever Irene. This sets up a game of battling wits that sets Sherlock on a case to prove he isn’t about to lose his first case.
Honestly, I do not think I have ever seen a show that is as intellectual as this. Sherlock takes murder mysteries to a new level – one that I am afraid is unmatched. Leading up to my seeing this, there was a great many reviewers, passionate writers and bloggers who wrote about the first episode. It was said to be terribly degrading and prone to such offensive content that it was hardly worth salvaging – naturally I played into that because it sounded just awful and I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to watch the first episode, “A Scandal in Belgravia.” Growing up in a conservative home, no matter that I am an adult now I still take issue with profane, needless material, so it is still a “concern” if films portray blatant profanity or immoralities. Right after I bought the set (quite uncharacteristically, it took me a long time before I hit the “pre-order” button), I had made up my mind that I’d either watch the entire episode or not at all – something that was conflicting considering the first series ended up on such an awful situation in which our beloved hero was in terrible danger. (Obviously, the fact that there was a second series suggested everything was cool in Sherlock’s world.) The point of this rambling is that I chose to watch the episode and right or wrong, good or bad (this may shock some of you), I am going to be honest and say that it may be my favorite episode of the three.
(You can close your mouth now. *grin*)
Written by British scripter Steven Moffat, I have been told as a writer, the man is pure genius. Known for his work on another popular British serial, he is no stranger to television. This series has got a great things going for it – not only is it insanely witty but I love that the supporting characters are not forgotten. Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) is still in these as is the cute coroner, Molly (the girl is totally crushing on Sherlock – and I detest him for being so darn mean to her! Fortunately, he makes it up to her in episode 3 but even then we won’t see the results until season three). Watson and Sherlock are still fabulous together which is a credit to the actors who portray them (seriously Benedict is just terrific) – gosh but Watson has patience to live with Sherlock! It is great to know that he isn’t about to sit back and always take Sherlock’s “abuse,” instead he knows when to walk away and it is also not fair to assume Sherlock is uncaring because he is, we just have to look a bit harder to get the “true” story of who Sherlock is. The end result is so worth that search though.
Uncharacteristically, I had read nothing about the ending of these so the end took me by surprise (in a good way!) but I also “knew” that it wasn’t all it seemed because it was after all, Sherlock Holmes. The final episode was just brilliant. I loved that we experienced such a wide range of emotions – happiness, laughter, sorrow, danger, and edge-of-your-seat-suspense – and yet none of it felt misplaced. That is good writing. The final episode, “The Reichenbach Fall” may be the cleverest of the three but the first is the funniest while the one sandwiched in-between seemed the most lethargic – though still unfairly witty. The last twenty minutes of ‘Reichenbach’ are intense but intriguing and dramatic, and it was difficult to see Watson’s reaction to it all. Behind-the-scenes, I love the filming – how it seems to give us a picture inside Sherlock’s uncanny mind and every scene seems to set the mood for every emotion. Writer’s pay tribute to the iconic Sherlock snapping photos of his signature hat on this one and in dressing him in a long overcoat but the thing that I love most in seeing him in our modern world is watching him send off text messages! Gotta’ love that. Everything about the show is just fabulous! I could go on forever about how well and “prefect” everything is during these three hour-and-a-half films but I do have to stop somewhere. Just know that the script, acting and characters, filmmaking and stories are phenomenal and if you are not already among the masses who watch this… give it a try!
Let’s talk: What did you like about season two? What didn’t you like – which season was better? Which episode was your favorite, and why? Comment below.
(Content concerns: E1 has a nude Irene meeting Sherlock with a full shot of her back side before she sits down using her hands to carefully cover everything. There is some conversation about this and we see Watson and Sherlock’s shocked expressions. Irene is a supposed homosexual and she is seen in a suggestive outfit while entering a room housing a “client.” She once uses her whip to get Sherlock to be “submissive” and there is some suggestive dialogue between them [she remarks that she could have him “twice” and Sherlock is made fun of for his naive sexual experience]. Remarks are still made about Watson and Sherlock being gay much to Watson’s mortification – once Watson stumbles upon a car in which two people are having sex [the car is rocking]. There is some violence with guns fired; two men commit suicide [there is blood] and another takes a dive off a skyscraper. One man is murdered by what a boy perceives to be a terrifying creature [there are flashbacks].There is some profanity [bas*tard] and abuse of God’s name. This is rated TV14.)