TV Review: Sherlock
by Anita Mae Draper
During these past few weeks, my days have been filled with friends and family as we celebrated Christmas and the holidays. First the pre-Christmas rush, followed by the blessings of a steady progression of family stopping to visit for a day or more, sometimes overlapping our next visitor before we settled down for another get-together. And we're not done yet. My sister, Bonnie and hubby left yesterday, and our eldest daughter, Crystal, arrives tonight from Vancouver.
|Sisters Bonnie and Anita, Jan 1st, 2013|
Draper's Acres, Montmartre, SK, Canada.
Here, daughter Jessie was taking photos of my sister, Bonnie and I, in our yard. For the last photo in this location, I told Jessie to count to three, then click. As she said the number, I shook the arch which rubbed against the snow-laden spruce trees and dropped a load of the white stuff on top of us.
Precious times to remember through the years.
But what does this mean to a reader? Well, to this reader, it means I haven't the foggiest what I was reading last because the counters and desks in our small guest room-less two-bedroom house were cleared to make room for Christmas decorations, new gifts, and visitor's personal effects.
Did I suffer withdrawal from reading? Not really. Cringe. Because even though I love the adventures of books, they can't replace the comfort and excitement of a face-to-face conversation with someone you love who lives far away.
There was another reason why I didn't miss reading, though... I watched TV.
Jessie came home enthused about a new version of Sherlock Holmes called, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. We set aside some evenings to watch the series and I was blown away by the creative and exciting adventures - tales reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories and yet so different in our modern world. And that is the difference between this Sherlock and all the other versions that have gone on before.
According to the Sherlock BBC - Behind the Scenes YouTube video, the creators wanted the series to showcase the genius of the famous detective without dwelling on all the usual historical information. By stripping away all the unnecessary historical details and placing Sherlock in today's world, they've pitted Sherlock against all those other forensic shows topping the viewers' choices these days, and then placed him in a separate category, for it's not the forensic results which draw us to this famous detective, but his amazing powers of deduction.
Sherlock's genius is ridiculous. When he thinks aloud, the words tumble from his lips and I find myself straining to keep up. I queried my fellow Inkies for their thoughts and Debra E Marvin answered, "I love this Sherlock and Watson. It's amazing to see what they pack in there. Sherlock's genius is unbelievable and yet we believe it!"
Well, of course we do. You can't dispute the facts when the TV camera shows us what Sherlock is seeing. You shake your head and wonder why he's the only one putting the pieces together.
It could be because Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who portrays Sherlock, is perfect for the role of the distractingly rude detective who - at least once an episode - made Jessie and I gasp and say "Awh," when his brutal truth emotionally hurt another character. He becomes Sherlock Holmes in such a way that all other versions seem quiet in comparison. In this way, he reminds me of Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory - another brilliant scientist who is inept at social interactions and believes forward honesty trumps everything, regardless of whose feelings are hurt in the process. Can you imagine anyone else playing the role of Sheldon Cooper?
Watson isn't just window dressing, though. He's teaching Holmes the niceties of social behaviour. In fact, I'm enjoying the relationship between this Sherlock and Dr. Watson. It reminds me of the Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau version of The Odd Couple. Two men of opposite dispositions and habits sharing an apartment. In this case, Sherlock is the messy, frenetic one with his fingers always tapping as if to release his excess energy, yet he slows down to play a haunting melody on his violin. Watson advances at a slower pace unless his heart is involved and then he seems to be on the verge of a heart attack.
Here's a clip that shows the Holmes and Watson first meeting:
One aspect of the show I find endearing is that Watson keeps a blog of every case. Sherlock doesn't believe anyone reads John's blog, yet as they progress case-by-case, it's very funny to find out how many people who interact with the famous duo remark that they've read their blog.
We watched Sherlock on Netflix which amounted to 90 commercial-free minutes per episode. A perfect length to get thoroughly immersed in the gritty details, yet because of their movie length, only three episodes are aired each season (or series as they are called on the BBC). So far, 2 series have been shown, with the third yet to be made. Jessie has heard they'll start production on Series/Season 3 this March, with a BBC viewing schedule of late Fall 2013.
So long to wait, but I will because this Sherlock beats any of the new shows I've watched in the past two years, and that's say a lot. If you'd like to see some more, here's the Season One Promo:
Have you heard of Sherlock? Did this modern version interest you, or do you think only the historical version will suffice? Or perhaps his rudeness should be addressed before we reward his genius?
Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/