The world’s favorite detective has emerged from the fog…this is Sherlock for a new generation.
I’m a pretty constant reader of Entertainment Weekly. I say that to say that for about a month, this was like, all they wanted to talk about in the first half of the magazine. I was like, “What’s so special about this show?” I’m all for a good Sherlock movie, sure, especially if it stars Robert Downey Jr. But a TV series that only has 3 episodes in the first season? How good could it possibly be?
Boy, was I wrong.
The first episode alone had me giggling like a school girl, wanting to cry, and sitting on the edge of my seat literally yelling at the TV. (It helps that every episode is about 90 minutes long, so it’s like a full length movie every time.) There’s an insane amount of suspense that goes into every episode. I haven’t been into murder mysteries for a long time (I read them, but not as frequently as I used to), but this makes me wonder why I stopped. Of course, Sherlock Holmes is an entirely different kind of detective from most current murder mysteries.
What makes this different from say, the latest Sherlock Holmes movies, are a few things. First of all, this is set in modern times in England. It was a little strange at first for me to see Sherlock in a high tech laboratory and using a cell phone. But really, that just makes the mysteries more interesting because we as viewers understand how dire the situations really are. I find myself in some historical fiction movies thinking, “Why didn’t they just call ____?” before remembering they don’t have cell phones. Yeah, I’m not proud of that either.
The second thing that makes this awesome is the characters. We’ll start with the main man himself.
Sherlock Holmes (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is a total hottie. I never thought there’d be a Sherlock to usurp RDJ, but he totally did. As you would suspect, Sherlock is also very hard to get along with. He’s a high functioning sociopath who uses his amazing intellect to solve complicated cases for Scotland Yard…just for fun.
What makes Sherlock even more amazing is how dimensional he is, and how unpredictable. Much like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock doesn’t always understand social graces and will occasionally make comments that are funny without him realizing it. He’s very clever yet not always smart.
Every episode seems to highlight another aspect of Sherlock’s character that we didn’t see in the one before. It’s really awesome to see him grow as a character the more I watch too. It always astounds me how he makes some ludicrous sounding claim that comes out of nowhere and then he can link it with his thought process and come up with a result that is just…amazing. I can’t get enough Sherlock.
Dr. John Watson (as played by Martin Freeman) is perhaps the most likable of all the characters. Since this is set in modern times, John was a doctor in the Afghan War before he was injured and discharged. This leaves him vulnerable to many things when he returns. The reason he even meets Sherlock is because they both happen to be looking for a new roommate.
Where Sherlock is the brain, John is the heart. He balances Sherlock’s crazy intellect with sympathy and social cues. He frequently will try to bring the victims back into the equation when Sherlock thinks of nothing but the clues. He is constantly annoyed with Sherlock for one reason or another, but you can tell he enjoys the action and adventure that comes with being Sherlock’s right hand man.
John really does become the butt of Sherlock’s efforts sometimes. When Sherlock shirks on his duties, John is the one who has to try and smooth over the mess. And let me tell you, Sherlock makes a lot of messes that require John cleaning them up.
This show is truly incredible. The writing is fabulously complex. The only complaint I have with it is why the hell can’t American TV shows be this awesome anymore?