Sunday, September 30, 2012



     Wow! Let me start off by just saying how enjoyable and flat out brilliant this show/miniseries is from the BBC. It is so great to watch a program that is so inventive, intelligent, engaging, addictive and filled with outstanding acting, writing and top notch production value. Sherlock is a perfect, modern day update of the classic stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous works of the infamous sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr. John Watson. Watching this series is like watching a high end movie that delivers on all levels and is never, or at least so far, disappointing and proves that shows and series can be has exciting and innovative as a feature length motion picture when the writing, acting and production value is at that top of its game.
     The series, which consists so far of two seasons of three episodes, each episode being right around an hour and half each, and I really hope there is another season, brings modern day, 21st century technology into to all the cases of the eccentric consulting investigator with the London police and a hyper kinetic flow of energy brought to the character of Sherlock Holmes by the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. He brings such great humor, excitement and a detestable, ironic disposition to all whom cross wits with him. He has totally encapsulated Mr. Holmes with an idiosyncratic way of isolation from anyone who attempts to out smart him or undo his massive ego and ability. Holmes has no friends, although Dr. Watson, played with exceptional humor and an understated sense of irony and heart by Martin Freeman is the closest thing he has to that feeling of companionship, platonic and sexual, but not in a physical way. Cumberbatch brings great honesty and skill to the role, where at times when Holmes can examine someone for less than a minute and give an almost life history to the examinee with super speed talking and investigative bravura that is just plain brilliant and shows the immense talent in his acting and in the writing of the series.
     The series takes great Holmes stories such as "The Hound of Baskerville" and "The Scandal of Bohemia" and gives them such life, humor and thrills. Co-created by Mark Gatiss, who also plays Sherlock's powerful and mysterious brother Mycroft, and Steven Moffat, who both have helped reinvent and write episodes for the extremely popular and cult followed Doctor Who, have created a contemporary drive for the classic stories of Doyle's work. I'm bias. I love British crime and thriller shows. I have always loved Helen Mirren in all the Prime Suspect episodes and am very fond and thrilled by Luther starring Idris Elba but those pale in comparison to Sherlock. Being a film lover it a joy to constantly be looking at the mise-en-scene in all films and shows, even though I really don't watch all that much TV unless its from HBO, Showtime, AMC and the BBC, and the care and attention to detail in this program is beyond words. The score is an inquisitive and thrilling piece of music that gives a beautiful sense of humor and tension to a show that is constantly funny and exhilarating. And the cinematography is so smooth and breathtakingly films London and its beautiful skyline and streets with colorful gusto and panache.
     The real value of the show is in the relationship between Sherlock and Dr. Watson. Cumberbatch and Freeman are at the top of there profession. In this program they feed off each other with such brilliance and ease that brings such great harmony and frustration to their relationship. Sherlock is not a people person and does not have any friends. The cops use him when there intellect and skill set is out matched, which, according to Sherlock is the majority of the time. He is not a private investigator, but a consulting detective. A profession he has created and basically gets the London police out of trouble when they do not have the intellect or creative ability to solve the numerous cases they are confronted with. Sherlock is egomaniacal and has the hubris of a megalomaniac. He knows he is smarter than anyone around him and is not at all hesitant in lambasting those so-called professionals that desperately need his help, even if they wont admit it. He is sarcastic, a smart ass and fully obsessed with keeping his brain turning and turning. Sherlock could be akin to having Asperger's disorder in that he is not very good with social interaction, but is fixated on a vast intellect that keeps his mind going at a hundred miles an hour and never worries about what other people are concerned with outside of the case and the task at hand. Sherlock has no respect for your privacy and lack of intelligence, and only wants something exciting and extremely challenging to focus on. But, Dr. Watson, who in the show is an Afghanistan war doctor and veteran meets Sherlock through a friend and becomes Sherlock's flat mate at 221B Baker Street, and in a tough way brings Sherlock some normalcy and just a smidgen of compassion. Sherlock constantly says he has no friends, but Dr. Watson throughout the series becomes not only his partner in solving these numerous crimes, which Watson also needs desperately cause he so bored with modern day life after the anxieties, scares and rush of war, but he is his one and only friend. The relationship is pitch perfect with peculiar sleuth and his partner. Oh yes, there is one more infamous character that is the only true challenge and equal to Sherlock's massive intellect and ego, Moriarty. Moriarty pops up throughout the series and constantly knows how to challenge and craves that challenge with Sherlock Holmes because in the end, these two equals are the only ones that can truly test each other at the game.
     Sherlock is one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life, hands down. My favorite show and films are thrillers. Anything containing crime, psychology, horror and politics and I'm usually sucked in. I love Hitchcock films because there is always a twist at the end or a person that is accused of doing something he or she did not do. I like movies that make you think and test your knowledge instead of just inundating your head with CGI and music sympathy that basically tells you what to think. Shows like the BBC shows I've aforementioned as well as Breaking Bad, The Wire, and Game of Thrones are shows I'm fascinated with but none are like Sherlock. Sherlock is a fascinating work that is demanding, darkly funny and full of thrills. Thank you BBC for creating this adaptation of Doyle's great stories and I truly appreciate a show that doesn't play down to its audience and constantly keeps this viewer excited and wanting more.

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