Shiny new Sherlock Holmes

So the plan yesterday was to catch up on this week’s White Collar, but it didn’t end up happening because I was distracted by a shiny new object.

Shiny new object being the BBC’s Sherlock. \:D/

Anyway, I watched the first episode at lunch, and loved it so much that when I got home I watched it again instead of watching White Collar (I will catch up on it! After I watch Sherlock ep 2!).

For those that live under a rock (like me, actually, I didn’t even know about this until Dimmie told me about it), Sherlock is a BBC re-imagining of, obviously, Sherlock Holmes, written by Steven Moffat (of the latest Doctor Who). It’s set in present day London, and just-discharged army doctor John Watson is feeling meh in general about civilian life (his therapist thinks he’s traumatized by the war in Afghanistan and that he should start a blog to get it all out) and looking for a place to live, which is not easy in London with an army pension, and he figures no one will want to share a flat with him. So of course a mutual friend introduces him to someone else that is having a hard time finding a flatmate… a “consulting detective” and self-described “high-functioning sociopath”.

And so they agree to be flatmates, and their new landlady is the first to assume that they’re a couple; thus lampshading the hoyay and introducing an ongoing joke. Which I loved, by the way, specially later when Watson asks if Sherlock has a girlfriend or a boyfriend, and Sherlock comes comes to the logical conclusion and tells Watson that he’s flattered but he’s not looking for anything like that. XD

But anyway, loved the first episode to pieces. Visually, the show is just gorgeous, and between the locations and the musical score (which was amazing), the show manages to somehow feel the way you’d expect a classic story about Sherlock Holmes to feel. That it is to say, it’s very grounded in its contemporary setting (Sherlock is really fond of texting, for instance), but there’s a certain mood to it all that calls to mind its Victorian roots. And it’s not just the music and locations either, it’s this Sherlock Holmes himself. Benedict Cumberbatch is tall and lanky and pale, and looks very much like what you’d expect from a guy that was plucked straight out of the 19th century and put in the modern world. You see him the first time and realize he’s exactly what you’d expect Sherlock Holmes to look like. And to be like too… he runs his own website, called The Science of Deduction, for instance.

His portrayal is just phenomenal. He’s a total douche to everyone, but such a fascinating douche. Watson obviously sees he’s a self-centered ass and probably a little bit crazy, but at the same time he’s very obviously fascinated by him, by his intelligence, by his sarcastic wit, and I can’t see how anyone watching the show wouldn’t have the same reaction.

(So… his appeal is much like the appeal of Hugh Laurie’s House… which is appropriate for obvious reasons).

As for the case itself, I personally like that it’s not so much a whodunit and more of a caper and an opportunity to follow Sherlock around while he’s being awesome. And it’s actually quite clever in the way it plays with the expectations born of coming from a source that lots of us know to a lesser or greater extent. It follows through on some of those expectations (like the moment we first hear “221 B Baker Street); while totally faking us out on others, such as wit the reveal of a particular character’s identity, and it’s just not who we expect it to be (Moriarty), or when we think that Sherlock is shooting up but he’s actually applying nicotine patches… three of them (but even that is again turned on its head when it’s implied that maybe he’s into other drugs as well, or was in the past).

It’s a lot of fun and cleverly written, and I really hope they make a second series, because I don’t think I’m going to be satisfied with 3 episodes, even though they are an hour and a half each.

Anyway. Trailer below. :D

4 thoughts on “Shiny new Sherlock Holmes

  1. I’m watching this right now! I just got done with episode 2 and was very impressed. It’s so hard to write a Sherlock story and get everything right. As a big fan of the original stories, I really like the update it got here. Extremely legitero and true to the characters. I like Mrs. Hudson too, she’s really adorable XD

    Also omg, the lampshading. My friend and I howled with laughter when they went there. The writers of this show really outdid themselves there.

    Visually, I liked it a lot as well–cut down on what would be a lot of explaining as well.

    1. It’s just AWESOME, isn’t it? XD

      I’m about to start ep 2 now… not sure I’ll finish tonight because suddenly it got really late, but ah well.I’ll finish tomorrow if I get sleepy.

  2. I LOVE it like burning too. I haven’t watched eps 2 but am planning to tonight when I get home.

    Cumberbatch’ Sherlock is just amazing, exactly like how I imagine Sherlock to be.

    1. …Haha. WP thought you were a spambot. :D;;

      I didn’t know who would be Sherlock when I watched. So I was like, okay, THAT’s Watson,can’t be Sherlock. Is it that guy at the press conference? No it’s not, that’s detective dude. …Obviously it’s whoever it’s texting… OH. THAT’S SHERLOCK. OF COURSE.

      ETA: Meaning, yes, that’s exactly what I expected, even though I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. :D

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