Thursday, September 15, 2011

Endorsement: Sherlock (2010)

The thing that makes Sherlock Holmes a great character is this: He'll open with an unlikely conclusion, and then dazzle you with the insane amount of detail he observed to reach it. And no matter how implausible the conclusion is, you see that there can be no other. It's with this in mind that I tell you this:

BBC's recent 3 episode series of Sherlock, set in the present day and starring an actor named Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes is brilliant.

Actually the 1st and 3rd episodes are brilliant, the 2nd is merely very good. Here's my favorite line from the 1st episode, a curt response to one of Inspector Lestrade's team:

Against all odds this Sherlock is bouyant, depsite there being absolutely no need for a modernized Sherlock Holmes. Let's face it, he's already all over televsion in the person of Hugh Laurie's Dr. House, any given episode of CSI: Wherever, Castle -- 50% of all primetime TV is Holmes nowadays, and another 35% is reality TV. What does that leave? Two and a Half Men. And that's just America.

What works with the new Holmes is, as far as I can see, pure serendipity. You have the right show runners (Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat, who also are steering the Dr. Who franchise nowadays -- there's another Holmes for ya) the right actors (Cumberbatch, who Moffat claims is the only actor to play the character who has a stupider name than Sherlock Holmes) and Martin Freeman, late of The Office and Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy)) and the right format (90 minutes! Who the hell makes 90 minute TV shows? But it's just right for the complexity of these stories) and maybe most important, Holmes kinda belongs in the 21st century.

I don't want to give anything away because this stuff is available on streaming Netflix and places, but I will say that for starters, HOLMES LOVES TEXTING. And Google. If there's an internet outage in some upcoming episode, the poor detective will likely go insane.

Anyway, check it out, especially if you were disappointed with Robert Downey Jr's Holmes recently. Because this one works.

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