Sherlock, Series One (2009)


Sherlock

Introduced to this, primarily through a love of BBC British costume adaptations – which often leads to countless trips on Internet sites to find out the latest scoops, Sherlock seemed intriguing from the very start. Then, a friend saw it and despite her initial skepticism, it totally won her over to the point that she recommended it. Not something everyone will immediately like – or maybe ever appreciate, even still, for me, this is one of the BEST series… ever.

Just returned from war, John Watson (Martin Freeman) is having nightmares. It’s those nightmares that have him seeing a therapist, who is certain he is under stress. Certain no one would be interested in becoming his flat-mate, John must figure out his next step since his salary is minimal. Little does John know just how closely his life is about to intersect with the law. London police have their hands full. Four people have committed suicide… or have they? Their bodies were found in most unusual locations. Places the victim had no reason to be. It appears the poison was self-administered, so the ruling is suicide, but why the apparent rise, and all with the same MO? But someone doesn’t believe that DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) has come to the correct deductions…

“Wrong.” That is the one-word text message the police and media find on their cell phone screens during Lestrade’s press conference. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a “consulting detective” where nary a single person on the police force really likes Holmes, but they put up with him because they “need” him. A brilliant mastermind who can deduce things about people at a glace, Sherlock believes it’s murder. No matter that everyone thinks he a psychopath, or that after meeting through a mutual friend, Watson has been taken and is being warned against becoming his roommate, once again, Sherlock sets out to prove his theories.

What better way to start of 2012 than with a fangirl review of Sherlock? At its start, we are quite skeptical of this for a number of reasons. The “visual” reasons being: the set-up is curious. There is such confusion in the first five minutes that it really isn’t clear just what is going on. And, in the end, that is okay. In looking back, that first hour-and-a-half show all comes right, and I’ve realized just how impressively the suspense was hyped. Something required as a necessary to any mystery series. Having said that, this new spin on a classic figure is – may I just say it? – brilliant!

Sherlock
 
Likely, the fact this is set in the 21st century albeit still amidst the murky streets of London, will be off-putting to die-hard Holmes fans. If that describes you, then this might be best left alone. For me, I am not a part of that fandom. I suppose what I am is merely a casual fan since I’ve not indulged in the novels or any of the movies apart from the latest feature film and one Basil Hawthorne title. I am a stickler about comedy and there are so many avenues of that genre. Some can be crude, some are beyond that (and past saving), and some can simply be slapstick-happy. Rarely do scriptwriters get it just right. Here they hit the nail every line. The humor is fabulous! (I cannot count the number of fabulous one-liners and could probably devote an entire blog to it in combination with Holmes dry-witted persona, but then, I don’t want to bore you all to tears.) The fabulous quips add up in numbers too great to describe; the writers were on top of their game at the time this concept was conceived all of which are delivered with memorable pizzazz, to say the least.

The writing, direction and costumes are all grand, but what about the stars? Benedict is spot-on perfection. I loved his Sherlock. The mad way he dashes about all contributes to his character. He is depicted to be sort of a mad genius who is bored with anything and everything, and Benedict pulls that all together so that we like him yet understand why others do not. The supporting cast is, likewise well-cast. Martin and Benedict have a good camaraderie working together as if they really were the infamous Watson and Holmes. The allure of seeing Holmes as an addict “texter,” who comes across as a physical loafer, is just too good to pass up. (Other than using his brain, Sherlock is not interested in “work” – he is continuously sending John on errands.) This is one visit to 221 Baker that won’t disappoint its target audience – trust me.

Sherlock returns to BBC One tonight. If anyone sees it, I'd love to know your early conclusions! 

Related Post(s):
(By America’s rating system, this would most likely receive a PG13-rating. Cautions: several jokes in “A Study in Pink” question whether or not Sherlock is homosexual; John is annoyed to be thought his “date.”Naturally the crime scenes are most bothersome. A woman is said to have had a string of lovers. Some sexual connotations and jokes do worm their way into the episodes.)
 
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Rissi
18 Comments

18 comments:

  1. I adore this show! I am sitting down to watch episode one of series two at 8:10PM today; so excited! Been waiting for about 15 months!

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  2. This is one I'm really debating seeing, like Downton Abbey...I've heard a lot of good about it (and Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome) and I am a 'casual fan' of Sherlock, so purist issues wouldn't bother me. :-) I should probably just break down and do it. :-)

    I totally agree about the comedy issue...I adore (most) British humor for that reason. It's so *different* than most American humor in comedies nowadays, and I immensely prefer it. :-) And when I think about it...most of my favorite comedic actors are...British. Hm. :-)

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  3. The non-Victorian setting does not bother me, because Sherlock Holmes was written as a contemporary piece -- then, he was modern, just as Britain made him modern when Basil Rathbone played him in the 1930's and 40's; it's natural to have a "modern" Holmes, even though I love a good period piece.

    For the most part, this Holmes is very much like the book Holmes. Maybe a little more rude and blunt but just as eccentric and brilliant, but not in a totally off-putting way.

    Got about two hours and then I'll be watching the first episode. I'm sitting and giggling over all the trending that is happening on tumblr and twitter right now, as the fangirls worldwide go insane.

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  4. C.C. - my thoughts exactly. Although I won't see it until it arrives on DVD, I CANNOT wait for it. =)

    The wait was due to the London riots, or whatever it was that was going on over there, but who cares?? It's finally here.

    Natalie - ditto! You and me both. =)

    Alexandra - this is one of the best shows that I discovered in 2011. It's funny and tells a great mystery. All that you've heard of it is true and then some - Sherlock is awesome! I loved the feature films, too. I hope if you decide to see it that it lives up to your expectations. If you do not like mysteries, then you wouldn't enjoy this one.

    British humor is grand - they know how it should be done, and really, thank goodness someone does! There are a lot of British actors that I like but I've got my share of American favorites, too.

    Hey, did you even see Downton Abbey? If so, I hope you were able to enjoy it.

    Charity - okay, girl, I am so jealous of you right now!! ;D LOL! Just kidding. =)

    I'd agree with about Sherlock, he is kind of a "jerk," yet we love him! There is something about his dry-witted delivery and way of putting people in their place that isn't... well, off-putting. I really must watch S1 again - it was phenomenal!

    I do believe you were quite skeptical at first, so I am really glad you are such a fan of this because it is brilliant. =) (Glad to know that bit of trivia about the "modern Holmes" - thanks bunches.)

    Enjoy... less than an hour away now??

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  5. Now, for me, THIS is how Sherlock was meant to be done. Granted, I am not the best person to judge in an unbiased manner.....but I loved this miniseries.

    It was brilliant, with both Morgan and Benedict playing their roles to perfection. I am so excited because two of my favorite Sherlock novels are being adapted this season!! YAY!!

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  6. Not sure how I felt about this episode. Some things I LOVED, some things I really HATED -- among them how much smut was involved in this episode. =(

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  7. Ella - I like this series and the feature films. They are different, yes, but both are equally clever.

    I share your thoughts exactly on this BBC series. It is wonderfully comedic and yet brilliant. The actors are spot-on perfect and that is, in part what makes it so grand. =) Cannot wait to read what you thought of the series.

    Charity - oh, no! That is NOT a promising start to S2...

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  8. Rissi - I LOVE Sherlock so much! The first season was absolutely brilliant. Which is why I could not believe how horrified I was by the first episode of the second season. Mortified would be a good word for my response. So much so that I couldn't even enjoy the bits that I did like, because there were a few. I just can barely recall them because my brain is struggling to swipe the memory clean. So disappointing.

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  9. That is awful to know, Carissa! But, on the other hand, I really appreciate knowing this so I can be prepared for the DVD's.

    I "fell in love" with this BBC series when first watching it and now really want to re-visit it - so I should. Perhaps the following episodes will improve on the first and make that premiere nothing but a distant memory. We can hope, right!? ;D

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  10. I LOVED the first season of Sherlock and I've been eagerly anticipating the second for what seems like FOREVER. I don't plan on watching it until the PBS broadcast -- I'm concerned about content issues in the Belgravia episode since I read some reviews of it -- sounds completely unnecessary and gratuitious -- hopefully the 2nd and 3rd episodes won't find those "distractions" necessary.

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  11. Totally agree with you, Ruth! The 1st series is perfection - all this talk of it makes me really anxious to see it again.

    There was a delay in S2 coming to screens but it's here now - finally! I'll see it on DVD unless it continues on this same trend of filth, then I may consider it more carefully. Like you, I am optimistic for E2 and three. =)

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  12. I love this show to no end and cannot wait for more.

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  13. My thoughts exactly, AnnaKate! =)

    Thank you SO much for following my blog - I hope you stop in often. =)

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  14. Nice review of the series. I too like BBC Sherlock.

    Check out my review .

    Cheers!

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  15. Thanks so much for stopping in, Buddy2Blogger. I really appreciate that! And for the link to your review. :-)

    Stop in again sometime.

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  16. This is coming extremely late, but I had to see if you'd reviewed Sherlock. I drove four hours to see my sister expressly for the purpose of watching this show, and I love it (so far we've only watched the first season/series--I am SO excited for more). I have to agree with Ella who said "THIS is how Sherlock was meant to be done." Benedict Cumberbatch is just incredible, and Martin Freeman and he play off each other so exceptionally well. I've watched the old BBC Sherlock Holmes (at least I think it's BBC), and though it was good, Benedict's Sherlock is so much more obviously genius. And I like the modern setting as opposed to the old one--it seems to give more flexibility to the plot.

    Until recently, I was unable to understand the attention Benedict Cumberbatch got because I was (and still am) an avid Tom Hiddleston fan. I saw Benedict briefly in War Horse, but was ignorant as to who he was at the time. Then I just watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug about a month ago, and adored him as the dragon's voice. His voice is so deep and soothing, and the sound effects they gave him were even cooler. So, yes, I am on the Benedict Cumberbatch bandwagon now. :)

    walking in the air.

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    Replies
    1. It's never too late to come in when it's Sherlock, Hannah. ;)

      How nice to hear that this is how Sherlock should be. I'm not a "scholar" of the character, so I just go for what I enjoy and thus far, I've loved everything I've seen based on the character. This one is definitely one of my very favorites for so many reasons. Aside from the characters (and who play them), what I loved so much was seeing Sherlock put into a modern world - his texting is HILARIOUS because it's "against" the classic interpretation. Oh, these clever writers. ;)

      Fun! I love Benedict in everything I've seen him in - this and he's also in Amazing Grace along with some various British series (like Marple or something of that sort) and each role I enjoy watching how he plays a character. Glad you're enjoying his acting. :)

      Glad you and your sister are now on board, Hannah - hope you continue to enjoy the series! It's all fun - and clever. And awesome. And crazy. And, yeah... good stuff. ;)

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