Monday, October 25, 2010

Mr. Holmes, I presume?

I was reticent. Oh, yes, I was reticent.

First, I heard that Steven Moffat was writing a new Sherlock Holmes for BBC and I was stoked. But then I watched the disappointing new season of Doctor Who. And then I heard that not only was it a new Sherlock Holmes, but it was a modern update of Sherlock Holmes. And since half my enjoyment from Sherlock Holmes comes from the Victorian setting...cue reticence.

But I shouldn't have worried. Because the new Sherlock? Is awesome. Quick plot, quick dialogue, quick establishment of characters...but somehow it all comes together in a rich, dense, warm show. It's the chocolate tort of television. Deceptively simple and immensely satisfying.

Also, adorable! Because Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman (The Office UK, Hitchhiker's Guide, and future hobbit) and Sherlock is played by some weird looking dude I've never heard of who still comes off as attractive. Also, Sherlock hasn't lost any of his...shall we say eccentricities. But now he's addicted to texting, has a website, and uses a smart phone. Of course, he's probably one of the only people who is actually smarter than his smart phone. Oh, and he still plays the violin, although we don't get to see it in the first episode. *grumble*

My only complaint, and it's not even really a complaint: the music of the series is very very similar to the music used in the Robert Downey Jr. movie. I liked the music in both circumstances, but it just seemed kind of distracting and almost like pandering to have the soundtracks be so close. Maybe just a coincidence or I'm crazy? Could be.

As for the mystery in the first episode, it was twisty enough to be not obvious, but I followed all the clues, and didn't figure out the killer until the appropriate time. You don't want your audience to feel stupid, but you also don't want them outsmarting your main genius detective. The show does a great job of sometimes letting us follow along with Sherlock's thinking, while other times we have to wait with Dr. Watson for the answers. I might have known who the killer was at the same time as Sherlock, but there were still enough surprises left to be uncovered to keep me interested. And unlike some other BBC shows, I wasn't completely lost in a too-dense plot.

Sherlock Holmes: he's a high-functioning sociopath, not a psychopath. Do your research. And watch the show. Because it's really really great.

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