I am Sherlocked. There, I said it. Now that it’s out in the open, I feel comfortable enough to talk about it. Sherlock, for those who don’t know, is a popular show that our friends in Britain created back in 2010 which is based on, you guessed it, Sherlock Holmes. This was just after Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Guy Ritchie and co. also rebooted the famous book series written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I loved the Downey version of Sherlock, as it was set in the late 1800s during the industrial revolution. His version of Holmes was eccentric, as always, had a dark sense of humor, and a flair for the dramatic. Guy Ritchie did an awesome job directing the two movies that came out (Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). These movies were action-packed and well-acted; I did not think there could be another incarnation of the character that could supplant this one.
That is, until I watched Sherlock, the BBC series. I was skeptical at first, due to my love of Downey and Ritchie’s version. I kept seeing it on Netflix but never gave in until my brother told me I had to watch it. Well I did, and now I am writing this as a true, blue Sherlock lover. This version of the character takes place in modern times which makes it all the more interesting.
The BBC series stars Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hobbit) as the “consulting detective” and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as Holmes’ best friend, Dr. John Watson. These two have a chemistry that could only be bested by the fictional characters themselves. The two actors work seamlessly and complement each other perfectly.
Cumberbatch’s Holmes is much darker than Downey’s, but not in a way that compromises the character. His Holmes is much more of a societal outcast and he enjoys that. Instead of hard drugs in this one, though, Holmes’ addiction is cigarettes, which allows for a more believable modern character. Cumberbatch plays the hard-to-get-along-with character perfectly, as his out-loud observations of people put them off. This Holmes still has the same dark sense of humor, but seems much more grounded and less theatrical.
Freeman’s Watson is just incredible. Freeman truly shows how great of an actor he is in this role. He is able to go from emotion to emotion and it all looks natural. He plays the part of an adrenaline-addicted, ex-army doctor turned real doctor amazingly. Like Law’s interpretation of Watson, Freeman’s John does not take orders from Sherlock unless he has to and usually fires back sarcastic banter that makes the show all the more enjoyable.
If you go on Netflix right now (come on, you know you want to) you can watch the first two series of the show. Each episode runs an hour and a half long (I know, awesome, right?) so you have to dedicate some time to it, but it is totally worth it. The episodes do not feel like the daunting time they are. They are very fast moving and you could definitely find yourself watching the next episode before you realize half the day is gone.
The first series serves as an introduction to the characters as well as Sherlock’s most infamous foe. The series contains the episodes: “A Study in Pink,” “The Blind Banker,” and “The Great Game.” “The Great Game” is my favorite, but “A Study in Pink” is a close second. Overall, this series is fantastic and I’ll rate it a eight out of 10.
The second series is where the show really hits its stride. With Moriarty fully introduced as well as the introduction of another Sherlock mainstay, Irene Adler, this series, in my opinion, bests the first one. The episodes in this series include: “A Scandal in Belgravia,” “The Hounds of Baskerville,” and “The Reichenbach Fall.” The series has the weakest middle episode of the show’s run so far, but the two bookend episodes are by and large the best three hours I have spent in a long time. These episodes are true masterpieces, which is why this series gets a 10 out of 10.
The third series was just released in January and continues on a strong note from the huge cliffhanger at the end of the second series.
To watch these episodes, go on PBS.org, where they have a Masterpiece Theatre section which is dedicated to BBC shows. You can stream them there.
The episodes in this series are great, but they in no means touch the awesomeness that was the episodes in the second series; but then again, nothing can top those. The episodes are as follows: “The Empty Hearse,” “The Sign of Three,” and “His Last Vow.” This series ranks as my second best of the three, coming in with a score of nine out of 10.
If you had never heard of this show before you read this article, you’re welcome. This show is the best that is on TV or Netflix right now save for True Detective on TV and Breaking Bad on Netflix. Do yourself a favor and watch this show; you will not be disappointed.