Monday, February 27, 2012

I Believe In Sherlock

It's time, everyone. I am finally getting around to writing my “Sherlock” thoughts, impressions, and review. Two things to keep in mind while reading this though:

1. I am writing this  as a “Sherlock” n00b who has finally had the chance to watch series one and series two of the show. I am not a long standing member of the fandom, but more someone who has just made a great discovery.


Now that my personal madatory spoiler alert is finished, let's get on with this. I guess the best place to start is the beginning, or my intorduction to the world of "Sherlock". Despite the fact that the series  has been on since 2010, I didn't actually hear about the show until a couple of weeks ago. Both my girlfriend and her sister have, at different points, asked me if I had seen "Sherlock" or even heard of it. I had said no and they both told me to watch it. I concider myself a film buff and a TV buff and really enjoy getting into shows either after they end or when they hit a hiatus. I went onto Google and decided to make a quick search of "Sherlock" just to see  what it was. As it turns out, the BBC decided to take a TV stab at a modern day retelling of the adventures of classic sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Prior to this, I didn't have much experience with the great Sherlock Holmes, outside of having to read "The Hound of the Baskervilles" back in the eighth grade, and that was pure hell for me at the time. I had no interest in the book whatsoever, I bombed every test, and I feel I came out a better person at the end for it.

I admit I don't exactly read a lot and it takes quite a bit for a book to really draw me in. Stephen King has been able to do it more than any other author. As I age a bit I find myself opening up a tad bit more to older literature, something my girlfriend thrives on. So that being said, I have never really bothered to read the classic Sherlock Holmes books and due to my middle school experiences I never even bothered to try and watch the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes, and I can't even tell you what the film is about. At some point I may venture down the road of that film and try to watch it anyway, if only to see how it compares to "Sherlock".

As a modern day retelling, quite a bit has been changed. The biggest change to the entire universe, aside from the time, is the age of Sherlock. In the books, Sherlock Holmes is a 60 some year old detective, while in the series, he can't be more than his eary to mid thirities, as at the time of this writing, Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who portays Sherlock Holmes, is only 35 years old. Some elemeents of the old tales are carried over however. Sherlock Holmes is still incredibly brilliant, John Watson has still served over in Afganistan, Sherlock still lives on Baker St. and he still wears that incredibly goofy hat, although in the series that is unintentional.

As far as the quality of the show itself goes, I was blown away from the first moments of "A Case in Pink". The show itself is supposed to be a BBC drama but I found pleanty of laughing moments from the character of Sherlock, and I credit a lot of that to the actors. The length of the show is also astounding compared to an American show. Here in America our weekly dramas run about 40-45 minutes with about 15 minutes of commercials. Because I watched these episodes of Sherlock online I can't tell exactly what the exact broadcast time is or how many commercials there are, but I do know that the content of the episodes is between 1 hour 27 minutes, and an even hour and a half. That's all in one sitting if you weren't following. The entire story plays out in one week, and that is a format I feel really works. Each "series", or "season" in America, is only 3 episodes long, but the length and the quality of the episodes quickly makes up for it.
I don't really want to get into a greatly indepth review of every episode or series but on a last note for this part I want to say that I love how series one and series two each ended on a cliffhanger. The cliffhanger of series one, involving Sherlock, Watson, Moriarty, and some random hidden gunmen was something that made me really want to see how the second series  began, but the end of series two is  just a cruel sick joke from the creators of the series. (Here's where the spoilers kick in).

In the last 10 or 20 minutes of the series, Sherlock is on the roof with Moriarty, who admits he has defeated Sherlock Holmes, and that unless Sherlock jumps from the roof, all of his friends will be shot and killed. Sherlock tells Moriarty that he knows he can get him to call of the gunmen and Moriarty admits he is right, and that as long as he is alive there is a failsafe, so he takes a gun out of his pocket, sticks the gun barrel in his mouth, and pulls the trigger. Sherlock, then realizing he is deafeated, gets on the ledge of the roof. Calls Watson, who is standing below and delievers his note. He admits everything Moriarty says is true, that he is a fake, that he arranged every crime he solved, that he researched John Watson before their first meeting so that he could impress him, and that the call was his note. He tells John to watch him, and not take his eyes off of him. He throws his phone behind him, flings his arms out, and then  plunges to the ground below. As he lands, Watson runs over, and is hit by a biker, hitting his head. His vision blurred het gets to the body, along with a crowd of people, and he sees his friend has died. In the next scene, he is at Sherlock's grave with their landlady. She gives him a moment alone, and he gives a heartfelt speech that would move anyone to tears. He tells Sherlock's grave that he still believes in him, and that no one can convince him he was a fake. He then asks Sherlock for one last miracle, to still be alive. As  he leaves the grave, the camera pans to reveal Sherlock watching John Watson at "his" grave.

That leaves the question, how did Sherlock fake his death? Look online. There are pleanty of theories  ranging from Sherlock landing in the truck that pulls away while Molly plants a corpse, to Sherlock sending Moriarty's corpse over the edge, to even more astounding stuff. I myself believe the truck theory is the most logical, although the writer/creator of the series has admitted that eagle eyed viewers can spot how Sherlock faked his death. I myself am working on a theory but I find it far from ready. How is that a cruel sick joke from the creators? Series 3 of "Sherlock" won't be airing on the BBC until the end of this year or the beginning of next, which seems more likely.

So how do you think Sherlock faked his suicide? Are you a fan of Sherlock? How did you discover it? Do you believe in Sherlock. Leave your thoughts below in the comments.

I believe in Sherlock.



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  2. I have not seen the second season and hence skipped right to the end of your post :)

    Still, being an avid Sherlockian, I always like to hear from fans of Sherlock Holmes. I will check back after watching the episode in May!