BBC: Sherlock, Episode 3

August 15, 2010

Well, when I first posted about this series, I felt unlcean about it.

All three of the episodes have run — so how do I feel about it now?

It’s bloody genius! Absolute genius!

Episode 1 was really genius, but the update to modernity was really jarring.

Episode 2 was utter nonsensical rubbish that was boring as hell.

Episode 3 was back to stunning genius!

Moffat wrote the first, co-creator Gatiss the third.

And they both have a thorough understanding of what they want to do with the series — something the guy in the middle didn’t have a clue about (and that episode was so bad, I didn’t bother with screensnaps).

Director McGuigan has developed a signature look for the series. This is something that hasn’t really been seen in TV since the days of Miami Vice.

Photography, composition, just brilliant. And perfect pacing.

Where everything went wrong with the middle episode, everything went right this time.

If you haven’t seen this, you must. And you must endure the hell of the second episode if only for the development of the John Watson character. Everything else in that episode is otherwise terrible.

By the end of this third one, I was no longer thinking back to the Conan Doyle stories, comparing. They pulled off creating a new Sherlock that can stand on its own.

Brilliant work!


BBC: Sherlock

July 26, 2010

WARNING: This post contains spoilers! Do not read if you haven’t seen this yet!

The thing about the original Sherlock Holmes stories is this: They were aspirational.

People who read them admired Sherlock and — especially kids — wanted to be him.

This is a vital point and central to the charm of the original stories.

It doesn’t matter that Holmes at one point injected cocaine or smoked a pipe or cigarettes.

Conan Doyle came to recognize the hazard of cocaine and weaned Holmes off it.

Tobacco had a socially-acceptable aspect to it up until the past few decades and anyone who has done it understands its mentally-stimulating effects.

So, how does the modernized Sherlock that just aired on the BBC yesterday measure up?

While all of it — script, acting, direction — was absolutely brilliant, I think it’d take a very, very strange person to look at that Sherlock and say, “I want to be like him.”

This new Sherlock has been corrupted — both by our modern age of knowing too much and by our sordid modern age itself.

He is no longer a brilliant scientist, he is a borderline sociopath — a self-admitted one at that!

Yes, he’s smart, yes, he can see what us mere mortals stupidly miss — but my god, who the hell wants to be a prick like him?

There was another modern take on the story of Sherlock Holmes, in the movies, called Zero Effect. And while that character was also corrupted, he was also endearing and emotionally vulnerable because of his social ineptitude.

The only vulnerability in the BBC Sherlock was challenging his overbearing ego.

Really, I wanted to push the pill down his throat near the end.

None of this is to say I didn’t like it. It was really magnificent. Dr. Watson is now a real human being. Lestrade is still one-dimensional but perhaps they’ll do for him what they did for Watson (although with them also bringing in a secondary police official, it could be they’ve written him off as an inept patsy again). Mycroft was a surprise I should have seen coming.

As for the storytelling — it brings TV into the Internet age, perfectly keeping the attention of harried multitaskers by multitasking itself at points. I won’t say more because that would be too big a spoiler.

I really did cheer (inside) when Holmes did things like telling someone to shut up when he wasn’t speaking and telling another character to turn around so he wasn’t looking at Holmes. Really, really brilliant touches and things I could personally identify with too!

But that really wasn’t the Sherlock Holmes of the stories.

And that’s a great big problem here. I feel as if I’m watching a revision of history. A 1984-ish version of Holmes.

But I will keep watching.

And once you’ve seen it, so will you.

But I won’t feel clean doing so.

And that might be due to seeing too much of myself in this new Sherlock.

“How smart we are—how aptly we put things!”

Seeds by Sherwood Anderson


Aug 15th, 2010 4:58pm

September 28, 2010

BBC: Sherlock, Episode 3

Well, when I first posted about this series, I felt unlcean about it.

All three of the episodes have run — so how do I feel about it now?

It’s bloody genius! Absolute genius!

Episode 1 was really genius, but the update to modernity was really jarring.

Episode 2 was utter nonsensical rubbish that was boring as hell.

Episode 3 was back to stunning genius!

Moffat wrote the first, co-creator Gatiss the third.

And they both have a thorough understanding of what they want to do with the series — something the guy in the middle didn’t have a clue about (and that episode was so bad, I didn’t bother with screensnaps).

Director McGuigan has developed a signature look for the series. This is something that hasn’t really been seen in TV since the days of Miami Vice.

Photography, composition, just brilliant. And perfect pacing.

Where everything went wrong with the middle episode, everything went right this time.

If you haven’t seen this, you must. And you must endure the hell of the second episode if only for the development of the John Watson character. Everything else in that episode is otherwise terrible.

By the end of this third one, I was no longer thinking back to the Conan Doyle stories, comparing. They pulled off creating a new Sherlock that can stand on its own.

Brilliant work!


July 27, 2010

But when language is stolen and poisoned, the poison works its way backwards through time and sideways into the reputations of innocent men.

From Salman Rushdie’s novel ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ (via artistikem)

Wow, that applies perfectly to the BBC’s Sherlock as well as comic book panels and book titles I’ve seen posted that now have different meanings due to the poison of our day.