Thursday, October 4, 2012

Television Review: Sherlock, Season 1

One of the undergraduates in my lab suggested I watch the BBC show, Sherlock, and within a few days Leann independently queued it up in our Netflix service. I agreed to watch the first episode with her, one morning, when I didn't need to be to work right away. I thought it would be a typical 40-minute episode and I was a little confused why Neflix only had three episodes. Well, it was an hour and a half long, so I was a little later to work than I thought I'd be. And that also explains why there are only three episodes per season, or series, as they call them in Britain: each one is practically a feature-length film. Each episode is based on one of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but they have been updated to take place in the present (e.g. Dr. Watson is a veteran of the War in Afghanistan which began in 2001, not the Second Anglo–Afghan War as in the book).

My verdict: The show is pretty engaging and the characters are interesting. Cumberpatch (who looks stereotypically British) delivers a Sherlock Holmes who is surprisingly fallible and petulant. And Dr. Watson is almost clingy. The third episode is easily the best and introduces Holmes' arch-nemesis. Jim Moriarty comes off as a bit fruity at first, but turns out to be a fantastic villain. He was almost surely informed by Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight. The music is well-suited to the show and catchy. One more thought: the title footage makes London look like a model train set and I wish I knew how they did it.

Image attributions:

Tower Bridge is by Peter Trimming, available at Bridge at Sunset - - 1804231.jpg.

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