I don’t think I will ever have a more emphatic introduction to one of my reviews: WATCH THIS SHOW. DO IT. If you don’t, I’m not even disappointed, I’m just sad that your life is not brightened by this absolutely incredible and well thought out TV show.
Sherlock is a modern day adaptation of the classic books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by the BBC. They feature Benedict Cumberbatch (omg) as Sherlock Holmes, an antisocial, rude, and unimaginably genius man who has been described by himself as a “high functioning sociopath”. Martin Freeman plays Dr. John Watson, a man that’s been discharged from the army due to injury and is living a mundane life that bores him to psychosomatic problems. The two men are as polarized as can be, but somehow when they meet each other, it just works. Together they become an unstoppable team that live in a flat on 221B Baker Street and solve crimes, , blog, become famous, and gain enemies.
Each episode is movie length, with 3 in each season (2 seasons released so far), and all are loosely based upon the novels or short stories by the original author. This is actually a really good thing, because it allows for a longer and more complex plots every episode. One of the best things about this show is just the sheer amount of thought that goes into it. I’ve spent so much time on the internet reading theories about the show that I can’t say anything otherwise. To be quite honest, ever since I’ve seen Sherlock every other TV show looks shallow in comparison with little depth or real thought put into character interactions or the plot. Everything is meaningful in some way, and clues are placed for the reader to try and piece together mysteries concerning the plot. Cumberbatch and Freeman, as well as the rest of the cast, are also incredible and manage to convey many small nuances through subtle gestures and facial expressions. There is depth everywhere, and I’m actually failing to come up with words to begin to explain it all. Maybe this will help: the principal writers are Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who also plays Mycroft Holmes!). If you recognize their work from Doctor Who, you might get what I’m talking about. Personally I think that Sherlock is even more complex than Doctor Who in many ways, since the sci-fi aspect is absent and the series is grounded in reality.
I am honestly not sure how to put into words exactly what makes this series so wonderful, but I’ll try to list them all now. The actors are all phenomenal. Cumberbatch plays the best Sherlock I have ever seen- snarky, witty, and brilliant. Freeman is the perfect Watson to his Holmes: a man that misses the action of the battlefield and is “normal”, but can keep Sherlock in check. He’s anything but the ordinary sidekick to a genius. In many ways, he is an equal to Sherlock, which is something that you really don’t see in a lot of Sherloch adaptations. The plot is the most well thought out of any TV show I have ever seen, even surpassing the plots of some movies. I’ve heard it compared to Inception, but slightly easier to understand. The small special effects (showing the screen of Sherlock’s phone as he texts, the words John types on his blog) are interesting and unique. The episodes never disappoint in their deliverance of humor and seriousness, as well as action. All I can really say is that everyone has to watch this show, because you don’t know what you’re missing. Season 1 is out on Netflix for American audiences, and I highly recommend you go to see it now. The first episode is A Study in Pink, and I think that if you just go see it, you’ll fall in love with this show like I did. Please please please do it! I know there is a stigma against modern day adaptations of classics, but this the archetype of what every adaptation should strive for, because they did it right.
I would rate this series PG-15 for some violence, swearing, and nudity. (Irene Adler, sigh.)