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domino harvey
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#1 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:14 pm

After being prompted by its fervent fanbase of teen girls (this is what happens when you take viewing recs from your students!), I quickly worked my way through both series of the BBC revival of Sherlock over the past couple days-- an easy feat at a total six episodes. At first I was motivated to keep watching for the same reasons the AV Club kept writing about the Newsroom, ie hate-watching. Lord is this a remarkably stupid show at its outset, surprisingly so given its subject is a man of unparalleled brilliance. Having read a good handful of the shorter Holmes stories, I know that absurd leaps of logic are par for the course, so I can't fault the series for getting that aspect correct. But the first series is poorly written, with its mysteries obvious and over-explained to the point of being unintentionally hilarious (the producers have taken Jerry Lewis' advice on comedy and transplanted it to a mystery, not a smart idea-- "First tell the audience what you're going to do, then do it, then let them know it's been done" or close to that). Of course, the true worst thing about the first series (and it improves vastly in the second) is the direction, which closely resembles in its editing and framings Tom Hooper directing a music video for Nine Inch Nails. No wonder this has such a young fanbase, it's TV-commercial-as-series execution simple enough to digest and process that even the Encyclopedia Brown audience can be let in on the "fun."

Also, there are the ever-present and popular gay jokes. There are so many gay jokes in both series, none of which were funny when a true talent like Billy Wilder tried them thirty years ago. Oh har har, two men live together, what a riot. This aspect more than anything in the series strikes me as pandering to a certain internet-happy fanbase, who wants nothing more than an excuse to "ship" two appealing male leads in a series. And, of course, the amusing Louise Brealey's swooning hospital pathologist is a perfect stand-in for the hetero female "shippers" who insert themselves into the action-- the series if nothing else knows how to cull and feed audiences across a couple quadrants!

But hate-watching gave way to more pleasurable enjoyment-watching (Or is it just "watching"?) with the second series, which is markedly more clever in its machinations and twists, withholding key information and using its reveals to delight rather than confirm existent suspicions. The middle adaptation of "Hound of the Baskervilles" is a right dog, but the first and third episodes of the second series are legitimately terrific, especially the third, which finally figures out what to do with its fey Moriarty and executes a series of increasingly absurd and suffocating "wrong man" theatrics in grand style. So, dammit, against all odds I will be watching the eventual third series with the hopes that this upward trend continues!

Continuing on the positive tip, the one consistent plus throughout both series is Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock, a perf which does not shy away from the arrogance of the character while still making him undeniably appealing-- it is no secret why Cumberbatch is an unlikely sex symbol thanks to the show, his charisma shining off the surface of an often unpalatable central character is unshakable.

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Re: Sherlock

#2 Post by lacritfan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:32 pm

Season 4 teaser
Hey, Toby Jones! :-)

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Re: Sherlock

#3 Post by Roscoe » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:48 am

And Mrs. Hudson's little cameo is the highlight -- I'll watch the whole series to get a look at that.

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