I love mysteries. As you may recall, my first post on this blog was about my re-entry into the world of anime via Sherlock Holmes/Detective Conan. I also mentioned that time I befriended a girl just because she cosplayed as Luke from the Professor Layton games. So yes, a portion of my heart is practically devoted to solving crime/deciphering seemingly supernatural mysteries.
You can imagine how high I leaped in my swivel chair at work when I stumbled upon this discovery–a reboot of the classic Sherlock Holmes series that has been a major hit in England, but is debuting on PBS on October 24 (as part of Masterpiece Mystery). This time, however, Holmes and Watson aren’t traveling by candlelight.
I think the timing is right for a modern-day adaptation of Holmes–he’s equipped with a smartphone and Watson blogs. Sherlock prefers to text, and just in the first episode, we see him use his smartphone to figure where the victim traveled from using a Weather app.
My “review” of this version of Sherlock Holmes would obviously not be complete without a comparison to the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes. I like Robert Downey Jr and all, but I think he was a bit too obviously far-fetched as Sherlock. Benedict Cumberpatch (now that’s a name you WON’T be forgetting anytime soon…) is expertly cast as the psychopathic master of deduction. Never have been Eros-esque curly hair, beady eyes and sharp cheekbones been so sinister. Benedict is far more dapper than Robert Downey’s haphazardly assembled Sherlock. But as we learn from Sherlock, looks are quite deceiving, and I will be sure to never hand Benedict’s Sherlock MY smartphone as he might just read my entire life story from it.
Sherlock’s unlikely sidekick, John Watson, is portrayed by the versatile actor Martin Freeman, who you may fondly remember as Tim from the British version of The Office. Freeman’s Watson is perfectly capable of standing his own ground against the mercurial Holmes; part of Freeman’s effective performance is in his facial expressions. At times, I felt as though I was participating in the show through Watson, who was simply looking for a roommate and got sucked into Sherlock’s demented world.
The first episode, “A Study in Pink“, at first mention, brings to mind the story “A Study in Scarlet“, though it has absolutely nothing to do with the original. The hour-and-half long episode successfully mixes what we love most about Sherlock–his meticulous (or should I say, neurotic) attention to detail–adapted to present day. His mind is a GPS–we follow him on his mental map as he races to stop a suspicious cabbie, flashing through his knowledge of London’s construction zones, blocked roads, pedestrian walkways–shortcuts he creates in his mind. We see the SMS texts appear on the screen as they happen–though we don’t know what Sherlock is thinking. As the viewer, we are again in the same boat as Watson–amazed and frightened. Is Sherlock human? Benedict Cumberpatch keeps us guessing.
There are only 3 episodes thus far, but I can’t wait until the second season (will we be introduced to Irene Adler????). I don’t watch too much TV–hell, I don’t even own a TV. But I feel as though with the massive amounts of alcohol I’ve been consuming lately, trying to solve crimes with Sherlock, using my noodle-noggin for an hour-and-a-half, somehow neutralizes the effect of all those damn Patron shots.
Enjoy the trailer, below.