Ongoing Investigations: Case #105

hisuiconAfter hearing several rave reviews Narutaki and I were interested in seeing the Sherlock preview at the New York Comic Con but since that was the weekend of missing out on things we never got the chance to watch it. When we did find it playing on public television we eagerly gave it a look. The show is modernization of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries. While we have all the classic characters like Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, and Moriarty but at the same time Sherlock has iPhone, Watson has just returned home from the Afghanistan conflict, and everyone has a web page. The cases themselves are loose reimaginings of  some of the original Shelrock Holmes mysteries. Sherlock himself has the right mix of genius, charisma, and full on prat that defines the character and makes him so iconic. At the same time Sherlock and Watson have a fun dynamic that sells the show (and would have people running to the Internet to complain about fan girl bait if this were an anime.) I did notice a bit of a vibe that I see in House which I found highly amusing because it means the influence may have come full circle. House was heavily influenced by the original Sherlock Holmes and now it seems that influence has come home to roost. Like many British TV shows the first season is extremely short with only 3 ninety minute episodes. The 2nd episode was the weakest of the three but they were all very entertaining and had a good mixture of action, comedy, and most importantly sleuthing. The only real downside in the first season ends on a cliff hanger so if you watch this you are just going to be on the edge of your seat for the conclusion.

I just can’t help myself, I really must talk about the BBC Masterpiece Mystery 3-part Sherlock (2010) series. This a modern telling of the classic detective unlike any done before, and wow did they set the bar high. The production quality is wonderful and well-crafted. Turning Sherlock and Watson into characters who live in the 21st century is a smooth transition in this series. Sherlock still relies on his incredible memory and capacity for noticing the smallest details but he does use some modern science once in a while. The reaction to him by the police is also a nice touch with most afraid of him or thinking he is a sociopath. As for Watson his war trauma and not feeling right in society is perfectly suited, and as my dad said “Watson always carried his gun.” Oh and I love that he has a blog about the cases. The dynamic between these two is comical at times but more comfortable than anything else despite them only meeting for the first time in part 1, in this I feel you can see the House influence the most. Watson is exasperated by Sherlock but also gripped by his insight and the mysteries. The first mystery is wholly gratifying in its puzzle, climax, and ending. Pretty much perfect. The second’s mystery is a little less solid but nevertheless good, and it was nice to see the solution be a bit unexpected. The final case is very intense because of the cat and mouse angle. And as everyone has already said, the cliffhanger is a major one (on par with that darned Twin Peaks first season cliffhanger!). It is excitement for the series that makes it devastating to wait a year for more of this brilliant rendition.

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