Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sherlock Series 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Sherlock Series 1 - 5 out of 5

"Keep smiling and pretend you don't notice
his fly is open."
I've never actually read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books on the greatest detective to ever exist but over the years, I've become more and more familiar with the character.  When Guy Ritchie made the first Robert Downing Jr. headlined film about Sherlock Holmes, I had my doubts if the man who gave us the awesome films of Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch could bring his unique vision to the world of deduction but I was proven wrong--pleasantly wrong!  So, it was with high hopes that I turned once again to Ritchie's native land of England for another round of Holmes in the form of the BBC program Sherlock .

The look of heartache of a man who missed the cut off time for McDonald's breakfast.

It's unfair to call this a television show as a single season (or as they call it in the UK Series) lasts only 3 episodes--that's right, there are only 3 episodes per Series...but these episodes are an hour and a half long.  Basically, each Series is 3 movies and let's just say this, each episode of this Series could easily be released in the theaters and be a contender for over half the crap released on any given week as the acting, writing and overall production value is better than most stuff we Americans waste our money on at the theater.

"One Ring to Rule Them All...hmm.  I deduce that this is my...precious."

The show is a modern take on Mr. Holmes as the character is extracted from his era in the late 1800s and is thrown into our world--not literally of course as the character of Sherlock Holmes isn't brought here by some phone booth/time machine and he's not ushered into this century by the greatest band of all time:  Wild Stallions!  Sherlock Holmes is a freelance private investigator who uses his amazing talents of seeing all the hidden details when the police are in over their heads.  In the first series, we see him form his partnership with the good Doctor (no, not that good Doctor, although the 11th Doctor Matt Smith did audition for the role of Holmes).  A veteran from Afghanistan, Dr. Watson is looking for an outlet to deal with his issues and looking for a home.  In comes Holmes and the partnership that has become the stuff of legends is formed.

"Yeah, I'm going to be in The Hobbit.  I'm playing Bilbo."

"Really?  I'm in it, too.  Small world."

Cumberbatch and Freeman...sounds like a brand
of designer jeans.
Each episode (movie) is perfectly crafted with an interesting mystery that is carried out in a creative way as the show is able to execute the unique madness of Holmes' mind through clever editing and the amazing acting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.  Watching the character in action, the show is brilliantly able to give the audience member an idea of what is going through the man's head.  To balance the show and have a excellent counterpoint to Cumberbatch is veteran of Ricky Gervais' The Office Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson.  The two play off each other wonderfully and even if the show's writing sucked and the mysteries were predictable and formulaic, their partnership would make the show worth watching as they play off each other like a well choreographed dance.  Luckily, the show's writing is fantastic and seeing the two work so well together is just the icing on a very delicious cake.

In America, Moriarty would have been played by
Shia LaBeouf.
The only real complaint I walked away with was the film--show's--representation of Sherlock's greatest enemy; Jim Moriarty.  Actor Andrew Scott brings the character to life but in a scenery chewing, over-the-top, "I'm desperate for attention" way that comes off more annoying than menacing.  In fact, Scott's portrayal reminded me of that annoying guy at the party who is the first to get naked or smash a bottle on his head or the first to offer jumping off the roof in an effort to make all the eyes in the room on him.  Basically, Scott's portrayal smacked of effort and provided a disservice to the criminal mastermind of Professor Moriarty.  Kinda hard to be a shadowy figure of menace when he seems seconds away from lighting his farts on fire in an effort to get uncomfortable laughs.  But when compared to the rest of the show and especially the incredible acting presence of both Cumberbatch and Freeman, Scott's annoying presence as Moriarty isn't enough to hurt my rating of the films--show.  I can't wait until I get to see Series 2!


  1. Great review of the series. Totally agree with your comments about the portrayal of Moriarty.

    Loved all the references to Lord of the Rings!

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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