If Gregory House were a detective in the literal sense instead of the medical one he plays on House M.D., he would probably be Sherlock.
I heard about Sherlock months ago and when I also heard that it was getting smashing reviews, I figured that I would have to at least give it a shot at some point to see whether all of the fuss it’s been given is worth it. Well, it is.
At 88 minutes, Sherlock’s introductory episode is more like a movie than a show and that is a decision I am glad they producers and writers agreed upon. In an episode where we will be introduced to our two soon-to-be BFF’s, a normal hour long episode(42-50 mintues plus commercials) would be poison. In any Sherlock mystery there needs to be adequate time for it to unfold, so we are thankfully given enough time to get to know our two new characters as well as they murder they are investigating.
If I were to attempt to compare Sherlock to anything on television, I would say it’s a combination of CSI and an Agatha Christie mystery with a big dollop of hilarious British humor. For instance, there is a point in the show when Sherlock is examining a dead body for clues. Because his mind is racing so fast, instead of relying on heavy expositional dialogue either within his own mind or with his colleagues in the room, we get white text that flashes on the screen like wet, rings are clean, nails are chipped, is rache, rachel or rache(german for revenge). It’s a great technique for a show such as this.
While the mystery is good, it’s the characters that stand at the forefront. First we meet John Watson(Martin Freeman, The Hobbit) who has recently come back from a war in the middle east. He’s a doctor, but it appears that he was shot and regularly meets with a therapist who believes his symptoms to be at least partly psychosomatic, and therefore temporary or in his mind.
After running into an old friend, Watson is introduced to Sherlock(Benedict Cumberbatch) in a lab who is looking for a flatmate. As we learn eventually in the episode, Sherlock is a sociopath. He’s extremely logical, has a photographic memory and is off the charts in terms of intelligence, but he’s also not good with humans and their emotions.
As my blurb above says, I think of Sherlock as a younger, British version of Gregory House. Sherlock has little understanding of emotions it seems. At one point in the show, he mistakes Watson as sending him gay signals. Another shows a young female lab assistant who is certainly coming on to him. He notices the addition of lipstick, but not the obvious flirtation. He also has en ego as big as House’s and wonders aloud several times what it must be like to be so much more stupid than he is. Does it make their lives easier?
Sherlock gets Watson to tag along on the case as a medical professional and before long they are a full blown team. The chemistry between he and Watson is palpable which is obviously necessary for a good show.
One of the best things about Sherlock, is that there appears to be no winking or ribbing towards the camera. The writers and actors take the work serious despite playing two present day versions of famous sleuths.
For the most part, the writing is smooth, funny and lacking in sentiment. It possess that great British sense of humor and a great deal of Americanization in the production and technical aspects. It looks as though real money has been poured into the production which shows.
I cannot comment on the other 2 episodes of the series since I haven’t seen them, but this is quickly becoming a favorite show of mine after only one episode. I give this a big thumbs up and advise anyone to watch it and be enthralled.