Monday, February 3, 2014

Sherlock Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/sherlock-review-43cb3cc45b2c

A lot of people complain about the unstoppable march of movie sequels that we have to put up with (how many Need for Speed movies are there now?) On the other hand most of us have at least one TV show that we keep up with, which is basically a bunch of short movies. I guess BBC decided to stop pretending because basically Sherlock is three 90-minute movies released a year. Except the years they missed, but give them a break.

I was a little apprehensive at first because as I've said before I haven't enjoyed a lot of what Steven Moffat has been doing with Doctor Who. In Sherlock's case however I think he knew what he was doing. It might have helped that they were adapting stories that already existed, but I haven't read them so I can't know for sure.

Being a crime drama it relies on big plot twists to keep us on the edge of our seats. I've gotten better at picking up on writing queues and predicting what will happen, so they aren't as shocking as they would have been to my childhood self. The thing that has kept me coming back has been the wonderful character interactions. It starts of course with Sherlock and John's bromance (just keep telling everyone you're not gay, John) but it extends to almost all of the other recurring characters. It's not surprising that Sherlock gets a significant amount of character progression by learning from John how to treat other human beings, but even relatively minor characters like Molly grew a lot over the course of the show.

The villains and antiheroes naturally had to almost be larger than life, because otherwise Sherlock's ability to discern the unknowable would never fail. Sometimes they went a little overboard though, and I had to make sure to remind myself that they were only human. Thankfully this didn't happen too often.

My biggest beef with the show is actually not a problem for the show at all. The people I have been watching it with have been mostly female, and a lot of them just melt when Benedict Cumberbatch does something adorable and/or sexy. He appears to be incapable of doing anything else, and I just can't compete. Seriously, one of them has a pillowcase with his face printed on it. I guess there's nothing to do but start running again to get my abs back.

Seriously though, you should watch Sherlock. It is well worth your time, and it doesn't take long to get caught up. The series seems to have been designed with binge-watching in mind.