It was elementary

I make assumptions, that’s my problem. When I  began watching Sherlock I was pleasantly surprised with its clever writing, adherence to the original Doyle and rich production.  It was clever without self-admiration, intelligent without heavy weather and amusing enough to coax from my lips the occasional chuckle. It had just about everything I enjoy for a tv evening in (which almost all of my evenings are).

sherlockcumberbatchlead

I like my tv shows like my men: intelligent, rich, witty, and a little exciting.

It carries on in the tradition of fine British mysteries made for tv like Morse, Poirot, Lewis, et al.

the one and only
the one and only
Lewis and hubba-hubba Hathaway
Lewis and hubba-hubba Hathaway

But whereas those remained consistently stimulating over the years, Sherlock, dear Sherlock, has put on its leather jacket and swim trunks, donned its jet skis, and, if it hasn’t quite jumped the shark yet, it’s confirming hand signals with the spotter.

HAPPY DAYS

I assumed they knew what they had, and would continue on in the same vein. This is British television, after all. The gold standard of drama.

I started to get  worried when, after only two seasons, they made a self congratulatory ‘making of’ series with long winded interviews of the actors and producers. A little premature, I thought. Not a good sign, but perhaps the quality of the product won’t be adversely affected by the marketing push. When series three finally premiered, it had several redeeming qualities, but rather light on plot and heavy on the recycled material.  Episode two was even worse. In place of a plot we had a mere pastiche of all the things that the ‘fandom’ have been squealing about on twitter: Sherlocks social inadequacies, his affection for Watson, unspoken thoughts popping up as text on screen, sibling rivalry with Mycroft…..all of these work if lightly accessorizing a well fleshed out plot, but they cannot hold a show on their own. What happened to the brilliance of the Moffat/Gatiss team?  Such a display of self awareness and pandering was more like a 90 minute commercial for the show. The murder was so preposterous  as to be embarrassing.

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The destructive hand of popularity has grabbed Sherlock firmly around the neck and, with bloated fingers, has begun to squeeze the intelligence out of him leaving a previously clever and rich characterization just a revenue zombie set to roam through episode after episode as a prop for merchandise.

Like the original Mr Holmes at Reichenbach-the show has fallen far.

Sidney Paget illustration
Sidney Paget illustration

But who knows-he may have a resurrection. I have my fingers crossed.

*http://allthesherlockgifs.tumblr.com/page/3

11 thoughts on “It was elementary

  1. I’ve seen this series on one or 2 occasions and I do understand it’s appeal but hate they appropriate Holmes & Watson into this inappropriate modern realm. I’m far too well acquainted with the original material to ever get past how wrong it is. In my world 221B Baker Street is sacred ground.

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    1. Ah-a purist!
      I approach every ‘re-interpretation’ with cynicism.
      I often wonder if there is any more real originality. Would you agree with Waugh, that “The originators, the exuberant men,are extinct”?

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      1. I hate it when the director wants equal billing with a Shakespeare (or Conan Doyle) by dramatically re-interpreting a work far outside it’s original context in order to call attention to their input and agenda.
        Waugh was essentially correct with very few exceptions.

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  2. I kicked and fussed about watching it but the three episodes at Christmas time were great fun, I just want to hang outs with Sherlock and be insulted by him, he’s so much fun.

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  3. I should have mentioned: excellent post!
    I’ve got a few years on you and very well remember the Fonzie shark jump back when the show was a Tuesday night ‘event’. It was even more ridiculous to witness in real time

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    1. Thank you gsl!
      It was an event at Alconleigh too. We were not allowed to watch it, though, after Joanie and Chachi got married-Mother felt there was too much sexual innuendo.

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  4. We just watched season one and two over Christmas. Bit slow over here. Loved them. I could imagine the disappointment in season three if I had waited two years for it to return. Do so love the banter.

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    1. Oh the first two seasons were great! Scandal in Belgravia was my favorite.And Study in Pink. I was hoping for more of the same.
      Thank you for reading! And you have the best screen name ever. I wish we had blue-footed boobies here.

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