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Amazing. No, MONUMENTALLY amazing.
One day, on a Sunday evening, about a year ago, I stumbled upon what I can only describe as one of the best (if not THE best) television shows I have ever seen. Benedict Cumberbatch (what a GREAT name?!) and Martin Freeman are absolutely marvelous together. Sherlock's character is perfect in every way.
I love how the show allows us to follow Sherlock's thoughts with those nifty little words they pop up every now and again. Oh, and I love love the music, it is the best thing ever. (Sherlock's theme song? So great!)
Well, I could go on and on about this wonderful rendition of Sherlock Holmes and his adventures, but I won't. However, I will recommend it to anyone who wants to be intrigued, excited, hooked, and love struck (for lack of a better word) by this wonderful show. (And then horrified by that horribly wonderful cliffhanger at the end of the second series..jeez, I bawled!)
Watch this show!!
I cannot express how much I love this series, it has it all. Ingenious plots, smart humor top notch acting. I should also mention the editing as its obvious a lot of work has been put into it. Each series (of the two released at the moment) has three episodes that run for one and a half hours each. I watched the whole first series in one weekend (yes its that good) and was eager to watch the second as soon as I could. I thought that they couldn't top the first series, but they did. The final episode in the second series had me breathless and its climax was exhilarating. I have to admit, it was the best TV episode I had ever seen. However, what makes this series so good is the way it creates so much emotion and excitement without the need to use drawn out action scenes like in the Sherlock Holmes movies. When I hear people talking about the movies I always ask if the have seen the TV series, I always get a "no". So rent out the first couple of series', stock up on food, clear your weekend and prepare to be amazed.
The BBC's modern-day adaption of Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock
Holmes stories is an absolute breath of fresh air - not to mention one
of relief. Equipping Holmes with a smart-phone and laptop could so
easily have led to a tedious, unimaginative result, slapping itself on
its back with easy jibes at our modern times. Instead, it's become a
sleek, exciting and, above all, extremely clever piece of television.
You get sucked into the mind of the genius, beautifully visualized
through bits of text and numbers appearing around everything that he
sees. In general the cinematography is pitch-perfect with lots of eye-
candy but none of the over-wrought kitschy effects you might encounter
in other, less carefully produced shows. But all this fades into
insignificance next to the simply brilliant writing. It is no small
thing to stand on the shoulders of Conan Doyle and hold your balance,
but I do believe Moffat and Gatiss have pulled it off, at times even
rising above the old master.
I don't know if the recent movie adaptations are any good, but I don't think I'm going to try them. After watching this adaptation, there is just no need. When films and television came about, an empty spot was created for the perfect Homes adaptation. This is one is it, and there can be no other. Go watch it.
This is an enjoyable and well-made production that stays true in spirit
to the original Doyle novels. I've just finished watching the first
season and feel that both a fan of the novels (such as myself) and
someone unfamiliar with the original Holmes stories will find equal
entertainment in this series.
Cumberbatch's portrayal of Holmes is excellent, it is more than adequate as the bedrock of the show and he delivers that signature brand of Holmes-esque aloofness and brilliance quite well. In particular I enjoyed how he can inject humor into the character while still keeping with the traditional, rather unlikable, image of Holmes. (I liked Downey's portrayal as well but I felt it was a little too charming) I also like how he takes a more dramatic approach with the "flash of insight" moments and how abrupt he is with others.
Freeman is of equal importance to Cumberbatch in his portrayal of Watson as the two characters get equal screen-time. Again it's a good portrayal that deviates slightly from the standard formula by making Watson both a little more critical but also a little closer towards Holmes.
The mysteries themselves are good, not quite as brilliantly conceived as the stuff of the original novels, but still very solid. I also found myself really enjoying the 3-90 minute-episode format for some reason. I thought it flowed very well in giving them adequate time to explore characters and solve the mystery without cramming in a bunch of needless filler, which I tend to find annoying in most other TV shows that run more than half an hour. I also think this format helped inform the universally excellent editing and cinematography of the series.
However, the thing I like most about 'Sherlock' is its build-up of Moriarty over the course of the whole season and his continual relevance to Holmes throughout. This is a significant deviation from the books but its something I've always wanted to see. Moriarty is a brilliantly conceived character in the novels, yet I was always disappointed by the fact that he only crops up in a single Holmes story. Given his abilities and the brilliance of his rivalry with Holmes it was a big letdown. Obviously we've seen him as the villain in the Downy movies but again it is just one big story. Here he works behind the scenes to test Holmes with a variety of puzzles and it feels far more like the subtle 'Napoleon of crime' that the character is described as in the books. Not to mention that the glimpse of Moriarity at the end of the series is brilliant and I loved what we saw of Scott's portrayal.
However, for all of these great things going for it the series is still not perfect. Some of the supporting acting is pretty wooden and Detective Inspector Lestrade is an incredibly pathetic character. He is bumbling and poorly treated by Holmes, a far cry from the capable and well-respected Lestrade of the books.
In addition, while I fully believe in the need to keep Holmes fresh through different characterizations, incarnations, and settings I cannot help but feel this urban, sleek, abrasive, and very modern Holmes loses some of the magic held in the Doyle texts. Don't get me wrong, the liberties this series takes are almost entirely to its benefit, and yet without the trappings of Victorian England there is undeniably something missing from Holmes's character. Perhaps it is the lack of cynicism and world-weariness in the original novels, or even just their clothing, environs, and society. I can't help but disassociate what I see on screen with my love of the novels, at all times for me it felt like I was watching 'a modern version of Sherlock Holmes' and not JUST 'Sherlock Holmes'. (if that makes sense?) My final complaint is that the little cliff-hangers before each commercial break are a little overwrought and I found they broke the immersion of the show quite a bit. They're quite contrived and never let you forget that you're watching a TV show. This is hardly unique to 'Sherlock' though so its relatively minor.
But overall it's a great series and one I'd recommend to anyone. It can stand both on its own merits and against the original novels quite admirably. It is just plain fun really, and you should be watching it!
One of the words used quite often in the books the Sir Arthur in his
portrayal of Sherlock was "Pray.. continue with your tale". Seeing the
series the words that come that are almost same.
What works for the series is well.. everything.
Beginning, you have all characters in their role the way they were meant to be .Well, they use phones and cars and nicotine patches but still the central theme remains same. His deduction by observing wetness of a cloth, or the scratches on the charging point is well in line with the maestro of the 19th century. The arrogance,the intelligence, his lack of social insight rightfully done;nothing overboard.The plots are in tandem with the books with minor tweaking, the solution looks quite real.(Unlike present day thrillers which sometimes overdoes deductions) A master stroke was that to make Mycroft a regular feature.
I now come to two main points why this is much better than other adaptations of Sherlock( all were good, but still..)
1. Moriarty: Its no more a mustache,no professor. Its just a cunning individual who loves to do crime and help others(As he calls himself "Crime Consultant" ) The madness,the dedication to defeat Sherlock just gives chills. (Watch the third episodes of both series to know what i am saying)
2. John Watson : It is always sad to see when no adaptations could handle Watson properly. Either he is a joker, or a serious guy or a war hero looking for adventure. None gave the feel of the books. Forward to BBC Sherlock, Watson is just magnificent.His initial apprehensions about Sherlock,his insight into crime and the improvement in it,the friend that he is suppose to be, the occasional anger at his arrogance all wonderfully done.
All in all a must watch. Perhaps the best adaptation of Sherlock.
N Yeah did i say the theme music is addictive? ;) See it,Hear it. Not to be missed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DO NOT READ if you haven't seen the last episode. This series is really good! The creators are absolute geniuses. It feels like they actually met Sherlock and are just writing his biography. Nothing like Guy Ritchie's boorish representation. The characters are so faithful to the books even though it's adapted to modern times. And the stories keep you on a constant cliffhanger. Absolutely great. I feel very lucky to have kind of figured out how Sherlock survives in the last episode. There's a truck full of what looks like garbage, it leaves once everybody gathers around the "dead body". He must have landed there instead of on the ground. Nobody notices obviously because in the meantime Molly throws another dead body from the building where she works in, a few floors down. Sherlock must have asked her to who fake his dead body with forensic science when he asked for her help. He figured out what JM was up to and had to prepare for the worst. I know it's possible because another death was faked in this series Miss Adler's. Her dead body fooled also Sherlock Holmes. He might have also recorded they're last conversation on the phone because he doesn't dive with it, but leaves it on the rooftop, probably for Molly to collect. I don't know... maybe I got it all wrong but I was so much in his deductive mood when i finished watching it that I needed to figure something out and this is what I've got. :) I can't wait to find out with the next series!
I was hesitative as to whether or not I should watch this show after
the classic masterpiece by Igor Maslennikov with Vasily Livanov as
Sherlock, Vitali Solomin as Watson, Rina Zelyonaya as Mrs.Hudson and
Borislav Brundukov as Lestrade. I was afraid that pursuing the high
profit the makers of this show would put too much in visual effects and
action and little to nothing in reproducing the spirit of Conan Doyle's
characters like it happened with the latest comic-like movie with
Downey Jr. (which is fun and all, but isn't about Sherlock Holmes
I'm glad that I was wrong in my concerns and that I have watched this show. It is brilliant. Sherlock is definitely very different from the classic Holmes as one would imagine reading Conan Doyle and is like a 100% opposite of Livanov's Sherlock, but this new Holmes is still a very interesting and fascinating character. It was a wise decision to bring the story to modern times where this crazy character seems much more fit than he would in XIX century.
It's a pity that Mrs.Hudson in this show is such a "pale" and secondary character. Indeed she was a secondary character in the book, but look at Rina Zelyonaya! She made an incredibly bright and remarkable secondary character. In this TV show I wouldn't even ask for the name of this actress.
Lestrade here is a very usual, average, standard, faceless, you name it, police inspector. Absolutely unremarkable. That's another con as compared to Maslennikov's TV series where Brundukov made a marvelous dumbhead yet not farcical inspector that you could very possibly encounter in a police department. In this show on the contrary, I suspect, they've been given a task to not offend the police and hence this pale and faceless character.
Dr.Watson on the other hand is brilliantly played by Martin Freeman and I'm glad that for this role they took an actor resembling my favourite Vitali Solomin. Watson played by Freeman matches my own image of this character very well and makes the show no less than Cumberbatch does.
All in all, I like this show a lot. I give it 8/10 for changing the original Conan Doyle's stories too much sometimes (in Baskerville Hounds for example). But in all the rest it's a brilliant show.
Friends, Dexter, Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, 24, Criminal Minds,
Homeland, Chuck (I like it a lot) etc. Great sitcoms. Good times. But
none can match the sheer brilliance and wit of Sherlock. The Sleuth and
his Doctor-Partner have been brought to life again, only this time,
they are among us, flaunting phone's, laptops and GPS.
21st century Sherlock Holmes. Hard to imagine but Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have pulled it off brilliantly. Sherlock is simply too good. To keep a person absorbed for 90 minutes is no easy feat, but to make them stay in the world of Sherlock long after that is nothing less than a wonder.
Cumberbatch and Freeman make mincemeat of their roles, music is top-notch, 90 minutes rushes past with indecent haste and we are left behind in our world.
To those who are reading reviews, without watching Sherlock or waiting to start, don't waste time, go see it now. Its a sin to miss such genius.
BBC, please encourage (even force) Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat to make a Season 3.
A truly stunning modern adaptation of Conan Doyle's beloved detective
Cumberbatch is mesmerising to watch as the socially inept yet unarguably brilliant lead character. He plays the role so well at times it's rather alarming. Witty, with a lightning-fast mind this portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is pacey and engaging. Truly wonderful script as well, with the characters' lines playing perfectly off each other.
Freeman is also wonderful as the slightly bumbling (only in comparison to Sherlock) Doctor John Watson. A very homely and palatable adaptation and one which I enjoyed a lot.
Overall I'd say it's the best TV show around, certainly the best thing the BBC have done in a long long time.
I was reluctant to watch this show, as it just sounded like it would be
campy and uninteresting. My thought was that Sherlock Holmes would be
effectively useless nowadays what with all the technology the police
have, so therefore I expected it to... not work.
However I was really, really wrong. This show is so immersive and captivating, and keeps you guessing continuously throughout each episode. The way that they have edited it makes it feel almost like a game, where evidence is displayed systematically before Sherlock works it out, it gives you time to piece the clues together and really just makes the show a hell of a lot more entertaining.
Also, the characters within the show are extremely likable - Sherlock being one of the most entertaining TV drama fronts I have ever seen.
Definite 10/10 from me.
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