This isn’t going to be your average blog post. It’s not a review, well, not a typical one anyways. Instead, it’s me, trying to process how, and possibly why, yet another brilliantly British television show has taken over my entire mind. Literally. I won’t spoil any of the major plot points, but will be discussing a few of the reveals that could be considered as spoilers. So you’ve been warned.
If you follow me on Twitter, you were a witness to the way Sherlock rapidly, and without remorse, infiltrated my life and sucked away about nine hours of my free time in just a couple days. It started innocent enough: a friend recommend it to me, and while I had seen the first episode a few months back, it never really clicked for me. Until I gave it another shot.
Before, the show Sherlock was something I was only vaguely aware of, and not even remotely on my mind. And now, after only two days, it’s the only thing on my mind. Sherlock stays amazingly close to the source material, even though the show is placed in modern times, and when it is at its best it is a brilliant piece of television that dares to break the mold.
This is the greatest portrayal I’ve ever seen for the beloved Sherlock Holmes, easily surpassing the movies in every conceivable way, but the way it manages Holmes’ many friends and enemies is just as impressive. Martin Freeman is just delightful as Holmes’ straight-forward partner John Watson, and he just as easily steals the show as Benedict Cumberbatch does.
Watson is lovable and quirky and his banter with Sherlock is worth watching the show on its own. Freeman plays the role wonderfully, and I really couldn’t ask for anyone better, or more entertaining, for the role.
The same can be said for the rest of the cast, as fan favorites such as Lestrade (the awesome Rupert Graves), Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) and Holmes long-time femme fatale Irene Adler all make appearances that are true to character and just terrific to watch.
While each of the six episodes of Sherlock are mostly self-contained, there is always one man, one villain, whose presence is hidden just beneath the surface. That man is Holmes’ longtime nemesis and intellectual equal, Jim Moriarty.
The delightfully demented Moriarty is seriously psychotic and pathologically evil, but Andrew Scott delivers such an amazing performance that you find yourself equal parts appalled and fascinated by this twisted character.
But, we all know that this is Sherlock’s show, and he is obviously the reason to be tuning in. The entire cast plays off of Cumberbatch’s natural charisma and wit, and every time Sherlock opens his mouth you better be listening, because his lines are so perfectly written and delivered that you don’t want to miss a single one. I really do think that Cumberbatch is one of the best actors out there right now, and I think this show proves that.
When I’m watching the show, I’m playing detective right alongside Sherlock, but when the credits roll, I’m diving for the remote to play the next episode. It’s all so perfectly put together that if you pay attention, Sherlock will absorb your mind and nearly force you to start the next episode. Not since I first watched Firefly has a show so completely enthralled me, and if you know me, that’s high praise.
With all that said though, the real reason this show is so addictive is because of the scripts. Every episode is twice as long as your average TV show, but yet is so deep and layered that it warrants repeated viewings as well as a lot, and I do mean a lot, of thinking.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss give every one of the episodes multiple layers and twists, and even if you think you know what’s going on, they’ll pull the rug right out from under you just say “got ya.” They pull you around like a dog on the chain, and you will learn to both love and hate them for the things they put you through. Just ask any fan of the show and they’ll give it to you straight.
I can’t quite put my finger on why I love this show so much, except that it’s something special. You wouldn’t think that in just six episodes you could become so invested in characters you already knew you loved. But that’s just what happens. Sherlock can be witty one minute and violent the next, and you just never know what you’re in for, and I guess that’s the recipe for an addictive show.
Every episode of Sherlock, while capable of standing on its own, is building up to a crescendo that will, quite literally, blow the brains right out the back of your head. It delivers such a gut-wrenching twist of events that, if you’re not already exhausted from the events before, will most definitely bring you to tears.
Sherlock reminds me of an orchestra, in which every little detail is part of a bigger, grander event, and not until it’s all put together can you really appreciate the scale and ambition of the performance. It will quite literally engulf your heart, mind and soul (or, it did for me), and is one of the best series to air in television in some time.
I can only assume that there will be a third series, but if there isn’t, the two series’ that are available now is more than enough to excite any kind of viewer. So stop what you’re doing, and go watch it. Then find someone to discuss it after you finish it. Because you’ll need to let all your thoughts come out. I guarantee it.