Post #69: Elementary

I want to take a brief moment to plug the BBC’s Sherlock, a spunky, savvy and devilishly fun re-boot of the oft mined Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I stumbled upon Sherlock by chance while flipping through selections on Amazon Prime, and though I originally thought “Oh Christ, more Sherlock Holmes?” have savored all five of the ninety-minute episodes I’ve watched. Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that’s really his name; actually it’s Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) plays Holmes and Martin Freeman plays Watson and the two, for my taste, make Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law (who play Holmes and Watson, respectively, in the recent Guy Richie directed big screen versions) look like trashy impostors. Especially Cumberbatch, who does for freak-braininess in Sherlock what Billy Ray Cyrus did for mullets in the 90’s. And Cumberbatch is not sexy, in spite of legions of female followers. He’s an odd looking bloke, actually. Lean and birdlike. But his fiery portrayal, which pushes Holmes into a more A.D.D. infected and cold hearted version of Conan Doyle’s cooly brilliant icon, is a high wire, kinetic feat and among the more memorable performances I’ve seen in a long time. Freeman is also stellar, mostly as comic relief, and because he seems to know that he’ll better serve the show by staying out of Cumberbatch’s way. Highly recommend you make some time for this particular duo from 221B Baker Street. Though the show is soon to be filming it’s third season, here’s the original promo.

As a brief addendum, I’ve been re-reading some of the original Conan Doyle stories and they’re as good as I remembered. Short, clever, timeless. And, thanks to our good friends at public domain, free through iBooks or Kindle.

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4 responses to “Post #69: Elementary

  1. Love this version of SH as well. Would love it if the BBC could be a little more prolific with eps, but I guess you can’t rush quality sometimes. Keep an eye out for Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug the dragon in the 2nd and 3rd films of the Hobbit, starting from next year. Freeman of course will feature as Bilbo.

    • I’m probably the last one to realize that Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo in The Hobbit. So cool. And good for Watson. Nice to see that Cumberbatch is involved as well (he’ll be a devilishly good Smaug, no doubt)!

  2. Really fab write-up. I too enjoy the show. I’ve only seen season one as I am a slave to whatever offerings Netflix Canada can scrounge up, but eagerly await season two.

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