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SHERLOCK (2010)


Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes), Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson), Rupert Graves (DI Lestrade), Mark Gatiss (Mycroft), and Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson)

PBS
3 episodes (90 minutes each)

Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Meet Sherlock Holmes. The new, 2010 era, Sherlock Holmes. And Dr. Watson. (And the rest of the usual gang... Inspector Lestrade, Mycroft Holmes, Mrs. Hudson, Moriarty.)

First impressions? I can accept the Holmes portrayal but why is Dr. Watson so dumb? I can understand in Victorian England a medical doctor might have fewer skills than one would expect of a medical man in the 21 century, but that's my point. Why isn't today's Watson smarter? And what about his war wound? Initially he is using a cane and limping. Next, he forgets his cane in the rush of action but remembers to limp. Then in the next episode, no cane, no limp. Good as new. If I were Holmes, even if I had no other friends, I'd toss this Dr. Watson out the nearest third story window and be done with it! And don't even get me started on Mrs. Hudson! Aaaarrgghh!

There are cute elements to the series, but do we really want a "cute" Holmes and Watson? The addition of new technology (such as computers and cell phones) adds a sometimes interesting effect. I particularly enjoyed Holmes and Lestrade's response to the prevalent "No Smoking" society they now find themselves living in. They both roll up their sleeves to reveal nicotine patches. At one point Holmes is heard to utter, "Clearly it's a 3 nicotine patch problem."

This is one of those ideas that probably looked good on paper but doesn't come off as well as was hoped. No doubt there will be plenty of fans, but I'm not impressed with the overall quality of the stories (the writers are not adhering to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle texts) - the stories or "crimes" are boring at best. The casting is dismal. The actor playing Holmes is okay, but only just okay. Dr. Watson's character is too dumb and annoyingly so. Inspector Lestrade is passable, Mycroft (Sherlock's brother) is laughable, and Moriarty is absurd.

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