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Wednesday, 13 of November of 2019

Tag » Sherlock

Sherlock – “The Hounds of Baskerville”

Did we just break in to a military base to investigate a rabbit?

Sherlock titlecardThe Hound of Baskerville is probably the most well known Sherlock Holmes story. Even if they’ve never read it, people have heard of the title, maybe even seen one of the over twenty different adaptations of it in both film and television. I first read The Hound of Baskerville when I was kid in what was a (probably) heavily abridged version in the Great Illustrated Classics line, with an illustration opposite each page of text. It was among my favorites of those (I had a large chunk of the collection at the time), and Hound was for me, quintessential Holmes (never mind that I would never get around to another Holmes story for decades).

With the second season of Sherlock, there was a conscious effort to do the big, famous Holmes stories on the part of Moffat and Gatiss. As we saw last week, tackling those big stories is a daunting task, one rife with pitfalls of interpretation and faithfulness. And after the muddled result of “A Scandal in Belgravia”, I was a little worried about how Hound would survive the transition, not only because this is a story I have nostalgic attachment to (always a complicated issue to navigate) but because of the previous week’s efforts. Read more »


Sherlock – “A Scandal in Belgravia”

I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room.”

Sherlock titlecardEugh. Just…eugh.

There’s plenty to like in the return of Sherlock, the smart puzzlebox of a BBC show. Cumberbatch and Freeman (though the latter is underutilized here, I feel) remain immensely likeable and entertaining in their respective roles, and the show’s use of graphic overlays and audio accompaniments to demonstrate Holmes’ mental processes remains top notch. The twists and turns of the plot moves along briskly and assuredly, leaving me feeling fine with the episode from a structural standpoint.

But, oh someone’s god, what the hell is this mess of Irene Adler? And the resurfacing of the Arab stereotypes (does someone have a scimitar fetish?!) right at there at the end?

I mean, putting aside the rather blatant ripoff of CSI:, updating Adler was going to be necessary, and I was eager, based on their slight tweaking of Watson and Moriarty to fit the current times (I’ve decided that Sherlock‘s Moriarty, instead of being a professor, is actually a graduate student whose dissertation has driven him to criminal activity) to see how they reconfigured Adler, one of the few people (gender qualifications be damned) to outsmart the brilliant Sherlock Holmes.

This was not, exactly, what I had in mind. Read more »


There is a Problem with the Pears – This Week in Monster

These are pears.

We’ll discuss it later.

It’s been a busy week at Monsters of Television. This whole “summer-is-just-another-season/no-rest-for-the-weary” thing the networks are doing is wearing me out. But we can’t really complain about some of the great television we’re getting. Well, mostly great television. Hopefully Melissa & Joey doesn’t create a great abyss that sucks the life out of everything we hold dear. Forget the atomic collider in Switzerland: that show might obliterate the universe on its own, unraveling the fabric of time and space with ill-timed canned laughter and overacting that would make the cast of SNL blush.

Sorry. I digress.

We have some really great reviews for you to take a look at this week, from Mad Men to True Blood to Sherlock to, gods help us, that aforementioned pit of despair. If you missed any, it’s new to you!

Read more »


Sherlock – “The Great Game”

Bet you never saw this coming.”

Oh, sure, he can figure who the father is.

Talking about the whole episode seems a little bit pointless, but since the entire episode (and of course the other episodes) were building to this. Indeed, as I told Ms. Monster of Television (girlfriend, not wife), deadlines are a key way to create suspense, and they do a terrific job in this episode. But they also constantly remind you that you’re so close yet so far to finding out who Moriarty is. And that can be infuriating.

Solving  the bombing cases was a pretty obvious ploy, a distraction (as Ms. Monster of Television figured out before I did), but the ploy makes for both an exciting and tiring episode, and with all that that entails. Countdowns and ticking clocks make for easy suspense (we’ve been using them for how long now?), and you pile it on with multiple micro-cases that allows us one last glimpse into how smart Sherlock is, the episode chugs along at a very pleasant pace (unlike “The Blind Banker”), but the deadlines and bombs and the cases make the episode feel a bit overstuffed (there’s clearly no pleasing me, is there?). Read more »


Sherlock – “The Blind Banker”

You’ve seen the act before. How dull for you.

After last week’s smashing premiere episode, Sherlock made it it difficult for itself to follow it up with anything just as shiny and fun. It isn’t that 90 minutes of a single episode exhausts all the story elements, or that we’re no longer interested in Holmes and Watson, or that the flourishes that allow us entry into Holmes’ mind have grown old, or that we’re simply tired of this diegesis. Indeed, the great feat that “A Study In Pink” achieved was that after 90 minutes was that I was left wanting a lot more.

“The Blind Banker” kind of made me wonder why I wanted more. Read more »


Sherlock – “A Study in Pink”

I’m not a psychopath. I’m a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.”

I had to leave Sherlock, the new BBC series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, during the last 20 minutes due to dinner plans, so I left the episode’s climax hanging. But it gave me time to start thinking about the episode before I sat down to write, something I appreciate having depending on the show. The conclusion I came to was that I was surprised that it has taken this long for Sherlock Holmes himself to fully return to popular culture.

For a while, the Sherlock Holmes format has been used in a variety of other shows recently, like House, Monk, The Mentalist, and to an extent, CSI and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (specifically Goren). House is probably the clearest example, as Gregory House is essentially Sherlock Holmes (at least in the first couple of seasons)  but with a prescription pad. But where was Sherlock? Why hadn’t anyone decided to bring him back to TV or film? Read more »