Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century

"I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high functioning sociopath. There's a difference." - Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Now that we are empty nesters, Darling Husband and I really enjoy breaking all the rules by bringing our dinner into the family room and (gasp!) eating in front of our new HD-TV with the surround sound. (Sorry number one son, we waited, for no particular reason, until you had moved out.) Neither of us watch very much tv, and we don't have cable (what???), so what we enjoy watching are series we can get on Netflix that we wouldn't otherwise see. In this way we have enjoyed Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Doc Martin, to name a few of our favorites. (Darling Husband likes to watch the British version of "Top Gear," and I must admit it's pretty entertaining.)

And now that we can hook up to Netflix instant streaming, well, I could do a commercial for Netflix on how much I love instant streaming and how much I love that Netflix keeps track of my several hundred movies in my queues (instant and not) whether I will ever get to watching them or not, and how much I love checking my queue to see what's coming in the mail and moving things around. I'm in movie geek heaven.

But I digress.

There is a new version of Sherlock Holmes out there that we really like. It comes from the BBC, and it is set in the present.

Sherlock is a relatively young, mysterious, brilliant, and slightly androgynous man who uses a smart phone and is only happy when there is a mystery to be solved. The local police force has a love/hate relationship with him: they know they can't solve some cases without him but he won't play by their rules.

In the first episode he meets John Watson, a military veteran who has just returned from Afghanistan and is fighting his own demons. What cracks me up is that in this 21st century version Holmes and Watson keep getting mistaken for a gay couple, with a "well, we are very cool with that, right?" attitude from the people they meet. Sherlock is mystified and doesn't think much of it. (Or does he?) Watson is frustrated and quick to correct the misperception.

This is a very clever, highly stylized and very suspenseful series that has really kept our interest. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, who you might have seen in "Atonement" "Amazing Grace," and the "The Other Boleyn Girl," but who should really get some kind of award for his name alone.

John Watson is played by Martin Freeman, who you would have seen on the original version of The Office.

There are only two discs currently available, unfortunately. The first disc contains the pilot and one episode, and the second disc contains one more episode. Hopefully they'll get busy and throw any new episodes onto discs very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good series! I don't watch much television and less even of movies but maybe I should learn how to do the net flicks thing from you? The series that I like is Masterpiece Theater. I have watched many good movies on PBS. Sure wish that I had some of those on DVD.