Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pardon my English...

Aaahhh, the British.  They create some wonderful, entertaining TV and have lent us some brilliant talent over the decades for our films and stage and TV shows.  A few months ago, the BBC aired a great little show that made its way across the pond to PBS beginning in October.  It aired as part of their "Mystery" show.  Its name was "Sherlock". 

After Robert Downy Jr.'s disappointing film, I was leery of another Sherlock adaptation, but when I happened to catch a commercial for this show on PBS in September, I just had that feeling-- you know, that feeling that you just KNOW you'll like that show.  It happens from time to time.  Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Castle, Psych... some shows are gems to be savored.  So I had an inkling that this would be a good one to catch.

But we disposed of our Dish bill, and that meant bidding farewell to our DVR, which in turn meant no more recorded shows for me.  Which translates to:  if I can't remember to look it up online, I don't see it.  I simply don't have time to sit down and watch live TV.  So "Sherlock" slipped from my radar and I missed it.

Until last week.  I got a laptop for Christmas, and I was enjoying catching up on a few shows on Hulu.com, and up popped "Sherlock"!  I was so excited!  And my initial impression was spot-on.  It is very entertaining.  A modernized view of Sherlock and Watson-- cell phones, laptops, DNA, etc. and it WORKS!  It is very, very good.  I have only seen Benedict Cumberbatch (what a name!), who plays the title role, in one film before (Amazing Grace), and he is perfect as the egotistical, exceptionally clever detective, who describes himself thus: "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a highly functioning sociopath." It's as if the role were written for him.  And I am especially fond of Martin Freeman, who I first enjoyed in "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and whose chemistry with Cumberbatch is perfect.  He is a great Dr. Watson.  I love the modernization of the story-- and normally I don't like that kind of thing.  But it just really clicks.

No, the special effects aren't all "top drawer", and there are a few lulls in the 90-ish minute episodes that could easily have been trimmed out, but the writing is witty, the casting is inspired and the acting is brilliant.

I sat up late on Christmas night, watching all the episodes.  Well, all three episodes.  Which brings me to my only complaint.

If the BBC is going to release such fantastic entertainment for my (yes, my) enjoyment, what would possess them to only order 3 episodes!?  In England, they call a "season" of TV a "series".  Series 1 of "Sherlock" is now available on DVD.  Which includes 3 episodes, along with some making-of feature.  That's it.  I guess that's what we yanks call a "mini-series".  Or more appropriately a "mini-mini-series".  Tsk tsk...

Dear BBC, please make more episodes of "Sherlock" and beam them to America post-haste!  Sincerely, a disgruntled but thoroughly dedicated fan.

Oh, and P.S.  Martin Freeman has been "confirmed" on various internetical sites (which, I'm sure are fully reliable sources) as having been cast as Bilbo Baggins for "The Hobbit".  While I hope this is true because I think he'd be fantastic, I sincerely hope it doesn't mean "Sherlock" will be back-burnered in order for filming of "The Hobbit" for a year in some far-off place on the other side of the world...

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