Review this tv show
Jan 19, 2015This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This season is when I started to lose faith in the formula. There is a lot of style and little soul from the source material. A Scandal In Belgravia seemed fresh and entertaining on first viewing. But go back a second time and little of the dialogue makes sense. Moffat turns Irene Adler from the woman who outsmarted Sherlock (who gets away free and clear in the original) to another damsel in distress that needs to be rescued. Way to stray so far from the short story that you completely inverted the resolution. The genius Sherlock left his cell phone volume up and set to sex tones, on a covert mission. Dazzle over logic. Making Irene a kinky sex fetish S & M dominatrix, could you f* up the character any more?
The Hounds of Baskerville was a decent retread of the source material with a modern twist. Although that's not how a memory palace works, that's just moving random images around on the screen. A minor nitpick (which they repeat in season 3) in a watchable episode, highlighting the value of Watson's friendship to Holmes. I do like the sense of humor and some of the camera tricks this show offers.
I really don't like this Moriarty though, so he ruined the Final Problem remake for me. He's too much an insane flamboyant psychopath instead of the measured respectable equal of Holmes he was intended to be. There's nothing "Professor" about this lunatic. Him shooting himself was nonsense, took any responsibility or credit from Holmes, and the resolution to Sherlock's death was pretty sloppy in the following season. It's like they take stories from canon and butcher them for lack of understanding the material and trying too hard to stand out.
There are many times in the Doyle stories when SH utters a phrase in French, showing some class and sophistication. Or they might explore how clients offer him vast sums of money but he only uses just enough to solve the case. There's something noble or interesting there, that solving the mystery and catching bad guys is its own reward. But this TV version would rather make him as rude and unlikeable a human being as possible, and spend half the time reminding us Holmes and Watson are JUST FRIENDS!--wink wink. Thanks, we got the gay joke the first 15 times.
This season started to solidify as popcorn entertainment without much of a tether to Doyle's work, even more so next season, and fans and critics seemed to take all the Moffat/Gatiss flash and sleight of hand signifying nothing with open arms. Reading the gushing reviews, I feel like the only sane one who remembers or cares about Doyle's work, while the episodes are just star vehicles jumped up on Adderall, "murder mysteries" with little effort put into the mystery part. Instead of Doyle's sharp psychological portraits of what makes decent people go bad, and clues the reader might even work out the ending with, we get endless glimpses of Sherlock's and John's personal lives and squabbles, what was more of a backdrop in the books, mostly thriller plots instead of mysteries, and a last minute exposition dump attempting to justify the last 90 minutes of loosely related scenes. The worst part is that the literary character was odd and eccentric, but not pointlessly rude and abrasive, to absurd levels like these writers paint him. I do love shows filmed in England, but can't rate this more than a 5.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
In season 2 of PBS's richly clever Sherlock, the Victorian tales have been refitted to our century. [14 May 2012, p.44]