Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day Thirty-four - Sherlock: A Study In Pink, or "Catchy, but still has that Moffat smell."

There are those who herald the modern day Sherlock and Watson, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, as pure genius... in a completely unironic way.

You'd think, by my tone, that I'm probably not one of them... and, for the most part, you'd be right.

It's not genius.

It is, however, very fun.

For one, thing, Cumberbatch can do the interminably put upon arrogance of a man too smart for the world very, very well. His mannerisms, his biting wit... even his ignorance about standard interpersonal communication... all pretty much spot on with what I want from Holmes.

I think it's because we've been spoiled by RDJ and Guy Ritchie's Sherlock as a genius cad as opposed to pretty much every other past film and television rendition being much more refined. That is the image we want of the World's Greatest Detective... so far above and below us that we cannot help but love and pity him at the same time.

Martin Freeman also does a pretty decent job as the everyman John Watson. Sure, Watson is a doctor, but his skills are rarely called for in any case. He's the sounding board for theories and the self-insert for the audience. Smart enough, but not so much as to alienate the audience from identifying with him.

In The Study In Pink, the first episode of Moffat's new version, Sherlock and Watson meet and find themselves embroiled in their first case. I think I was hooked the moment Inspector Lestrade began giving his press conference and contradictory tweets started showing up everywhere. It's a cute device.

Most of the rest of the episode follows suit. Pretty much all the clues are given with a bit of humor, even if it's dark. The "Rache" carving being used as a way to goad the jerk coroner... the suitcase, the cell phone, the stakeout that looks like a date to the restaurant's owner... they all have a nice sense of fun.

Unfortunately, the villain reveal is a bit big on cheese. That whole last chapter where he and Sherlock face off in a battle of wits. All too predictable... and with no satisfying revelation.

Still, there are hints all over the place. A possible Moriarty for fans who want it (which turns out to be a marvelous misdirect) and not-so-subtle digs at the true villain, as this episode's was just a johnny-come-lately to crime who needed the money.

I must say, I really like the art direction of the show. Very dark with autumn colors. That might have been so the contrast of the Pink Lady was deeper, but it still works for me. Especially John's clandestine meeting with the, shall we say, "interested party" and the flat at 221B Baker street. Man, I'd love a place like that.

Of course, maybe I'm just enamored with stairs, seeing as how there really aren't any where I live.


Sherlock is a pretty decent show, despite its faults. So long as they can keep the silly-of-the-week that rules Dr.Who far, far away, I think I'll be happy with it... just not die-hard like so many others are.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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