The British Sherlock Pilot
I have discovered another BBC treasure, Sherlock. This show has been on my radar for a while but I was never really that interested in Sherlock Holmes so I never tried it. In fact, I get all my knowledge of Holmes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. They did two really enjoyable episodes with Moriarty. When I watch a pilot episode of a series, what I look for the most is for something to surprise me. If at one point in the episode, I proclaim a "hmmm." Then I will watch episode 2. I don't expect to love a show or the characters right out of the box but I am going to judge if the writers can trick me. It is always the writing that I use to judge a pilot because while the character and actors may change, the tone and writing usually doesn't. We will discuss this more on our upcoming "pilots" podcast. This show surprised me quicker than any show in history. They had me with the opening shot. Just as my American education demands, I assumed that a British show with the title Sherlock would be a show set in olden times. That stereo type was shattered with the first shot. They showed a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. He is injured and wakes up months later in London. I was surprised with how "now" this series is. They have Sherlock as part GPS, part Cell Phone, part Google. Dr. Watson is a war veteran who has seen battle and mayhem in Afghanistan. Sherlock is just as arrogant as ever but he does it over Text. The show uses onscreen words to show us what he is thinking. I didn't find this distracting at all. Text and reading on the screen is now part of our make up thanks to the awful crawl on so-called news networks. This show uses that to perfection. The entire show is innovative and exciting. I am watching this in tandem with True Detective. Both shows display how it is much better in a detective show to not really proffer up suspects but let the detectives' lives be the true mystery. In the end the case in the pilot of Sherlock is solved by stealing a scene out of The Princess Bride script. I truly expected to see Westley and Vizzini to be battling over the tasteless orderless poison but who cares. The end of the mystery is never as important as the path. (Disclaimer: This is not true of the British show, Broad Church. That end is so stupid that you turn around and set the path on fire so no one follows you ever.)
I suggest you try out Sherlock if you like fast paced and fun mysteries. The first 6 episodes are available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The last 3 are on PBS online for a limited time. That is the other thing I love about British shows, the entire series so far is 9 episodes. I love that model of television. They seem to truly understand that less is more. Happy hunting and enjoy another great show.
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