Sherlock Holmes New Series Episode 1
A Potted Review.
When i say potted as in short i should declare that I only watched half of the episode.
This may not classify as a review of the episode. However it does reflect my feelings on it. Which is it was obviously not my cup of tea and quite literally did my head in as in starting to make it ache.
The experience of Sherlock Homes now or perhaps it is just this episode, is akin to watching from a distance, an old arcade game. All fizz and bangs and no real substance or cogency.
As in just when I was settling into some atmospheric scene in the art-Deco surroundings of a Marylebone restaurant: Sherlock Homes would turn turn up pinching people’s neck ties as he went, spilling drinks over them in order to do so. Then Sherlock takes a mascara from a woman’s bag in order to paint on a ridiculous Hitler moustache. Or should we avoid the H word and pretend that his moustache was meant to be French!
Yes, Sherlock had decided that dressing up as a French waiter was a good way of surprising his old friend Watson who thought Sherlock was dead. Cue plenteous and far too many shots of Watson, stony faced n the dark, supposedly depressed. In bed with his own Hitler/ 70’s moustache looking like a porn star missing the disco. Whilst mournfully staring up at the ceiling in bed.
Doctor Watson is officially forlorn. Plus we are meant to believe that in his practice, like it was the 1950’s the receptionist pops her head in before each patient, announces their name followed by their ailment. Yep. Like that really happens.
So Dr. Watson is portrayed quite successfully as living in a quasi-semi stylish Poirot era which fit the Sherlock Holmes ethos quite well. Watson’s new fiancée keeps up this atmospheric touch with her flapper styled hair and winsome ways and flowery floaty dress.
That is until Sherlock and his flummery appear and ruin it all. Then we have the cartoonish fight , the bloody nose and the depressing sync out of Baker street style into a kebab shop like the end of a club night. With the Halal sign on the window.
We see the anachronistic sight of two young lads asking for a penny for the guy. Anachronistic since this practice disappeared from London long ago. But no matter, this is all cleverly signposting the Gunpowder and treason and underground plot. Obviously stolen straight from Vendetta.
However as soon as I heard the words terrorist plot which preceded all this I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be featuring anybody that it might realistically be expected to. I couldn’t quite stretch to feeling the subject generally to be fit for the jokey boys own adventure feel.
Sherlock, having completely ignored Watson’s fiancée’ at the dinner table when talking to his supposed beloved Watson instead, then in the blink of an eye is whizzing off with her in a James Bond like motorcycle race in the night.
I am thinking Dr. Watson’s fiancée’ might have been useful for dabbing Sherlock’s battered nose. I didn’t notice. This is what women characters usually do in post fight scenes.
The rest of the women featured in this episode variously: stood servant like with file or Sherlock’s coat, even putting it on him in true butler style. Molly simpered and make a help meet companion dutifully writing extraneous notes whilst the genius worked.
Sherlock’s housekeeper threw up her arms and screamed woman-lishly and banged about in the kitchen. Back to the time of Poirot-when single men might have had housekeepers. I guess you notice these things more when you have been watching Wallander back to back over Xmas as I have. Sherlock Holmes is sexist.
I find Sherlock now to be a granite faced snob. A show off. A tiresome, unfunny bore. Whose genius and or yawn stereotypical Aspergers excuses him from being inexcusably rude and is just a modern day cover for sociopath and the worship of said sociopath. Like he was a God or demi-God.
The same sociopath as hero is to be seen in umpteen dramas where we are invited to like the hero as murderer. (Hannibal/ The Blacklist/ Dexter)
Sherlock Holmes’ condescension and impatience with other people’s slowness compared to his official genius is arrogant in the extreme. And rarely if ever leavened with humour. as it needs, dramatically to be. In my opinion.
If you don’t believe me that Sherlock Holmes is sexist, note the phrases that swam, in giant annoying letters about the screen when Sherlock met Watson’s fiancée’: only child, secret tattoo, size 12!
This would perhaps be historically acceptable in olden time Baker Street. However as we are painfully catapulted into supposed modern day times it becomes rather reprehensible.
And none of it is funny. None of it is witty, exciting or even clever. Sorry Dr. Watson, but your character, who I can never quite rid of that dreadful mustachioed alternate persona in the dark, was just plain leaden and dull.
Once somebody offered the words:
“The Hat Detective”
that was the death knell of any tenuous link with Sherlock Holmes for me. I mean “Hat Detective”? Is that really the best they could do?
I think I hear the sound of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, turning in his grave.