This is what I’ve been obsessing over the past few weeks: THE UTTER BRILLIANCE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. It started out with Elementary, actually. I saw promotional posters for the series when I was in New York last month. It’s on episode 5 right now and it hasn’t disappointed so far. In this series, Sherlock is a recovering drug addict based in New York (!!!) and Watson (played by Lucy Liu) is his “sober companion”. Sherlock worked as consultant detective for Scotland Yard and continues this in New York, while Joan (uh-huh!) Watson used to be a surgeon, until she lost a patient and decided to give up her medical practice entirely.
BBC’s Sherlock, on the other hand, I only got around to watching a few days ago (though it’s been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time now). Let’s just say that right now, I have these as wallpapers on my laptop and my iPod. 😐
I am OBSESSED. I guess British people can never really go wrong when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, can they? This modern adaptation has got to be, by far, the most faithful, from what I’ve researched so far about Sherlock (just because I haven’t really read the novels yet). Throw in the cast, with their sexy British accents and dapper outfits, and you’ve got television gold! Haha. But, like I said, I am obsessed with EVERYTHING SHERLOCK right now, and here are a few reasons why:
01. THE ACTORS. Hello. British guys and Robert Downey, Jr?! You can never go wrong with that! So, okay, I just added RDJ to the mix, though I’m just really obsessing over the TV series, but dude, it’s RDJ. And it’s still Sherlock Holmes. :))
Benedict Cumberbatch, let’s talk about him for a sec, too. His smile is so cute, especially when he does it as Sherlock, ’cause I mean, SHERLOCK IS TOO MUCH OF A SOCIOPATH TO SMILE. LOL. He does a mean Alan Rickman impression, too, and you can actually hear similarities in their voice while watching Sherlock!
Jonny Lee Miller, I’m yet to warm up to. He’s handling being snarky quite well, though, so that’s good. Haha.
02. THE LOCATIONS. London. New York. NEED I SAY MORE?
03. THE NEED. I loved that the creators of the series (and the movie) decided to release these now. Sure, maybe they released it because 1) RDJ’s perfect for the role, 2) in the case of the BBC creators, because they’re obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, or 3) because the British version was a hit and Americans decided they should create one too. What I’d like to think, though, is that they created these series because they wanted to address the issue of laziness, stupidity, and lack of logic in today’s generation. (Haha, harsh words, but true!) I mean, really, in this age of high speed internet connections, social media, microblogging, online essay writers, and 18/39 passing rates in certain literature classes (hahaha, what), it’s important for people to know and emulate Sherlock — who practically prances around telling people to stop being boring and stupid.
Anyhoo, these are the differences I noticed and appreciated across the three adaptations:
Robert Downey, Jr.‘s adaptation basically shows Sherlock’s physical and strategic side. In the movies, you would mostly see him narrating how he’s going to go about kicking bad guys’ behinds. Less science of deduction, more strategic planning, in my opinion. With regards to his relationship with Watson, they’re best friends, more than anything. Watson knows and fully accepts Sherlock’s quirks. They’re the epitome of the saying “friends don’t make friends do stupid things alone”.
In Elementary, Jonny Lee Miller portrays Sherlock as a kind of hyper observant, ADHD-ridden kinda of fella (like Shawn Spencer but WAAAAAYYYYY smarter, haha), which is pretty acceptable given the fact that he’s a recovering drug addict. At first glance, you wouldn’t really think of him as one who possesses a brilliant mind; he doesn’t handle himself in a way that suggests confidence, or that he’s better than everyone in the room. When he talks, though, he always points out how simple-minded and mediocre everyone else is, so yes, still classic Sherlock. :)) My favorite quote so far would have to be this: “Flexing our deductive muscles, are we? I could burst with pride!” He said this oh-so-dryly to Watson after Watson shared how she doubted the actions of the guy she was dating.
Speaking of Watson, their relationship starts out strictly professional, with Watson acting as sober companion. As the series progresses, she starts bringing out Sherlock’s emotional/sensitive side (as any woman would). Alternately, Sherlock rubs off on her and she starts being more observant about things. I have a feeling they’re going to end up with each other. o_O Even if the creators insert an Irene Adler to the plot, as they have hinted in episode 1, I think it’s going to be more for atonement purposes, or to show Sherlock’s vulnerable side. But I dunno, we shall see. Hihi.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. Oh, I don’t know, where do I start? The story pretty much follows the canon — Sherlock’s address, hat, Irene Adler, Moriarty, episodes being named after actual Sherlock novels, Sherlock deducing things with the aid of lab tests, Watson moving in due to financial difficulties of both characters, Watson acting as doctor and chronicler (except this time, through blogs!), Sherlock posting studies about weird things like tobacco, etc. It’s brilliantly modern yet faithful to the original, it blows my mind!
In this series, Cumberbatch portrays Sherlock as a kind of Sheldon Cooper, for lack of a better reference, LOL (is it obvious I watch too many TV shows?). Overly smart but dismally lacking on the social front. If Sheldon has, “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested!”, Sherlock has “I’m not a psychopath, I’m a highly functioning sociopath. Do your research.” Oh gosh, so much win.
Anyway, I know Sherlock is really supposed to be like this, but the thing is, this is not how Miller portrays Sherlock. He portrays Sherlock as one who chooses to be a recluse because he fears hurting or being hurt by people. Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is a social recluse because he feels he’s too smart and everyone else is just boring (as in you can ACTUALLY see him telling people off for being boring). And, while Miller’s Sherlock does what he does because he suspects foul play, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock actually NEEDS the mysteries to stay alive. Like he would probably literally die of boredom if he goes an hour without a case!
One similarity between them is that they both would rather not resort to brute force if unnecessary. Actually, Miller’s Sherlock has yet to show that he’s capable of defending himself, as he’s only so far resorted to psychologizing people to get himself out of dangerous situations. Haha. Cumberbatch’s Sherlock has showed his (sexy, sexy) defensive skills already so, yeah. Sexy. :))
Oh! I also noticed a difference between the two Watsons. Liu’s Watson is more calculating than Freeman’s. She wouldn’t give Sherlock the praise he deserves if she could, unlike Freeman’s Watson, who’s more appreciative and expressive. You would actually catch Cumberbatch’s Sherlock saying, “Please don’t feel obliged to tell me that was remarkable or amazing. John’s expressed that thought in every possible variant available to the English language.” Har. Their relationship is less bromance-y compared to RDJ’s and Jude Law’s, but also less professional compared to Miller’s and Liu’s. It’s just… right, and Watson actually chronicles things, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said he should. LOL.
Favorite quote from this series so far? “Stop boring me and THINK. It’s the new sexy.” OH YES. BURRRRRN.
OH OH OH. I also love his and Irene Adler’s relationship. I die of intellectual sexiness. LOL.
Alright. There. Please watch these two TV series because they’re awesome (HAHA, UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR)! Also watch the Sherlock movies because RDJ deserves all the love in the world.
IRON MAN 3 COMES OUT NEXT YEAR.
Sigh, Sherlock. Wish you were real. ♥[edit @ 2:36 AM, November 3]
Can we please take a moment to appreciate the two Sherlocks working brilliantly together in one play?