Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in the new BBC series "Sherlock"
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Have you been watching the delicious new Sherlock Holmes series "Sherlock" on Masterpiece Mystery? This fabulous British update of the Sherlock Holme stories is fun, witty and oh so smart. How clever to transpose the adventures of the famous sleuth to modern day London with all the current technology of today's world. There are smart phones and texting. Dr. Watson chronicles Sherlock's adventures on his blog! Everything happens quickly, mirroring the razor-sharp mind of Holmes as well as the rush of modern day life. The dialogue is quick and witty and the slow-motion fight sequences are dazzling. The creative graphics allow us to see how Holmes picks up his clues in quick fire succession as they point him to the solution of each case.
Sherlock Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Dr. John Watson by Martin Freeman. These two actors do such a good job portraying their characters. There have been many different actors who have played Sherlock Holmes, but it is hard to think of any that have given as enjoyable a performance as Benedict Cumberbatch. Martin Freeman is also excellent as Dr. Watson and, in fact, it is the unexpected warmth of the relationship between the two men that makes this new series so appealing.
The first two episodes of season two are "Scandal in Belgravia" and "The Hounds of the Baskervilles." The main plot lines are still in place, but they have been reimagined for this new production in a sparkling and fast-paced way. The boys still live at 221B Baker street and Mrs. Hudson is their housekeeper. But now there is a depth to their personalities as well as their relationship with Mrs. Hudson that I never noticed in any of the other other Sherlock Holmes productions.
And it is the layered relationship of the two men that adds the greatest appeal to this new series. It is obvious that they care for each other and know each other very well. Many of their lines, though clever and witty as they attempt to conceal feelings, betray this caring as well as the deep knowledge of each other's characters which comes from spending so much time together.
And this new series is funny. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour here. My favorite line from Sunday's episode was when Dr. Watson says to Holmes (and I am loosely quoting here):
"Don't do that thing you always do, going all mysterious on me with those cheekbones and pulling up your collar."
I laughed out loud, and at the end of the episode marveled at the fact that something as old as Conan Doyle's stories of Sherlock Holmes can be given a fresh spin that makes them entertaining in a new way, but also highlights the eternal appeal of really good characters, stories and writing!
It seems "elementary, my dear Watson" but this show is obviously the result of some very clever, original and creative minds -- the writers and directors who put this new series together. Bravo!