Update June 6, 2013: I no longer favor Sherlock over Elementary. In short..
Sherlock is interesting in a cerebral way. Elementary actually draws you in on an emotional level. I like both, but Elementary > Sherlock.
Having finished Sherlock Seasons 1 & 2 last night, and being a major Sherlock Holmes fan, I have mixed feelings:
Note: This list isn’t fixed. I continue to add to it and revise. For whatever that is worth.
- I loved the first episode, but that’s no surprise given that Moffat is such a decent writer. (e.g. Moffat doesn’t write all the episodes, and one can hardly imagine them leading the series with anything less than their best.)
- Thought the second episode was totally flat.
- Loved the 3rd episode until they got to Moriarty. Can’t stand how he’s played or written. I’m baffled by the writing choices. He’s so over the top. One of the great things about Moriarty in the stories is how much he’s in the shadows. And it appears he’s not even a professor?
- One thing that could salvage the over acting of their Moriarty, is if in season 3, we find out that he’s not the real Moriarty, but Moriarty’s puppet.
- Anyone else think the music in the show and the recent movies is the same? I’m confused.
- I don’t care for some of the bits where Holmes is ‘organizing his thoughts’ as though he’s using a fancy computer display.
- I love the performances by Cumberbatch and Freeman, great choices all around. Mycroft, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson.
- Jeremy Brett is still the best Holmes in my opinion. I do enjoy Cumberbatch, and also Downey, though neither is as faithful to Doyle as Brett.
- Definitely wondering how they will explain that Holmes is still alive. This should be good.
- Baffled that they made the choices they did in Baskerville. Sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone. CIA programs? The light signaling turns out to be people humping in a parking lot? Really? I got the sense that the writer wasn’t really sure where they were going.
- The series tries too hard to re-invent what already works quite well. They are trying to appeal to an attention-lacking public.
Despite its flaws, and there are some, its good qualities outweigh the bad.
It’s still leagues better than that other Holmes show**,and still better than most of what’s on TV. I’ll give season 3 a try, though I will still be wishing they’d do more with the characters that Doyle devised.
Also, I still miss Farscape.
**[Update April 13th, 2013: I was totally wrong to dismiss Elementary. I’ve given it another shot and I must say that it is superior in some ways to Sherlock, primarily in the writing and the fact that they’re not just butchering good Doyle plots. Jeremy Brett is still the best, bar none.]