I’m basing this analysis off of the 3 episode preview on netflix, so don’t take it as gospel. When I watch the whole first season I will post another review.
“Sherlock” is a modern-day version of the Sherlock Holmes series. It acts as if the Sherlock books never existed, so it isn’t like they draw any attention to the original books. Sherlock is a Consulting Detective for the London Police, and seems to do some freelance stuff on his own. He’s antisocial and won’t take a case unless he personally is interested. He’s extremely blunt and narrow minded and has no friends. Watson is a veteran of the Afghanistan war who was shot and discharged from the military. He is a medical doctor and worked to that effect in the war.
An old friend of Watson’s is catching up with him when he mentions he is looking for a place to lodge and a roommate, but doesn’t think anyone would agree to live with him. The friend says that is a laugh, because another person he knows said the same thing that morning. That other person is, of course, Sherlock. Sherlock decides he likes Watson to a degree and agrees to having him come live with him. Watson is attracted by Sherlock’s crime solving and so becomes his accomplice.
The actor playing Watson, Martin Freeman, is a good actor. He played Arthur Dent in “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. This role has more dimension, and his acting has improved tremendously since that film. I have no issues with him here- I think he fits the character most naturally and he is the most fun to watch. The point off goes mostly to the guest stars, and a bit to Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock. I think he goes a little further than the character requires and it feels more like there are two Sherlocks. Sometimes he is a little funnier, and sometimes more serious. I’m not sure if it is his acting, or if the writers are just a bit inconsistent.
I like the style this director goes for. Whenever someone gets a text or an e-mail or really anything that needs to be read they don’t show you a shot of the phone/computer/note. They actually put what it says in white letters that kind of float off to the side. I like this approach much more. It feels less cliche and more natural. You see it pretty quickly in the first episode, so if you don’t understand what I’m saying then don’t worry, you’ll see.
Overall I think I have only one big complaint for this show: it’s too long. Each episode is around an hour and a half long. With how complicated the cases are I totally understand the need for long episodes that let it flow naturally, but my attention starts to wander. It’s one of those sticky areas: they definitely need the time or the show wouldn’t be good, but it still feels like too much. I don’t know, you might disagree with me there. But when you sit down to watch the show be prepared for a mini movie.
I could only find a fan-made trailer, but I think it’s OK. Not great, but better than the others I saw.