BBC’s ‘Sherlock,’ Series One is a New Look with the Same Names

January 1, 2012 23 Comments

Introduced to this, primarily by a love of BBC British costume adaptations, Sherlock is one of those TV shows that intrigues from the start. Then, a friend saw it and despite her initial skepticism, it totally won her over to the point that she recommends it. Not something everyone will immediately like – or maybe appreciate, for me, Sherlock, series one is one of the BEST series… ever.

Sherlock, Series One (2010) BBC TV Review

Only just back from war, John Watson (Martin Freeman) suffers nightmare. Seeing a therapist, John is desperate to find normalcy. Certain no one would be interested in becoming his flat-mate, John is uncertain what’s next. Little does John know just how closely his life is about to intersect with the law. London police have their hands full. Four people have committed suicide… or have they? Their bodies are found in most unusual locations. Places the victim have no reason to be. They appear to take poison voluntarily, so the ruling is suicide, but why all with the same MO? DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) feels good about his ruling, but someone else isn’t so sure.

BBC's Sherlock, Series One is a New Look with the Same Names. A review of the 2010 BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch. Text © Rissi JC

“Wrong.” This is the one-word text message the police and media find on their cell phone screens during Lestrade’s press conference. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a “consulting detective” who no one he works with really likes. They put up with him because they “need” him. A brilliant mastermind who can deduce things at a glance, Sherlock believes this is all murder. Despite the doubts, once again, Sherlock sets out to prove his theories.

At its start, this makes us quite skeptical for a number of reasons. The “visual” reasons being: the set-up is curious. There is such confusion in the first five minutes, and nothing is clear. And, in the end, that’s okay. As I look back, that first hour-and-a-half show all comes right, and I realize just how impressive the suspense is hyped. Something required as a necessary to any mystery series. Having said that, this new spin on a classic figure is – may I just say it? – brilliant!

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BBC's Sherlock, Series One is a New Look with the Same Names. A review of the 2010 BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch. Text © Rissi JC

Likely, the fact this is set in the 21st century albeit still against the murky streets of London, won’t be incentive for canon fans. If this describes you, then this might be best left alone. I am not part of this mindset. I suppose I’m merely a casual fan; I’ve neither read the novels nor seen the bulk of adaptations apart from the latest feature film and one Basil Hawthorne title. Rarely do screenplays get the humor just right. Here they hit the nail every line. The humor is fabulous! (I cannot count the number of fabulous one-liners and could probably devote an entire blog to it in combination with Holmes dry-wit persona.) The fabulous quips add up in numbers too great to describe; the writers don’t skimp, and all delivered with memorable pizzazz, to say the least.

The writing, direction and costumes are all grand, but what about the stars? Benedict is spot-on perfection. I love his Sherlock. The mad way he dashes about all contributes to his character. He’s depicted to be sort of a mad genius bored with anything and everything, and Benedict pulls this all together so that we like him yet understand why others do not. The supporting cast is, likewise good. Martin and Benedict have a good camaraderie working together as if they really were the infamous Watson and Holmes. The allure of seeing Holmes as an addict “texter” is just too good to pass up. (Plus, other than using his brain, Sherlock is not interested in “work”; and he continuously sends John on errands.) Sherlock, series one is one visit to 221 Baker that won’t disappoint its target audience, trust me.

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You can find Sherlock, series one digitally on Amazon Video

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BBC's Sherlock, Series One is a New Look with the Same Names. A review of the 2010 BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch. Text © Rissi JC
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Content: By America’s rating system, this would most likely receive a PG13-rating. Cautions: several jokes in “A Study in Pink” question whether or not Sherlock is homosexual; John is annoyed to be thought his “date.” Naturally the crime scenes are most bothersome. A woman is said to have had a string of lovers. Some sexual connotations and jokes do worm their way into the episodes.

Photos: BBC 

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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23 Comments

  • C.C.Shoshanah January 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I adore this show! I am sitting down to watch episode one of series two at 8:10PM today; so excited! Been waiting for about 15 months!

  • Natalie January 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Loved that show!

  • Alexandra January 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    This is one I'm really debating seeing, like Downton Abbey…I've heard a lot of good about it (and Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome) and I am a 'casual fan' of Sherlock, so purist issues wouldn't bother me. :-) I should probably just break down and do it. :-)

    I totally agree about the comedy issue…I adore (most) British humor for that reason. It's so *different* than most American humor in comedies nowadays, and I immensely prefer it. :-) And when I think about it…most of my favorite comedic actors are…British. Hm. :-)

  • Charity January 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    The non-Victorian setting does not bother me, because Sherlock Holmes was written as a contemporary piece — then, he was modern, just as Britain made him modern when Basil Rathbone played him in the 1930's and 40's; it's natural to have a "modern" Holmes, even though I love a good period piece.

    For the most part, this Holmes is very much like the book Holmes. Maybe a little more rude and blunt but just as eccentric and brilliant, but not in a totally off-putting way.

    Got about two hours and then I'll be watching the first episode. I'm sitting and giggling over all the trending that is happening on tumblr and twitter right now, as the fangirls worldwide go insane.

  • Rissi January 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    C.C. – my thoughts exactly. Although I won't see it until it arrives on DVD, I CANNOT wait for it. =)

    The wait was due to the London riots, or whatever it was that was going on over there, but who cares?? It's finally here.

    Natalie – ditto! You and me both. =)

    Alexandra – this is one of the best shows that I discovered in 2011. It's funny and tells a great mystery. All that you've heard of it is true and then some – Sherlock is awesome! I loved the feature films, too. I hope if you decide to see it that it lives up to your expectations. If you do not like mysteries, then you wouldn't enjoy this one.

    British humor is grand – they know how it should be done, and really, thank goodness someone does! There are a lot of British actors that I like but I've got my share of American favorites, too.

    Hey, did you even see Downton Abbey? If so, I hope you were able to enjoy it.

    Charity – okay, girl, I am so jealous of you right now!! ;D LOL! Just kidding. =)

    I'd agree with about Sherlock, he is kind of a "jerk," yet we love him! There is something about his dry-witted delivery and way of putting people in their place that isn't… well, off-putting. I really must watch S1 again – it was phenomenal!

    I do believe you were quite skeptical at first, so I am really glad you are such a fan of this because it is brilliant. =) (Glad to know that bit of trivia about the "modern Holmes" – thanks bunches.)

    Enjoy… less than an hour away now??

  • Ella January 2, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Now, for me, THIS is how Sherlock was meant to be done. Granted, I am not the best person to judge in an unbiased manner…..but I loved this miniseries.

    It was brilliant, with both Morgan and Benedict playing their roles to perfection. I am so excited because two of my favorite Sherlock novels are being adapted this season!! YAY!!

  • Charity January 2, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Not sure how I felt about this episode. Some things I LOVED, some things I really HATED — among them how much smut was involved in this episode. =(

  • Rissi January 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Ella – I like this series and the feature films. They are different, yes, but both are equally clever.

    I share your thoughts exactly on this BBC series. It is wonderfully comedic and yet brilliant. The actors are spot-on perfect and that is, in part what makes it so grand. =) Cannot wait to read what you thought of the series.

    Charity – oh, no! That is NOT a promising start to S2…

  • Carissa January 3, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Rissi – I LOVE Sherlock so much! The first season was absolutely brilliant. Which is why I could not believe how horrified I was by the first episode of the second season. Mortified would be a good word for my response. So much so that I couldn't even enjoy the bits that I did like, because there were a few. I just can barely recall them because my brain is struggling to swipe the memory clean. So disappointing.

  • Rissi January 4, 2012 at 12:52 am

    That is awful to know, Carissa! But, on the other hand, I really appreciate knowing this so I can be prepared for the DVD's.

    I "fell in love" with this BBC series when first watching it and now really want to re-visit it – so I should. Perhaps the following episodes will improve on the first and make that premiere nothing but a distant memory. We can hope, right!? ;D

  • Ruth January 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I LOVED the first season of Sherlock and I've been eagerly anticipating the second for what seems like FOREVER. I don't plan on watching it until the PBS broadcast — I'm concerned about content issues in the Belgravia episode since I read some reviews of it — sounds completely unnecessary and gratuitious — hopefully the 2nd and 3rd episodes won't find those "distractions" necessary.

  • Rissi January 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Totally agree with you, Ruth! The 1st series is perfection – all this talk of it makes me really anxious to see it again.

    There was a delay in S2 coming to screens but it's here now – finally! I'll see it on DVD unless it continues on this same trend of filth, then I may consider it more carefully. Like you, I am optimistic for E2 and three. =)

  • AnnaKate January 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I love this show to no end and cannot wait for more.

  • Rissi January 18, 2012 at 1:23 am

    My thoughts exactly, AnnaKate! =)

    Thank you SO much for following my blog – I hope you stop in often. =)

  • buddy2blogger June 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Nice review of the series. I too like BBC Sherlock.

    Check out my review .

    Cheers!

  • Rissi June 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping in, Buddy2Blogger. I really appreciate that! And for the link to your review. :-)

    Stop in again sometime.

  • Hannah Barta September 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    This is coming extremely late, but I had to see if you'd reviewed Sherlock. I drove four hours to see my sister expressly for the purpose of watching this show, and I love it (so far we've only watched the first season/series–I am SO excited for more). I have to agree with Ella who said "THIS is how Sherlock was meant to be done." Benedict Cumberbatch is just incredible, and Martin Freeman and he play off each other so exceptionally well. I've watched the old BBC Sherlock Holmes (at least I think it's BBC), and though it was good, Benedict's Sherlock is so much more obviously genius. And I like the modern setting as opposed to the old one–it seems to give more flexibility to the plot.

    Until recently, I was unable to understand the attention Benedict Cumberbatch got because I was (and still am) an avid Tom Hiddleston fan. I saw Benedict briefly in War Horse, but was ignorant as to who he was at the time. Then I just watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug about a month ago, and adored him as the dragon's voice. His voice is so deep and soothing, and the sound effects they gave him were even cooler. So, yes, I am on the Benedict Cumberbatch bandwagon now. :)

    walking in the air.

    • Rissi September 5, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      It's never too late to come in when it's Sherlock, Hannah. ;)

      How nice to hear that this is how Sherlock should be. I'm not a "scholar" of the character, so I just go for what I enjoy and thus far, I've loved everything I've seen based on the character. This one is definitely one of my very favorites for so many reasons. Aside from the characters (and who play them), what I loved so much was seeing Sherlock put into a modern world – his texting is HILARIOUS because it's "against" the classic interpretation. Oh, these clever writers. ;)

      Fun! I love Benedict in everything I've seen him in – this and he's also in Amazing Grace along with some various British series (like Marple or something of that sort) and each role I enjoy watching how he plays a character. Glad you're enjoying his acting. :)

      Glad you and your sister are now on board, Hannah – hope you continue to enjoy the series! It's all fun – and clever. And awesome. And crazy. And, yeah… good stuff. ;)

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