Purists of Doyle’s works are in a tizzy about this BBC produced show that takes the iconic character of Sherlock and plops him on the streets of 21st century London. Little did anyone know, purist or not, just what a grand success this Masterpiece Theatre series would be.
Sherlock, Series Two (2011) BBC TV Review
Following in the aftermath of a face-off with his arch nemesis – one that did involve guns and a bomb – Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is bored. He’s so bored that he paces and plays his violin for hours on end. Every single case that comes his way is turned down even if his friend and flat mate, John Watson (Martin Freeman) sees potential in it. Then Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) – Sherlock’s staid, elder British government brother, summons him. Ordered to the royal palace, it would seem that a member of the royal family has gotten themselves in a bind. There are compromising photos of the nameless young woman with another woman known as “The Woman.” This woman makes her living as a dominatrix. Seeing her photo and her website intrigues Sherlock enough to change his mind about the case.
The alluring Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) knows of the by-now famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to Dr. Watson’s popular blog. Because of this, the photos were simply a means to catch the selective private detective’s attentions. Irene has other things in mind for Sherlock Holmes. Irrespective of the promise he makes that the photos would be in his brother’s hands by the afternoon, the clever Irene bests him. This sets up a game of battling wits that sets Sherlock on a case to prove he isn’t about to lose his first case.
Honestly, I don’t think I have ever seen a show that is as intellectual as this. Sherlock takes murder mysteries to a new level. Leading up to my seeing this, there was a great many passionate writers who wrote about the first episode. Lots of people had a strong and vocal dislike of the episode. Something that I did let play with me a bit. Growing up in a conservative home, I still take issue with profane, needless material or blatant profanity. Right after I bought the set, I made up my mind that I’d either watch the entire episode or not at all. The point of this rambling is that I chose to watch the episode and right or wrong, good or bad, I am going to be honest and say that it may be my favorite episode of the three.
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Steven Moffat is the writer, who I hear is genius. Known for his work on another popular British serial, he’s no stranger to television. This series has got a great things going for it. Not only is it insanely witty but I love that the supporting characters are also important. Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) is still in these; as is the cute coroner, Molly (the girl totally crushes on Sherlock; how DARE he be so darn mean to her!). Watson and Sherlock are still fabulous together which is a credit to the actors who portray them (seriously Benedict is just terrific). But gosh, Watson has patience to live with Sherlock! It’s great to know that he isn’t about to sit back and always take Sherlock’s “abuse,” instead he knows when to walk away. It’s also not fair to assume Sherlock is uncaring because he is.
Uncharacteristically, I had read nothing about the ending so it takes me by surprise (in a good way!); I also “knew” that it isn’t all it seems because it was after all, Sherlock Holmes. The final episode was just brilliant. I loved that we experienced such a wide range of emotions; happiness, laughter, sorrow, danger, and edge-of-your-seat-suspense, and it all works. That is good writing. The final episode, “The Reichenbach Fall” may be the most clever of the three but the first is the funniest while the one sandwiched in-between seems more lethargic.
The last twenty minutes of ‘Reichenbach’ is intense but intriguing and dramatic, and it’s difficult to see Watson’s reaction to it all. Behind-the-scenes, I love the filming. It seems to give us a picture inside Sherlock’s uncanny mind and every scene seems to set the mood for every emotion. Writer’s pay tribute to the iconic Sherlock and his signature hat, and in dressing him in a long overcoat. The thing I love most seeing him in our modern world is watching him send off text messages! Gotta’ love that. Everything about the show is just fabulous! I could go on forever about how well and “prefect” everything is during these three hour-and-a-half films but I do have to stop somewhere. Just know that the script, acting and characters, filmmaking and stories are phenomenal. If you aren’t already among the masses who watch this… give it a try!
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You can find Sherlock, Series Two digitally on Amazon Video
Let’s talk: What did you like about season two? What didn’t you like – which season was better? Which episode was your favorite, and why? Comment below.
Content: E1 shows a nude Irene with a full shot of her back side; later she uses her hands to carefully cover everything. We see her in a suggestive outfit entering a room housing a “client.” She once uses her whip to get Sherlock to be “submissive” and there is some suggestive dialogue between them. [She remarks that she could have him “twice” and Sherlock is made fun of for his naïve sexual experience.] There’s remarks about Watson and Sherlock being gay much to Watson’s mortification; once Watson stumbles upon a car in which two people are having sex [the car is rocking]. There is some violence including with guns; two men commit suicide [there is blood] and another takes a dive off a skyscraper. One man is murdered by what a boy perceives to be a terrifying creature [there are flashbacks].There is some profanity [bas*tard] and abuse of God’s name. This is TV14.