Not that anyone here will be surprised but I get snobby about shit I like. One of the more recent ones that’s come up has been Sherlock Holmes. Over the summer, Robert Downey Jr. did a travesty of an action movie about the vaunted consulting detective, and at about the same time an acquaintance got me hooked on the hardcore stuff: the BBC, from the mid-eighties to the early-nineties, did a series of Sherlock Holmes shows starring Jeremy Brett.
I’d never heard of it before but it’s downright astounding. The quality of everything is top notch like you wouldn’t believe, most especially including the acting. I’ve never seen an actor take on a well-known role like that and dominate it so astonishingly. And I’ll never again be able to think of Sherlock as anyone else but Brett. As a result I’ve become a snob about that, too.
And yet a few weeks ago I found something else the BBC’s been working on, which is a new series called simply Sherlock. It’s Sherlock and Watson in the 21st century. Sherlock loves to text, Watson blogs and was wounded in Afghanistan. You’d think, being a snob, that I’d hate it. But it, too, is friggin brilliant. The star, Benedict Cumberbatch (it’s impossible to have a more British name than that), seems a tad baby-faced but is still an incredible actor in the role. Martin Freeman as Watson is even better than that somehow. The way its been adapted, and from the original stories in fact, is unexpectedly well handled.
They’ve only done three episodes before it went on a hiatus, but they’ve confirmed they’re coming back. Each is 90 minutes and are dramatic, very funny when it needs to be, and with a dark tone that you don’t see on TV too often.
I recommend the new one (and the old one, but the new one in particular) to everyone. It’s damned amazing stuff.