Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Returns in A Study In Pink

Sherlock Holmes is one of the best detectives to ever grace the printed page. With such greats as Basil Rathbone, Robert Downey Jr and even Bill Pullman playing the titular sleuth to perfection you have to wonder why even try to do it again, let alone an updated version that takes place in modern times. Leave it Masterpiece Theater to live up to their namesake once again because this version is one of the best ever.
Martin Freeman, a British actor best known for comedies like Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy and the BBC sitcom Hardware, nails Dr. John Watson as an injured ex-soldier sent home to a life he no longer wants. After running into a colleague from his college days, he is introduced to Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) who comes across like a deranged madman with moments of pure brilliance. The fact the police think of him as a budding psychopath only infuriates Holmes to respond that he is indeed a "high functioning sociopath," and that they should get their facts straight. Needing a flatmate, Holmes and Watson move into together, leading to several instances of others and themselves questioning their sexuality. It is very funny each time someone mistakes them as a gay couple. Holmes sexuality is never explained, here or in the stories, but it has always been assumed that Holmes is more like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory as being asexual, possibly from some earlier trauma with a woman. His drug use is hinted at as well as police search his home for illegal substances, a fact Watson is stunned by.
The plot is pure Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with the pair searching for a serial killer who makes his victims kill themselves. Along the way as the pair gets to know each other better, they encounter enemies from Holmes past including the mysterious Moriarty who is Holmes archenemy, a character sure to play a bigger role in the future series episodes. The series is fun, smart and engaging. Catch it if you can Sundays on PBS. You won't be sorry.

5 out of 5 stars.

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