Being as how I don’t have a proper television connection, I rely on Netflix for most of my TV exposure. Early this year someone convinced me to take a shot at watching Steven Moffat’s non-Doctor Who project, Sherlock. When I heard the premise (Sherlock Holmes in the present?) I was a bit skeptical. They’ve tried to update shows and movies before and it usually just turns into one giant mess. Not to mention that I hate crime-dramas with a passion. With Sherlock, however, Moffat has created something truly amazing.
Imagine my happy feelings when I was browsing through Netflix the other day only to find that season 2 of the show had finally made it somewhere that I could access it. I immediately sat down and indulged by need for intelligent British programming. And I was almost as immediately blown away that the new season proved to be just as awesome as the first.
All the complex story writing is still there, looping its way through the action on the screen and trying to fool the viewer long enough for Mr. Holmes (the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch) to make his reveal and either spell out what we suspected all along or prove to us exactly how much we missed. In addition, they really go into developing and exploring the characters in a realistic sense. This season in particular brings to life both Holmes and Watson as real people with real problems. Sherlock has his issues with being completely unsociable and Watson’s problems all seem to stem from his relationship with Holmes.
Specifically, they explored the love life of both characters, twisted as it is. But it’s not a heavy-handed drama like one normally expects to find on television. The character development is done is a clever and witty way and though the series does partake of some silliness every now and then, you’re never left feeling like it’s just a campy, self-indulgent attempt to exploit the name of Sherlock Holmes and make some money.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the fact that the series runs in 3-episode seasons! At least each episode is an hour-and-a-half long. Still, that doesn’t take more than one night to go through, leaving me desperate for another fix of Moffat’s genius. If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Like I said, it’s on Netflix right now, all six episodes of both seasons. If you’re looking for some intelligent British crime-drama, you will not be disappointed in the least.