Posts Tagged ‘Sherlock Holmes’

There were three reasons I did not – DID NOT – want to like Elementary, CBS’s new “Modern Day Sherlock Holmes in New York City” crime drama:

1) Obviously, I was concerned that it was basically ripping off BBC’s Sherlock, and while “modern-day Sherlock Holmes” isn’t exactly fresh ground, this is the only one that stars a man so British that his name is Benedict Cumberbatch, so yes, I was worried CBS would stomp on something that did a great job the first time over.

2) CBS already HAS a “Sherlock-type solving murders” series, it’s called The Mentalist and I enjoy it – so I’m a little protective, when I see the same network trotting out a similar premise with a higher-profile title, and

3) Even though the Sherlock Holmes books were essentially eccentric-lead-in-a-crime-procedural stories when they were originally written, I still felt like literally using the Sherlock character was cheating, in a way, or at least being kind of lazy about introducing a new detective character.

So imagine my shock at quite liking Elementary.   (more…)

Against Purity

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Braak, poetics
Tags: , , , , ,

Purity is pretty good for water and I suspect metallurgy, but I’m starting to think that it’s a waste of time when it comes to everything else.

Kurt Busiek recently Twittered (not recently, this essay is from a while ago -ed.), in a conversation with Colleen Coover: A story that readers hate but is in continuity is more valued than a story they’d love that isn’t. On a related note, I got into an argument with a friend of mine that began with a discussion of Whit Anderson’s upcoming re-interpretation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and somehow segued into a discussion of Sherlock Holmes, and about the purity of interpretation.

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At what point did Sherlock Holmes become an arrested adolescent?

If there’s one commonality among the three modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations – Fox’s “House,” BBC’s “Sherlock,” and the Guy Ritchie movie(s) – it’s the characterization of Holmes as basically refusing of adult relationships and bonds, and a pettiness when his primary companion, Watson, has the audacity to seek out such relationships himself.

In each scenario, the relationship is of Holmes as a kid who’s best buddy just discovered girls and didn’t have time to play detective anymore. But when did this subtext creep into the Holmes stories, and what does it say about how we view Holmes as a pop-culture figure?

Watch as I don’t answer either of those questions, but at least point out…  (more…)