Audience Is Kept on Edge
BBC’s modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes has just finished showing its second season in the US. It airs on PBS and is also available to watch streaming. Unlike most American TV programs, the episodes are long, and there are only three per season—the episodes are actually almost as long as movies. But they are quite well done, with good acting and good production values. The show is also very different from the typical American crime procedural (CSI, Law & Order, etc.). One way is how the audience experiences the mystery. A podcast I listened to recently (on Grantland.com’s podcast network) made a really good point—during most of the episodes, Sherlock is one step ahead of the audience, and the representation of the audience is Watson—we see the case through his eyes—capable, but not on the hyper intelligent and deductive level of Sherlock. This keeps the audience on edge and heightens the suspense. The actor who plays Watson is playing Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit movies, and I hope this does not significantly delay the next season.
An American adaptation of Sherlock is due to come out this fall called Elementary. Lucy Liu is playing Watson in this interpretation, and I have a hunch that it will be inferior to the BBC and London based version. It also seems too soon for another Sherlock adaptation when we have just had two season of the BBC’s Sherlock and another American adaptation has just ended, House M.D. (Dr. House was Holmes, Wilson was Watson, and the mysteries were medical instead of criminal).
I highly recommend Sherlock, and for anyone looking to catch up you should be able to get the first two seasons on DVD or via a streaming service. It is one of the few quality shows still out there, and I am eagerly awaiting its return for a third season.