I remember lining up all day in Tampa to see the Phantom Menace on opening day. The conditions at the theater were terrible: Broken AC, blurry lens, and a terrible crowd. I ended up leaving the theater feeling a bit drained, like someone had siphoned the “force” right out of me. The movie wasn’t what I was expecting, but there was one thing I loved about the phantom menace and that was Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Qui-Gon Jin.
Well, we’re here again. The bleak, hot, humid days of summer where TV sucks and the game releases are lacking. I look at this as a good chance to go through ye ol’ Netflix queue and catch up on some TV and movies. So I’m kicking off a new series of articles that I have invited my nerd brethren to write along side of me and called it Summer of Netflix. A good chance to make recommendations on shows you can catch up on.
My first entry into the series is Sherlock. A new series from the BBC about a modern take on Sherlock Holmes. The usual cast of characters are all here, Sherlock, his land-lady, Watson (played by Martin Freeman of the british the Office) and Detective Lestrade. BBC originally only funded 3 episodes of this excellent series, but fortunately, as of earlier this year, they have picked up the show for 14 more episodes. This is good news indeed, but I’m hoping that both the creative force behind it (Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat) and the actors themselves can make it back. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, is rumored to have been picked up for a role in The Hobbit. So, the timing may be poor, but hopefully it will all work out.
The quality of the show is top notch. Cinematography to action sequences, all shot beautifully. The stories are told artfully, leaving you hanging until the masterful explanation is spewed in a harried, angry way from Sherlock’s mouth. Sherlock is played as a recovering addict who brilliantly tears into people whenever confronted with a new poor soul. The camera pin points to specific things he spots as an explanation of his findings falls out of his mouth in a waterfall of words. Sherlock is an odd one, he does his work seemingly for free and for nothing other than the thrill of the chase. The opening episode focuses on Watson though, who has recently returned from war where he was a field medic. He is introduced to Sherlock through a mutual friend and immediately falls in step with the chase after a serial killer. It seems the thrill of the chase is as much a stimulant for Watson as it is for Sherlock. Freeman plays him masterfully though, as the somewhat more grounded partner to the elevated genius that is Sherlock.
Overall this is an excellent series, and I couldn’t be happier to know there are more episodes on the way. If anything it makes me consider trying Dr. Who on for size. Both Gatiss and Moffat are heavily involved in that on going series now, and the quality seems to be on par with what they brought to Sherlock. All three episodes are available on instant watch now. So check it out, let me know how much you love it!