Sherlock, Series 3 (UK, 2013)

1399689607Created by: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. What was I just saying about how reluctant I am to watch TV shows in my House of Cards post a little while ago? Right, well let’s just chuck all of that out the window. I was strolling through my local library and I was reminded that they had a whole extra season of Sherlock that I hadn’t seen, and that the last season (or Series, as those chaps call it) ended on the legendary Sherlockian cliffhanger, the “death” of Sherlock at the Reichenbach Falls, or in this case, off a regular building in London. I’m really not sure how I feel about this show, and I guess I never was. Right from the beginning, this show kind of pulls me in and repulses me, the way they treat the Sherlock material in a modern context varying from high points of irresistibly satisfying cleverness and low points of squeezing those beloved stories to fit the shape of acceptable modern content, always threatening to devolve into uninspired, brain-dead nouveau-nerdism. This show was never aimed at fans of the Conan Doyle stories, it was aimed at fans of Doctor Who. And I’m sure I’d like Doctor Who (I’m sure I will like it when I devolve myself into a spiral of 30 years of catch up one day), and I understand that it’s fine to change your demographic, and to make things realistic, to make it a hit show at the expense of keeping it strictly artistically “pure”, whatever that means, instead of the other way around, in which case it wouldn’t have made it past the first series. I guess this show confronts me with my ideas about high art and low art and the arbitrary dislike of something that appeals to a wider audience. Because honestly,  to be fair, this show isn’t exactly pandering to the lowest common denominator. Sure, it’s tremendously popular, but it’s not tremendously popular. Monster truck people probably can’t get into this show—it’s for literate nerds, computer programmers, anime fetishists and (the nerdiest tribe of all), North American Anglophiles like myself. Maybe this can be a real touchstone for me to finally accept inclusion in a broad group, a community that revolves around something in the…here I go…popular culture. Oh heck—here I am, nerds, I am a fellow Anglophile, and I really like watching this show! It’s maybe not great…but it’s pretty damn good. Maybe my problem is that I’m out-nerding the nerd show, that this show isn’t 100% lining up with what I’d like it to be, namely, that I like Watson’s moustache and I wish he had kept it. But I did love the way the show treated it, and I loved the way the show brought the otherwise marginal character of Mary into the forefront. I did love watching Lars Mikkelsen (brother of that other great Dane, Mads), his face is just as fascinating to watch as his brother’s, BUT, the role itself was a bit of a put-on, a bit underwritten, a bit of a throwaway James Bond-villain type of thing. So I guess that’s what I meant by “not a very good show”, but even with all of that, it’s easy to forgive because I’m a fan.


2 responses to “Sherlock, Series 3 (UK, 2013)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2014 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: Denial (USA/UK, 2016) | Offhand Reviews·

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