I am aware that I'm a bit late jumping on the bandwagon with this one. While I'd heard many people raving about it, I didn't really think of watching it until my husband suggested it. My husband hates all TV shows and most movies, so I was shocked that there was something he wanted to watch. I'm glad that we did dive in, because it has proven to be a great show so far.
The show is actually more like a mini-series. In the first season, there are three episodes, all lasting about 90 minutes each. Season 1's three are "A Study in Pink," "The Blind Banker," and "The Great Game." I assume that "A Study in Pink" is based upon "A Study in Scarlet," although I haven't read it and can't say for sure (anyone know?). As for the other two, I am in the same boat, although certainly "The Great Game" has elements of traditional Sherlock Holmes that I am familiar with. The premise of the show is that Sherlock is a brilliant amateur detective in the present day, tortured by his need to find something interesting and too wrapped up in his overly intelligent mind to form lasting friendships -- until Watson, an ex-military doctor with a neurosis about a leg injury, shows up to share the rent in his flat. Watson, intrigued by Sherlock's bizarre behavior and adventures, begins a blog about their experiences, and assists Sherlock in many of his endeavors.
In a nutshell, here are the thins I love about the show:
* First of all, I love spin-offs -- this is a well-documented thing on this blog. I love retellings. I think certain bits of literature and media become our modern mythology, told again and again in new forms but never growing old.
* Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant as Sherlock. The recent Sherlock movies starring Robert Downey Jr. are favorites of mine, but I dislike the way Sherlock Holmes is at times portrayed as slapstick. While there is dry humor and a sense of the ridiculous at times with the way Sherlock behaves in the BBC series, it is not silly. The humor is more mature, more erudite. And I like it.
* Also, Benedict Cumberbatch.
* I love the length of the episodes. They are practically their own movies, but we get more than one.
* I love the way technology supplements Sherlock's deductions. I think it is very cool to see the way someone with an extensive supply of information in his mind can use an endless supply of information at his fingertips.
* Favorite episode? The third, where we are introduced to Jim Moriarty, who is a surprise in every way. I probably wouldn't have portrayed his character the way he is portrayed, but it is a fresh take. And the madness of Moriarty is definitely boundless.
Overall? Highly recommended.