Customer Review

210 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a try!, 15 Aug 2010
This review is from: Sherlock - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
What more can I say other than I enjoyed them so much that I've watched all three episodes twice? Cumberbatch's dark, thrilling Holmes was perfect for the modern setting and the growing relationship between him and Martin Freeman's quietly brave Watson was kept integral to the plot as it always should be. And what great plots they are, although I would expect nothing less from Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss who rarely fail to impress me: They clearly know their Sherlock Holmes and borrow selectively from the original short stories and novels to create something that is new and fresh. Each episode is clever and thoughtful, with interesting modern twists; such as the particularly effective use of text to allow you to see what Sherlock is thinking as he surveys a crime scene or texts on his phone. It really is worth getting past the images of gaslight and hansom cabs that Sherlock Holmes normally brings to mind and letting yourself be drawn into the show. I thought I would hate 'Sherlock' when I first heard about the series and I couldn't have been more wrong.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2010 12:58:22 BDT
I. Melvin says:
Katherine Leadbetter, Can I ask you, as you watched each episode twice, did it not bother you that Holmes misses the inescapable fact that it is a cabbie and not a passenger that is the culprit in episode 1. In episode 2, did it trouble at all that Holmes concludes Van Coot smuggles for the Tong to pay off his banking losses, of 5 million in a week mind, but could hardly have doen so from the proceeds of the vases imported that week (500k and 400k respectively). Nor did he notice, as I did (did you?), that the assasin in the museum was firing blanks (they were surrounded by glass display cabinets and nothing was hit!) and this mistake leads to the death of the Chinese woman who for some reason does the japanese Tea ceremony! Nor did they bother using any of their mobile phones to call the yard after knocking out said assasin at the circus, instead, they ran off just like the Tong General and the other one did? Also, do you find it believeable that a person who has killed and clawed their way to the rank of General in the Tong would be unsure about firing a pistol under a railway arch, you know, the place that is often chosen for firing ranges to avoid the potential for ricochets?

How about in episode 3, is it really believable that Holmes can deduce from an MMS partial picture of a car bonnet that it is abandoned? and that within the duration of a brief phone call, Scotland Yard are able to find that car, abandoned on a vacant lot? And more, that by the time they arrive at the scene the police have identified the hire car company, the wife and the victim, and have even analysed the DNA to match the victims to the blood in the car?

Is it reasonable for a giant assasin to live rough on the streets in order to keep a low profile, then keep a driver and fast BMW at hand to affect a speedy getaway should he be rumbled?

I ask these questions because they are, as a matter of course the meat and drink of detective fiction, and upon these and many other observations I found the series terribly weak and unsatsfactory.

Finally, is Moriarty, in the presentation we have in 3, really believable as an arch villian? Could he, at the age of 10-15 have obtained or cultured botulism to poision the kid he didn't like? At the time that this would have happened, it was pre-Botox; so either he cultured it himself or broke into Portam Down! Even if we overcome that unlikely scenario, could he really have kept the trainers in some hermetically sealed environment for some 20 years in order to use them to tempt Holmes onto his trail, this of course before he is even aware that a Holmes will ever exist, unless he accessed a ride with Marty McFly. And then, he uses the shoes to lure Holmes into investigating him, to tell him to stop investigating him???

Do you really think each episode was clever and thoughtful?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2010 11:27:41 BDT
CC says:
I. Melvin, However many good points you raise in a comment, do you think people will take you seriously if you phrase everything as a rhetorical question?

Could I ignore all the plot holes you listed? No. Are there counterarguments to some of them? Maybe. Did I enjoy it any less because of its lack of rigour? No.

Was there any evidence to suggest this reboot of Sherlock was going for gritty realistic storylines? Can you deny that the original Holmes stories contained some unbelievable moments (The Adventure of the Creeping Man springs to mind for me)?

Personally, I didn't dwell on the details and rather enjoyed this reboot. I even go so far as to agree with Katherine in that there were some very clever touches (e.g. the parallels of Sherlock duelling with Moriarty by a pool/waterfall.) As a final question I. Melvin, do you hate the original books because of the inconsistencies there as well, such as Watson's moving injuries and chronological impossibilities?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2010 13:28:26 BDT
I. Melvin says:
CC. Frankly if one does not dwell on details, what is the point of detective narrative? One reduces it then to a mere soapy adventure with the odd corpse, explosion and silly exposition. Could I enjoy that? Certainly, if it is consistent, and can I say that I do not expect any version of Sherlock could ever really approach 'gritty realistic storylines' and I have never suggested such. Sherlock is not The Wire. Sherlock Holmes is always a fantasy and almost a sort of early superhero narrative

My point, however, and perhaps I should have been clearer, is more this. Holmes is given through the script opportunity to display at numerous points a razor like intellect to dissect and dissemble facts, personalities and of course the crimes. That is fine and expected of a Sherlock adventure, and is to some extent the point of it. We often forgive Holmes for some of his more dubious traits because of the central fact of his genius. In general I do not take issue with the occasional plot hole or inconsistency, either in books, or elsewhere, otherwise much of media would be very disappointing. However, when the basic premise is set up thus, how can one ignore obvious and at times flagrant inconsistencies and patent nonsense.

I have read criticism of one episode that a taxi ride goes from a to b, and that passes landmarks that would not have been included in any such journey. Does that bother me, no? Would it spoil my viewing? Nope. However, I generally expect Holmes to be cleverer than me by a country mile. This Sherlock at times makes Frank Drebbin look like a veritable genius in comparison.

Episode 1 may have merely disappointed with the issues about the taxi driver. But episodes 2 and 3 really were in my view an insult to the viewer's intelligence.

The idea of Moriarty is introduced to us in episode 1 you will recall. He is not of issue in episode two and as far as we know, until the case of the dodgy Vermeer, he isn't on Holmes 'to do list'. There is no indication that Holmes has pursued him previously or since, or indeed has any continuing interest in him. Indeed, at the beginning of episode 3 Holmes is happily blowing chunks out of his wall with a 9mm pistol because he is so bored. The criminal classes, including it has to said Moriarty, offering Holmes nothing to get his teeth into.

Until, that is, Moriarty constructs cases for Sherlock to follow... and that lead him eventually to Moriarty... where Moriarty tells him to stop bothering him? I leave you to ponder.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2010 18:06:39 BDT
Anna Charny says:
Holmes missing the fact the cab driver and not the passenger is the murderer is taken directly from A Study in Scarlet. The fact that it was the cab driver, like in the original story, makes it seem a lot more obvious then it actually was.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2010 18:45:31 BDT
I. Melvin says:
Anna, I have doubtless seen A Study In Scarlet in the past but the detail escapes me. Watching the episode in isolation, I came to the conclusion that it was a taxi driver, at the same time Holmes does in the episode... or so I thought. I had no memory of another version, so obvious or not, the viewer (at least myself) concludes that it is a taxi driver. The following dinner scene and stakeout and subsequent chase was brilliantly done. Funny, exciting and creative. But I was non-plussed when Holmes focussed on the passenger. It made no sense to me. How could a taxi passenger be the culprit, abducting and killing. Only if acting in concert with the driver, or more likely the driver alone. Furthermore it makes no sense later when Mrs Hudson twice announces the taxi waiting for Holmes, and the most brilliant mind of our generation fails to notice this? It might be slightly funny but it is not Holmesian.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2010 16:18:59 BDT
Marie says:
Melvin, you really sound like a bundle of joy! This is fiction and entertainment, not real life.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2010 15:58:08 BDT
J. Kennedy says:
Melvin - you seriously need to lighten up. Ticking off 'plot holes' in such a tedious manner isn't going to change my mind. Sherlock is brilliant.

Posted on 5 Sep 2010 08:56:51 BDT
Grey'um says:
Wow, I. Melvin really needs to chill out and stop picking holes in everything in an attempt to try and spoil the enjoyment many people got from watching this series.

Honestly, do you suffer OCD or something? It's pathetic, and all you do is make yourself look a fool.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2010 01:09:47 BDT
"Furthermore it makes no sense later when Mrs Hudson twice announces the taxi waiting for Holmes, and the most brilliant mind of our generation fails to notice this? It might be slightly funny but it is not Holmesian. "

Did you not think, as I did at that point that, perhaps, Holmes knew perfectly well what he was doing there, but was deliberately ignoring the information from Mrs Hudson in order to evade the police officers searching his flat at that time and go and talk to the cab driver on his own?

Maybe you'd be happier contributing to some kind of fan site or discussion group about this series, rather than Amazon, where the point of a review is to decide whether or not this is a series, book or whatever that you are interested in buying and might enjoy. The arcana of whether or not this plot point or that was a glaring inconsistency that spoilt your enjoyment of a programme is best discussed in other forums or between yourself and your therapist in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2010 09:22:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2010 09:27:59 GMT
onlyme1234 says:
I. Melvin: I am guessing you are not a Sci Fi fan either. Why would you attack this reviewer for her honest opinion?? As much as you are entitled to your opinion, so is she. I have not seen this series and am considering buying it and I can tell you that your comment lost me as a reader somewhere halfway the third sentence and is in no way helpful to someone looking for an honest review! Why?? Well, because people who like this kind of storytelling will normally accept that there are details that are not logical (like in Sci Fi of which I am a big fan). If you like everything to be logical and without fault in reasoning, you can only watch nature documentaries. And you could have stated your opinion in one or two sentences along the lines of there being some plotholes with one example of what you mean. We readers would have gotten then that you do not like this series, which would have been perfectly ok by me.

This comment only makes people feel that you need to vent some anger towards some innocent reviewer. And that is kind of sad I think.
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