There are certain things in life that are sacred. You do not mess with classic movies that are in black and white and colorize them to make them look more modern. There are few things worse that watching Bogart say, “Play it, Sam” while looking like Tom and Jerry should be running around at his feet. Do not ever, ever let a teenager drive when you have had one too many beers. It is hard enough to focus on the road, the sidewalk, trees and large land masses that tend to get in the way of teenager drivers when you are cold sober. Letting a teenager drive when you’re drunk can cause a heart condition in a totally healthy person. (Not that I have ever done that.) But the greatest mistake you can make is to remake a classic piece of literature with a modern twist. How tacky!
I don’t know about you but I have found that most times those interpretations are at best amusing attempts at appealing to the masses in appalling messes. The modern attempt at Romeo and Juliet with Leo DiCaprio was a good try but looked more like a goof try to me. The Street King was an attempt at retelling the Bard’s tale of Richard III with a gangsta feel that should have reconsidered it’s colors. The modern treatment of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the BBC show Jekyll actually worked well but still left me wanting more. I know I sound like your grandpa and you are thinking that I have a closed mind for such new fangled notions. You would have been right until I saw Sherlock.
Before you make any judgments on my opinions please understand that I have read every story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that features the beautiful mind of the obsessive compulsive character of Sherlock Holmes. There was always a dry, British wit to the consulting detective that I found intriguing. The classics characterization by Basil Rathbone and more modern (that means: in color) version by Jeremy Brett are my favorites. Robert Downey, Jr has done a good job, too! Some have tried modern treatments but few have succeeded until now.
The sense of humor appeals to my nature instead of appalling it. There are several lines that really jump off the screen and I feel the need to share them with you since you may have missed them or missed the entire show. It is on PBS so I understand how you may not have seen it.
Sherlock: Shut up.
Lestrade : I didn’t say anything.
Sherlock: You were thinking. It’s annoying.
Sherlock: I’m not a psychopath, Anderson, I’m a high-functioning sociopath, do your research.
Sherlock: Look at you lot, you’re all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.
Watson: Have you talked to the police? Sherlock: Four people are dead. There’s no time to talk to the police.
Watson: So why are you talking to me?
Sherlock: Mrs. Hudson took my skull.
Watson: So I’m basically filling in for the skull?
Sherlock: Relax, you’re doing fine.
The writing is amazing and I’m not just saying that because these are the same people who write Doctor Who. It really is phenomenal. Check it out on Netflix or PBS or the BBC. You really don’t know what you are missing. (And no I do not get any money for this endorsement. It is solely for your edification but if the BBC wants to toss a few coppers my way I won’t complain.)