So you may have noticed from the abundant and not-so-subtle references peppering my posts of late that i’ve gone a little mental for one particular British show. It’s kind of a little bit – maybe more than the teensiest – okay. You all are, clearly, still with me despite my unfortunate tendencies to like things “unreal” so much they are ingrained into my own reality. I shouldn’t be so blushy to admit i’ve fallen deeper into the abyss – and yet, here i sit, pink at the ears because i’ve fallen in love with yet another BBC television programme.
For those of you who don’t spend your days mooning over the BBC and longing to live in the United Kingdom: i am speaking of the brilliant, classy, enthralling, and terrifying TV show Sherlock. A modern-day adaptation of the beloved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classics, the series has placed a man always ahead of his time into our own world. Watson keeps a blog of his flatmate’s technology-ridden whirlwind crime-solving adventures (keeping with the motif that it was Watson who narrated the original stories) and every script is littered with clever references for Holmesian purists to delight in.
In short, the programme is sheer genius. The combined on-screen chemistry of one Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch (a suave, enigmatic, exquisite and utterly flawless Holmes) with Martin Freeman (who won a BAFTA for his frank, hilarious, and marvelous portrayal of Doctor John Watson) married to the hit-the-ground-running script prowess of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss easily makes for what i would say to be the best hour and a half of telly you’ll watch all year. Each episode, summing at 90 minutes, is comparable to a feature film of Oscar quality – and you get six of them across both seasons! It’s like Christmas, but six times over.
I first heard mention of the show on Tumblr, but the real pull for me lay in the fact that it was, well, a Sherlock Holmes story. Since my part as Mrs. Bassick* in a Sherlock Holmes play at Culbreth Middle School, i’ve grown to adore the quirky and ingenious ways of the pipe-smoking Victorian detective. While, at the age of thirteen, much of the more sophisticated and historically contextual ideas of the stories went a little over my head, i still found myself entranced by the science of deduction. To know, as they put it in the show, one’s life story by a glance, is remarkable and inhuman and so damn cool. Over the years my affections for the stories by no means abated, but i’d certainly stopped reading them with the voraciousness i had before. Yet when i heard the buzz about this being the best Holmes and Watson portrayal in decades, i knew i could not let it sit idly in my Netflix queue.
No moment of the show left me disappointed. I don’t think i left the room save once (for lunch) the whole day i watched season one, it was so engaging. My roommate, eyeing the fingernail marks i’d left in the pillow as i gaped at the screen, commented that i needed to remember to breathe while watching the show. It reignited my adoration for the science of deduction and, more to the point, made me want to dive back into reading the original Holmes stories.
When my dad and i were in London last October, i absolutely insisted we make a trip to the original 221B Baker Street. It was positively smashing to be in a reconstructed apartment made to appear like that in Sir Doyle’s time. Since then, i spent some of my time at home over break (and on the most recent 48 hour jaunt there and back again) re-reading my favorite detective stories (in case you were wondering, it’s always been “A Scandal in Bohemia”). It was a wonderful way to be re-introduced to the tales i once so loved, even if at the cost of the shred of social adaptability i once clung to.
At any rate, i am most certainly not alone in this passion for BBC mysteries and penchant for over-liking things. Mount Holyoke, as a campus, seems to have gone positively Sherlocked all over:
In fact, the devotion of the fans of the series has grown far beyond any realm of even my own bizarre admiration of the consulting detective.
Now, what i am about to say next is a MAJOR SPOILER for those who have NOT seen the conclusion to series/season 2 of Sherlock. If you fall into that category of non-viewers, turn back now. Really. It’s so good you don’t want it spoiled.
Only loyal fans to Holmes still reading? Okay, good.
As you all (being people who have seen the series 2 finale) well know, the conclusion to “The Reichenbrach Fall” was shocking and gut-wrenching and positively tear-streaked. And since, thank goodness, there is the definite need for a third season to explain that last shot in the cemetery, some members of the fandom have taken it upon themselves to transpose the Sherlock universe into our own.
In an imaginative turn, many fans have decided that, should Sherlock Holmes have in fact been real, there would have been loyal fans to him in real life (via his website and John’s blog). By transitive property, surely some of these fans would have doubted the rumors of Moriarty being a fake – and, in turn, create a guerilla art campaign to fight against the papers.
As before, i first came across this idea on tumblr – only to awake the next day to a Mount Holyoke campus literally covered in such “I Stand with Sherlock Holmes” graffiti. I’ve been texting crappy cell phone pictures of these signs to a friend, and it was he who suggested i put them into a blog post to share. Thus, i give you all the depths of fandom:
And i know, i know. Defacing school property at the expense of a fictional character – i get it. But, at the same time, i cannot help but fall more madly in love with my university for being
Hogwarts a haven for all types – including freaks like me. To be passionate, to live intensely and take things this seriously i see as a gift, and one to be treasured.
Elementary, my dear Watson.
current jam: “you’re the voice” john farnham (no one is suprised).
best thing in my life right now: vagina monologues opens in TWO DAYS!
*Who was, as far as i’m aware, a character loosely based on a number of villains in the employ of Moriarty (for fellow Holmesians). In our play, she was a suffragette by day and criminal mastermind in league with Moriarty by night. A delicious role, no doubt, if not one birthed from a mind independent of Sir Doyle’s.