Mar 12, 2013

Holmes

I've recently become semi-obsessed with Sherlock Holmes once again. I say "once again" because there was a time when I would read the complete run of Holmes stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle every few years. I was generally into contemporary authors when I was growing up. But we had a bound copy of the 4 novels and 50+ short stories that were written by him about Holmes, and a full set of bound Charles Dickens novels as well. And when I had nothing else to read, I would turn to these to re-read. Over and over again. The Holmes stuff never took that long, so I read those probably a dozen times or so.

But it's honestly been about two decades since I've read them. A lot of that has to do with me reading much, much less than I did when I was a teen or in my early twenties. That's kinda sad. Non-stop availability of just about anything I want to see streaming-wise has also been a big problem.

But problem solved! Well, at least in the Sherlock Holmes situation.

I watched the first season, ahem...series, of the BBC Sherlock production a year or so ago, and I loved it. Starring the immensely talented and oh-so-British-named Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it's an extremely watchable contemporary update of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But I forgot about it until about a week ago. So I jumped into Series 2...and then watched all 6 episodes over again. Just because I could. I highly recommend this series.

Then I went and found Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows someplace, and I watched that too. And, since it had been awhile since I had seen its' predecessor, Sherlock Holmes, I watched that too. These are the Guy Ritchie films starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. Much, much different than the BBC series, but a lot of fun with Sherlock portrayed as more of an action hero.

And I didn't stop there. I had been hearing some good words about the American TV adaptation, Elementary. Mostly from this guy. Another contemporary update, this one stars Jonny Lee Miller as a former Scotland Yard consultant living and recovering from addiction in Brooklyn. Oh, and they made Watson an American. And female. Portrayed by the always wonderful Lucy Liu. Sure...why not.

So last night I gave it a try. And after one episode, I'm probably hooked again. Except I haven't been able to find anyplace that streams the earlier episodes from this first Season. Our cable company has the last 5 aired episodes (some re-runs) On Demand, but that's it. So that sucks. I thought it was going to be on Hulu Plus, but it's not. Durn.

I am NOT going to be happy if I cannot satisfy my Sherlock fix with Elementary. I may have to go back to, gasp, reading!

Any other Sherlock adaptations out there I should be watching? Zero Effect, starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller was loosely based on Sherlock, but it was a lot of fun. So I'm up for anything. Hit me.

15 comments:

Dave2 said...

I subscribed to Elementary via iTunes. I don't know of anywhere to see the early episodes for free. :-(

B.E. Earl said...

Yeah, I'll probably just wait until it becomes available someplace. Unless I really fall in love with it these next few episodes that are available on demand.

RW said...

Jeremy Brett has been labeled the essential Holmes by all the Sherlockian societies around the world. "Quintessential" is the word one often hears. And I agree.

To the point where if anyone disagrees with that, I cannot be their friend.

RW said...

Hit Publish before intended...

here;'s what the above post was missing...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Brett

Happy Mommy said...

Hey! I agree with RW on something! Jeremy Brett's BBC Sherlock Holmes was an awesome series, and worth watching. I'm pretty sure they are on Netflix.

B.E. Earl said...

RW and Happy Mommy - I will listen to your advice and watch. Happily. Thanks!

B.E. Earl said...

RW - have you seen the Cumberbatch version yet? Because I'd like for you to see it before you label anything else quintessential. Just sayin'. Won't take too long out of your life. Just 6 episodes.

RW said...

No I haven't seen that, and will try. But really, earl, the Jeremy Brett version - which lastest many seasons and did a LOT of the stories (and is, indeed, on Netflix) was called "quintessential" not by me but by those folks who are Holmes-o-philes. You know the group I mean - there are tons of Holmes groups around the world. The Baker Street Irregulars, the Sherlock Holmes Society. That sort of thing.

These are the kind of guys who can tell you what kind of tobacco he had in his sock. These groups have existed since the mid-1900's if not before. And THEY are the ones who say things like "quintessential" and "definitive" and stuff like that. Not me.

If you read the section of Brett's life in the link I provided you will see how inextricably Brett and Holmes became entwined.

I will do my best to see your suggestions because I also love the Holmes stories. but... dude... Happy Mommy is not one of my biggest fans. And if she'll stand next to me on this one - what's your problem?

B.E. Earl said...

RW - No problem. I immediately dropped it in my queue on your recommendation, and I plan to start watching it this weekend with a rousing marathon and a bottle of Irish Whiskey (it's St. Patty's Day fer crissakes!). I just want you to check out the new shit too. It's all good.

Slyde said...

i didnt know that martin freeman was in the bbc version. i fucking love that guy.. might have to watch it.

but i HATED HATED HATED the first guy richie movie. downey mumbled thru his lines so bad that i literally could understand about half of what he said. didnt even bother with the 2nd...

savannah said...

Yes! that's it, sugar. i agree with you on all things holmesian! i looked on the cbs site and only xfound 5 episodes, too. aside, we JUST watched the first season of the bbc version AGAIN last night! *cheers* xoxxo

Mrs. Hall said...

i watched holmes a few times. it's exhausting all that figuring things out and following the plot twists and whatnot.

more power to you though.

:)

RW said...

Not normally someone, at all, who likes the modernizations on Holmes. I couldn't stomach Downey & co.'s latest. So I went into it a little - no, a lot - negative. It had a lot to overcome.

And it overcame it well.

Very high production values, and I love the "shut up," "I wasn't saying anything.' "You were thinking, it's annoying."

I could get used to this guy, and I see a universe of Jeremy Brett in the performance.

I will never favor modernizations. I think they usually end up cheap. This is the exception.

Thanks. very well done stuff.

Your turn...

RW said...

I don't think this took my comment the other day? But I took your lead and watched the Holmes version of which you spoke.

I'll repeat just in case, but I'm not a big fan of modernizations of classics. Like Shakespeare, I don't like going to the theatre to see The Merchant of Venice set in a gas station in Peoria, or turned into a western... stuff like that.

But I have to say that if I had to pick the very best modernization of Holmes I would easily go with the Cumberbatch rendition.

The production values are superior, I love the twists on the classic stories (Scarlett/Pink... "this is a three patch problem" instead of a three bowl problem... I get it, because after all, I AM a Holmsian fanatic & pick up small shit like that) in this case. The introduction of modern tech and all that.

Also, I see a lot of Jermey Brett's influence in Cumberbatch. If they each arrived at their characterizations separately then good on the younger man. If he is referencing Brett's work in his rendition... then good on the young man still.

So I enjoyed them. ALL of them.

Now... Earl... it's your turn.

B.E. Earl said...

RW - I have comment moderation on for posts over 7 days, that's why your first comment didn't show up.

Glad you loved it. I'll have to find out if Cumberbatch checked out Brett's version prior to joining the cast. I love Martin Freeman as Watson too. Very good actor doing a nice spin on the character. I loved the "three patch problem" thing too. Brought a big smile to my face. Can't wait for the next season.