10 Reasons You Should Be Watching BBC Sherlock

Before you start assuming that my main reason for watching Sherlock is that its showrunners are Steven Moffat (of Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (of The League of Gentlemen and Doctor Who), let me give you a rundown of why this interpretation is not only the best modern interpretation (bring it on, House, M.D. and Robert Downey, Jr.) but a smart and captivating show in its own right.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, respectively. Property of BBC.

1. It’s the greatest detective story of all time, put together by two of the sharpest mystery masterminds of our time, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Any further explanation needed? I really should just stop right here, but I’ll go on.

2. The actors. There are just no better choices for the Sherlock and Watson roles than Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, respectively. I dare you to try to find someone with Cumberbatch’s gravitas and Freeman’s visible integrity. Mark Gatiss as Mycroft, Rupert Graves as Lestrade, Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson and Andrew Scott as Moriarty also couldn’t be cast better in these classic roles. Further, the entire minor supporting cast of the last two seasons have each actor been flawless.

3. The balance between Sherlock’s and Watson’s points of view. Generally, Holmes tales are told from Watson’s point of view, but we’d be constantly left behind if that happened here because of how fast-paced it is. Plus, this way we’re able to visualize Sherlock’s deductions is fascinating. So many connections that the average person would never make, but when he puts them together, they clearly make sense.

4. The fact that there are only three episodes per season. They’re more like short films, really, being an hour and a half each. Anything less, though, and it wouldn’t be enough. The length is just long enough to really flesh out the stories and characters into a plausible situation, and short enough to keep the suspense high the entire time.

5. The modern setting. This is a Sherlock set in 2011, where there are cell phones, email, blogs, and all of this is not just taken into account but used in the most impressive way. You might assume Sherlock would be a luddite (for some reason I did), but no, he’s quite adept with most modern technology.

6. Jim Moriarty. I’m going to go ahead and give him his own category because Andrew Scott portrays Sherlock’s ultimate villain so, so well. Little did we know that Moriarty would truly have his fingers in every plot so far, all of which will surely come to a head in next week’s episode, The Reichenbach Fall. Something about Scott is so likable and at the same time, quite terrifying.

7. This show will make you feel smart and as if you can’t keep up at the same time. While that doesn’t exactly sound like a glowing recommendation, it is. Sherlock will keep you on your toes, racing to understand the mystery and connect the dots before he does – which you never will, of course, because he’s Sherlock Holmes. There’s a reason he’s better than everyone else.

8. The first series won two BAFTAs, one for Best Drama Series and one for Martin Freeman in the Best Supporting Actor category. Kind of a big deal.

9. There’s no question that this is a drama of the highest order. It’s smart but also serious, with the occasional side of humor. There’s very little slapstick here, though, and there’s nothing here that doesn’t directly add to the plot (as all the best stories go). You’d never catch Cumberbatch’s Sherlock in drag to solve a case, simply because he’d be able to figure it out on his own first. At the same time, though, it’s quite clear that Sherlock isn’t Superman. He’s human, and he frequently needs help, usually saving him from himself. There’s a reason he has a close-knit group of people around him, making sure he doesn’t take it too far while riding on a high of his own intelligence (or another substance). It’s quite serious, but there’s nothing better.

10. Literally no one I’ve spoken with who has watched these has disliked them. On the contrary, every single person I know who watches Sherlock is mildly obsessed with being caught up just because it is so excellent and so intellectually demanding.

Have I convinced you? Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that season one is on Instant Netflix and the third installment of the second season airs this coming Sunday. You know what to do.

In case you need that last little nudge, here’s a clip from BBC One that will show you just how brilliant Cumberbatch and Freeman are. A truly matched Holmes and Watson, if there ever was one.


About Bailey

I'm a writer and a feminist. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of television.

2 Responses to “10 Reasons You Should Be Watching BBC Sherlock”

  1. I cant stress enough that this post is not intended to offend anyone. also as a little side note, this is a slightly long comment.

    Personally more than half of these are reasons NOT to watch Sherlock and the other half are things that i would disagree with. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and i was appalled at the way the series was done. I mean to each their own, I am happy people are able to get enjoyment out of it but that being said it ticks me off how many people get on my case for not enjoying this series.

    The following is just a list of my opinions, although I am sure most wont care.

    1.I wont go so far as to say the actors are terrible…because they aren’t, I’ve seen him in the new star trek movie and he was great that being said though….I personally feel he plays a horrid sherlock holmes.

    2. I don’t feel that I could do it any better but that being said I don’t feel that this is in ANYWAY a great detective story, nor do i feel that it was made by some of the biggest masterminds of our time when it comes to mystery, i like moffat but not for his ability to work up a good mystery.

    3.apart from the fact you pointed out about seeing it from different points of view….i completely disagree, having seen or read almost all things about sherlock holmes i get this feeling with (almost) every book/movie/T.V Show/Anime. (this one is ESPECIALLY opinionated and is not meant to sound like i think its a fact)

    4. now this one is REALLY just a personal thing…i cant stand shows that have such short seasons, i need time and build up for me to give any sort of a crap about a character, and 3 episodes even if they are longer than most episodes are just not enough for me.

    5.i was actually rooting for the modern setting but the way they pulled it off upset me as a hard core sherlock fan, when i say this i dont mean ANY hard core sherlock fan would be upset i just mean that it upset me because of my personal viewpoints as a sherlock fan.

    6. im actually not going to agree OR disagree with you on moriarty i feel nuetrel about him he does a fair enough job with the character of moriarty but i feel that i have seen it done so much better both on paper and on screen.

    7. again, i cant stress enough that this is all just my personal opinion, and i believe everyone has a right to think differently than myself. That being said i completely disagree with this show making you feel smart but that is PURELY because i couldn’t care less about what happens in the story so i don’t care about the mystery.

    8.Personally awards mean nothing to me, awards are a reason to TRY a show or movie, but they are not a reason to CONTINUE to watch a show.

    9.i would comment about this but i feel you already know what i would say so there’s really no point.

    10.i will admit there are very few people i have talked to that dislike this show, which upsets me because everyone else acts like I’ve committed the worlds worst sin for hating this show.

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