Friday, 17 January 2014

by Amanda Lee Yue Ping, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2014



Only recently have I discovered the great joy that is Sherlock, the BBC series. As the third season has just finished airing, you could say I’m a little new on the scene. There have been so many takes on the coat-wearing, pipe-smoking, violin virtuoso cum private detective, one wonders how this one will be any different. But of course, it is.

I think the BBC struck gold when they asked Benedict Cumberbatch to step into the shoes and black coat (with a upturned collar of course) of Sherlock Holmes. No one has played the role better. Since the first episode ‘A Study In Pink’ graced screens, Cumberbatch has then been known to play characters in the quirky but brilliant department.

“Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring." 
- Sherlock Holmes, A Study In Pink

With scathing remarks (Sherlock's forte) combined with his trademark arrogance and superiority complex, the role must be fun to play. The fast dialogue takes a little getting used to, but it keeps you on your toes as he is always a step or two ahead of the audience. He wins the who-plays-Sherlock-Holmes-better battle hands down, beating all the other 70-plus Sherlock actors on the list flat. Except perhaps Robert Downey Jr.


Though Sherlock is indubitably the show’s main character, it would only be half the show it is without his right-hand man, the good Dr. Watson. Over the past few years, we’ve seen almost as many Watsons as we’ve seen Sherlocks. Straying most from the path would be the Watson played by Lucy Liu in the television series Elementary. A girl Dr. Watson, seriously? They get points for trying to be creative, but the friendship and bromance between the two main characters in the BBC's Sherlock is one of the highlights of the series. In fact, in the second episode of the third and latest season, Watson’s wedding scene just tugs at your heartstrings - especially when it’s time for the best man’s speech. 

"Listen, what I said before, John, I meant it. I don't have friends; I've just got one" - Sherlock Holmes, The Hounds of Baskerville

Though Sherlock and Dr. Watson usually steal the show, the appearance of Irene Adler made the ‘Scandal In Belgravia’ episode one of my favourites. Come on, it‘s Irene Adler — the only adversary who Sherlock never completely bested in Doyle's original novels. While they didn’t take it that far in the BBC series, she definitely came close to besting him, and it is evident that Sherlock has some feelings for her — whether of the platonic or the romantic, Moffat and Gatiss make it hard to tell. Plus points to Irene, since she’s the opposite sex. It’s nice to see that Sherlock is also only human at times. 

“Brainy is the new sexy.” - Irene Adler, A Scandal in Belgravia



Besides the femme fatale, there were moments galore for a Benedict Cumberbatch fangirl in this episode. Case in point, the Holmes’ brothers tirade, when Sherlock, draped only in a towel, argued with his brother, Mycroft in Buckingham palace.

"We are in Buckingham Palace, the very heart of the British nation. Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on!"
- Mycroft Holmes, A Scandal In Belgravia

Moffat and Gatiss definitely tease the viewers with the sultry Irene Adler, but Sherlock has another potential romantic interest in the series. Enter shy, odd, awkward Molly Hooper, the only prominent character who is not from the original novels. At first, Moffat and Gatiss only wrote her into the first episode, but the few minutes of her screen time were enough to make the fan base fall in love with her. With the hints of Sherlock warming to her in season two, it is no surprise that a ‘Sherlolly’ fan base has grown.



“You look sad. When you think he can’t see you. Are you okay? And don’t just say you are, because I know what that means, looking sad when you think no one can see you."
- Molly Hooper, The Reichenbach Fall

My second favourite episode is without a doubt ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, where the showdown between Sherlock and his his other less sexy but crazier adversary, James Moriarty appears after an entire season of buildup. With numerous nail-biting cases to solve in this episode and one of the most intense endings on the show ever (plus, the Sherlolly moment everyone been waiting for), this episode certainly has it all, minus an Irene Adler reprise. Though you know Sherlock never truly dies, his suicidal jump off the hospital roof will leave you wondering how he could have survived — if you’re not blinded by tears after his suicide ‘note’ and Watson’s brilliant, heart-wrenching acting.

Finally, after a two-year long wait — which I’m assured by my sister is sadly the norm waiting period for a season — Sherlock has returned! There was also a teaser aptly termed Many Happy Returns as shown below. 



So far, I’ve only got time to get through the first two episodes. Episode one will have Sherlolly lovers squealing like mad. Season three definitely amps it up a level. Fans will know the delectable hair-ruffle scene that I am referring to. Episode two will make your heart break a little inside. Besides that, you might be relieved to know that Watson’s pre-Sherlock-is-alive facial hair (more like facial monstrosity) will be gone about halfway through the episode. Watson also meets his match and ties the knot with Mrs. Mary Watson, quite a likable character in the show...so far.

The third and final episode of the season awaits, and my sister says that it’s quite a shocker. So, should I study for tomorrow’s physics quiz or watch Sherlock? It’s elementary, my dear Watson.
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