Sherlock: Season One (BBC)
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson hit the 21st Century in the new revival developed by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gattis for the BBC. Snappy and stylish, it remains remarkably true to the original characters and friendship between the two while accommodating cell phones, text messages, laptops and nicotine patches (in lieu of Holmes’ pipe—all that pesky new age prejudice against smoking in confined quarters).
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, the “consulting detective” called upon for challenging police cases, is a tetchy, borderline Asperger syndrome genius more interested in a challenge than dispensing justice while Martin Freeman’s Watson, an army surgeon home from Afghanistan, is a warm, loyal and often critical assistant to his eccentric roommate as he slips into his role as assistant. The psychological profiles of Holmes and Watson are a little overplayed in the pilot telefilm, “A Study in Pink” (a reworking of “A Study in Scarlet”) and the running joke that everyone assumes these roommates and partners in detection are a gay couple (is it all that bickering?) gets tired, but technology and 21st Century culture aside, the update is a natural fit. In a landscape of TV detectives full of socially awkward geniuses, Holmes is the original.