Java Ideas

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

on August 17, 2013

Thanks to cokeandpopcorn.ch I now am able to begin watching all those shows “I’ve been meaning to” but never got around to; and commercial free, too!  On this list was Sherlock.  I’m currently reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes.  I am truly fascinated with the Sherlock Holmes character.  The way he observes people, shows the true meaning of “people watching”.  The thing I love about Sherlock Holmes is how he can see the same things as everyone else, but deducts different meanings from it.  This was shown in the first episode of Sherlock.  For example, the lady in pink’s coat was wet under the collar, and wet in other areas, yet her umbrella was dry.  While someone may think that perhaps she just didn’t pull out her umbrella, Sherlock figured out it was because it was too windy for an umbrella, and the collar had been turned up on her jacket.

The show plays up even more this idea that it’s a detective story which does not hide any knowledge from the reader/watcher by having words appear (Batman style) which relate to Sherlock’s observations.  For example, the lady had scratched “rache” in the floor.  I came to the conclusion it was Rachel, but Sherlock also came up with the German word “rache” in addition to Rachel.

Everyone has their own idea of who Sherlock is and how he acts.  The creators of this show do no align directly with my image of Sherlock.  In the show, Sherlock is portrayed as pretentious.  He seems to enjoy people dying so he can solve the case.  This is a darker portrayal than the novels, where Sherlock does not think he is any different from Watson or anyone else, he just pays more attention.  Unlike the TV show Sherlock, the book Sherlock does not think he is smarter or better than anyone else.  The way I interpret Sherlock, is he is aware that he is good at what he does, but he doesn’t let it go to his head; instead, he appreciates helping, and is ready to help out anyone.

My initial reaction to Sherlock was he showed too much emotion.  Reflecting on this, I suppose it has more to do with how I picture Sherlock, and less to do with his original portrayal.  I don’t picture so much a Darcy character, so much as he keeps his mouth shut and his ears open, which is how he learns, but also, because he has seen and knows so much, it takes a lot to surprise or humor him.

Another major difference between the book and show, is the relationship between Holmes and Watson.  In the book they are lifelong friends.  In the show, they have a mutual acquaintance who introduces them to each other to be flat mates.  They are both unattached and everyone assumes they are a couple because Sherlock normally works alone.  I admit, I took umbrage to this.  There is no reason why people should assume that just because Sherlock is with another human that there is anything romantic about it.

Watson’s character has the biggest change.  Instead of being a married medical doctor, and only confidant of Holmes, Sherlock‘s Watson is an army doctor with trust issues.  I’m still not sold on these changes, however, I can understand why they would want to include a meeting between Holmes and Watson.  And, I can understand why Watson would so blindly trust Holmes.  I have a friend who observes people like Holmes does, and when someone knows things about you that were never spoken to them, you feel like you have no choice but to not hide things from them, as they’ll know anyway.  However, it also gives them an upper edge as they are very deliberate at giving away only what they want you to know about them, which is why I don’t think I would ever room with someone like that without getting to know them first.  However, maybe Watson felt like he had no other alternatives, and he did have the approval of his old friend who introduced him to Sherlock.

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