Sometimes I really don’t know what I would do without my local PBS station. No matter where I’ve lived in the country and have had to wait for the cable guy to show up, I’ve been able to pick up the local public television station on rabbit ears (well…used to, before all this confusion conversion nonsense, but that’ another post).
But it’s the British television shows shown on PBS that make me so happy. They are wonderfully put together. The production value is incredible. They are superbly written, wonderfully acted, and simply a joy to watch. Did I mention they are superbly written? There is the standby Masterpiece Theater and all the Jane Austen adaptations – beautifully written by Andrew Davies. And let’s not forget Masterpiece Mystery with Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect. Exceptional. And Kenneth Branagh in Wallander. Fantastic.
Now I have a new reason to brag about PBS – Sherlock – a 21st century updated version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective. Sherlock (masterfully played by Benedict Cumberbatch best known in the states from Atonement. Don’t you just love that name? Benedict Cumberbatch – it’s like a character from Dickens. ) is actually called Sherlock, instead of the standard Holmes, in this series and is a high-functioning sociopath fully integrated in modern day technology. He texts and uses a website to attract business. He’s also addicted to Nicotine patches and incredibly hyperactive.
His pal Watson (Martin Freeman, Love Actually and the original The Office) is a military doctor who served in Afghanistan, and blogs as a way to address his post-traumatic stress disorder. The two meet in order to become flatmates, but the friendship develops with the realization that Watson is drawn to Holmes because he is a danger junkie just like Holmes.
This is a brilliant series totally worth watching, and I’m totally jealous I didn’t think of it first, instead of the series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
Watch the new Sherlock. It’s true to the spirit of the original, an arrogant, antisocial man fixated on tiny details and deductive reasoning. It’s also superbly written. Did I mention it’s superbly written?