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Old September 30 2012, 07:10 AM   #273
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

By now I can't imagine what kind of experience a Holmes adaptation must be for someone who hasn't read the stories. But for me, since the narrative voice is Watson, the key to Sherlock Holmes is not the various eccentricities of the Holmes character, but Watson's character. This is especially true since Holmes' deductive tricks are performed off-stage so to speak, all the better to surprise us. OUr bridge to him is Watson, via Watson's friendship.

The Jude Law/Robert Downey Jr. version worked for me (despite the rather tiresome action sequences) because it revived an aspect of Watson (and Watson's friendship) that had been buried beneath memories of Nigel Bruce's semi-senile duffer. I can't stand that interpretation of Watson any more. I can't stand the new BBC series because I can't suspend disbelief in the absurdity of those particular two men (as written) being friends.

The Jonny Lee Miller Holmes was written in the pilot as a flawed person, not a Magnificent Bastard. I suppose it loses points for cool right there. But the interesting thing so far is the way that the pilot focused on showing that Watson had something to offer to Holmes, a basis for friendship. But one thing not yet obvious is why we should think Watson is an admirable man (and by extension Holmes, who is validated by Watson.) But the CBS series is at least off to a promising start, instead of being dead wrong from the beginning.
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