Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Dream, Feb 28, 2012.
I would urge you to give the BBC's Sherlock a try. It's fantastic.
Maybe the literary history of the great 19th century literary detective is for Solar Pons? I doubt they'll think of mentioning August Derlath, though.
My nephew named his baby daughter "Bristol," after his favorite raceway. I guess he's never seen Benny Hill. This kid ever goes to England in her adult years, she's in for it.
Christopher - yeah, most of those other things don't bother me (much - placing Arthur anywhere but the 6th century is just wrong!). Maybe I just have a been in my bonnet over Holmes. I love the Brett series SO much, it's become the defining Holmes for me.
Oh - Modernized Shakespeare is another thing that bugs me. I recently caught the Ethan Hawke "Hamlet". Didn't like it, nossir. Brannaugh's Hamlet is fairly borderline for me - setting it in 19th century Denmark just made me keep thinking "what about whoever was REALLY in charge there at the time? are we saying they didn't exist?"
I know, I know, sometimes I need to suspend disbelief and let art flow and all that. I usually have no problem. It's just certain things.
As opposed to James Tiberious Kirk?
Solar Pons! Nice.
Or maybe Sexton Blake, who was "the poor man's Sherlock Holmes" in his earliest appearances.
Although it's perhaps worth remembering that the Holmes stories weren't period pieces when they were originally written, and that, of course, Basil Rathbone was doing Holmes in the present-day as far back as the forties . . . .
No worse that The West Wing saying Jed Bartlet was president instead of George W. Bush. Or that the US election cycle was 2 years off of what it really is! Countless works of fiction set in the present day have replaced real presidents, monarchs, governors, mayors, etc. with imaginary ones, or replaced real TV networks, corporations, and even cities or countries with imaginary ones.
I can handle alternate-world modernizations of Shakespeare in principle, but some of them work better than others. For instance, the TV version of the recent David Tennant/Patrick Stewart Hamlet didn't quite work for me -- it was set in this Eastern Bloc-like surveillance state with security cameras watching everything, and yet the characters still hid behind arrases when they wanted to spy on someone. It was a distracting incongruity.
Yup. If anything, I'm surprised we haven't seen modernizations of Holmes more often, given how many other remakes are updated to the present day.
I thought the pilot was pretty decent, better than expexted. I'll keep watching.
I think it is good that they are taking a different spin on the Holmes/Watson characters in a modern day setting compared to BBC's "Sherlock".
I didn't like it. But I didn't hate it either. I think the problem for me is that it was just bland and boring. I literally had no interest in anything that was going on. And I think that's even worse than hating it, because at least that way I have some emotional connection with what's going on.
Go back a decade before Rathbone, and Arthur Wontner's Holmes films were set contemporaneously in the 1930s as well.
I confess I've never seen any of those . . . although I have visited Gillette Castle , which was built by the first actor who made a name for himself playing Holmes: William Gillette.
(A very cool place, btw.)
Just finishing watching. Maybe if this was the only modern day Holmes it might be more interesting to me. But... It's like driving a Honda after driving a BMW. It's a bland show. It will run forever.
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.
Well, that turned out as expected...it's the typical CBS crime drama which means I'll watch it every week.
Hmm, I feel about it what some people feel about 'Sherlock': it's entertaining, but it's not Sherlock Holmes.
That said, Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu were quite good at what they did.
Well, Kevin Sorbo's Hercules wasn't really Hercules either. The goal of adaptation is to create something new that builds on the essence of the original, and some adaptations are greater departures than others. What matters, ultimately, is whether they're worthwhile stories in themselves. And that's the part I'm not sold on yet. I found the pilot fairly bland.
Speaking of Gillette, he was the model for the American Sherlock Holmes artist, Frederic Dorr Steele. Everyone remembers the Sidney Paget illustrations in the Strand, but it was Steele's work that accompanied the stories in Collier's. Steele's work isn't reprinted in illustrated editions of the Canon any more, but I actually like his work better than Paget's, even though Paget's is the better known.
Three of the five Wontner films are widely available on DVD. The most recent release is the one from Mill Creek in a knock-off Downey package, along with some of the public domain Rathbones and the Ronald Howard television series. You can probably still find this at Target for five dollars.
That's the tricky thing with pilots. They have to do a lot -- introduce the setting, the characters, their relationships, and what their roles are -- that the story gets shoved into the background. Pilots usually aren't good and interesting in and of themselves.
There are two things I hope Elementary remembers about Sherlock Holmes. As a consulting detective, Holmes didn't always work with the police. More often than not, cases showed up at his door on their own. And, not all of Holmes' investigations involved murder. Some involved mistaken identities, purloined papers, and general weirdness. Elementary doesn't need to show us dead bodies every week, and it doesn't need to show us Gregson and the NYPD every week.
But it wasn't just the story I found bland, it was the performances. Still, it's true that a pilot doesn't always tell you much about a show. As I think I remarked a few months back in this thread, last year Grimm had a mediocre pilot but became a much better show, while Awake had a brilliant pilot but was much more unfocused and weak afterward.
But as a CBS procedural, it most likely will. I recall there used to be CSI episodes that weren't about homicides, but those don't seem to happen anymore.
Yep, bland, as you said.
It was always obvious what it was going to be - a CBS crime show for CBS viewers. That's what CBS does. Whether Sherlock fans like it is beside the point. The ratings success proves that CBS's approach is the right one for making money, which is the point of everything they do.
Networks make shows for their viewers. Broadcast, basic cable, premium cable, it's all the same. The only difference is who the viewers are and what they want. Once you understand that, this game becomes highly predictable.
This is a perfect example of what I mean. The CBS crime show fan does not know or care about any of that. Therefore, neither does CBS.
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