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It wasn't perfect, but it's definitely more successful than the recent Robert Downy Jr. movie, so i'm glad there are two more episodes to look forward to. It's funny, because this particular adaptation is set in modern times, but it feels more genuine to the spirit of Conan Doyle than the movie did which was set in the 'proper' times, as it were.

Out of all of the original Sherlock Holmes that i'm familiar with (which is already pretty fuzzy in my memory), A Study in Scarlet is one i don't know since most of my Holmes knowledge comes from the television adaptation from the 80s-90s and they didn't do that story, so the similarities between Scarlet and Pink which is an adaptation of that story didn't distract me like i bet it would have if i knew anything about it. As a plot, it felt pretty solid, but it had a big hole in it that i didn't particularly care for (that i shouldn't discuss because of spoilers), a medium annoyance (a "turning point" in the mystery reveal that is somewhat forgivable because it's in line with the original Scarlet plot), and a smaller annoyance to it (the use of the "Rache" element from the original story in this context felt very implausable).

It's difficult to compare the Holmes of Benedict Cumberbatch vs. Downey Jr's from an acting perspective because the interpretation of their characters from a director perspective is so drastically different, so the actual actor doesn't come into play. Suffice it to say that both are very successful at pulling off what they were supposed to do. From a director's interpretation of character perspective, Cumberbatch's Holmes feels more like a Real Person rather than a Legendary Figure which is incredibly appealing. That sense of realism is heightened by the relationship that is established between him and Watson; on the one hand, you have Watson's awe of Holmes for the fact that he's a super genius and almost alien, but on the other hand, you get some real human interactions between the two of them that feel like any other sort of initial budding friendship and trust that takes Holmes off of his Legendary pedestal and makes him feel like a human being. Watson also has his own character development in his own right which gives him a distinctly different status than that the Watson of the most recent film or even the Watson of the 80s-90s series. That sort of bond feels like the most successful part of the modern adaptation, something lacking between the Holmes/Watson bond of the recent movie or of the original TV adaptation.

Unfortunately, aside from Holmes, Watson, and the main antagonist of the episode, the other characters fall very short by comparison. The police force personalities are not only all very cookie-cutter but are poorly acted/directed cookie-cutter, and given that the series is only going to be three episodes long i doubt that their development will get any better. The double-bluff scene with Mark Gatliss was also *incredibly* annoying because amidst a sea of trying to take Holmes out of Legend status into realism status, that scene felt very Meta and was made even more so at the end of the episode.

I have a large suspicion concerning the female that was constantly texting, but i'll save that for when the other episodes air. A full and proper review may come when i watch the other episodes, which probably won't be until after band camp is over. This was just an initial reaction post.

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March 2017