Love Sherlock Holmes? We at Soho know the feeling. In fact, our lovely Juliet Grames just recently read Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet for our Classic Crime Read-Along. For the next three weeks, I’ll be taking a page out of Juliet’s book (and sharing even more Holmes love!) by leading a “watch along” blog series of BBC’s miniseries Sherlock as its second season airs in the US on PBS.
Created by the British masterminds Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock is a modern re-imagining of the legendary detective set in present-day London. What does that mean? Watson blogs. Sherlock has a website, which, of course, he uses to tout his own abilities. And texting is common, causing some very cool moments of on-screen text.
The first season of Sherlock aired in 2010, and now after a long wait, the second season is here! Please join me as I watch, react to, and (*fingers crossed*) love the second season here on the Soho blog. If you’re new to Sherlock, you can conveniently find the first three episodes (each 90 minutes) on Netflix streaming or on DVD. However, if you must miss the clever wonder of the first season, here are the top 5 things you need to know:
1. The show starts when Sherlock and Watson first meet and become flatmates. (Oh yeah, did I mention all of the British slang?) We watch them solve their first mysteries and grow into their complicated, and rather adorable, love-hate friendship.
2. Each episode is an amalgamation of several of Doyle’s original stories, so you’ll find plenty of allusions hidden along the way. For instance, the pilot is titled “A Study in Pink,” based on the previously mentioned A Study in Scarlet.
3. Sherlock is a very character-driven show. Moffat creates a nuanced and compelling cast based off of the characters from Doyle’s canon: the landlady Mrs. Hudson, the detective inspector Lestrade, and Sherlock’s over-protective brother Mycroft.
4. As a Sherlock fan, you won’t be in lonely company. The fandom is vibrant and vocal, and spends a lot of time on Tumblr. It doesn’t hurt that Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock, is swoon-worthy. Both he and Martin Freeman (Watson) are the kind of British actors who inspire hordes of fangirls and fanboys worldwide.
5. The first season builds up the mystery of Sherlock’s archenemy, Moriarty. In the last episode, Sherlock and Watson finally meet Moriarty face-to-face in an empty swimming pool complex. The meet is tense, full of snipers and a bomb threat, and just as Sherlock threatens to blow them all sky-high— the season ended. Such a cliff-hanger! Let me tell you, I was distraught for days.
Join me as I finally get to see the second half of that scene (a year and a half later!) and as Moffat shares even more of Sherlock’s modern London with us! One of the most anticipated developments of the new season is the introduction of the infamous Irene Adler. If you’re looking for some more information, the fansite Sherlockology is excellent, and even includes content filters for those who haven’t seen season two yet.
Which leads me to the last thing I should tell you: Since the second season has already aired in England, many have already seen it through resourceful (*cough, cough*) online tactics, so beware of spoilers in your online Sherlock adventuring. They are many and sneaky and, once learned, cannot be forgotten. As many fans know, Sherlock stays with you forever.
It’s time for you to join our ranks.