While I cannot make bricks without clay, I also don’t care to be too timid in drawing my inferences. So, after watching approximately 5 minutes of CBS’ new modern day Sherlock Holmes adaptation, this self-confessed Sherlock and Holmes addict turned off the TV (throwing something at it would have knocked it off its ledge, you see) and sat fuming in her chair, mumbling ‘I told you so’ to no one in particular. Shall I make a list?
1. Holmes. Charisma: null; has no screen presence whatsoever. Speaks indistinctly; can’t hear deductions at all; this doesn’t match the smug smile on his face. Poor voice quality is annoying until you realise you don’t actually want to listen to what he’s saying. Tattoos, unshaven face and dirty clothes turn him into someone who just isn’t Holmes, the latter’s obsessive ‘catlike’ personal cleanliness being a big part of his character in spite of the mess he usually leaves 221B in. His willingness to occasionally have sex for the sake of his brain while finding sex disgusting is another key point that seems to shriek ‘Who is this person???’, the real Holmes being a raging asexual who never looks at a man except to see an irritation and never looks at a woman except to see a blemish (well, there was that one time..). Totally lacks magnetic sociopathic qualities and general whiff of danger about his person. Result: Less interesting than the wallpaper.
2. Watson. Lines seem to be entirely reduced to unconvincingly droning ‘How could you possibly know that?’ Intense male camaraderie entirely lost; no sexual tension to make up for it, they don’t look like a team; they don’t ‘fit’ together, no gorgeous, profound feeling that they’re going to be together for the rest of their lives. Chemistry between them: zip.
3. Dialogue. Painful. Writing is poor, disjointed, mediocre, predictable, cringeworthy (‘I’ve decided to resume my work as a consultant here, in New York.’ Seriously?), doesn’t take you anywhere and doesn’t feel at all like art. Verdict: Fire the writer and hire a high school kid.
What? That’s all?
One: I did only watch five minutes.
Two: Holmes. Watson. The conversation between them. If you mess those up, you’re fucked anyway, so is there really a point in continuing?