A Few Reasons Why You Should Be Watching 'Sherlock'
Last night was the second season (or "second series," if you want to be all British about it) premiere of 'Sherlock', a contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes and James Watson that makes Sherlock out to be a genius lacking social graces in much the same way that 'House' tackles it in the field of medicine.
However, to use the logline "'House', but with a detective," is dismissive. In 'Sherlock', the story is the star, much as it was in the early days of 'Law & Order' and other procedurals, so the story doesn't get serialized much at all, which is a good thing, because 'Sherlock' is produced for the BBC, which means that its seasons are comically short.
Three episodes. That short.
The crazy-short seasons actually allow the show to do more than a show with a ten-episode order would. Like allow the runtime to be 90 minutes (without commercials) per episode. Basically, every season brings you three movies, which is an approach that producers and network in the US would be too scared to take because there's just too much at stake with each episode. If the first episode doesn't get traction, the season will fall woefully short of expectations.
Also, the show takes place in London and has a decidedly feel not only in the use of locations and the preponderance of British accents, but also the distinct theme music and lack of violence and "money shots" in the course of a case. I'm not saying these are intrinsically better or worse than the stuff we get stateside, but the change is refreshing.
The show stars Benedict Cumberbatch (British much?) and Martin Freeman, who is best known for playing the "Jim" role in the original British version of 'The Office'. The two have a fun partnership that doesn't venture too much into cliche territory, with Sherlock being a for-hire detective, and Watson being an Afghan War vet who uses his medical expertise to solve cases, all the while putting up with an apparently autistic savant in Holmes.
If you're in the mood for something different, check it out. Earlier seasons are on Netflix Instant, as well as DVD.