Let it not be said that Sherlock Peoria is fair and balanced, as certain lazy non-news-gathering networks like to tout themselves. Yesterday’s bit concerned the attractions of the female upper torso in the Sherlockian arena, so today let us discuss the lower male torso . . . because we’re always seeing that at Sherlock Holmes fan functions.
Okay, I’m lying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an exposed male stomach at a Holmes meet-up, and I’ve been to a weekend symposium at a Tampa beach resort! (There’s a wasted location on bookworms, let me tell ya.) But that’s the past. In the future?
Well, look at the current set of Sherlock Holmeses. Robert Downey, Jr., stripped to the waist for bare-knuckle boxing. Benedict Cumberbatch is walking around with a sheet in “A Scandal in Belgravia.” And that new guy is already shirtless in the promo pics. What do they all have in common? The abs of Sherlock.
Did we ever concern ourselves with Jeremy Brett’s abdominal development? Basil Rathbone’s? Original Sidney Paget drawing Sherlock?
Of course not. Sherlock has been an old guy for most of his media time. But his revival has given him a youth and vigor that demands a decently controlled belly. The ladies like it, of course. And pretty soon the male of the Sherlockian species will, quite naturally, have to be concerned about his own washboard stomach as well. (Yeah, don’t think you can get away with playing Mycroft . . . have you noticed, he’s slimming down as well?)
Of course, as most actors learn eventually, there comes a time when you just should start keeping your shirt on. Even Downey, now 47, was pushing it a tad in his Holmes films. But a few sit-ups shouldn’t hurt any of us.
Get to it, lads. And “Abs of Sherlock” would make a great exercise video, if anyone wants to look into that.