Thursday, February 16, 2017

Most popular BBC character?

When Sherlock Holmes won a poll to be the most popular BBC character in the world this week, my first thought was "He's a BBC character?"

Other characters mentioned in the poll, like Doctor Who and Basil Fawlty were born on the BBC airwaves and spent the better part of their fictional lives there. But Sherlock Holmes?

From one perspective, it wasn't fair to the other characters, since Sherlock had over a hundred twenty years of field testing and cultural evolution as a character before his most recent BBC debut. From another perspective, Sherlock Holmes isn't really a "BBC character," since he didn't originate there. Either way, it seems like he should have been disqualified from this little competition.

So while one wants to celebrate another victory for the best and wisest television character we have ever known, it's kind of like partying after a 600 pound giant just won a wrestling match with a five-year-old. Did we expect any other outcome?

Of course, it was Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes that won out, so I guess there's some celebration for fans of Cumberbatch's portrayal. Much as I hate to say it, Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes wasn't on the list, nor any of his predecessors. It does reflect the fresh pop culture rise of Sherlock Holmes thanks specifically to BBC Sherlock. Downey's movie success as Holmes was a nice little moment, but it doesn't seem to have gained us any Holmes fans or Funko Pop figures.

So I guess there might be some worthiness to Sherlock's victory over the Doctor, DCI John Luther, Blackadder, and the rest. But it seems like it still needs an asterisk or something in the record books.

6 comments:

  1. Perhaps, a PR stunt to counter the widespread negative fan and critical reaction to Season 4...

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    1. Seriously do you believe this poll was even related to PR for the show Sherlock? Buddy you are starting to sound like Jessie Ventura, conspiracy?! I believe your choice of the word 'widespread' needs to be either quantified or changed to simply divided fan reaction. I've found more people that liked it than hated it, yet surely the 'cuppa of haters' have been much more vocal about it. But, I forgive you Buddy as you did say 'perhaps' and the majority of other times I have agreed with your reviews.

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  2. Must disagree - In my eyes this version of Sherlock Holmes is what could be considered a BBC creation. Are we not talking about a modern Sherlock Holmes and not a Victorian era Sherlock Holmes? Your argument would explain why Brett wasn't on the list, he fit the mold of that field tested Holmes you referred to, the Victorian one. But putting all that debate aside, the key phrase for my agreeing with the poll is that it says, most 'POPULAR' character in the "WORLD'. None of the other characters mention even approach the 'POPULARITY' of Benedict Cumberbatch's "Sherlock" 'WORLDWIDE'. WORLDWIDE refers to much more than just the U.S.A. & U.K. No other BBC character but this Sherlock has ever had flash mobs in St. Petersburg, Russia; Mangas in Japan, boy groups in S. Korea, figurines (Funko Pop figures all the way up to Big Chief $$$ statues), a revered name in China 'Curly Fu', a following such as the Cumberbitches, created massive cosplay and his own cons in the U.S. & U.K., flooded the Internet with podcasts & parodies on Youtube, like he has. I'm surprised he didn't win by even more, we witnessed something phenomenal here. How about we poll American TV this week, why do I feel Jethro Gibbs would win in a landslide over America's Holmes? I'd even bet he couldn't beat out Barney Fife, Mary Tyler Moore Fred Sanford, Jethro Bodine, Columbo, Perry Mason, Hoss, Lassie, the Fonz, Mork, the Beaver, or even Eddie Haskell. Brad how would you explain that Jonny Lee Miller's character didn't finish in the top 100 popular American TV characters when Sherlock had over a hundred twenty years of field testing and cultural evolution as a character before his most recent CBS debut?

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    1. You make a good point, Howard, and certainly have given this more thought than I . . . with one small exception. Jonny Lee Miller's character didn't rate simply because it's plain that show's creators completely ignored the hundred and twenty years of field testing just to go the "we can make up our own thing and it will be just as good!" route.

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  3. Brett wasn't on the list because he was ITV, not BBC. Whether or not he would have been on the list if he had been on the BBC is another question. But despite what people usually assume, the Brett series had nothing to do with the BBC.

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    1. Good point Clarissa! Plus there have been so many favorite Sherlock Holmes favorite performer polls already. We know now most Sherlockians tend to vote for whomever they first encountered. As the song says:

      I would have given you all of my heart Jeremy
      But there's someone who's torn it apart
      And Basil's taken just all that I had
      But if you want I'll try to love again
      Baby I'll try to love again but I know

      The first cut is the deepest
      Baby I know the first cut is the deepest

      Or for the Russian version:

      I would have given you all of my heart Petrenko
      But there's someone who's torn it apart
      And Livanov's taken just all that I had
      But if you want I'll try to love again
      Baby I'll try to love again but I know

      The first cut is the deepest
      Baby I know the first cut is the deepest

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