One of the great things about living in "the future," as we aged ones sometimes like to call the present, is not having to miss a particular TV show just because you didn't know it was on. For example, I just discovered this morning that Sherlock Gnomes wasn't the only animated adaptation of Sherlock this weekend. Fox's Family Guy went completely Holmes and Watson this week, and I was able to watch it this morning as soon as I heard about it.
More Canonical than Sherlock Gnomes? Maybe just a little. As with the real Canon, the first thing a Sherlockian chronologist notices is that the 1896 date doesn't jibe with Watson getting married or Professor Moriarty being dealt with, it seems more Robert Downey Jr. based than Doyle based.
And like every other episode of Family Guy, its comedy is mainly based on pop culture references. Sometimes it accidentally parodies the Canon, as when Watson's wife-to-be shows up. Her name is "Constance," which would fit an 1896 fiancee. And the main mystery "V is for Murder" involves a murderer who kills women whose names begin with "V," and as "Violet" is the stand-out female name of the Canon, it almost seems like somebody knew what they were doing with the script.
But then a prisoner says he's in jail because "I Rathboned somebody's Cumberbatch," and you're back to the true level of research that went into this romp.
Downey Steampunk? Check! Oh, wait, that robot is more Sherlock Holmes and Dinosaurs than Downey! You know, watching Family Guy with a brain that's Sherlockian enough can actually make it seem deeper parody than was actually intended.
Could really do without the gay chimney sweep jokes, though, that seem to have been written by a thirteen-year-old from 1985. Most of the jokes, however, seem based on the Victorian setting, like the commercial for "Room Temperature Gin."
As with every episode of Family Guy, they throw enough random stuff at you that you might get one good laugh. And while those devoted Sherlockians who managed to see both Sherlock Gnomes and "V for Murder" on Family Guy this weekend probably aren't going to give either high ratings, they do both show what Sherlock Holmes is to the non-Sherlockian public consciousness: An old-timey smart guy who chases Professor Moriarty all the time.
But, hey, it's blog material!