Monday, September 3, 2012

Villain, thou art full of piety.

Ah, villains of the world, I find myself coming to join you.

The early reviews of CBS’s new Sherlock show, Elementary, are starting to drift in from a screening at the BSI film symposium this weekend, and it’s being pronounced “watchable” by one Sherlockian of note. It is being compared with other CBS police prodedural shows, and we’re seeing a prediction or two that it has possibilities to succeed in that vein. The screening in Los Angeles was followed by a question and answer session with the producer, Rob Doherty, so I fear Sherlockians in attendance who were already softened up by two days among their peers might have suffered a bit of Stockholm syndrome and given it a more positive spin than they might have under true laboratory conditions. Reports as to their mental states at the time of viewing have, thus far, been unavailable.

But in considering the bits coming across the fiber-optic cables on Elementary, I find myself hoping upon hope that it fails. In truth, if I could find the big switch at CBS to shut the thing down unseen, I would give it a hard yank into the off position. Like one of those Bond villains who takes it upon himself to kill off half the world’s population for some noble cause, I have become just that against this Sherlock about to be born. We don’t know if the folks at CBS have contrived their Moriarty yet, but if they want to make him a blogger, I will be happy to consult.

Ah, we intolerant fans, so resistant to change. Well, better to be secure in one’s fandom than so desperate for the general public’s approval that one will allow their Sherlock to be pervertedly tuned to a CBS procedural level, I say. I don’t watch those bland shows for a reason. I’ve grown used to a higher quality of detection. The true Sherlock Holmes level.

And after a hundred years and more, adding father issues, a sober companion, and an inability to deal with life in London, are not popular additions to the legend that I want to see. They aren’t details that fit in with creating a better Sherlock. And I’d rather see no Sherlock at all than a sad, crippled version of that iconic figure.

Certain villains, you see, aren’t motivated by greed, lust, or power. They’re just the people who want to make things better. They appear arrogant, of course, to the common schmo happily begs for another plate of mediocrity. Like Hunter Zolomon, whose main goal in life was to make Wally West a better hero, the more over-zealous fans among us do have our place, as painful as it may be to the more sensitive artists trying to use a legacy character for their given purposes. And I don’t think the folks at the CBS production are all that sensitive where anything besides dollar figures are involved.

Sherlock Holmes is the best there is at what he does. Is it any surprise that a fan
 of such a pinnacle is going  to come off as villainous when you try to serve up merely “watchable”? Especially when we’ve got an Emmy-nominated version already?

Trust me, the blogosphere villainy regarding Elementary has only just begun. 

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