Thursday, December 20, 2012

The eve of destruction.

Well, Happy Mayan Apocalypse Eve, everybody!

By the time you read this, the latest end of the world prophecy may either be disproven or you're perusing a saved copy of the blog on your fleeing spaceship. If the latter, thanks for carrying my final blog to strange new worlds and new civilizations. If the former, I'm very sorry . . . I guess this means CBS's Elementary is going to finish out its season.

But as I sit here, that Mayan sword of Damocles hanging over my head, I have to pause to reconsider all of the criticism I've heaped upon this latest attempt to recreate that character we know and love called "Sherlock Holmes." Like any attempt by man to create life in his own image, sometimes you just get a Frankenstein's monster. (And sometimes you use an actor who partnered with a great Holmes actor in a Frankenstein play.) So it goes. But it makes me wonder . . . if the burgomeister of Frankenstein Village had a blog, would he have just sat in his basement and bitched online about the monster being created up the mountain, instead of getting out the torches and townsfolk? And it's a timely question. Why?

As the Mayan doomsday bears down on us, every good Sherlockian must ask him or her self this all important question: Did I do enough to battle this monument to misunderstanding Sherlock Holmes that CBS called Elementary? Will I get to spend the after-apocalypse in the Celestial 221B, or be damned to the Icy Silence of the Diogenes Club, where those who accepted false Sherlocks must keep their opinions to themselves for eternity, having invalidated their views on Brett, Rathbone, and Downey with their one last, horrific misjudgement? Is it mere coincidence that Elementary is showing on apocalypse eve?

Yes, Elementary is on tonight, rerunning the third episode. Yes, the one where Mr. Elementary spray paints a TV news camera instead of simply going, "Stop! Don't shoot!" Not cool, Mr. Elementary, not cool! But, much like the movie series Twilight, one could say Elementary just got better and better since that episode and the ones before it. And like Twilight movies, that's a very low bar for passing judgement.

Is Elementary anywhere close to the quality of Monk or House, our two other American Sherlock-based shows, at this point in its run? How about C.S.I. or Law and Order? Sure, it may not pass the Sherlock Holmes standard -- that guy has been being adapted for a hundred years. But how about within the category of its peers (which kindly leaves out all those good BBC shows, like Luther or that one that begins with an "S")? Well, the Mayan apocalypse is here, isn't it? At that really answers the question for us.

There are a lot of theories about the Mayan calendar and this 2012 thing, but here's the one that now makes the most sense: The Mayans were ahead of their time on a lot of things, one of which was making TV listings for shows that weren't even on yet, and somehow archeologists, not realizing that the Mayans had marvelous powers of predicting TV shows, misinterpreted the TV listings to be a calendar. And when the Mayans got done with the evening of December 20th, apparently, they looked at each other and went, "Do you really want to list at least fourteen more episodes of Elementary, not including reruns?"

And they quit, then and there. So when you see the rising sun each new morn and our world is still here, you can happily say to yourself, "Huh. It must have been TV listings after all! Those amazing Mayans and their standards of quality television!"

1 comment:

  1. Haha, you go, Brad! ;-)

    "Did I do enough to battle this monument to misunderstanding Sherlock Holmes that CBS called Elementary?"

    Oh, I do, everywhere I can! Hoping to meet you int the great celestial 221B then. :-)