Monday, June 10, 2013

The grocery store threshold.

Two major motion pictures. A BBC hit with a cult following. A CBS procedural with ratings success.

I don't think anyone would dispute that Sherlock Holmes is as popular worldwide as he's ever been. So tonight, as I was out of other bloggable ideas (contrary to the opinion of many, I do hold back on some topics), I went to the grocery store to pick up milk and search for Sherlock Holmes. A test, if you will, of our hero's current popularity. Would he show up anywhere in the grocery store, that one ubiquitous crossroads of the everyday?

Well, I won't say I scoured every single aisle, or the deli, but he didn't turn up. Not among the breakfast cereals, the household cleaners, the chips and munchies, scratch-off lottery tickets, nor even books, magazines or DVDs. But I did see Superman all over the place, as his most recent movie attempt is this week. And then it struck me, the first of mountains left for Sherlock Holmes to climb: Two successful feature films, yes. Summer blockbuster? No.

If the theory is true that we can't have too much Sherlock, there are, I realized, many, many mountains left for Sherlock, even in his Sigerson persona, left to climb.

Benedict Cumberbatch may have many a girl swooning, but he's still a bit old for the teen heart-throb magazines. Sherlock Holmes has yet to conquer the country of the tweens. (And that is certainly, as the title of the movie says, "no country for old men.")

Supermarket tabloids, the former residence of Liz Taylor, now the domain of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie, have yet to show a Mycroft's cellulite on their covers, nor bother with one of our Irenes or Watson's marital questions. What, you say that Liz, Brad, Jennifer, and Angelina are more real than Mycroft, Irene, or John? Well, you probably didn't, but if you did, think hard on that.

A best-selling, mass market paperback like the Jack Reacher novel I picked up at 40% off . . . when's the last time we saw Sherlock Holmes in anything like that? The seventies? That was nearly forty years ago now. (Yikes!)

So if you're ever sitting around thinking, "This is as good as it gets for ol' Sherlock. I can die a happy fan now," well, you may just want to think about eating healthy and getting a little exercise. Because Sherlock Holmes still has heights we've yet to see. And you might just want to be here when he hits them.


  1. Umpf.... Not sure I want to live to see that. Summer blockbusters are - however expensive their production - cheap entertainment in my view. And SH in the supermarket tabloids? I'd rather he stay classy.

  2. Heights? Since Holmes went all Walmart on us in 2009 with the Ritchie abomination, it's more like lows.

    Leave the lowest common denominator entertainment to the Transformers or Fast and Furious or Twilight franchises. I expect more from Sherlock.

  3. Supermarket tabloids - Doyle made the 'Sun' Vol 19 no. 36, 2001, 'Sherlock Holmes creator accused of murder & fraud.' Same paper - Vol. 3 no. 43, 1985 cover - 'Sherlock Holmes Still Alive At 131'. But I'm still holding out for 'The National Enquirer'.