Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch Week!

The fact that BBC Sherlock finally got an Honest Trailer treatment was just another sign that this is truly Benedict Cumberbatch's week. He seems to be appearing everywhere, in every media outlet that can get a piece of him, including some of my favorite Twitter folk feeds, and, really, why the hell not?

I mean, he's Benedict Cumberbatch.

At this point, one has to be a truly determined curmudgeon not to appreciate what the lightning-strike combination of this actor and this role have brought to Sherlock Holmes. Could another actor have been cast and done the same? We may never know, but if you look at the Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, which ran fairly parallel in time to Cumberbatch in the role, it's apparent that even Downey did not bring the excitement and fans to the Sherlockian community that Cumberbatch did. There is something about the guy that just works in the part. And works wonderfully.

Not to discount his partner in crime, Martin Freeman, the writers, directors, the rest of the amazing cast, etc., but Sherlock is the flagship role of any Sherlock Holmes production, and that actor will be center-stage for either the standing ovation or the rotten tomatoes and eggs that will follow. When we speak of the Holmes movies that Matt Frewer starred in, we don't reference them by the director, writer, or anyone else in their failure. We say "the Matt Frewer Hound," etc. Life could have been entirely different for a less-able Benedict Cumberbatch.

But here we are, with those who are only catching on to him with Dr. Strange looking back and going, "Hmm, what's this Sherlock Holmes thing?" And the most common response to that question is going to be something along the lines of: "It's great! You have to watch it!"

So with all the P.R. hoopla and all the appearances this week, including Saturday Night Live coming up quickly, it has to be the biggest week of Benedict Cumberbatch ever, and it's real hard not to just be a fan . . . that thing that many a crank accused our newest generation of Sherlockians of being, but you know what?

Those early fans of the man were pretty much on target. There's a lot to enjoy about Benedict Cumberbatch, and like Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, and so many others, we have Sherlock Holmes to thank for pointing our attention at their talents.

We owe that guy a lot. So, with a tip of the hat to Holmes, back to enjoying the Cumberbatch.

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