Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The show after Sherlock dies

This morning's life lesson is pretty simple: Don't name your sitcom character after yourself.

The statement "Roseanne died of opiate abuse" will be honestly made this morning, now that ABC has rebooted their cancelled Roseanne sitcom as The Connors and written in the main character's death. The show's former star, Roseanne Barr, is still alive, of course, but her character with the same first name has met a sad fate, dying from her opiate addiction while the rest of the characters carry on.

Having watched another show with the main character's first name in the title and the potential for drug-related death there, it's actually not too hard to envision a Sherlock wherein Benedict Cumberbatch offended the BBC and the show came back as 221B Baker Street, once one stops to think about it.

The concept of a Sherlock Holmes story without Sherlock Holmes has been tried many, many times, almost always in print. Other characters get the lead role, like Irene or Mrs. Hudson. But we don't see an ensemble follow-up, as a TV show might do all that much. And the cast of BBC's Sherlock was definitely strong enough to pull it off, without any of them pretending to be the new Sherlock Holmes, I think.

Like Roseanne's transformation to The Conners, a switch from Sherlock to 221B Baker Street would be a different sort of crime show, as the combo approach of John, Greg, Molly, and the rest working together would be very different from Sherlock's, but still a fun watch. That other "Sherlock" show which wouldn't need a name switch, Elementary, has been so diligent in building up its Watson as a consulting detective and allowing Gregson and Bell in on the solutions that yanking Jonny Lee Miller off the show would almost seem a transition they had written the show with specific intentions toward. (Especially with that no-character-mentioned title.)

It's interesting to envision Sherlock Holmes ongoing shows without Sherlock, and much better than going the route of TV's Lethal Weapon or Two and a Half Men, which would have Watson getting a new genius room-mate who was different, yet somehow the same sort of character as Sherlock to fill the void. (Mycroft? A good Moriarty twin?) As much genius as it took to create Sherlock Holmes, creating an adequate stand-in for him would be a high aspiration . . . and one surely doomed to fail, as tends to happen with that method.

I never thought that Roseanne would give me something Sherlockian to consider, but the world is definitely full of unexpected things these days. Shows rebooting without their addicted main character is now one.

No comments:

Post a Comment