Saturday, December 17, 2011

Only the Best...

Have you ever judged a series - whether it's of television, movies, or books - based solely on their fans?
The hordes of screaming teenage girls, and their mothers, whose hearts are ready to bleed for a pale, brooding, everlasting skinnyboy, or his tan, intense, buff nemesis? Or what about a greater portion of the planet, who are perpetually ready for turning their Snuggies around backwards and waving a stick in the face of another person, or eating jelly beans that, more likely than not, will make them gag? To be perfectly honest, I like Harry Potter as much as the next person who's read them each at least 8 times, and I love making fun of the Twilight franchise as much as the next sarcastic teenage biblio-hipster, but the best fans in the world are not those who obsessively gather costume components or overpriced merch galore.

The best fans in the whole world are Sherlock Holmes fans, because they are the ones who make the Sherlock Holmes movies.

Or, in the case of the BBC, the Sherlock Holmes miniseries. :)

My dad and I went through all three episodes in the space of two days after recieving it last year for Christmas, and while I thought it was a beautiful representation of the classic character, I had not had the benefit of viewing my favorite episode of the three, A Study in Pink, without having first read the original Sherlock novel, A Study in Scarlet, upon which it was based. Recently, I remedied the situation, and as I read the book, my eyes only grew wider. While Pink was an entirely different story than Scarlet, the connections between the two were so masterfully tied together, that they had to have been only a work of the utmost love for the character.

A Study in Scarlet, the global introduction to the slightly-crazed genius of Holmes, also served as his introduction to Watson, and the meeting of the two within the episode mirrors the book almost perfectly. The modern setting of the TV miniseries, however, adds so many more possibilities for showcasing the deductive skills of Holmes, as well as a modern understanding of his character: a little showy, a little sociopathic, all incomparable in brains. The two are definitely different in many respects, but the bits and peices they share alike are total treasures.

(They, however, aren't the only superSherlockfans: for instance, in the Robert Downey Jr.-helmed blockbuster, the simple scene where Watson enters the apartment to find Holmes shooting the letters V.R. into the wall are replicated from "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual", which I read last summer. The entire movie is filled with subtle homages to the classic works involving the titular hero.)

All I'm really trying to convince you of with this post is the classic greatness of the book A Study in Scarlet, along with the masterful interpretation of the BBC series.

If you have not already, ask Santa for both. :)

#17. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet

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