January 16, 2017

has sherlock jumped the shark?

I had another post lined up for today, but I can't ignore what's been bothering me since last night, so I think I'm going to write about it.  You're going to see my nerdier side, because although I avoid fandoms, I do have a fangirl button and it has been PUSHED.

When it comes to any kind of book, movie, or TV show, I am extremely picky; but when I like something, I take it seriously; I can't get enough of it.  I frequent the website www.tvtropes.org to analyze every detail, cliche, trope, reference, etc.

So it was with BBC's Sherlock (here's the TVTropes page).  What a show.  It's a modern adaptation, of course, of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which I read (an abridged version lol) as a kid and enjoyed.

Each season is made up of three 90-minute episodes; between seasons is a hiatus of at least 2 years.  It's easy to fall in love with Sherlock, but it's tough to be a fan.  :)

I've been a fan of the show since the beginning, or at least since the first season was put on Netflix, whenever that was.  I fell in love with it because it was unlike any other show I'd watched before.

I have seen every episode from "A Study in Pink" to "The Abominable Bride" multiple times and have always been so impressed and amazed by each one.  Every one of those episodes from the first 3 seasons thrilled me, leaving me at the end feeling like I'd just watched something spectacular.  Like I had watched a well-written, multi-layered, carefully constructed work of art.  Like I hadn't wasted 90 minutes of my time.

Fast-forward to New Year's Day 2017: two years since season three; about a year since the interesting extra episode.  Season four of Sherlock is about to begin.  The three episodes were to air every Sunday night from January 1st to January 15th.  I was SO READY and made sure to watch them that same night they were aired to avoid being spoiled.  (There won't be any spoilers from here on; I'm not going to delve into the episodes this season in any detail, I just want to talk about how I feel, lol.)

So I watched the first episode of the fourth season, "The Six Thatchers," and found it slightly disappointing.  I wasn't enthralled like I was in past episodes; it felt off.  Something was missing; the magic, the charm, the wit, the emotion.  Or was it just me?  I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

The second episode, "The Lying Detective," renewed my hopes.  It gave me every feeling I remembered from watching older episodes for the first time.  It redeemed itself and brought back the depth that I expected in an episode of Sherlock.  I was so excited.

And then last night was the season finale, "The Final Problem."  I knew it could be something amazing.

But it wasn't.  At the end of the very first scene, I could already tell that this was going to be disappointing, and it just kept getting worse.  It had none little of the charm and magic and intrigue I knew it should have (I have to admit that Moriarty's entrance gave me CHILLS).

I was so let down, and in a strange way, I feel cheated...?  I mean, I didn't particularly expect something mind-blowing or earth-shattering to happen.  it wasn't so much that I had particular expectations to be met, but I, at the very least, expected things to "maintain" - even at the risk of being repetitive.  I wanted it to feel like Sherlock always has.

Instead, crazy things were thrown at me and the audience at large that we just had to take on blind faith; unrealistic situations, weird backstory that hadn't been foreshadowed, out of character moments, and cinematography that just didn't feel like Sherlock at all to me.

In my opinion, Sherlock may have "jumped the shark" - a common enough expression meaning, according to TVTropes, "the moment when an established long-running series changes in a significant manner in an attempt to stay fresh."  I don't know.  I think it has jumped the shark and I wonder if it could come back from this.

I'm just really bummed out that I hated this final episode so much, especially if a season 5 never happens.

Ugh it just seems to happen with every show I love!  Hahaha.  I just expected different from Sherlock.  For instance, Community NBC was a clever, hilarious sitcom until season 4, when I suddenly wondered if the writers even knew their characters.

I couldn't watch The Office as happily at some point - maybe as early as when Jim and Pam got married, or possibly not until Michael Scott left.

Arrested Development lost its direction in season 2, and was further ruined when it was brought back for more season YEARS later.

The only show that I can think of that I watched and thoroughly enjoyed to the very, very end - to the last episode ever - was House.  Yes, it has like a million episodes, and at times it's one of the most repetitive shows I've ever watched, but I never felt that the characters were misunderstood by the writers, and that's crucial to maintaining believability and interest in a show.

Sooo has Sherlock jumped the shark?  I think I want to hear from the people behind the show.  I want them to talk about what they want to do in the future.  I need to understand what their motives were and how they justify the horrible season finale and all the hype.  I guess time will tell?

For now, I'm going to go back and watch older episodes of Sherlock.  I need me some Moriarty to cleanse my palate...

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