Tuesday, December 1, 2015

If Sherlock Holmes were Real, He would be Rolling Over in his Grave

I admit it; I am pretty late getting around to watching the British Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberpatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. I tend to avoid crime drama because as a criminal profiler,  I don't need more crime filling up my life, and, as a criminal profiler, I tend to be overly critical of the writing of crime shows, finding most of them to be pretty bad. However, my son loves this show and he encouraged me to watch it. Usually, we agree on the quality of a show. This time, we couldn't be further apart. Along with the Dr. Who frenetic pace of this show, I do not like the characterization of either Holmes or Watson, although I must admit some of the wit is amusing. I might forgive these faults if only the plots weren't so abysmal. What really blows me away, though, is that almost everyone who watches this show thinks the plots are brilliant...and I have no clue why because they are beyond stupid. I know, it is just television, but, really? Couldn't we at least have some logic involved? The plots of the old Sherlock Holmes books, movies, and series may not have been perfect, but they weren't as assinine as the plots in this  series are.

I could only make it through the first two episodes, so I will do a quick critique of these. Forgive me if I cannot exactly remember what happened; I am not going to suffer through watching them over to be sure I have it right. I just want to give a short course in how moronic the crimes and criminals are in this show.

A Study in Pink

A serial killer roams the streets of London and somehow gets people to commit suicide by taking a poisonous pill. The police cannot figure out how these "suicides" could be related and how they could be pulled off.  I dunno, how about holding a gun to their head and telling them to swallow a pill? That  is not exactly rocket science.

But, oh, no, it is OH so much more complicated.

Someone is paying a psychopath big bucks each time he kills someone during a game of "Who Has the Real Poison Pill?" First Sherlock cannot seem to figure out that a taxi driver is the serial killer in spite of the fact four people go missing of the street and he surmises it must be someone who can slide around the city unnoticed. But, then, Sherlock deciphers a clue left by a brilliant dying victim who breaks off all her fingernails to leave a clue in the wood floor - "Rache." While those silly police think it means "revenge" in German, Sherlock figures out it means "Rachel," the name of her stillborn daughter of a decade and a half ago. Because it makes no sense that she would scratch her daughter's name in the floor during the throes of death, Sherlock deduces it is a email password and she planted her phone on the killer so he could be traced by GPS. Sherlock actually says, "Clever girl!"

I want to kill myself with some poison about now. What? The woman is dying and she finds some ridiculously convoluted way to have the police track her killer? And why is that phone WITH the killer? Why doesn't he ditch it?

Anyhoo, the serial killer comes right to Sherlock's doorstep and lures him by telling him the only way he will find out how he killed these people is to play the same game. Ah, Sherlock is a blazing idiot so he gets into the psycho's cab. The cabbie takes him to a building and the two sit opposite each other with a table in between and the cabbie put a bottle with one capsule in front of Sherlock and another in front of himself and then says, "We will take them at the same time! You have to figure out which one the death pill is." Really? Why is the serial killer doing this? Because he is close to dying from an aneurism and he wants to leave his two kids a bunch of money. The man who hired him to kill will pay him a big bunch of money each time he wins the game when the victim picks the wrong pill, leaving the serial killer alive.

Now, I want to stab myself in the eyes. Okay, first of all, the serial killer is a psycho so he doesn't give a crap about his kids. Secondly, he is supposedly a brilliant psycho yet he drives a cab for a living. Third, he is a psycho...get that? A psycho. So why would this psycho even waste his time with this game? Just put a gun to the victim's head and make them swallow the capsule. Then, he can just claim he won since his stupid benefactor doesn't seem to have any method of overseeing that this game is played honorably. But, okay, let's say there are really two capsules, one with and one without poison. The victim picks the one with poison, so the cabbie goes ahead and swallows the other at the same time. Gee, that was a fair game. Suppose the victim picks the good capsule; hahaha ..... the psycho will make him play two out of three, wouldn't you think?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. The psycho cabbie DOES pull a gun on Holmes and threatens him to take to play te game, but Holmes tells him to shoot...because....woo hoo....Sherlock is so brilliant he can recognize a fake gun! None of the other victims did, though. My question is this, though. Why wouldn't the psycho have a real gun? What? He didn't want to commit a crime by buying a gun off the street? ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, Holmes is about to swallow a capsule because supposedly his brilliance would allow him to deduce which one was the safe one which is blatantly bullshit because there really isn't a good way to figure that out (brilliant behavior analysis and "tells" and whatever...yeah, no). But, just as Sherlock is about to swallow the capsule, Watson shoots the cabbie dead and as the cabbie is dying, Sherlock cries out, "Was I right? Was I right?" (or something like that). Dude, take the capsule to a lab. ::sigh::

The Blind Banker

Okay, so I watched the second episode; maybe it would get better. It was called, The Blind Banker and supposedly critics thought it wasn't as grand as the first episode. Oh, that does not bode well.

So, this time, a Chinese smuggling ring is upset that a couple of their smugglers (well-off Brits) stole a 9 million dollar hairpin from them. Supposedly, according to Holmes, while these guys were picking up an art item to smuggle from China into the UK, one of them just lifts this pin from the smugglers not realizing its value (the guy who took it gave it to his girlfriend to wear in her hair). Yeah, the criminal gang just left a nine million dollar hairpin lying around on a table for someone to grab. Then, when they realize one of these fellows took it, they decide to send an acrobat to climb up the outside of high security buildings to leave a message in code in an obsure place, in an ancient Chinese numeral system that has to be decoded by the guys using a book; the message is simply a threat. Chinese dudes, how about just sending an email? Or making a phone call? Well, anyway, even though they sent this bizarre threat, they then went and killed the men. Yep, simply killed them because they didn't give the pin back. If you kill them, how will you get an answer? Well, of course, they must have been tortured first......nope, you guessed wrong. The men were just offed in a flash.

Oh, yeah, the way this gang wanted to find the pin? They did weird things to interest Holmes, so HE would find the pin for them! And, they almost killed Watson because they mistook him for Holmes! That's right! They couldn't seem to locate a photo of this most famous detective, so they screwed up!

I have finished stabbing my eyes out. Now I am as blind as that banker who wasn't blind...must have missed the reference.

The incredible retardedness of these plots is unforgiveable in my opinion. I have no idea why everyone thinks they are brilliant and clever. The original Sherlock Holmes books had some missteps and holes, but not so large you could drive a fleet of trucks through.

I dunno. I just don't get it.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

December 1, 2015


Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree more! I did however enjoy USA's Dexter, but thats more about the lovely Michael C Hall than the slightly fantastic plot lines.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 7:49

Oh, thank God, there is one other person out there who doesn't think the plots are brilliant! ::laughs::

Well, I just saw Brooklyn and wasn't very amazed by it either....but I am in the minority again! ::sigh::

Anonymous said...

Haha! I havent seen that - but I'm a Brit, maybe we dont get that one?

Pat Brown said...

It is an Irish/ Canadian venture....movie is getting rave reviews..everyone thought it was fabulous. I thought it was inoffensive but mediocre.

Colin said...

You're definitely not the only one, Pat. But it's maybe a generational thing? Today they seem content a popular star's in it and the show revolves around the star not the plot. Sherlock definitely belongs in that category. He's almost winking at the fans all the way through it. It's the detective show version of Twilight? (Not that I ever watched that. Honest).

Anonymous said...

Hi pat, i know nothing is straight forward in such cases, and no matter what mistakes do happen, surely some questions remain valid. As to sherlock holmes, the script shifts for drama purpose, made for a audiance that assume he is right? When this isnt the case, in a work of fiction. I do wish to make a point about the fiction used in the media, and the diference in what you state? At no point have you stated the mccanns directly killed their daughter? However you did think it is possible a accident is more likely, this would account for the contradictions found in the group, and why the mccanns couldnt recall the door they used? Making it possible madeleine had fallen off the balcony, or down the steps, this would account for gerrys comment about a disaster to kate? Hence the damage limitation group, and fighting fund not normaly found in such cases? Unless some one can predict the result of a investigation via a target amount rather sooner than later, does raise what the maccanns know about a long term control of the press? Or something comming back to their original statements, the more they discredit the police, the more they discredit themselves, and the memories of that night? Leaving the question what did happen if statements are not reliable? What do you think pat?

Pat Brown said...

Anon 5:56

As to Sherlock Holmes, it is fine to use some artistic license to add drama, but, in reality, when your plots are beyond stupid, it is simply bad writing. You can create tension and drama in a mystery without going completely off a cliff. The same is true for science fiction. The plot needs to be logical within whatever rules you set up. Orphan Black did extremely well with this in the first season (later it began going a bit off the rails). Fargo and Blood Simple are both examples of excellent writing. Sherlock is a mess; but, for some reason, the audience doesn't seemed to mind. Maybe writers know that audiences want wild and outrageous rather than clever.

In the McCann case, the "disaster" word is very telling. One doesn't describe abduction or premeditated murder as a disaster; a disaster is usually the result of neglect and errors when you are describing a nonweather related event. Something got screwed up and all went to hell.

One of the other very strange things is the McCanns fight against the police. I have never had luck convincing a family to really stand up against a police department that was mishandling their loved one's case; they are deathly afraid of pissing of the detectives because families always believe that their only hope lies with them. The McCanns called the police names and stalked off and cut off all communications. In spite of "knowing" their daughter might be held prisoner out there in some dungeon, they were willing to allow the police force to keep focusing on them instead of looking for an abductor. Just not normal.