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One of the Best Shows on TV Returns Sunday Night, and It's Not on HBO or AMC

By 05.04.12

I’ll keep this brief, and let it serve mostly as a reminder that — though you’ve probably already got enough on your plate on Sunday nights with the “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “The Killing”, and “Veep,” there is another show very, very much worth your attention. Season two of the BBC’s “Sherlock” begins this Sunday night on PBS. If you haven’t seen the first season yet, it’s only three episodes, and it’s available on Netflix Instant. Block out a few hours this weekend to take it in. A word to the wise: Don’t start the first episode late at night. Trust me, you won’t quit until you’ve watched all three.

Each episode is more like an 80-minute movie, and they are intense, gripping, fast-paced, intelligent, and brilliantly entertaining. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role, opposite soon-to-be Hobbit Martin Freeman as John Watson. What they manage to accomplish in the series puts the Guy Ritchie movies to shame. Anyone else that has seen BBC’s “Sherlock” can back me up on that. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t instantly won over by the series, the way it so smartly blends old-school “Sherlock” into contemporary London, and the insightful ways in which it updates the same stories.

Like a lot of people, I’ve seen the entire second series already — it aired in England several months ago. It builds on, and somehow improves upon, the first season, pulling you through three intense episodes before dropping the hammer on you. Sherlock Holmes’ buffs will recognize the three story-lines based on “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” and “The Final Problem.” It’s good stuff, and definitely a show in the conversation with “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones,” “Justified,” and “Breaking Bad,” as the best on television.

Seek it out, if you can. Even if you can’t get to it this Sunday, store it on your DVR. During that long drought in the summer months where there’s not a lot of great television to find, you’ll be grateful to have “Sherlock” to fall back on.


TAGSbbcBENEDICT CUMBERBATCHMartin FreemanPBSSherlock

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