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Sherlock

  • And the Fandom Rejoiced:
    • Sherlock Holmes in the modern day? [rolls eyes] By Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss? SQUEE!
    • The three stories in the next series? A Scandal in Bohemia, The Hound of the Baskerville, and The Final Problem. They're going right to the heart of the Holmes canon.
    • Oh, what if they don't do the third series? IT'S BEEN COMMISSIONED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE SECOND, OH HAPPY DAY! (That news was about the only thing that kept the fans from staging a mutiny after the end of series two.)
  • Angst? What Angst?: John Watson seems to have PTSD in the first episode to the extent he'd developed psychosomatic pain... but gets over it pretty quickly. Somewhat justified as being away from the war is what's causing his issues. Getting back to adventure solves that nicely.
  • Awesome Ego: Sherlock himself. Moriarty could count as a villainous example.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Initial reactions to the camp Moriarty seem to range from 'obnoxious voice and looks like a twelve-year old' to 'deliciously creepy re-interpretation similar to the newer versions of the Master and the Joker'
    • The fan reactions to Irene Adler are contrasting at best. Either she's a clever, competent woman who managed to best the great Sherlock Holmes or her character was oversexualised and reduced to a Damsel in Distress at the end. Not to mention the Die for Our Ship and Unfortunate Implications regarding her sexuality.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Holmes's fight with a swordsman in the opening sequence of "The Blind Banker." Who was this swordsman? Why was Holmes fighting him? And what happened to him between when Holmes cold-cocked him and when Watson innocently walked in the front door? No one can say.
    • In the beginning of the Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock enters the apartment covered in blood and carrying a well over 2 meter long harpoon. He had apparantly stabbed pigs with it. It has no relevance to the plot whatsoever. [1]

  Sherlock: Well that was tedious.

  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch
    • A fair few "professional" reviewers initially did this. And still a few people won't watch it based solely on premise.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Moriarty ticks all the boxes with gleeful aplomb. Personally commits horrific acts? Check. Holds a blind old woman and little boy hostage? Check. Feared even by other villains? Check. No chance of a Heel Face Turn? Not like anyone else would want him around, so check. The fact that he still gets Not So Different moments with the protagonist is not a good sign. Still, it's implied that he was bullied at school so at least he's got a Freudian Excuse that draws a bit of viewer sympathy though this only serves to make him even more disturbing.
    • The last episode of Season 2 sends him even deeper into this territory. He forces Sherlock to suicide (he faked it- but still), with the threat that if he doesn't, Lestrade, Hudson and Watson will all be shot. And all this after he almost killed a little boy and girl.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • He's Sherlock Holmes, and even more crazy than most portrayals. He keeps eyeballs in the microwave and a severed head in the fridge, and gets rid of boredom by spray-painting a smiley face on the wall and shooting at it.
      • Not to mention the thumbs in the refrigerator. Poor Mrs. Hudson.
    • Also Mycroft in his own way. His use of phones and CCTV cameras is quite impressive.
    • Moriarty. So very much.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Averted with Molly. Despite the HUGE slash fandom that this show has, Molly doesn't have much of a Hatedom mainly because she's just so damned adorable (and to a lesser extent, as Moffat's personal Chew Toy, so damned pathetic, no one really has the heart to hate her.)
      • She's pretty much a female Rory who did not get the boy.
    • Irene also survived the shippers relatively unscathed. Mainly because, despite the enormous amounts of Foe Yay, she's also a lesbian Shipper on Deck.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mycroft. That's what you get when you utilize the character's full Magnificent Bastard / Sharp-Dressed Man potential and cast Mark Gatiss in the role.
  • Even the Guys Want Him/Even Lesbians Want Him: Sherlock, according to some interpretations of the conversation between John Watson and Irene Adler. As a lesbian, this troper can confirm that it's a realistic reaction to Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Moriarty.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Holmes/Watson of course.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Sherlock and Moriarty, naturally. Moriarty calls Sherlock 'sexy', the dance between them 'flirting', and so on. Almost all one-sided though, due to the deliciously camp re-imagining of Moriarty.
    • Sherlock and Irene Adler too.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: Donovan suffers from the effects of this. We know that Sherlock isn't going to turn evil, but she doesn't.
  • Genius Bonus: The Standard Snippet to which Moriarty commits the heist of the century in The Reichenbach Fall? The Overture to Rossini's La Gazza Ladra, or The Thieving Magpie. Doubles as a Shout-Out to A Clockwork Orange.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One of John's last lines to Sherlock in "The Reichenbach Fall" becomes this when you puzzle out who, exactly, is protecting whom.

 Sherlock: Alone protects me

John: No. Friends protect people.

    • Also, Mrs. Hudson's comment in "A Scandal in Belgravia", considering how Moriarty finds out Sherlock's life story:

 Mrs. Hudson: Family is all we have in the end, Mycroft Holmes.

    • This line from John's blog, regarding an incident between Sherlock and himself in Baskerville- He'd used me as an experiment. One day I will kill him.
    • When John wanders past a dummy hanging by the neck from the ceiling of 221B, he jokes, "So... did you just talk to him for a very long time?" Incredibly harsh when you consider that, after Jim Moriarty talked to him for a very long time, Sherlock apparently committed suicide before the end of the episode. Ouch.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sherlock is being investigated by a reporter from The Sun and finds a recording device planted in 221B at a point in the show's timeline (June 2012) that is four months after five Sun reporters and editors were arrested on hacking and bribery charges.
    • Considering that particular episode was written and filmed several months before the News of the World scandal broke, it becomes either Harsher in Hindsight or doubly hilarious.
    • There's also the fact that The Sun was giving Benedict Cumberbatch A LOT of attention around the time Series 2 aired in America. According to the polls, brainy has indeed become the new sexy!
    • John once wryly called Sherlock "Spock." Guess who's been cast as a villain in the sequel to the 2009 Star Trek movie?
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • HSQ:
    • The finale ending. Both seasons. THEY CANNOT LEAVE US LIKE THIS OH GOD.
    • The ending to "A Scandal in Belgravia." Irene's dead. No, she's alive. Irene's escaped. She's in love with Sherlock. She's dead without that information. Mycroft confims she's dead...and Sherlock's saved her. HSQ indeed.
    • The ending to the The Reichenbach Fall. Even when you know it's coming. Especially when you know it's coming. John saw Sherlock fall. He touched his body. How on earth do they come back from that? Possible answer: It helps attempting to fake a death when you have a forensic pathologist who do nearly anything for you.
    • The entire show, really.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: CBS' Elementary, as announced in January 2012, is a modern day retelling of Sherlock Holmes, except in New York. While there is concern the basic idea is a ripoff of Sherlock, the fanbase has been livid, asking why Americans can't make anything original. Which is ironic, because the very premise of Sherlock is derivative. The books are probably the most influential fictional works in history, which have been adapted into or inspired in whole or in part countless other works, including several successful TV series. Sherlock's main virtue in that regard is that it stayed in England when it modernized, and is based directly on the Doyle canon, instead of just the basic premise with serial numbers filed off.
    • The main issue seems to be that Elementary apparently is based off of an American remake of Sherlock that the BBC rejected permission for, hence some of the cause for concern that it will be a knockoff of Sherlock and not a new adaptation of the books.
  • I Knew It!: On this very wiki's Wild Mass Guessing page, tropers correctly deduced that "Jim" was Moriarty.
    • It probably helps that ads for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows had Watson listing off the man's full name: Professor James Moriarty.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sherlock is a self-proclaimed "high functioning sociopath" who generally acts like a dick and solves crime for fun, not justice. He is also very manipulative. But Sherlock is redeemed by his Pet the Dog moments, as well as his lapses into vulnerability, so it's hard not to feel sympathy for him.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Moriarty, Big Time. He's the mastermind behind all cases Sherlock goes into throughout the series, manages to avoid capture, and personally runs into Sherlock twice without getting captured. Fooling him with a disguise the first time.
    • Sherlock is a rare heroic example.
    • Similarly, Irene Adler Took a Level In Badass from her Faux Action Girl status in the books, to a full on example of The Chessmaster.
    • Mycroft, who not only is the British government, but can fake plane crashes and order assassinations.
  • Memetic Badass: Both Mycroft and his Umbrella.
    • Molly Hooper dated the most dangerous man in Britain. Then dumped his ass.
      • After turning him into a Gleek.
    • According to the Internet, John "Three Continents" Watson is a tiny assassin in a cuddly jumper.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mr. Fanservice: Aside from the obvious in Sherlock and John, Mycroft and Lestrade are picking up admirers. Lestrade, of course, is a Silver Fox, and Mycroft is well-dressed, posh, and snarky, which has certain segments of the fandom all aflutter.
  • Narm: For some, virtually every word out of Moriarty's mouth in The Great Game and A Scandal in Belgravia. (He seems to have graduated from Cesar Romero to Heath Ledger since.)
  • Older Than They Think: When the series was first announced, there was some minor purist outrage at the very idea of taking Sherlock Holmes out of his Victorian milieu and into the modern day. Both Moffat and Gatiss pointed out that the Basil Rathbone movies, among others, had adapted Holmes' stories to a contemporary setting as well.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Have you ever taken conventional wisdom as a given, because you heard it in the news or read it in a history book?
  • Ron the Death Eater: Donovan and Anderson have been hit HARD by this in the aftermath of Reichenbach. It frequently gets uncomfortably sexist in Donovan's case (witness the Edit War over her page on the fan-wiki).
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Mycroft/Lestrade is surprisingly popular considering they have never been in a scene together.
    • Although considering Mycroft is Big Brother (both literally and figuratively), since Lestrade is on the police force, and both are closely tied to Sherlock Holmes, it's not a far reach to assume they do know each other. Besides, when has something like that slowed down fans? After "Baskerville", when it's implied that Mycroft sent Lestrade to Dartmoor to check up on John and Sherlock, the ship has gained even more steam.
    • Barring that, they might have simply paired them together because they don't share any screen time, as a way to create something new without interfering with the shows already delicate and convoluted web of shipping. Basically a long-term Fan Fic Magnet.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Involving a straight man, a gay woman and a potentially asexual virgin Married to the Job. Now that is talent.
  • So Okay It's Average:
    • The unaired Pilot. Definitely a great crime drama with the same quality of acting and direction, but probably didn't have the epic, high-budget treatment the final product deserved, and might not have satisfied the incredibly high expectations some might have for such a famous property. Also, no Mycroft.
    • The Blind Banker. Seems not to even happen in the same time continuum as A Study in Pink or The Great Game- the events of A Study in Pink play a large part in The Great Game but are never mentioned in The Blind Banker. The only carry-on from the Blind Banker is Sarah and the can of spray paint. Plus, no Lestrade, no Mycroft, no Donovan, no Anderson. Sherlock and John play a friendly game of Idiot Ball halfway through, and there's no mention of John's blog. Despite being completely Badass and having an incredible amount of Character Development in "A Study in Pink", John randomly becomes the Butt Monkey, and there's some casual racism to boot. The continuity fail seems to almost imply that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who wrote the bookend episodes respectively and who work very closely together, simply left The Blind Banker writer Stephen Thompson out of the creative loop, not discussing or showing him anything from either episode. "It's Sherlock Holmes, and it's in the modern day. You figure out the details." And again, no Mycroft.
  • Special Effect Failure: In The Blind Banker, the villain fires a gun repeatedly in a museum. There's no sound of bullet impacts, and nothing at all gets hit, even when he's firing directly towards Sherlock while he's surrounded by glass cases. While it's not beyond the realm of possibility the bullets missed -everything- that would have broken visibly, it does strain belief and indicate they were probably running around in the real museum just after hours and couldn't move anything around to set up prop cases.
    • Actually, in the draft of the script, there was a line indicating that the bullets were in fact blanks. The line was removed in the final version, but the possibility remains.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Every speaking Chinese character in the second episode is one or more of the following: an assassin, a circus artist, a gang member or a smuggler. Except for Soo Lin who's only a former smuggler. And she ends up dead. In fact every ethnicity shown is a sterotype, as the episode opens with Sherlock fighting a living emobodiment of an arabian stereotype, complete with curved sword. A similar sterotype shows up in Belgravia - modern day terrorists so stereotypical that they execute their prisoners with swords.
      • Yeah, terrorists still do that, if you haven't seen the news.
    • Moriarty being changed from English to Irishmight count (though to be fair Moriarty is very much an Irish name so the subtext might have been there all along.)
    • Irene Adler labels herself as "gay", has Les Yay with her bodyguard, but it is her feelings for Sherlock that are ultimately presented as the most genuine. On one hand, she is reduced to a helpless pawn by Mycroft and must be saved by Sherlock from getting her head chopped off. On the other hand, while Sherlock may have bested her in the end, she still managed to beat him twice. That's more than most of his adversaries can say. Also, he apparently had difficulty realizing his interest in her was more than intellectual.
      • It's worth taking note that before she even met Sherlock, Irene has had affairs with both parties of a married couple.
    • As referenced in the Irene entry above, what reason was there to introduce presumably-Islamic extremists who nearly chop off Irene's head? An assassination attempt could have been depicted any number of ways that were less... that.
    • Some older fans who aren't as into Mark Gatiss or the Ho Yay Shipping aspect find the portrayal of Moriarty homophobic, although it could be argued that mostly-good guy Mycroft cancels it out. There is also the gay caricatures that made up one of Morarty's puzzles
  • The Woobie: Molly. Part of the reason why Watson, Lestrade and Mrs Hudson are so kind to her because they clearly recognise that absolutely nothing ever works out for her. Nothing.
    • Let's focus on Scandal in the morgue. When Sherlock tells her she didn't have to come in, she says "It's all right, everyone else was busy with Christmas." Apparently, the girl is completely alone as well, which just makes her clinging to Sherlock all the more gut-wrenching.
    • Plus, her blog which she documents her falling in love with Sherlock to falling in love with Jim to finding out that Jim is Moriarty. Unlike the other characters' blogs, this one ranges into Tear Jerker territory.
      • Recently, a fan asked Moffat if anything was going to go right in her life. All he got was a vague "Well…", implying that her Woobie status isn't going anywhere for a while.
    • Molly Falls into this so hard that even Sherlock feels bad for her, after her humiliates her over a present he deduced she meant to give to a boyfriend, only to find out that it was her present for him. She tells Sherlock, in the most heartbreaking way possible, that he only ever says nasty things to her. Sherlock just looks horrified, before apologizing and kissing her on the cheek. This is from a guy who describes himself as a "high-functioning sociopath".
    • Jerkass Woobie: Sherlock, occasionally.

Notes

  1. It is, however, a reference to the Holmes short story The Adventure of Black Peter.
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