Just rewatched the entire 3 prior series’ to prepare. Very excited.
I don't often do media criticism, but after sitting through this most recent episode (S04E01) I can't help myself. Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:
- The aesthetic was... off. Both the framing and the visual quality didn't feel quite right. I likened it to an early episode of Dr. Who (also produced by the BBC). Nothing wrong with that, but not inline with the previous episodes.
- Pace and flow were distractingly quick. The episode never managed to hold any emotional pitch because the audience was being dragged from one location to another without any discernible rhyme or reason.
- Can we talk about Sherlock’s bravado? Over the top. Nearly cartoony levels of ego oozed from Benedict Cumberbatch’s lines through the first three-quarters of the episode. I understand that the overconfidence was a dramatic ruse, yet I can imagine having the same effect handled with a bit more... subtlety.
- Plot? I realise this initial episode was written to setup the conflict for the rest of the series and I'm well aware that making the plot too easy to follow would not fall within what fans of the show have come to expect. That said, the episode carried on like three or four mini episodes clumsily glued together. I followed along but my puny monkey brain didn't buy in, perhaps it was too clever for little ol’ me.
I have more but I'll spare you, those were the biggest issues. What gives me hope was the noticeable change in the cinematic quality of the final few scenes. Those last minutes of the episode began to tighten up and follow the visual conventions that I've come to love and expect. I'm holding out hope that the next episode will be better because, at the end of the day, even a bad episode of Sherlock is still an episode of one of my favourite shows.