I've always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, and I've always been a traditionalist at heart.
I liked the Jeremy Brett mysteries more than I liked last year's movie with Robert Downey Jr., in part because the former stayed more true to the source material than the latter. (Though the movie was pretty decent).
So it was with a mix of interest and skepticism when I first heard about the new BBC miniseries "Sherlock," which bows this weekend as part of "Masterpiece Mystery" on Sunday at 9 p.m. on PBS.
The idea of the new series is that it re-introduces the classic characters in the 21st century London. Blogs, texting and so forth comprise key elements of the story, but the heart of the stories remain much the same as the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories.
I don't normally like modern re-tellings of classic works, but with the series being co-created by "Doctor Who" showrunner Steven Moffat -- one of TV's top 5 writers in my opinion -- I figured the new series would be interesting.
And I wasn't disappointed. There are a lot of references to the original stories, but modernized and told with a certain flair.
Benedict Cumberbatch takes over the title role and is well-suited to Moffat's style of writing, since the character is presented with much the the same arrogant genius of Dr. Who. Martin Freeman ("The Office") is Dr. Watson, here chronicling his roommate's cases on a blog.
The miniseries lasts over three parts, each built around individual cases, but with a unifying theme that pays off in the final episode. And Moffat & Co. do a great job in throwing in a few twists along the way.
There were a few things that nagged at me -- Holmes and Watson referring to each other by their first names was a little grating -- but what might have been a disaster in the hands of less-skilled writers and actors is a lot of fun as presented here.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: I think that one of my first actress crushes came when I was a real little kid and saw Joanna Cameron as Almighty Isis on the old kids' "Shazam" live-action series. I bring this up because Lois Lane (Erica Durance) is possessed by the spirit of Isis in tonight's "Smallville," (CW, 8 p.m.) Meanwhile, Sam and Dean fight vampires on "Supernatural" at 9 p.m. Will the guys get to make a "Twilight" joke or two at the expense of one of Warner Bros.' most profitable franchises?
On CBS, "Blue Bloods" (CBS, 10 p.m.) earned a full-season pickup Thursday, as did all of the new CBS shows for this season. It follows a new "Medium" and "CSI: NY." Meanwhile, there's a new "Good Guys" (Fox, 9 p.m.)
On cable, "Law & Order UK" is new (BBC America, 9 p.m.), as is "Sanctuary" (SyFy, 10 p.m.)
On Sunday, what the heck am I supposed to do without "Mad Men" for 10 months? That's 10 months of waiting for the goddess Christina Hendricks. I may not make it.
I'll make due with "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.), which is followed by "Undercover Boss" and "CSI: Miami."
ABC has new episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" from 9-11 p.m.
On cable, I'm enjoying "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 9 p.m.), followed by "Bored To Death" and "Eastbound and Down."
"Dexter" (Showtime, 9 p.m.) has started a little slow, but then it's going to be hard to follow last season, no matter what they do.
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