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Honestly, after watching Sherlock seasons 1-2, I didn’t understand why such a relatively small show obtained such a large following. I liked them, the cinematography was excellent, the acting was great, but nothing groundbreaking, and the writing was really well done. However, I never could get properly invested in it, as I felt several key elements never got the development they deserved, particularly Sherlock’s relationship with all the secondary characters. This is the problem a 6 episode show faces, no matter how long those episodes may be.
So yeah, in season 3 when John Watson states that Sherlock is his best friend, it is sort of a surprise.
The season 2 cliffhanger did hook some, but for me, it was always blatantly obvious that they were going to bring Sherlock back. He’s like Sam and Dean in Supernatural. It’s as if Cumberbatch is under contract, or something.
Honestly, Sherlock’s main problem is not the lack of time we spend with these characters; it’s the pitiful volume of major story arcs. Honestly, I wasn’t even convinced that Sherlock and Watson where even friends until halfway through season 2. That’s pretty late to firmly establish your characters.
So yeah, I had my doubts. Up to this point, I thought Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss chose this format out of convenience, and not simply because they thought it was the best way to make their product. I had doubt they could get me hooked for the upcoming fourth season. I had doubts whether or not Moffat and Gatiss had anything interesting left to say.
Thankfully, season 3 blew away all my expectations.
Oh, where to start?
The cinematography was put into overdrive. Improving on what was already a wonderful and innovative style of directing, Season 3 made use of every last second of its lengthy production period. It is truly wonderful what BBC can accomplish with time on its hands. Every shot is a work of art, with this season mastering its already stellar transitions and using atmosphere to its advantage. This is the first season that I really feel like I’m at these places Sherlock is visiting. My favorite sequence is the party scene at the end of episode 2. The editors’ use of sound to immerse you in this celebration is just simply magnificent. The editors are able to accomplish the very same level of realism that Avatar accomplished in theaters years ago, right in your living room.
As for the writers, well, if season 2 was a step up from season 1, season 3 is a leap from season 2. It’s wonderful, keeping you intrigued every step of the way. In no way is it ever predictable, unlike the cliffhanger at the end of season 2.
Season 3 sort of leaves off with a variation of the very same cliffhanger, but it handles it in such a better way. Far from pulling at your heartstrings, season 3’s ending suggests much more fun for season 3. The ending essentially gives the viewer a present, emphasizing not how the cliffhanger came to be (though it no likely will inspire legions of theorists), but of what it means for the future. In all, it does what a season-ending episode should; wrap things up, give the viewer something to think about, and get them pumped for the next season.
Again, everything was wonderfully done. Everything that needed developing got developing. Everything was improved. Honestly, season 3 changed my opinion of Sherlock from a pretty good cult show that really didn’t deserve a cult and probably got its cult from Cumberbatch’s ability to soak woman’s pants into a really really well written and well-directed show that deserves every single viewer it’s got.
Is this a show that everyone should watch in their lifetime? No, not yet anyways. But it’s still a damn good show. Honestly, that statement can mirror Cumberbatch as well. He’s still a really good actor, but I wouldn’t list him amongst the greats just yet. Come 4 or 5 years, yes, but right now, he has too few academy award winning performances (Ha, like that matters- CW) for me to put him up there just yet.
Why yes, I did wait for the DVD to come out to watch this because I missed the premiere. So what about the DVD? Surely BBC would put oodles of special feature and behind the scenes materials to give people a reason to buy the DVD!
Well, like their American airings of season 3, BBC f*cked up big time. The DVD is barebones minimal, providing a scant 3 features, with none of them worth advertising. I expected the mini-episode at the very least to be there, but I guess that sort of stuff just isn’t important to BBC.
The cover art is almost identical to seasons 1 and 2, something that really should be changed. I can honestly see people get the three easily confused. I guess BBC is really banking on DVDs becoming obsolete in the next five-ten years.
VERDICT: Sherlock Season 3 gets 6 stars out of 6