Actually, to clarify a bit, season two of Sherlock starts this Sunday for those of us who live in America and try to be good upstanding gents and ladies who don’t watch pirated television. The three new 90-minute episodes of the endlessly entertaining BBC series already aired this past January in the U.K., while those of us on this side of the pond were forced to wait an extra four months to find out how Holmes and Watson would escape their poolside standoff with arch nemesis Moriarty. The first ep, “A Scandal in Belgravia,” debuts this Sunday at 9:00 EST on PBS with the others following the next two weeks.
Those who haven’t watched should think about starting as season one of Sherlock proved to be the best spin anyone’s put on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed detective in years. (And, yes, that includes Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr.) The BBC series stars soon-t0-be-Star-Trek-baddie Benedict Cumberbatch as the legendary sleuth and soon-to-be-Bilbo-Baggins Martin Freeman as his beleaguered but able sidekick. The big twist on the mythology is that Sherlock is set in modern day, meaning Watson writes a blog instead of a journal and Holmes cracks cases using a smart phone. It sounds like it could get cutesy, but it never does, largely because Cumberbatch and Freeman sell the shit out of it. It’s no accident that these two found themselves getting rung up by the likes of Peter Jackson and J.J. Abrams — they’re that good. And so are the scripts — wry retellings of the original Conan Doyle stories penned by a team led by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. You could probably start watching Sunday and be well enough amused, but I’d recommend DVRing and sitting on them until you’ve checked out season one on DVD or Blu-ray. We Americans may be watching it a bit late, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the coolest things TV has to offer right now, no matter where you live.