Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Sherlock Holmes, the main character of the BBC show “Sherlock.”
Well, a live action T.V. show, never done one of these before. I don’t watch many live action shows like this, but “Sherlock” has blown my mind in many, many ways. I just had to talk about this high functioning sociopath with the ear hat. Sherlock Holmes has been featured into more show, movies, or books than any other character. Now there isn’t really a way to easily sum up the story to “Sherlock” because it is broken up on an episode by episode basis. I can, however, explain the premise. The great consultant detective Sherlock Holmes and his side kick John Hamish Watson solve the many crimes that come before them. They face many masterminds and psychos, as well as getting out of many insane situations.
Sherlock Holmes as a character is one of the strangest conundrums I have come across in entertainment. He is a nut case, a horribly mean and careless human being, and a genius. I guess I’ll start of with this unbelievable brainpower that he carries. As I’m sure many people have seen one of the many adaptations of Sherlock, everyone knows of his deductive power. He can look at you and know where you have been, your home life, if your wife is cheating on you, your mental condition, and your living habits by simply looking at you for a moment or two. The BBC version of Sherlock does this trick ten fold and constantly. When first meeting Watson, he scans through his entire past life as Watson looks on in confusion. As time goes on, of course John gets very comfortable with the Sherlock scan. Everytime he does it, you can’t help but become enthralled in what he is saying. He see some hairs on a person and their tan lines and says they have been vacationing for a week with their two cockerspaniels. It doesn’t stop with people, of course. Sherlock at a crime scene is like a super computer working through every possibility there could be, deducing and running possible outcomes through his head as everyone else looks at him clueless. Sherlock never stops making everyone around him look like bumbling idiots, especially the police. Of course, once the case has been analyzed then “The game is on!” The only person who can match up to his genius is his older brother Mycroft. The two love going back and forth calling each other idiots. Truly family love. This brings up the next point: Sherlock’s personality, or seeming lack of.
Sherlock Holmes is a psychopath in every sense. He seems to feel no remorse, love, or interest in the trivial, regular human life. As Sherlock puts it, “It must be so peaceful in your heads.” He shows no interest in the opposite or same sex, really no interest in people. Although the running joke is that Sherlock and John are gay, Sherlock himself seems to be totally blind to that fact. He continues again and again to make you want to hate him because he seems like a husk of a human being when it comes to emotions. The only person that truly seems to see the compassion from him his John Watson. John is Sherlock’s major weakness that gets exploited many times. The real treat to this high functioning sociopath is that he never stops leaving you feeling conflicted. You want to hate him so much. He is rude, blunt, and constantly insults people and yet…you love him so much. His snarkiness and supreme intelligence and inability to be defeated never stops. It’s like he is just so cool that you want to love him and then he call the whole of the police force idiots and you’re right back to hating him. This emotional back and forth never ceases at any point. You fear for him when it looks like he might be beat and then you get mad at him when he wins and shrugs off it off like it was nothing and continues to belittle people. I have never had such a strong love hate feeling for anything on the planet. The other rather hilarious aspect, though, is that as much of a jack wagon as he is to people, he keeps them around and they for some reason stick around him. Even John himself has absolutely no understanding as to why he calls this man his best friend. John really is the emotions of the audience incarnate. You sit there going “God he is awful…I love him so much…” When you have a character that leaves you constantly in debate of who he really is, that is a fantastically crafted character. He reminds me very much a Joel from “The Last of Us”, you never quite know if Joel is a good guy or just a horribly selfish human being. The most interesting parts to Sherlock, though, are the moments when he becomes weak and you think he may be beaten.
There are quite a few points where Sherlock looks to have been defeated. You sit there trying as hard as you can to see how he will get out of these points and no matter how much you think, you see no solution. It is never a predictable escape or easy victory that you can simply go, “Yes this is the clear answer.” Instead, you are always left sitting there going “No human being could ever possibly get out of this!” but he is Sherlock Holmes, the greatest of high functioning sociopaths. The best aspect to these points is when Sherlock shows he does actually have human emotion. He delves into his mind and tries very hard to fight whatever his opponent might be at the time. You see aspects of his past, like a dog he once loved or the nature of his relationship with his brother in the past. The infallible Sherlock starts to become fallible, a moment for your mind to feast upon. In the end, though, no matter how close he gets to his doom, he always comes out on top. Often, though, his biggest victories come at a price and that shows that he must give up a lot to be the greatest. He is not like other main characters who smash through their opponents and easily defeat all obstacles in front of them, He must work and give for the victory he obtains. He always will never accept anything but victory.
Now the verdict on the mighty Sherlock Holmes. Well much like Lelouch Lamperouge, he is beyond the simply rating of Good; Sherlock Holmes is extraordinary. He is a super human intelligence that always keeps you on your toes and never stops making you switch between love and hate. He is a human being who does not lose but never obtains his victories with ease. Sherlock Holmes is the most confusing and interesting character I think I have ever seen who is both human and robotic and makes sure that only the robot shows. This is how you make your characters. Characters like Sherlock and Lelouch are the pinnacle of excellent writing that all should strive for. On a final note, I recommend everyone-and I mean everyone-watches “Sherlock.” I don’t care what your taste is; go and watch it. Are you still sitting there? Go hop on your Netflix and start watching right now. That is an order. Off with yah.