I'm afraid to say the second episode of the newest series of the BBC's Sherlock impressed me as little as the first episode did.
Once again, crowds of fawning fans gathered on Twitter, Tumblr and (presumably) Trams to spew several gigabytes of praise and cutesy adulation - and so, once again, I feel duty bound to set out an alternative point-of-view on a Blog which (almost) nobody reads.
My biggest gripe with the second episode of Sherlock is the treatment of Sherlock's personality - specifically, the increasing 'humanisation' of him as a character. Benedict Cumberbatch has always done a fantastic job of portraying Sherlock Holmes as he is meant to be - not just emotionless but disdainful of emotion, and of anything which is removed from pure logic and reason. (For example, he never much took to Ableton.*) However, as I mentioned before, I feel Sherlock's writers are moving further and further away from the original character - I've nothing against different adaptations, of course, but if you start to change the fundamentals of the character, it's no longer Sherlock Holmes at all.
Conan Doyle's Holmes never gets drunk. (Despite being actually a far greater drug user and smoker than the modern Sherlock, he always knows his limits and would never allow himself to get out-of-control. Holmes vomiting on a client's carpet? Unthinkable!) He is never one for public displays of affection. And he would never make a sexually suggestive comment about handcuffs to a bridesmaid!
But, most importantly, although he maybe aware of his own flaws, he does not see them as flaws.
Holmes may not be keen on emotions, but that does not mean he does not understand them. He is a very intelligent, highly perceptive man who probably understands more of human interaction than most of the people who actually value it. This is made particularly clear in The Adventure of Charles August Milverton, in which Holmes becomes engaged - he does so only to gain vital information for his case, of course (he has no feelings for the woman - Agatha - involved) but this just goes to show that he's more than capable of sweet-talking, romancing and gaining the trust of another person, should he so wish.
Holmes knows how to act like a "normal" (for want of a better word person) - and does so when it suits him - but he prefers not to.
In the BBC's Sherlock, though, the eponymous character seems equally aware of his eccentricities - but uncharacteristically embarrassed by them. He mentions several times that he is aware of how difficult he must be to live and to work with; nothing wrong with that, but this is done in an empathetic way which at times verges on apologetic. This, to me, is unforgivable - Sherlock Holmes would never apologise for being Sherlock Holmes!
Conan Doyle's Holmes may know that most other people view him as a strange, cold, emotionless being - but he is not ashamed or worried by this. Quite the opposite, in fact - he believes that this is how everyone should be.
Sherlock, no matter how well-acted, spectacularly misses this point.
* Sorry - that's a music technology joke.