Monday, February 28, 2011
I Heart Sherlock Holmes
I heart Sherlock Holmes.
Ok, maybe that’s not TOTALLY accurate. Yes, in high school I had 2 different versions of the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries (one with the original illustrations, leather bound), and yes, I read them and read them and read them. I used to fiddle with our tv antenna so I could watch Jeremy Brett on the PBS Mystery version of Sherlock Holmes when I was in 8th grade, huddling close to the fuzzy tv and trying to drink in EVERY detail of my beloved stories. I aspired to BE a Baker Street Irregular. When Young Sherlock Holmes came out during my high school years, you could have knocked me over with a feather, I was like a screaming teenager at an Elvis concert, without the screaming, or the music, or the white leather jumpsuit…just the smitten joy of the whole thing.
But still, to be TRULY accurate…it’s not Sherlock I love.
I heart Dr. Watson.
I do. I have had a major crush on a fictitious 19th century sidekick for 25 years.
Dr. Watson is just so…solid. He humanizes the fiercely analytical Holmes. He’s friendly, normal, reliable, occasionally even jolly. Holmes needs him, depends on him, seems constantly a step ahead and yet when Dr. Watson gets shot, it’s a distraught Holmes who saves him. Watson may not be on the cutting edge of mystery solving, but without him around, Holmes would be lost. Watson brings out the best in Holmes.
For a teenager who pretty much always felt lost in her own bleh, Dr. Watson seemed like a wonderful guy to have on your side.
In the Young Sherlock Holmes movie, Watson loves pastries, and his terrifying hallucination after the evil society shoots him with poison is about Pastries Gone Wild (ok, that seemed much more plausible when I was 15). Watson shares my passion for éclairs! What else do I have to say?
A few months ago, a modernized version of Sherlock Holmes appeared on PBS. In this version, Holmes is a “high functioning sociopath” and Dr. Watson a vet recently home from Afghanistan. The writers worked on Dr. Who, so the whole show has a sharp, witty, BBC-esque edge to it that frankly is almost better than chocolate for my brain. My spouse and I watched the series together, a rare moment when we actually enjoy the SAME tv program.
And in watching this remake, in the surprise of feeling that long lost excitement at
seeing a Really Good Mystery with characters I love, I had a moment of enlightenment, an epiphany, if you will, one that blew my adolescent longings to smitereens.
Guess what I realized?
I married Dr. Watson.
Bear with me here…I really did. For those of you who KNOW my spouse, think about it. I actually DID marry an Italian version of Dr. Watson.
Hard working? Check.
A good listener, even if he doesn’t quite get it the first time you say it really fast? Check.
Generally thinking the best of others? Check.
Just a genuinely NICE person? Check.
Patient as all get out with the odd cluttery foibles of the people around him? Um, check.
Really good at what he does, even if it’s not always flashy? Check.
Deeply loyal? Check.
See what I mean? I MARRIED DR. WATSON!!!
The real mystery is why the heck he married ME…probably because I look like Heidi Klum, but I could be wrong. Hm.
So see, watching tv isn’t always a waste of time. Who knew PBS Masterpiece Theater/Mystery would be a celebration of marriage?
Of course the first 2 times I meant to post this I got randomly irritated with the resident Watson, and said forget posting this nice post. Ahem. I am so mature. And early winter was a rough season here on many levels. But really, at the end of the day, I am grateful for my spouse, and kind of tickled to discover this weird parallel to my teenage world, a world before I really knew my spouse at all. Now there’s a narrative arc for you…