Honest Trailers – Sherlock (BBC) Sherlock Gets The Honest Trailers Treatment
For the unlucky few who have somehow remained unaware of the internet phenomenon that is Honest Trailers, you’ve been woefully underserved in the pop culture parody department. This Emmy-nominated YouTube series cuts through the film studio and TV network-approved hyperbole and hype to summarize beloved movie and TV series in a hilariously… well, honest way. To give the popularity of this series some scope, consider that the Game of Thrones Vol. 1 trailer from the Honest Trailers archives has amassed over 33 million views (and counting).
Today, the Honest Trailer dropped for the BBC’s much beloved Sherlock — and it has delivered a predictably large deposit of comedy gold in its wake. Given the Anglophilic reverence with which we Americans view the often more erudite TV offerings of the BBC, Sherlock was admittedly ripe for the Honest Trailer picking.
Few would argue that the show has a talented cast, as led by Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular detective, with Martin Freeman playing his long-suffering sidekick, Dr. John Watson. Combined with the show’s fiendishly clever writing, it’s no surprise that the series quickly became a hit. But Sherlock’s Honest Trailer treatment reminds us that our slavish devotion to the show could do with a down-to-earth reality check. And the trailer’s suggestion that Sherlock could just as easily be known as “Downton Crabby” is a pretty good start.
Perhaps the most clever observation in this hilarious piece is that this show based on a literary classic is, in fact, a superhero show in disguise. Superpowered main character? Check. Trusty sidekick? Check. A city to protect? Check? And great bad guys? No argument there, either. For those of us in the fandom who’ve been enjoying a sense of intellectual superiority for our highbrow viewing tastes, it’s a much-deserved takedown.
With a nod to everything from Cumberbatch’s “beautiful shark face” to Freeman’s “adorable little run,” the trailer dissects the show’s appeal with the precision of a surgeon. A quick succession of shots featuring Freeman’s Watson suggests that his character’s main function might very well be to provide “a good reaction face” to Sherlock’s eccentricity. (Of course, a few choice reaction shots of Freeman’s turn as Tim Canterbury in The Office are interwoven in here for good measure.) For that matter, Sherlock’s greatly hyped brilliance is chalked up to little more than “the power of knowing whatever the script needs him to know.”
Touché, Honest Trailers. The sacred cow that is Sherlock is thoroughly milked for laughs by the Honest Trailer peeps — and earns them fair and square.
Sherlock season 4 will premiere on BBC and PBS with ‘The Six Thatchers’ on January 1, 2017.