1 July 2013

Posted by Anna Notaras | File under : , , , , ,
Having loathed pop culture because of its shallowness, stereotypes, infectious nature, appeal to simple minds and loads of other aspects and being more attracted to underground phenomena and thinking that all things popular are only about Hollywood 'values' and naked blondes, I deemed it all as noxious. Pop culture is for the dumb, I said.

Generalisation, however, often proves to be the worst crime. The smart side of society seems to have its say, after all. This is the only conclusion after observing the Sherlock series of BBC, a
modern adaptation of Sir Athur Conan Doyle's acclaimed works. I did not check the series because of an interest in detective stories, but because of all the talk around it. Somehow, wherever my virtual steps were taking me on the web, and not only, there was a bit of Sherlock, so it was always there in the background, slowly doing its work and convincing me to watch, finally. At the same time, I was harbouring curiosity on why is Benedict Cumberbatch a ladies' favourite, especially as he's nothing close to the classic beauties we know.

BBC's Sherlock crime drama series brings forth some some of the old-fashioned charm and virtues. We have a smartphone-era Sherlock who is an imperious man, unsocial, definitely strange and undoubtedly charming.Moreover, he is asexual, having had totally dismissed his sexual instinct. Yet you should think that, consequent to this role, Benedict Cumberbatch was titled Britain's sexiest man. Twice. 

Intelligence Is the New Sexy - For Some, at Least

Be it because of the mystery in it or some mind game, this Sherlock's power of seduction is boundless. He is pretty much the opposite of what media would promote nowadays - an icon that stands against superficiality, hedonism, cult of one's own ego, useless pastimes, irrelevant knowledge, and who tries his best to do catch the bad guys instead of turning bad himself. Wasn't that supposed to be boring or outdated these days? "But Sherlock is arrogant and full of himself", you might say. Yes, but that is clearly for 'the game', you can see how he's actually very relaxed about that and, most of all, good hearted. He enjoys playing the game that way. He is clever and has no interest whatsoever in covering that up.

There is more to it. Benedict's Sherlock has his own rules and makes a full commitment to these. He has a phenomenal detachment and rigidity when exterior factors try to change his way of living. For example, he rejects the femme fatale Irene Adler who was head over heels for him, genuinely interested in his intelligence and showing true feelings for him. He is a man choosing to live in a different way and there, surprisingly, is a cohort of admirers happy about being 'Sherlocked'.

Benedict Cumberbatch and How the British Do It Differently

Watching Benedict outside the character reveals a classy, modest, down to earth, real gentleman - a perfect specimen to illustrate this British invasion in the world of top acting. He and the producers have played this to a great extent - just see his polished look, his unusual haircut, the conservative air of Sherlock. It's all unexpected and out of fashion. 8 million views per episode and hordes of fans hardly waiting for the 3rd season prove the massive success of the series in which no one could've created such a distinctive and adorable character but Mr. Cumberbatch. He almost forced us to care about different things. The recipe worked extremely well, and whoever hasn't watched an episode yet is standing aside and just wondering how in the world can there be such mass insanity around it - like, what's the deal? Well, I know I watched and I was sherlocked. There's substance in it and a great dose of freshness. If you thought perfection would fit into one certain matrix and into that alone, this phenomenon should teach you that it's not.


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