Sherlock Holmes and The Case of Internet Hate

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Sherlock Holmes and The Case of Internet Hate

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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s the finale for BBC’s critically acclaimed and commercially adored series aired this Sunday, birthing a slew of anticipation over the possibility of another season and vitriol toward the season that was, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson went back to solving cases on 221B Baker Street. The East Wind blew Sherlock’s delusions of a cold, high-functioning sociopathy wide open, and in his trauma, he found redemption. One sanguine montage later, chaos was restored. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The same applies in a sadder context to the reaction pieces that sprouted like fungi all over the internet, a few hours later. In 2016, Season 4 of Sherlock was its most highly anticipated one yet; in 2017, it is the worst received one yet. Culture critics all over the world are aghast at the blatant sentimentality, the “obvious” leaps in logic that the storyline seemed to take – Mary’s needless death, Watson’s whale-inspired wails at the sight of her body, Sherlock’s melancholy moustache, Mycroft’s sex life, and worst of all, the sappy, emotional tenor of the show. Like our favourite super sleuth, the interweb is rife with deductions. Lazy performances, tired writing, Gatiss and Moffat losing interest, Mary’s death (please get over the last one, Dr Watson already has) – there is a lingering scent of betrayal on the internet’s breath. It’s the classic end of the chase of a relationship, where upon discovering that the aloof, feline object of your affection is alive with emotional baggage of her own. We tend to sigh, act disappointed, and let the flame recede to embers. And so be it of our love affair with Sherlock. He’s clearly no high-functioning sociopath. He loves his siblings and his best friend. What a dick.

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