Recently, I’ve started watching Sherlock. It’s a t.v. show on the BBC that modernizes the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for a newer, younger audience. It’s been an interesting show to watch not only for Sherlock’s eccentric ways, but also for how they’ve interpreted how he would react in the 21st century with modern technology. While I haven’t actually read any of the books or even watched any of the remakes of the movies (the Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law version comes to mind), I find that this show has been innovative and original while sticking true to the spirit of Conan Doyle’s beloved characters.
This sort of thing seems rather profound and different, especially considering that we’re living in an era where originality is becoming much harder to find. It seems like for every movie out there is at least two or three other remakes of the original. If it’s not a remake, then it’s surely based off a book or a spinoff of a book (or even another show or movie). Just looking at the Sherlock Holmes movies can set your head spinning. There’s probably hundreds of interpretations of the books as well as t.v. shows like Sherlock and Elementary. Even House, a t.v. drama about an eccentric doctor solving medical mysteries is said to be based off of Sherlock Holmes.
The point is this, really: how far can Hollywood push certain ideas before we hit the brick wall of cliches and unoriginality? How many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and CSI: must we endure before someone realizes that the idea mill has run its course a long time ago? Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’re creating movies and shows off of my favorite books like Game of Thrones, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Hobbit, because sometimes having a visual interpretation can really boost the image and understanding of an otherwise confusing book, but is it really necessary to throw every book onto the screen in homes to draw more people out into the theatres? Whatever happened to originality?
Some would argue that there’s no new ideas, only old ones being re-created and to a certain extent, I agree. But here’s the thing: there has never been another person quite like you before writing that particular story. Therefore, the story has a new, fresh outlook on it. Granted, some people just really bomb at the whole originality thing (Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey), but some people can really pull it off. Like Sherlock. And House.
Maybe it’s just time for us to sit back and take a real good look at how we value stories and their creation. We complain at the lack of originality, but we never actually get up and do something about it. We never tell people, hey, you know, this isn’t really want to watch this kind of crap. Is this the best you can do? Maybe you need to re-think your standards and allow new, fresh talent to come in and add some meat into our daily lives.
It’s a jungle out there and that alone turns me off for watching any movies, period. But it’s those few movies (and shows) that keep luring me back and helping me brave the storm to pick my way through to the true gems of cinema. Because after all, some people have it right and know what they’re doing. And in the end, that’s what makes it all worth it.