If any day is espe­cial­ly suit­ed to the cel­e­bra­tion of Sher­lock Holmes, it’s his birth­day, Jan­u­ary 6th!  (i.e. today!)  Sure, there are plen­ty of great detec­tives in pop cul­ture.  The bril­liance of Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple is not to be ignored, Sayers’s Lord Peter is a pip, Colum­bo and Monk are great, and of course there’s Bat­man the World’s Great­est Detec­tive (some peo­ple say.)  There’s some­thing spe­cial about Sher­lock, though.  Even before the incred­i­ble mod­ern reboot intro­duced us to the oth­er-world­ly bril­liance of Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch & co., Sher­lock Holmes is a char­ac­ter that brings you into his world the way very few oth­ers do.  Not to men­tion he’s a total­ly awe­some anti­hero!  Every­one loves an occa­sion­al­ly drug-addled mis­an­thrope who solves crimes for a liv­ing!  Or if they don’t they are crazy.  Any­way, in hon­or of Sher­lock Holmes Day, I sug­gest you spend some time watch­ing every episode of the BBC’s spec­tac­u­lar show, Sher­lock.  To aid in your task (there are only 9 episodes, but they’re each about an hour and a half long, so you may have to pri­or­i­tize), here’s a list of all nine episodes, ranked from my least to most favorite.  (Though, to clar­i­fy, they’re all amaz­ing and bet­ter than pret­ty much every­thing else on TV) (Minor spoil­ers ahead.  Unless you know absolute­ly noth­ing about Sher­lock Holmes at all, con­fi­dent­ly read on!)

blindbanker

9.  The Blind Banker (Series 1, episode 2) — Great, but kin­da feels like a place hold­er.  Lots of expo­si­tion, Holmes and Wat­son get­ting to know each oth­er, that kind of thing.  There is, how­ev­er, an excel­lent scene where John tries to explain what a date is to Sher­lock and he doesn’t get it.  3.5/4 stars.

reichenbach fall2

8.  The Reichen­bach Fall (Series 2, episode 3) — Also great, but Sher­lock dies in it, so that’s not as good.  Plen­ty of per­fect inter­ac­tions between all the char­ac­ters, but again, Sher­lock dies.  Blah.  3.75/4 stars.

great game

7.  The Great Game (Series 1, episode 3) — Omg, so great.  We get intro­duced to Mori­ar­ty!  Ah!  And he’s so good, you guys.  If not for Bene­dict and Mar­t­in, it would total­ly be the Jim Mori­ar­ty show.  But again, seems very introduction/exposition-y.  3.9/4 stars.

study in pink

6.  A Study in Pink (Series 1, episode 1) — Oh man.  The intro­duc­tion between Sher­lock and John is so fan­tas­tic, you guys.  And the first case is SO cool!  Seri­al sui­cides!  4/4 stars!

hounds of baskerville

5.  The Hounds of Baskerville (Series 2, episode 2) — Great obvi­ous­ly because of the source mate­ri­al.  The Hound of the Baskervilles is def­i­nite­ly one of the best known and loved Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries.  Also great because we find out Sher­lock doesn’t know Lestrade’s first name.  So Sher­lock.  4.25/4 stars!

his last vow

4.  His Last Vow (Series 3, episode 3) — Real­ly amaz­ing.  You wouldn’t have thought that there could be a vil­lain scari­er and more evil than Mori­ar­ty, but there so is.  Ugh, I hate him.  What kind of per­son licks a stranger or pees in a person’s fire­place?  A psy­cho, that’s what kind.  4.75/4 stars!  Most­ly because it also fea­tures Sherlock’s par­ents who are amaz­ing beyond belief.

sherlock A Scandal in Belgravia 191

3.  A Scan­dal in Bel­gravia (Series 2, episode 1) — The sec­ond series pre­miere fea­tures one of the great­est char­ac­ters in the Sher­lock Holmes uni­verse, Irene Adler!  The Wom­an.  What a great moniker.   Oth­er great moments include my favorite line in the whole series, “I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speak­ing, but it’s usu­al­ly sub­text.”  Snark from the one and only John Wat­son, ladies and gen­tle­men.  And also Sher­lock strut­ting around Buck­ing­ham Palace clad only in a bed­sheet.  Because rea­sons.  5.5/4 stars.  Srsly, so good.

empty hearse

2.  The Emp­ty Hearse (Series 3, episode 1) — It’s the series 3 pre­miere and John has a mus­tache and a fiancee!  And we find out pleas­ant­ly soon that Sher­lock was nev­er real­ly dead!  Very good, since with­out him there’s not much of a show.  Sec­ond best because it intro­duces Mary who’s prob­a­bly the best non-Sher­lock char­ac­ter in the show.  Yes, even bet­ter than John and Mori­ar­ty.  She’s so good, guys.  10/4 stars!

sign of three

1.  The Sign of Three (Series 3, episode 2) — This episode is the absolute best for a bunch of rea­sons.  1. John and Mary get mar­ried which is the cutest.  2. Sher­lock is John’s best man and it’s prob­a­bly the most feels in the entire known uni­verse.  If I ever give a best man speech, I real­ly hope that it’s half as good as Sherlock’s because if I can do that, I’ll have won at life.  3. The boys are even solv­ing mur­ders on John’s wed­ding day, which is pret­ty hard­core.

So that’s it!  Go watch Sher­lock and be amazed and enthralled.

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