Sherlock thoughts re: the series as a whole under the cut.
General verdict: I’m sorry I let stupid wank stop me from entering this fandom sooner because it is amazing in so many ways.
Sherlock is not perfect. Moffat does not really know how to write female characters and the show’s main focus is Johnlock, to the deprivation of a lot of secondary characters, particularly—again—the female ones. (The one exception I can think of is Soo Lin, from 1x02, who was actually pretty well drawn.) There’s quite a bit of queer baiting, which simultaneously makes my heart sing because fucking hell BBC!Johnlock is adorable and yet makes me sad, of course, because I’m quite sure they will never be romantically together (which is okay! they’re meant for each other in a way much deeper than romance or sexuality, not that those are bad things!) and so all the gay references end up oftentimes making light of homosexuality. Secondary characters often exist only to be in love with either John or Sherlock (all of John’s girlfriends, Molly Hooper, etc) or to reinforce how great and ~~human~~ Sherlock is becoming (Irene).
The plots are incredibly detailed, sometimes too much so. (There’s the reliance on flashback moments to remind the audience how Sherlock got to the deduction he did.) The overall tone is very cinematic and at times verges into deifying Sherlock and Moriarty, to an extent—a dynamic where Sherlock is the only one who can save the world from Moriarty the trickster god of doom and where other characters, even John, don’t have any real power to be involved in their dynamic and are often mere tools (at least not physically; John’s emotional hold on Sherlock is incredibly potent).
The cinematography is stunning. I do like the text on screen, whether it be showing you texts or emails or showing you Sherlock’s deductions. Benedict is physically beautiful in this role (dem curls!) and Martin’s face shows you so much, all the time. A lot of the direction is excellent, particularly in 2x03; Moriarty in particular, and his break-in to the crown jewels where he’s revealed sitting on the throne, is so well-acted and directed, so full of swagger and yet a curious emotional dependency on Sherlock and an underlying madness that doesn’t bely his immense intelligence.
The (non-female) characters are what really pull you in, that and the dialogue (where Moffat/Gatiss aren’t indulging their bro-y “lol girls” sides). John and Sherlock are physically painful to me in the ways that they need each other. Mycroft and Sherlock are so at-odds and yet really not, and there is underlying love there, somewhere, even as they are “the Holmes boys” who believe, at least as far as they’re willing to admit, that caring is not an advantage in life. Part actual sociopathy or aspergers/ASD, part defensive mechanism? Unclear, but touching. (Sherlock roleplaying as Mycroft in 2x02 is so brilliant and something I promised Cassie meta on at some point).
And the Moriarty/Sherlock relationship is just…it’s just so involving, and potent, and aaaaaaaaaaa. Two intellectual giants, one apparently ice cold and one apparently a literally insane ponce, and yet often they’re two sides of the same coin, a constant interplay of madness and intelligence. And their intelligence is apparently somewhat different—in Moriarty’s words, Sherlock just wants everything to make some kind of cold and clever logical sense, while Moriarty revels in at least the appearance of chaos and in his personal network (there was no code, just his cohorts), something that Sherlock tries hard to deny that he has but which ultimately motivates him to, yes, go ahead and fake taking his own life in order to protect his three friends in the world (and the emotion is his phone call with John is real and something he seems to fight showing, unlike his usual use of emotion as manipulation). And if Sherlock wasn’t such a coldhearted dick, would people perhaps have been less willing to believe Moriarty’s lies to begin with? Ahhhhhhhhhh so intriguing to me.
TLDR: I watched the shit out of Sherlock (all six episodes in about two days) and, despite its flaws, it really emotionally affected me in some tender way I can’t quite fully explain but which made it an overall great ride. As long as I don’t build up my expectations for good female characters too much (although I do want to see if they manage to take Molly, as potentially the only other person besides John who suspects that Sherlock isn’t actually dead and who may well have helped Sherlock fake his death, somewhere further!) this show will definitely be with me for a while and take me on a delicious ride.