We may not realise it but today’s television drama is based on the development of cultural anxieties. Drama is much easier to translate in comparison to comedy. What is meant by this is shown in the example of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes’s story has been one altered and adapted many times throughout television and film. ‘Rosemary Jann and Ronald R. Thomas argue that the stories justify and enforce familiar social codes of class, gender, ethnicity and nationality’ (Krasner, 1997 p421). Not only this, but we are able to relate to and understand the character as we reflect our own societal problems. Perhaps this is the reason for the large popularity of Holmes.
In conjunction to its popularity, Sherlock Holmes has recently ruled ‘in the public domain’ (Penny 2014). Holme’s character as a cross-cultural icon has now allowed people the permission to alter in accordingly. This means we can associate our lives in a deeper context if we relate it to cultural drama rather than understanding cultural tied comedy. As a consequence we adapt the way we link specific narratives that are more realistic in regard to our lifestyle.
In terms of Holmes there was the detective narrative that attracted the viewers and exposed the character of Holmes. Which was then turned into the different cultural aspects associated with his context. Shown through the adaptions of Sherlock Holmes we see that even country crossovers allow adaption to be successful. The English version of Sherlock versus the American version ‘Elementary’ both expose a contemporary recap of the character. However, there has been criticism on the failings of each. ‘What progress Sherlock makes is a slow burn, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that narrative decision, or with seeing a piece of yourself in that characterisation’ (Asher-Perrin 2014). People interested in Holmes integrate their sound knowledge of the character and accept the adaptions made.
In the week 8 lecture it was said that ‘the figure of Sherlock Holmes represents an idealised Englishness’ (week 8 lecture, 2014). This means that there are tensions between the American and English versions as there are standards of the original character that the Americanised version can not retract.
There’s a boundary between prevailing the adaption of the show and failing it. Focusing on Sherlock Holmes as an example of television drama, shows evidence of the adaptability we have as viewers towards cultural content. It is evident in this example that television drama adapts cultural concepts to work in a successful manner. Hence why Holmes has adapted through television and film and is still a popular character.
Asher-Perrin, E 2014, Battling Super Sleuths: The Awkward Case of Elementary, Sherlock, and Building the Better Adaption, TOR, viewed 4th October 2014, http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/02/battling-super-sleuths-the-awkward-case-of-elementary-sherlock-and-building-the-better-adaptation
Krasner, J. (1997). Watson Falls Asleep: Narrative Frustration and Sherlock Holmes. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 40(4), pp.424–436.
Penny, L 2014, ‘Laurie Penny on Sherlock: The Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase’, NewsStatesman, 12 January, accessed 3rd October 2014, <http://www. .com/culture/2014/01/sherlock-and-adventure-overzealous-fanbase>.