Sherlock is the 173rd episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, Joe Starr and Andy Signore. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the British crime drama TV series Sherlock. It was published on November, 2016, to coincide with the theatrical release of Cumberbatch's film Doctor Strange. It is 5 minutes 56 seconds long. It has been viewed over 5.8 million times.
"Meet Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, obsessive compulsive, and high-functioning sociopath which is all just Sherlock-speak for 'he's a ginormous dick to everyone'." ~ Honest Trailers - Sherlock (BBC)
You know his name, you know his face. Now, you'll know the answer to the question "Why is Benedict Cumberbatch in everything these days?" Sherlock.
The world's most famous detective returns to the screen for, like, the 200th time (shows an article saying Sherlock Holmes has been depicted in film and TV a record 254 times), but this show is more than a rehash of public domain stories from the 1890s. Now, they blog.
Sherlock Holmes: I've written a blog on the varying tensile strength of different natural fibers... (as Watson types on a computer) What are you typing?
John Watson: Blog.
Sherlock Holmes: About?
John Watson: Us.
Echhh. Next time they reboot Sherlock, Watson's gonna be a Vine star, isn't he? What was that? Awww. R.I.P., Vine.
Meet Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, obsessive compulsive, and high-functioning sociopath (shows clips of Sherlock Holmes calling himself a "high-functioning sociopath"), which is all just Sherlock-speak for "he's a ginormous dick to everyone". Thrill as he solves London's toughest crimes, armed only with the ability to make helpful words float in thin air and the power of knowing whatever the script needs him to know.
John Watson: H-how do you know his schedule?
Sherlock Holmes: Because I do.
While Sherlock is a man who's all brain and no heart, he's joined by Dr. Watson, a man who's all heart and no brain. Watch him endure endless abuse and still stick by his roommate's side, because someone has to give a good reaction face (shows clips of Watson with a quizzical look on his face, interspersed with clips of Tim Canterbury displaying a similar expression). A few of those are from The Office. Bet you didn't even notice.
Get ready for a mystery series that's actually a superhero show in disguise, complete with a superpowered main character; a trusty sidekick; a city to protect; and great bad guys like Moriarty, that dream sequence with Moriarty in it, and the video implying Moriarty is back for Season 4. But otherwise, the criminal turns out to be whatever actor has a small, pointless speaking role. Law and Order rules, guys. They're universal.
So pour yourself a cuppa tea, toss on your favorite scarf, and enjoy a witty, smart, clever show that's obnoxiously aware of how witty, smart, and clever it is, as it keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to solve the latest puzzles and cliffhangers, then spits in your face for even bothering to try; and makes you care about Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of the character, then implies you're a loser for loving him.
Jeff Hope: Who'd be a fan of Sherlock Holmes?
Well, excuse me for loving your beautiful shark face! I'm sure Elementary on CBS would appreciate my attention!
Joan Watson: What have you got cooking in those pots?
Sherlock Holmes: Oh, this and that, black licorice, an old belt, splash of feline urine.
Starring I'll Tumblr for Ya (Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes), The Original Cumberbitch (Martin Freeman as John Watson), Texting, Moriarty Licking Stuff, Sherlock Sniffing Things, Obviously (shows clips of Sherlock Holmes saying "obviously"), Sherlock Having No Friends, The Way British People Say "Aluminum", Sherlock Being Unimpressed, Watson's Adorable Little Run, Sherlock's Reverse Smile, and The Roast of Sherlock's Hat (Likely Coming Soon to Screen Junkies Plus).
Come on, be honest, Sherlock, you figure things out the same way everyone else does these days.
Sherlock Holmes: Okay, I learnt it on YouTube.
Ha! I knew it!
- The original version of this Honest Trailer was going to include a reference to Sherlock and Watson apparently being romantically involved, but Dan Murrell thought the Honest Trailers series had already made that joke too many times before and it was getting old. However, after this video was published, one of the main fan criticisms of this trailer was that it didn't call out the fact that Sherlock/Watson act like a couple. Dan said he learned from this experience that even when a joke is obvious, you still have to make it, but need to find a twist on it. This is why, when writing the Black Panther Honest Trailer, the writers make the their token "Tolkien White Guys" joke, despite the joke's ubiquity.
- Screen Junkies have also produced Honest Trailers for several other TV series including Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, The Flash, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the classic era of Doctor Who, the modern era of Doctor Who and more (see list of Honest Trailers).
- The writers have explained that several TV shows are highly requested by fans, but the time commitment involved in watching an entire TV show is too much which is why there aren't more Honest TV Trailers.
- An Honest Trailer Commentary for this episode was recorded and was available on the Screen Junkies Plus until the website/app was discontinued. Screen Junkies don't currently have any way of releasing the video.
Honest Trailers - Sherlock (BBC) has a 97.5% approval rating from YouTube viewers. Many media sites commented on the playfully critical tone of this Honest Trailer. Konbini said that Screen Junkies used "caustic humour" to "pay tribute to one of the best adaptations (the 254th, mocks the video) of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary saga." In the same article, Konbini appreciated the Honest Trailer for pointing out Sherlock's dickish behavior and inconsistencies with the plot. The site wrote the video was "a good laugh and pinpoints some gimmicks that only the most attentive of Sherlock's fans had noticed." Digital Trends remarked upon the Honest Trailer's cracks about the excessive number of adaptions, and the source material being brought into the 21st Century by the addition of blogging and texting. The site also called attention to Screen Junkies' comment that Sherlock is a superhero show in disguise.
The Mary Sue noted the video is "not quite a howler like many of the other, more outrageous Screen Junkies work wrote" but it still "takes the piss" out of the show. The site wrote they had never noticed some of the character's idiosyncrasies including the "Watson’s awkward running style" which they described as "hilariously quirky." The site appreciated the lovingly mocking tone of the Honest Trailer, writing, "Sometimes you just have to laugh at the things and people you love."
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Edited by Bruce Guido and TJ Nordaker.
- Watch the Spot-On Honest Trailer for Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock a.k.a. 'Downton Crabby' - Time article
- ‘Sherlock’ Honest Trailer Pokes Fun at The Popular BBC Series — Watch - IndieWire article
- 'Sherlock' Honest Trailer Calls Watson "The Original Cumberbitch" - The Hollywood Reporter article
- 'Sherlock' decoded in hilarious Honest Trailers video - Cnet article
- Watch Sherlock's Honest Trailer (It's A Good As You'd Expect) - Konbini article
- Sherlock Honest Trailer Unveils the Mystery of Watson’s “Adorable Little Run” - The Mary Sue article
- Watch ‘Sherlock’ get the Honest Trailers treatment, complete with a clever trick - Digital Trends article