ripper street costume

TJLC: A Promo Shot Minimeta

We all do it, hot new show is announced and you see the ads on the train, or the bus stops or the tube.  And we judge those images, gauge them to determine whether the show is worth a go.  Flipping through any magazine, you will see them: glossy promo shots.

Sample: Supernatural.  What can we glean from this?  Guns, broken down hotel room, salt circle.  Two serious looking guys.  Says partners, action and travel.  Says violence, maybe cops or vigilantes.  You would be close.  A lot can be read in a promo shoot.  It’s kinda the point.

But that’s an American show, and we’re interested in BBC Sherlock.  So let’s look at some other big name BBC shows.

Downton Abbey:

Big cast pictured so right away we know there are many overlapping stories.  Probably a drama,  Probably extended family drama.  Again, fairly spot on advertising.

Bake Off:

Cooking show, obvious.  Stern looking gentleman on the left screams contest judge but he could just be an expert.  Either way, food and some sort of expert on food.  Again, accurate advertising.

Doctor Who:

Action adventure.  Possible damsel or romance subplot as female is set in the background, non fighting pose  Male is framed as an action hero, attack pose, assume he is the title character. [feign surprise here]

Broadchurch:

Partner positioning, equal scale and foreground position of the characters.  Stern faces, so drama.  Police tape, so cop show, obvious.  Accurate?  You betcha.

Ripper Street:

Trio/partnership.  Costumes indicate a period setting.  Possible mob/gang setting.  Underbelly hoodlum vibe.  Close again? of course.

Top Gear:

Cars and explosions and probably these guys will break things for fun.  So accurate I don’t know what else you could expect from this show.

Conclusion, the BBC knows how to summarize a show in a promo shoot and how to advertise to its target audience.  So… anyone care to explain the Sherlock promos as anything but TJLC?

My point being that this is clearly a show about two male leads and their relationship.  Whether it’s platonic or not, there is a very palpable longing and closeness.  So I can’t help if I giggle when people try to convince me this is not a “drama about a detective” but that it’s an “action detective show”.  They did attempt to sort of advertise Sherlock that way.  Years ago.

Of course this was the first episode.  Things have quite clearly changed not just for the characters, but in how the entire show presents itself.  I, for one, embrace the changes with open arms. <3  

I can get crime solving detective Holmes and his buddy-pal Watson anywhere.  In fact 99% of the adaptations follow that lead.  But ‘PTSD’ John Hamish Watson and 'Sociopath’ William Sherlock Scott Holmes…  They are unique.