Veggie Tales - Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler
I have been perusing the wide selection of Veggie Tales stories that Netflix has to offer to appease the needs of my daughter (who rather likes Bob the Tomato). For those not in the know, Veggie Tales is a series of videos that uses animated vegetables to teach children valuable lessons about friendship, sharing, faith, trust and family. There is an underlying message about God in every episode, but it’s not in-your-face or hurtful. I enjoy these videos for the stories as opposed to the Bible lessons, but the messages they convey are positive.
In one episode of Veggie Tales, we follow the story of Sheerluck Holmes and Dr. Watson. Sheerluck is a happy-go-lucky cucumber who happens to be the ‘greatest living detective,’ but does not have the same mental prowess as his namesake. No, Sheerluck seems to find clues not by the powers of logic and deduction, but by sheer luck. Ironically, his tomato friend, Dr. Watson, is the brains of the duo. Dr. Watson uses complicated words that often leave Sheerluck in the dust and confuse otherwise normal members of society. Dr. Watson is overshadowed by the obnoxious personality of Sheerluck and feels as though he is being short changed.
Sheerluck always gets the credit for the cases. The girls love him. He has many friends. No one realises that it is Dr. Watson who does most, if not all of the investigative work. Sheerluck merely bumbles along. When Buckingham Palace needs their help to locate a lost key (it opens the door to where the Golden Ruler is kept), Sheerluck and Dr. Watson are on the case! With this case, we see firsthand just how well Dr. Watson’s investigative techniques work and just how accident-prone Sheerluck can be when he accidentally stumbles upon a trap door. (There is a silly appearance by the Forensic Investigation of South Hampton and the Canterbury Highway Patrols or F.I.S.H. and C.H.I.P.S.)
Dr. Watson gets upset when Sheerluck takes all the credit for his work and eventually leaves Sheerluck to solve the case by himself. A particularly amusing moment would be when Sheerluck tries to find Watson and is told off by his various maids, who tar and feather him (“The good doctor has been gone all day… suffering from a broken heart he is.”). Sheerluck has to apologise to Dr. Watson to show the strength of their friendship and agree to share the spotlight. The Golden Ruler is essentially the Golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Some variations on the Conan Doyle canon include:
Sheerluck has a pipe that blows bubbles.
Instead of a violin, Sheerluck plays the sousaphone (a staple of Larry the Cucumber, who is portraying Sheerluck).
Sheerluck’s inability to read human emotions. He is completely unaware of how he is treating Dr. Watson ( “What really hurts is when someone says they’re your friend, but they don’t treat you like one." )
A series of brilliant deductions (hair fibers, cheese and bread crumbs portrayed in a way very much like the BBC Sherlock) made by… Dr. Watson!
In the end, it was interesting to see the dynamics of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson changed in this re-telling. It parodies Holmes’ show-off behaviour and Watson’s portrayal as a bumbling side character. I probably enjoyed this tale more than the target audience simply because of my emotional investment in the subject material.