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Brief Contradiction

Sherlock in Modern Times Possible?

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I watched seasons one and two of Sherlock recently. It was very good. As a watcher of too many television shows and a reader of Tvtropes I was pleasantly surprised to find my expectations were continually subverted. I don't often find shows that I can't predict the outcome of. It is not often that you get a TV show that knows it's audience this well. The heightened cinematic feel was only betrayed by the slightly tacky use of scene changes that needed slightly cleaner editing.

Initially, I noticed how similar it was to the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. Despite being set in a modern world the beats that were followed were very similar to each other, and the vaudeville(?) music was also very familiar. However, as the series progressed I got the impression that the series was actively trying to distance itself from the movie.

After my marathon of the amazingly good Sherlock television show, it led me to wonder if it would be possible for a person like the Sherlock Holmes featured in the series to exist in our reality. That is, a highly functioning sociopath who contributes to society in a positive way. It seems to be a bit of a contradiction of character. In our society people who are different are marginalised. They are met with passive aggression or indifference. This leads to the person retreating inward, becoming only interested in themselves due to this isolation.

This leads to either two possibilities, the person conforms to society's expectations or the person recedes into their mind becoming an emotional recluse. Either way, the person would not be capable of the mental athletics that Sherlock performs in the series simply because they are not able to train and hone their mental capabilities, nor would they would want to for the betterment of the society they have been shunned by. Which is why Sherlock is such an interesting case, albeit fictional. Anyone who sticks out is pushed down, that's why minority races and the LGBT crowd are discriminated against. It might be in human nature to do this. As kids we're innocent and naive, we do what comes naturally. But we still judge based upon what other's do. If someone does something that we perceive as bad we shun them, distance ourselves from them. It might be a self defence mechanism hard-coded into our instincts. If we stand out we might attract predators or the ire of fellow sapiens and risk death. That is why I believe it would be hard to find a person with the personality and abilities of Sherlock Holmes in reality.

That is, unless there is a catalyst. Something to bring the person into action. It would have to be very traumatic or life changing, I presume. The ego boost and intellectual stimulation would not be enough to counteract his pride alone, I think. He might have done it to prove a point maybe.

Einstein himself did very well in school but the teachers disliked him and he disliked the teachers. It is an example of how being different can offend some people.

Of course, these are just my amateur hypothesises regarding the human condition.

After finishing my watching of Sherlock, my brain's accent became British for awhile, which was a bit weird.

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  1. Lin Beifong's Avatar
    heh, lol its nice to see a fellow fan of the series, I can't wait for series 3 :D Funnily enough I have met a few people with shall we say... sherlock personalities... I am very different to most around me myself, and being different can just offend some people....

    On that Sherlock note, I am gonna finish my latest chapter to me crossover, so see you :D


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