More TV Reviews on Netflix Insant: Sherlock and Sports Night

Year: 2010
Genre: Three 88-minute murder mysteries
Format: Available on Netflix Instant Viewing
Rating: ****

This excellent updated version of Sherlock Holmes takes place in modern-day London.  Holmes describes himself as a "high-functioning sociopath" and  Watson is a medical doctor and veteran of the Afghan war.  The three murder mysterious are engaging, witty,  and satisfyingly solved by Holmes and Watson.  I never read the original books so I can’t compare how closely the modern update uses canon, but they do introduce Holmes’s arch-enemy Moriarty. 

Sports Night
Year: 1998
Genre: Half-hour Comedy
Format: Available on Netflix Instant Viewing
Rating: *** 1/2

If you missed this show about a late-night cable sports show the first time around, check it out now.  The cast is full of talented familiar faces. The sports anchors are played by Peter Krause (Nate from Six Feet Under, Adam from Parenthood) and Josh Charles (Will from The Good Wife).  Felicity Huffman (Lynette from Desperate Housewives) is the show’s producer and Robert Guillaume (Benson from the show Benson) is her boss.

Sports Night is written by Aaron Sorkin so the dialog is smart and funny. The cable show studios are supposed to be in the World Trade Center so there are a lot of now nostalgic shots of the Trade Center and even an eerie episode devoted a bomb treat in the building.  Initially the writing showcases Sorkin’s main weaknesses — a tendency to get preachy and have all the characters sound alike.  Within the first couple episodes, each character takes on his or her own voice, the preaching stops, and the fun begins!

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