Sherlock

TV review by Elka Karl, Common Sense Media
Sherlock Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Smart modern detective tales with dark, morbid elements.

PBS Drama 2010

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 294 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

One of the best shows ever made - but NOT for kids.

Firstly, just to be clear: this show is AMAZING. I firmly believe it is one of the best television shows ever to grace our screens. I can't wait to show it to my daughter. She is going to love its clever dialogue, intricate plotting, and slow-burn drama. She is going to love the beautifully realised characters, and the complex interplay between them. She's going to love the mysteries, and the excitement, and the utterly delicious humour of it. And I'm going to love showing her a show that celebrates both intelligence and empathy, and continually reminds us that one is not enough without the other. But I'm going to have to wait, because this show also has the potential to be extremely disturbing and frightening. Yes, it's about people who track down killers, and there's corpses, etc. Honestly I couldn't care less about any of that; my daughter adores Agatha Christie books (and movies), and indeed The Hunger Games, and I consider those to be fine for her. As has been mentioned by others, there is very little on-screen violence here. And actually, some episodes would be fine for a 13 or possibly even 12 year old. But that's the problem: SOME episodes. Parents should be aware that the psychological impact of many episodes of this show goes well beyond blood spatter and gunshot wounds. The very first episode is in fact one of the ones I found a bit disturbing, and the scene in question contained no violence at all - but it did contain a horrible creeping realisation of what was going on, and how this killer worked (I won't go into it; I don't do spoilers). Some episodes in later seasons would be even more problematic. This is not a show that relies on jump-scares or a beastie chasing around and trying to eat people. That kind of fear is immediate and easily forgotten. This is a show that has been very cleverly and deliberately written to reach deep into the human psyche, find the vulnerabilities hiding there, and oh-so-gently start to squeeze... For the record, yes there is also a dominatrix with all the attendant issues that might raise (only a problem in one episode, and it's actually less of a drama than you might expect). There is drug use, not always with any real consequences (although the heavier examples of this occur much later - not really an issue in the first couple of seasons). There are also very complex, very intense, and sometimes devastating, emotional relationships between major characters (and no, I don't mean they are sexual, but in some cases they may be a bit heavy for younger viewers). It is a masterpiece. But it isn't for kids, or even tweens. Older teenagers will be fine, and in general will be much better placed to appreciate it anyway.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.
age 15+
I have dipped into this series, the past two months, today being 18th May. If it carry a warning... Then it is sort of, depressive squalor? sorry. It's really Sherlock Holmes, as teenager? Translate- a slave to mood. It is quite a faithful adaptation- sense of the original. However, actually it makes me sick, Sherlock Holmes. PS. I'd really like to make an excel file, just to say- you could do this on computer. I heard (Reith lectures , Prof Stuart...) a robot-written poem- sounded fine. Here, you know- what's the recipe for mystery? I'm getting bogged down. Best wishes.

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