Season four of the Benedict Cumberbatch series, Sherlock, premiered January 1 and if you haven't seen it yet, but are a fan of the show, prepare yourself for disappointment.
After a two and half year hiatus, thinking the show, with Cumberbatch's film career taking off, would never return, I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was in fact coming back for a fourth season.
Then I watched it. The brilliant creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the cooly logical and highly perceptive Sherlock Holmes and his loyal sidekick John Watson, are, unsurprisingly, considered by the BBC inappropriate for today's audience. In short, they can't allow men to be portrayed as brilliant or brave. In season four, Mary Morstan (played by Martin Freeman's real life girlfriend, Amanda Abbington) is given a much expanded role, which basically involves henpecking Watson (her husband in the show) and belittling Sherlock.
In the premier episode, Sherlock uncovers a murderous cabal of women, who he doesn't turn into the authorities because apparently the men, the victims of said cabal, had it coming. This is of course a continuation of the trend in film and TV: Don't create new dynamic female characters (anyone remember Ripley from Aliens?) Just retread male characters as female, or failing that (as in the case of Sherlock) create a female character presented as superior to the men, cause supposedly that makes it 'better.'
After demonstrating in the first episode of the new season that Mary was (according to Sherlock) better at this (sleuthing) than Watson (but he's allowed to tag along as long as he looks after the baby). In the following episode were supposed to believe that the 45 year-old out of shape Morstan was the leader of a crack para-military assassin team. The words, "I can't have you (Watson) and Sherlock hanging off my gun arm when things go bad," are spoken at one point in the episode and are meant to be taken seriously, as in the 5'5 120 lb Mary is supposedly far better at protecting herself than the 6'2 190 lb Sherlock, or her ex-soldier husband Watson. Yes we've seen women in recent years in various super hero movies, portrayed as ridiculously strong for their height and weight, but not more so than their male counterparts. The new version of Sherlock wants to take us to a world (that the writers apparently see as utterly plausible) where women are not only intellectually superior to men, but all things being equal (no superpowers or enhancements) are physically more capable (biology be damned!)
Doctor Who was given a similar treatment last year by the BBC, so it shouldn't come as a surprise, just the same, it's the 115 year-old literary creation, Sherlock Holmes for Christ sakes. But in 2017, the genius detective is only palatable to audiences if he's a feminist whipping boy... sigh.