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HBO Asia is Bringing Us a Japanese Female Sherlock Holmes in Miss Sherlock and We’re Not Mad About It

Whelp, there go my Labor Day weekend plans.

Is there a more overused source material than that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series? The Baker Street detective has appeared in countless adaptations, from film to television to plays and even podcasts. And while modern entries like BBC’s Sherlock still garner a fervid fandom, the character of Sherlock Holmes feels quite well-worn in pop culture.

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HBO Asia is looking to put a fresh new spin on the classic character in their new Japanese series Miss Sherlock, which reimagines Holmes as a Japanese woman played by Yuko Takeuchi (The Ring, Flashforward) who teams up with Dr. Wato Tachibana (Shihori Kanjiya) to solve crimes. The official description is below:

The show follows the British-born Miss Sherlock Holmes to Japan, where she meets Dr. Wato Tachibana, a surgeon who has just returned from a medical mission in Syria. The two women spark a friendship and become partners in solving peculiar, perplexing crimes. MISS SHERLOCK retains the essential qualities of Sherlock Holmes, as the investigators employ insightful observation and reasoning skills in their new incarnation as strong women.

While we’ve had plenty of Sherlock Holmes reboots, both Sherlock and Watson have universally remained white men, with Elementary‘s Lucy Liu as the lone standout as Dr. Joan Watson. Making the leads both women of color has the potential to reinvigorate the series and offer a different perspective. The eight-episode series, which was co-produced with Hulu, features a slick-looking Sherlock who seems to share the same brusque, rude nature as her predecessors. And while we are quite used to seeing the callous genius anti-hero, we rarely see that character in female form.

While men are allowed to be grumpy, arrogant, anti-social leads, that courtesy is rarely extended to female characters. Women are cursed with expectations of “likeability” and often end up playing the mother, the conscience or the martyr. Only recently are we seeing flawed female leads like Gillian Anderson in The Fall or Amy Adams in Sharp Objects. While the world can’t seem to get enough of dickish protagonists like Walter White, Don Draper, and Ray Donovan, there is a distinct lack of representation for women who don’t settle nicely into a trope.

There also seems to be a hint of queerness in the trailer, but we’ll have to wait and watch the series to see if it actually appears. Much like BBC’s Sherlock, shippers have already fallen for Sherlock and Wato, with #Watolock already taking Tumblr by storm. For the next Sherlock adaptation, maybe it’s time to make Sherlock and Watson a canon couple. Haven’t we waited long enough? Miss Sherlock will be available on HBO on September 1st, 2018.

(via Geek Tyrant, image: screengrab)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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