Netflix has a knack for producing empty calories, and Enola Holmes is not an exception. Pretty visuals, female empowerment, and decent to above-average acting can’t hide the blandness of its storyline nor the absence of any reasoning, deductive or otherwise.
It is, by the way, hard to think of Enola’s character as particularly empowered when the next three women in screen time order are her mother the polymath rebel, her friend the black martial arts teacher, and an aristocratic evil mastermind. Not to mention the brief appearance of a coitery of female anarchist geniuses. In Victorian London!1 A bit too on the nose, maybe? To paraphrase the Incredibles, when everyone’s special, no one is.
What’s worse, there is a story where this particular cast of characters makes perfect sense in this particular setting, one where a downtrodden young woman — think female Oliver Twist — meets them in order to learn what’s possible. But Enola is built up to already be the self-reliant Victorian anti-lady. Running into even more of the same archetype on her way to saving the prince makes for boring and lazy storytelling. ↩︎