Deadline Day madness is becoming a non-event despite Sky’s best efforts | Jacob Steinberg

What stood out when the transfer window closed was the paucity of eye-catching business and how action on the field took precedence

I finally finished the new series of Sherlock this week. It took longer than I anticipated. Maintaining focus on Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman proved difficult as time wore on, the plot became increasingly implausible and the show morphed into a Crystal Maze tribute. Professional critics were unimpressed. Sherlock was accused of turning in the worst James Bond impression since Jez slept with Mark’s future mother-in-law in Peep Show. There was inevitable and potentially fatal talk of jumping the shark.

It happens to the best of them. The Wire rather lost its way with series five and Scott Templeton. Ricky Gervais could not resist the temptation of bringing back David Brent for that self?parodic film. Even a nuanced comedy like My Family never recovered from losing Kris Marshall to the BT adverts. The trick is knowing when to go out on a high, how to keep the audience wanting more. Recently, I introduced my girlfriend to Fawlty Towers, an act of cruelty and kindness, because the tragedy was knowing that each episode brought us closer to the end. She had to be let down gently after we finished the second series. It was all part of the genius.

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