So, for those of you who haven’t seen my last post, here’s a little recap: BBC’s “Sherlock” is one of the best television shows in the world. Seriously. Watch it.
Great, now you’re all caught up. Missed a lot, didn’t you?
Yeah, no. Not really.
For this post, I wanted to talk about CBS’ show, “Elementary” because it is also a Sherlock Holmes spin-off set in the 21st century. When I heard about CBS’ version of the show, I was a bit worried. I think it was understandable, though. I mean, how many shows has America stolen…
(Let me explain my use of “stolen” for a bit here, because apparently a reader of this from tumblr had a problem with it. Obviously you can’t steal a television show. That shit’s copyrighted out the ass and whatever else they do to keep it from being stolen. I’m saying “stolen” here, in the use of the word to mean that I think the shows that were, let’s say adapted for Americans, unnecessary. Now, I’m American and I obviously love TV – this blog is proof – but sometimes you should just be okay with a non-American version. Like, I get why they do it – these shows do well in another country, so another opportunity for revenue if it’s done in the US. But whatever. If you don’t like my word choice – whoever-you-are-from-tumblr, then don’t read my posts. Simple as that. I tag things with “opinions” for a reason. This is my opinion. I never claimed that these shows being stolen was a fact, it was just a word choice. End rant.)
…from British television. “Cash Cab”, “The Office”, “Being Human”, and “Shameless” are just a few I found in a quick Google search. Some of these ended better than others, you can check the link to wikipedia to see which.
Anyway, yeah, so I was kind of nervous and a bit peeved that CBS had the audacity to premier an American modern Sherlock Holmes just two years (2012 for “Elementary” and 2010 for “Sherlock”) after Britain’s unbelievably successful version. And then I heard that John Watson would be played by Lucy Liu and I was like, “What have you done, CBS?” I mean, genderswapping a classic character like Doctor Watson? That couldn’t end well.
But I’m not egotistical enough to not admit when I’m wrong.
“Elementary” has surprised me in so many ways. I was unbelievably shocked to discover that the was, actually, pretty neat. Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely reluctant when it came to actually sitting down and watching the show, but it was kind of awesome.
Johnny Lee Miller plays a very convincing Sherlock Holmes, a former drug addict and still as arrogant as ever, and Lucy Liu’s Joan Watson comes across just as compassionate and intelligent as Martin Freeman’s portrayal. Taking place in New York City, Watson works as Holmes’ “sober companion” during his recovery from drug addiction. And instead of being a former army doctor, Liu’s Watson is a disgraced surgeon who left a career at the hospital after having a patient die during a procedure.
Sadly, there isn’t an Inspector Lestrade – but there is a Captain Gregson who can be compared. Plus, Gregson’s story line has us finding out that he had worked with Holmes during a stint at Scotland Yard. However, we do get an Irene Adler in both shows. Now, I haven’t seen any of the episodes where Adler appears on “Elementary” but she is played by Natalie Dormer, who we might remember as Margaery Tyrell in “Game of Thrones” as well as having a cameo in Captain America. Personally, I love Dormer – I think she’s a fabulous actress and her character on “Game of Thrones” is quickly becoming one of my favorites as the season progresses. As for “Sherlock”, we have an Irene Adler played by Lara Pulver, who appeared on HBO’s “True Blood”. Now, Pulver’s Adler was kind of a badass – we got to see exactly why she was Holmes’ match in intelligence. She played a dominatrix who kept pictures of her clients on her phone as insurance against those who wished her ill-will. “A Scandal in Belgravia” was an excellent episode of “Sherlock”, the only one we got to see Pulver in, but that’s fine.
This has become a lot more of a compare and contrast post than I had intended, so sorry for that.
But, if you made it this far, you might as well finish, right?
So, if you can get past the glaringly obvious differences, I think you’ll find that “Elementary” is worth watching. It’s a witty show with intriguing plots, ones that don’t really have you comparing it to BBC’s “Sherlock” which, for me, was what I was worried about. Time for the verdict, though – sink or swim? I’m going with swim. I enjoy watching this show, when I get a chance because it’s not a show I wait for every week. The acting is very good and the plots – while sometimes a bit predictable – are intriguing, for the most part.
Below you’ll find the trailer for season one of “Elementary”.