Tag Archives: Doctor Watson

CBS Pilot Review: Elementary

In honor of last night’s Elementary premiere, I have put together a little musical tribute. Enjoy.

Can you hear the fandoms scream?
Expressing their hatred with angry memes.
They feel that since it was done in England,
It can not be done again.
– set to the tune of “Can you hear the people sing?”

Going into the show, pretty much all you heard was “It’s not as good as the BBC version. I can’t believe John Watson is a girl. I mean really Lucy Liu is Watson? What are they thinking? Sherlock Holmes lives in London, not New York! This show is obviously going to suck. I can’t believe people will even watch this shit.”  [Editor’s Note: Yeah, that was mostly me]

Well, there were enough people that didn’t think it would suck, or were just curious because Elementary premiered to some rather good numbers. I, obviously, watched it as well, and rather enjoyed it.

Was it as good as the BBC version? Well, I don’t know that we can even compare them like that. While Sherlock is a mini-movie, Elementary is a typical procedural- we see a murder, cut to title sequence, meet the cops, find a bad guy, it’s the wrong bad guy, sit around with pensive looks, have a EUREKA! moment, find new bad guy, and of course it’s the right bad guy. [Editor’s Note: My point…] If it’s a good procedural, there is enough storyline between the main characters that keep us coming back each week. I don’t know about anyone else, but I watch NCIS more for the relationship between Gibbs’ team than the actual murders they solve.

Johnny Lee Miller is a believable incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. He’s quirky, witty, quick, and intelligent. And he’s got enough of asshole in him that makes it entertaining. He’s not intentionally an ass, as shown by his attempt to not pour salt into Watson’s wounds, but it’s there, just waiting. As he begins his post “junkie jail”/rehab life, his father has hired Liu as Joan Watson to be his sober companion. Blame it on my sheltered life, I had no idea that such a job existed. He has also decided that instead of just sitting around, he is going to return to a job he did with Scotland Yard- police consultant, this time with the NYPD. We all know what Sherlock Holmes is like, and Miller does it well.

Call me nuts, but I like Joan Watson. I don’t know that the leap from surgeon to sober companion is all that believable, but they did a good job at setting it up. I loved Sherlock’s assessment of how much she likes her job though. Can’t say I’ve ever considered the number of alarms set as an indicator of how much one likes their job, but hey, it was fun. Watching her step into the investigator role was rather ingenious. I was afraid it would be forced but it really wasn’t. And can we discuss the fact that Joan Watson is a baseball fan? I love when a woman is a baseball fan. I do want to ask her opinion on pink uniforms, I’m sure we would both agree on that topic.

If there was no other reason for me to watch this show- it would be this man. I would watch Aidan Quinn do anything. ANYTHING! I’m just hoping he has a longer stint as police captain than he did as a police lieutenant in Prime Suspect.

So- the big question is, would I watch it again? I would. Pilots are always a bit messy. They have a lot of back story to fit into a little bit of time and it makes for, at times, an awkward flow. I thought Elementary was successful in navigating those waters. The murder/investigation story vs. the relationship between Sherlock and Watson was pretty balanced. Both Miller and Liu were believable as the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing if/when Mycroft is introduced as he is one of my favorite characters. I’m the oldest child of some crazy siblings, so I can relate to his pain.  What I’m really hoping is that Sherlock will start introducing Watson by a variety of titles, a’la Sean Spencer.

Because there is potential and I’m excited to see how things develop, I’m going to give the pilot episode a 4 grizzly rating.

That wraps up this review- we’ll meet up next week and see what our favorite detective and his sober companion are up to then!

[Editor’s Note – I (Doc) am at a bit of a loss here. I have to disagree with my colleague. I thought the relationship was forced, the characters were boring, and the NYC setting was akin to moving Batman out of Gotham. 2/5 for me. They felt as natural together on-screen as they look in this picture:]

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Reaction to CBS’s ‘Elementary’

As you may recall, back at the start of the year we reported that CBS announced that it was to make a modern-day telling of Sherlock Holmes (after the BBC refused them the right to make a version of their show, Sherlock) to be called Elementary. It is to star Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson (!) and be set in New York – because the thing Sherlock Holmes stories always lacked was a female Watson and American accents…

Well now star of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, has had his say in an interview with Short List Magazine (via Uproxx):

What do you make of the new US modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, Elementary?

Jonny [Lee Miller] asked me if I was all right with him doing it. I said, “What are the similarities?” And he went, “Well it’s modern…” I went, “Oh.” Then he said, “Lucy Liu’s going to play Joan Watson…” And I went, “Oh.” I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see. I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.

It’s a strange position to be in…

It’s very odd. I did say, “Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.” When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay cheque at you, what are you going to do? I think Jonny was like, “Mate, I’ve got the f*cking mountain to climb here [to reach the acclaim of Sherlock], you’ve got nothing to fear.” I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.

And that is a polite way of saying that it’s a really bad idea and they’re all just doing it for the money.

This can only be a colossal bad idea. It’s just going to be another dumb TV detective show – which we need like we need syphilis. So, we can now only wait for this inevitable train wreck to happen and hope that it’s death is swift and painless.

CBS Orders New ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Pilot…Terrible.

So the bane of my existence America’s #1 Network – CBS is planning a new modern-day ‘Sherlock Holmes’ show called Elementary. This announcement comes after they approached the BBC and Sherlock show runners about remaking the British masterpiece, and being denied. This has led to their announcement ruffling the feathers of the Brits a bit, as I’m sure they don’t want to see their show bastardized, which CBS would surely do.

These statements came from Sherlock executive producer Sue Vertue‘s Twitter:

Exec. Producers Sue Vertue and her husband (Dr. Who scribe) Steven Moffat.

We understand that CBS are doing their own version of an updated Sherlock Holmes. It’s interesting, as they approached us a while back about remaking our show.

At the time, they made great assurances about their integrity, so we have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn’t resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying.

We are very proud of our show and like any proud parent, will protect the interest and wellbeing of our offspring.

Continue reading CBS Orders New ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Pilot…Terrible.

BBC’s SHERLOCK: Season 2 Premiere – “A Scandal in Belgravia”

Well, it took awhile, but the wait was worth it. With the new year came the new season of BBC’s Sherlock, and they wasted no time in delivering what I felt was their best episode to date. We picked up right where we left off, Sherlock and Watson in peril and for the first time, face to face with Jim Moriarty. As the first season ended all involved appeared to be in mortal danger, a Mexican standoff if you will. As A Scandal in Belgravia begins, there they all stand, at the pool and around an explosive vest when Moriarty gets a phone call. The woman on the other line inadvertently diffuses the whole situation and both sides are allowed to back down.

Now to some this might feel like a cop-out, but that’s what makes the relationship between Sherlock and Moriarty so interesting. Much like the Joker with Batman, Moriarty doesn’t really want to kill Holmes, it’s more fun just to play with him.  And as Sherlock Holmes is half the original inspiration for Batman (along with Zorro), it’s no wonder that Batman and the Joker can be drawn in such a similar light.

Now in June we told you that the sophomore season would feature the likes of the infamous Irene Alder, and feature her it has. Behold, the only woman to ever set a flutter the heart of our robotically cold Investigator.

Adler (Lara Pulver) is the introduced to us not as your run of the mill damsel in distress, but instead the target of Sherlock’s most recent case. The treat of digital blackmail and royal scandal have the Crown spooked, and for this reason Sherlock is asked to handle ‘evidence retrieval’ from outside Buckingham Palace. In the modern setting this comes in the form of an encrypted phone.

Upon introduction between Sherlock and Ms. Adler, it becomes quite clear that the retrieval of the phone is about more than just some racy photos. Whatever the true nature of the case is, it’s dangerous enough to interest the Americans as well. Sherlock and Dr. Watson once again find themselves in for more than they bargained with CIA Spooks and kidnappers running amok.

The episode takes place over the course of several months, encompassing Christmas and New Year. It also once again shows that despite how brilliant he is, Sherlock can sometimes miss the most obvious of conclusions – namely the fact that coroner Molly Hooper is in love with him. As sweet and obvious as she can be with Sherlock, she constantly tries to display her feelings for him, but unfortunately for her, she is not Irene Adler and therefore remains near invisible to Mr. Holmes.

Sherlock instead prefers to have a one-sided text message relationship with Irene that goes on for months, and is a rather endearing to see, even if we do feel for Molly. His unwillingness to answer Ms. Adler’s texts though is simply proof that the man who often seems heartless, does in fact have a heart and his silence speaks volumes. Even upon learning of Ms. Adler’s death, it’s what Sherlock does not say that speaks the loudest.

“All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage Sherlock.”

At a certain point the whole case becomes less about getting the photos back for the crown, and more about figuring out what else is on the phone. It’s obviously important if the CIA is so interested in it, and for months Sherlock try to decipher an unlock code for which you’re allowed only 4 guesses before the thing self destructs Mission Impossible style.

Without spoiling how it ends, I will simply say the whole episode was excellent, and you should check it out. They’ve made Sherlock certainly more of a badass this year, and the involvement of Adler and Moriarty raise the stakes considerably. It is a little sad that the new Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. can’t really compare to even the weakest episodes of this show in terms of quality writing. I give the premiere 5 of 5 Bears and wish that there were more than 2 more episodes coming this year…

Don’t snivel Mrs. Hudson, it’ll do nothing to impede the flight of a bullet. What a tender world that would be.

Source for Several Pictures Used: Sherlock BBC