Elementary, my dear CBS* (a review of the new new new Sherlock Holmes)

The way I see it, there are three main questions with regard to this new incarnation. Four if you really want to discuss Downy Jr.’s outings. I don’t. I prefer Iron Man. Anyway, my three questions are this (in order of importance to me personally):

  1. How does it compare to the BBC’s slash-tastic1 Sherlock?
  2. How does it compare to the source material?
  3. Is it any good?

Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start2.

BC has both the best coat and the best British accent. JLM has been in the colonies far too long.

So, how does it compare to Sherlock? Well, this does feel very well into question 2, too. It… doesn’t compare to Sherlock. Not at all really. Nor the source material. Beyond being about a surly private investigator with a British accent, there isn’t much to connect the two.

As an astute fellow Sherlockian pointed out on Tumblr, I’m not sure why they used Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character names in this new piece. There’s no London, no Lestrade, no… Sherlock. It’s just a dick with a funny name and a sidekick solving crimes. It’s not like this paradigm hasn’t been plumbed before without using the Great Detective’s name. So why tack it on to this unique piece of drama? I’m not gonna go into it here. Ask Mrs. Moff.

Regardless, beyond getting people to watch the thing, the name adds nothing to the series. It has charms of its own – the guilt-ridden ex-surgeon taking care of the manic, poorly-accented addict who solves crimes because he’s bored. The police are predictably contrary during the pilot whilst being non-characters in the background of Jonny Lee Miller’s mania and Lucy Liu’s straight-woman.

So – is it worth watching? I’d say ‘yes’. At least test it out for a few episodes after the pilot as I will. It’s a very American product – I’d put it closer to Dexter than the BBC’s Sherlock. It has all the nasty murder stuff without the witty interplay or textual-subtextual homoerotic but it has a certain… something that I’ll keep trying. The ending of the pilot was lovely.

Anyway, yeah. How is it possible that JLM – a British actor – has such an appalling British accent? He sounds like Daphne from Frasier!

I’ll leave you on that note and I’ll try to construct something a little more coherent for my next post.

 

* Yes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson”. That doesn’t make it any less real than how much excellent and often angry sex goes on in the TARDIS. Case in point behind this link (take a lesson in context before you click that).

1 If you don’t know what I mean, follow the link then do your own research.
2 Okay, that was too British even for me. I apologise. I also blame Genevieve Charnaux.

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4 thoughts on “Elementary, my dear CBS* (a review of the new new new Sherlock Holmes)

  1. I’ve just recently watched the premiere on my DVR, and I can honestly say that I enjoy the changeup to the franchise of Sherlock Holmes. Me and a few friends that I work with at DISH have always been a Lucy Liu fan; it’s great for her to play a role that we had previously never even thought could be done. I’m just glad that the show is part of CBS’ PrimeTime. I have a Hopper DVR, and it auto-records the big 4 channels during their PrimeTime hours with a feature called PrimeTime Anytime. I’m glad that you are giving the show a chance. One of its biggest strengths is found in the characters’ weaknesses. Cheers.

    • Yeah, I watched the second episode and I’m still really enjoying it. It’s a good whodunnit. I just don’t think it’s Sherlock Holmes.

      I’ve been a fan of Lucy Lui since Ally McBeal. She was great in that.

  2. Pingback: Elementary After 11 Episodes « Kosmopolite

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