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Action/Drama

Post-Super Bowl decision is Elementary for CBS

At the risk of alienating a number of Tellyspotting readers and the throngs Sherlock fans around the globe, I am here to admit that I’m coming around a bit (accent on ‘a bit’) to CBS’ Elementary series. There are two reasons for my momentary lapse of cynicism. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Overall, while it’s not something that I have been setting the DVR for each week, I do find myself watching with interest ever since it premiered back in September. And, apparently, as it is CBS’ second highest rated new show, their are others out there that agree with me. So much so that CBS has upped the original commission of 13 episodes to a full 24-episode season. Not only that, but the network has bestowed the coveted post-Super Bowl broadcast slot on the modern-day American adaptation of the world’s most famous consulting detective.

You may remember the before broadcast drama that had Sherlock fans in a fizz thinking that the series was a direct rip-off of the brilliant Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Other than the fact that, as with the BBC series, this Sherlock adaptation was given a contemporary feel by transporting the stories to the 21st century, that’s about where the similarities end. While it doesn’t have anywhere near the feel of the passion that uber-Sherlock fans, Moffat and Gatiss, have put into the the BBC version, the freneticism of Jonny Lee Miller’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is worth a look and Lucy Liu follows up some really great work in Southland with a strong performance as Dr. Joan Watson, complementing Miller very well.

So, if you were on the fence initially and had to be drug kicking and screaming as I was to view the CBS version, it’s worth the time, if only for the performances by Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. No one, however, can touch the writing and production quality of the BBC version so, when the day is done, I’ll still put both the BBC Sherlock version and Jeremy Brett’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes far above Elementary. That said, Elementary is far above much of what you find on broadcast television these days…

  • MoranL

    I am not a fanatic fan of Rathbone’s, Brett’s, RDJ’s or Cumberbatch’s Holmes, and quite honestly particularly not RDJ’s; I’m a ACD’s Holmes lifelong fan. I’m not against another adaptation of Holmes story, may it be in the Victorian era or modern-day, but sorry, I saw the Elementary pilot, and the performances of Miller and Liu were ‘interesting’, but I simply can’t get any sense of Holmes/ Watson in the show (and the gender swap, which I’m not against, has nothing to do with it). You know what? The minute CBS changes this show’s major characters’ names to something non-Holmes related, I’ll give it the second try, otherwise I’ll watch films I borrow from my local library (free) or go back to ACD’s novels (also free) or simply chat with my family (absolutely free). I see no needs to watch something because there are no other things more interesting on TV on that timeslot. And yes you are right about the alienation, I find all these so-called Sherlockian/ Holmesian bloggers who keep pushing this nominal Holmes show and being a part of CBS/ Elementary PR machine very annoying.

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