Elementary has quickly turned into one of my favorite new shows of the fall 2012 TV season. It's got drama and humor in just the right amounts, plus some great characters.
I should probably mention in the interest of full disclosure that I've never been a fan of the whole Sherlock Holmes genre. It's not that I disliked it, but I just never had much interest in it. I'm not a huge mystery buff so I never read the books and because I never read the books, I wasn't horribly interested in its other incarnations on the big and little screens.
So when I heard that CBS was taking on the story of Holmes and Watson, I initially shrugged it off as something that I would probably never watch. But after reading more about it, and watching the preview, I'll admit I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Boy am I glad I did, too.
Here are a few ways I think Elementary gets it right, plus the grades I give each.
Setting it in modern day New York: B+
Like I said, I've never seen the other incarnations of Sherlock Holmes so I was never attached to it being set in any particular time period. That being said, there is just something about seeing it set in a city like New York. I may have never lived there, but the TV version sure seems to go along with the type of stories that they do on the show, and I think the Big Apple is the perfect backdrop for it.
Making Watson a woman who is also Holmes' sober companion: A
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of the bromance so I'll admit to a bit of disappointment when I heard that Holmes' best bud was going to be a female in this version. It was one of the things that I thought I might like about the show before I knew much about it: having two male characters as the leads. But again, I was very happy to be wrong in this case. Lucy Liu's Watson is wonderful and I love the interaction between her and Holmes. I am also happy that, from what I've read in interviews, there are no plans to take them into a romantic relationship. I am enjoying learning more about her and the reasons for her career change as the show continues to develop her character.
Having Holmes act as a consultant to the NYPD: B
I suppose a show that had a guy running around the city and stumbling across crimes that he would then solve would have been interesting, but personally I'm happy that Holmes has an official capacity with the police department. It gives his character more depth to know that people of authority trust him and I also like that it allows him to share a friendship with Gregson (played by Aidan Quinn). The more we're learning about Gregson and Holmes, the more I'm enjoying the bond that they share and I can't wait to see how their friendship continues to develop.
Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes: A+
In my humble opinion, they could not have picked a better person to play the modern version of Holmes than Johnny Lee Miller. He pulls off just the right amount of intelligence mixed with arrogance and sarcasm that makes you love Homes, just as you simultaneously want to scream at him. Miller's energy on screen makes Holmes' previous drug use apparent, while still showing us a man who can be calm and quiet when it's necessary. Every episode seems to peel back another layer to Holmes and I am enjoying learning more and more about him as the series continues.
Overall Score: A
So what you do you think of CBS' new take on the Sherlock Holmes tale? Are you enjoying the first season of Elementary or do you prefer another version of Sherlock and Holmes?
(Image courtesy of CBS)