Some may be scratching their heads as to why we’ve been reporting on this new series at all. It’s not sci-fi, it’s doesn’t have zombies, so why do we give a shit about a new detective show on CBS. Well, to be honest, I’m mostly interested in Elementary because I want to see it fail. See, there’s this phenomenal show across the pond from Steven Moffat. No, not Doctor Who, though it might as well be about his non-time traveling brother from another mother. It’s called Sherlock and it is a modern re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes from Moffat and Mark Gattis. Did I mention it’s incredible? How about spectacular? Guys, it’s mind-blowingly good television you need to watching! (You’re in luck too because the most recent season is available on PBS’ site.) Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the detective and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. You might be familiar with them from a couple, low-key projects they have coming up, Star Trek 2 and The Hobbit. Sherlock‘s loaded with plenty of geek cred and is really worth checking out. Would I lead you astray?
Okay, enough gushing about why Sherlock is like, the best thing ever. Elementary appears to be CBS’ attempt to capitalize on the modern-Sherlock Holmes popularity. It should be noted that earlier on CBS optioned to adapt Moffat and Gattis’ Sherlock for American television. Moffat smartly replied, fuck no, learning from the train wreck that was an American version of his British sitcom, Coupling. So, it’s a little suspicious when CBS comes out with their own modern-Sherlock Holmes TV show after Moffat turned them down. Hmm.
Earlier today we shared our first official look at Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, respectively. “See! Look! We’ve got a girl Watson. This is completely different!” said CBS trying to defend their blatant ripoff. Now we’ve seen the first bit of footage from Elementary in this behind-the-scenes promo,
Miller’s doing a nice job as Holmes, I really can’t complain about anything he does here. It’s just, I’ve seen it done better, by Cumberbatch, funny enough his co-star from their widely acclaimed stage show, Frankenstein. And Lui, well, she’s Lucy Lui. I’ve never seen her act in anything that’s been dramatically different from what I’ve seen her do before, and this seems to be much of the same.
From what we can see in the short behind-the-scenes promo this just screams Americanized Sherlock. But of course, I’m sure they’re skirting that line very carefully and making their show just different enough the BBC won’t have a reason to release the legal hounds.
Here’s the official synopsis,
ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson. Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
What do you guys think? Does it look any good to you? Does appear to be a blatant Sherlock ripoff? (Come on! He’s even wearing a scarf!) Or is there room for two, equally good, modernizations of the famous sleuth?