September 28, 2012

Quick Thoughts: ELEMENTARY, "Pilot"

Let's me just get it out of the way: Elementary will never be Sherlock.

Now that's out of the way, the bigger question is should Elementary exist in a world that already has a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes? Begrudgingly  I have to say yes because CBS' take on the material is different enough and on brand enough to be on the air... it just has to sit at the kiddie table while BBC's version sits at the adult's. That is until Elementary gets too big for its britches and slaps around everything around it. OK, enough inane babbling.

The pilot episode of Elementary was capable enough and successful at being exactly what it wanted to be: a CBS procedural spin on the iconic character. The case-of-the week wasn't too twisty, so those in for a fun ride wouldn't be confused. The chemistry between Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson was on full display and clearly the hook of the series. But more importantly, Jonny Lee Miller was able to make Sherlock Holmes his own.

I promised myself that I wasn't going to make too many Sherlock references during this write-up, but I have to when it comes to the main characters. Benedict Cumberbatch is clearly the superior sleuth, but Miller's take may actually work better. Sacrilege, I know. There's no denying Cumberbatch's brilliance, but his Sherlock can be extremely abrasive and off-putting (part of his charm) whereas Miller's Sherlock was eccentric without going overboard. Admittedly, it can be hard to watch the Cumberbatch's performance while it was easier to digest Miller's, and that's a good thing.

The jury's still out on Lucy Liu as Watson, and even though CBS has stated that Elementary will not be a will they/won't they, it's clear to see that it's an avenue that will be explored before the series ends. Aside from plot contrivances, Liu has potential and I'm interested to see how gender will affect this iconic relationship and character. She's no Martin Freeman though. OK, I promise that was the last time... maybe.

Overall, I have to admit that Sherlock coming to CBS worked the first time out. Everything's there for Elementary to be a big hit, and I actually want it to be successful because it's already more entertaining than the rest of the Eye's cop drama line-up. Now, bring on the Sherlock fanboys and girls.


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