I was updating my iPhone to iOS6 last night and had a couple of hours to kill, so I figured I’d checkout the first 2 episodes of Elementary, which had been sitting in my TiVo since it aired. Over all Elementary is a good enough Police Procedural with a good bit of humor thrown in, primarily from Sherlock’s interactions with other people.
The cast is good, Sherlock is played very well by Jonny Lee Miller (at least they kept Sherlock Holmes British), and Lucy Liu does really well as Dr. Joan Watson.
The general consensus I’ve seen online is “It’s better than I thought it would be”, Elementary is a very enjoyable Police Procedural Drama with a really observant guy in it, but that’s all it really is. I love Sherlock Holmes, but I think he works best in that Victorian gas light era. It is still cool to see one really observant guy be able to deduce all this information from a crime scene faster the CSI Forensics Lab can, but we already have the BBC’s Sherlock series that does this. Sherlock at least keeps Holmes in his original terrain of England, and doesn’t throw him into New York settings, because according to the Networks, American viewers wouldn’t be able to follow the series if it not in the US. I’ve got news for the Network Executives, there are huge swaths of Americans that have never been to New York, and for us it’s as foreign a landscape as the UK, so it really wouldn’t matter where you set it.
Also with the Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes Movies, the BBC’s Sherlock, Psych, The Mentalist, Bones, House M.D. (Which just ended last year), and Doctor Who on the air do we really need another Sherlock Holmes reimagining/remake/spinoff/inspired by series or movie out there? I think Elementary could have been a nice addition to the amalgamation of Sherlock Holmes media that is out there, it’s just at the wrong time, there is so much out there right now in the Sherlock Genre it might just be too much.
If you want really good classic Sherlock Holmes Stories and a few new ones thrown in periodically check out Big Finish’s range of Sherlock Holmes audio Dramas, starring Nicholas Briggs as Sherlock Holmes.
I didn’t really have any problems with Elementary; it just didn’t really click with me. Judging it strictly as a Police Procedural, I would probably rate it a sold 6.5 – 7 out of 10. If you want to see Sherlock Holmes in a modern American setting, in new criminal cases then Elementary may just be the show for you.