Elementary (TV Series 2012– ) Poster

(2012– )

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10/10
Intelligent and quirky Thursday night viewing.
Ally Mark18 January 2013
I didn't want to watch this because I adore the BBC Sherlock. However, after denying myself for weeks and weeks I decided to download the first 8 episodes and get to work watching them before I made a full opinion.

I was surprised at how easy it was to fall in love with Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock and Lucy Liu's female Watson. Both actors brought their A-Game and succeeded in bringing viewers in, despite the un-original procedural aspect to the show.

The crimes of the week are lackluster and pedestrian at the very beginning, a typical trait of typical procedural dramas on broadcast networks. However, thankfully this did not continue for all the 12 episodes that have been aired. Somewhere along the 6th episode is when I assume the writers got the full season pick-up and felt the support of CBS after being given the coveted Super Bowl episode slot.

Now the crimes are interesting and layered. The best thing is that the characterization of Sherlock and Watson is the best thing I've seen on a drama in years. Lucy and Jonny have a platonic chemistry which brings angst, sarcasm and wit to the show that is very enjoyable.

The character scenes are the best in every episode, and you can't deny the acting skill involved to breath fresh air into an over used double act such as Holmes and Watson. Miller and Liu make you forget about the other interpretations and fall in love all over again with the crime solving duo.

I suggest everyone watches before passing judgement, and be open minded. You can like all Sherlock Holmes adaptions, there is no rule against liking another.

Elementary is going to be a fantastic series, and I hope it lasts a long time on CBS. It's refreshing and adds vitality to a very old network. Great show!
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10/10
I'm English, I've read all the Sherlock Holmes books, seen all the movies/TV programs. I like this adaptation.
Matt5 October 2012
I think it's very difficult for people to accept change, in any form. If this is the case for you, and you love the old style Sherlock Holmes...you'll hate this.

However, if you are willing to "go with" the changes made in this adaptation you will find a clever, well written, well acted crime drama.

I can't get enough of Sherlock Holmes fiction or crime drama for that matter. I truly hope that people can accept it for what it is and it carries on for many series.

Matt from England gives this a thumbs up!
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10/10
Well written, scripted, acted, directed, tight, quirky, funny, clever, fantastic...
Stuart Davies24 April 2015
Unlike the many Sherlock Holmes snobs who have posted low-scoring reviews, I'm not going to bother with comparisons of other Sherlock Holmes connotations. It's an adaptation that puts intelligent twists to the original story and yet established itself as sufficiently well crafted to stand on its own as one of, if not, the best television series around at the moment. The acting is superb with Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aiden Quinn and Jon Michael Hill carrying the weekly load, with appearances from the likes of Rhys Ivans, Natalie Dormer, Sean Pertwee and even Vinnie Jones to bring some variety. The stories are dramatic, mostly unpredictable with touches of humour and draw on aspects of the modern day as to make them very interesting. I love how they explore the relationships between the characters on both sides of the law and how they deal with their demons both past and present. I find that many episodes explore the fringes of the modern world through topics covering science, computing, art, finance, etc. and this adds to the richness of the plots which, along with the writing, are the strongest aspects of the series. I can't sing the praises of this series enough.
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6/10
Watchable
rollinitiativeplus29 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Several other posters have hit my points exactly so I will mostly just say that I agree it is a pretty good show.

Anything Holmes receives a little love from me though this show less than normal.

My personal gripes being:

1. Overplaying the heroine addiction, perhaps it's just me but I feel it is forced and detracts from the story instead of adds to it. My point is that the "case is all" and should take priority rather than being pushed aside for an overused spin off.

2. Saddling Holmes and Watson to a homicide department was a foolish move in my opinion because it keeps the story restricted in some ways.

--- On the other hand Watson is played well and I like seeing a new take on "him".
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10/10
This is entertaining television, not an aspiring pledge to the purists at heart
Thomas Ferraro28 October 2012
I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes in practically every medium... from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Basil Rathbone to Young Sherlock Holmes to Robert Downey Jr. and even the episodes in Star Trek TNG.

It isn't that I am a purist, far from it. I enjoy the utilization of the Holmes and/or Holmes/Watson meme in the form of deductive reasoning and systematic or logical progression. Of course that combined with the occasional last minute twist, the first minute twist or even the w.t.h. or out of nowhere type of twist that was completely missing from the storyline that keeps writers in business and viewers in front of the TV watching isn't it?

Now as to this show? I am in fact entertained for many reasons, and none of them have anything to do with the purism of the title character nor for the particular crimes that are solved. What entertains me is the inner sub plots that are brought to the characters by both Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, and I like Aidan Quinn as well from way back as The Hitchhiker.

I am entertained because I see the kind of s.o.b. attitude that I miss from not having House on the air any more, I am entertained because I have the hots for Lucy Liu sure... but there is something more important than.

I am intrigued at her playing a 'normal' person... not an action hero, not a bad-ass, not a cop with an attitude... she is playing a former professional woman that has taken on a compassionate role and has to deal with a very unprofessional man and I find that particular aspect fascinating.

Anyone could find easily half a dozen reasons not to like this show but I prefer to focus more on what makes me want to watch instead. This show is my addiction and I am thrilled to hear that CBS has given it the green light for a full season. I look forward to more episodes!
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9/10
A different spin on a classic, A great show on its own merits
will williams7 December 2013
Like many people, I love BBC's Sherlock and overlooked Elementary for many reasons. I recently decided to give it a chance and was pleasantly surprised to say the least. First off, don't make the same mistake I did and dismiss it for some of the rather odd sounding changes, it's intended to be a different spin on the classic and does so very well.

Jonny Lee Miller plays a great Sherlock. He's more human and flawed, where the original Sherlock was almost cartoonishly strong at times, but he still has the same confident eccentric brilliance that makes Sherlock Holmes so interesting. He's a recovering addict aided by Sober Companion Watson, a modern politically correct spin on classic Holmes drug use that feels tacked on and out of place at times, but helps drive the character development of both Holmes and Watson.

The new Watson angle was a big factor in what made me pass on the show at first. In addition to the Sober Companion job, it sounded very generic Hollywoody to find an excuse to shoehorn in a pretty female co-star, but Lucy Liu is very good in her role. She doesn't play a shallow sexy distraction from the story, rather just a different sex portraying the same inquisitive, intelligent, adventurous companion that Watson should be. And (as far as I am in the series - fingers crossed) there's no pointless romantic subplots between her and Sherlock, just a straight played female Watson. Hats off to Lucy Liu for making a tough character change that I was prepared to dislike so likable and real.

The best part of the show however is the writing. Writing good mysteries is a fine line to walk. You can either give too little information and blindside the viewer, leaving them feeling shut out and just along for the ride, or too much information delivered too overtly and ruin the fun of following step in step with the details. The truth has to be there somewhere for you to see but not too soon. Elementary manages to walk that line very well. There have been times when something was too obvious or too unpredictable, but much more often the truth is cleverly masked until just the right time - a little before it's revealed, if you're sharp.

I went into this series with low expectations but very quickly fell in love with it. Whether you like the different spin on Arthur Conan Doyle's characters or not, Elementary does mystery right, and it's worth a watch based on that alone.
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8/10
A rare treat from the USA
nij-chris-532-8186839 January 2016
This purports to be a take on Sherlock, migrated to modern New York and it does this very well. Sherlock is a true eccentric, Watson equally and entertainingly odd with the NYPD reassuringly stereotypical, adding balance. Jonny Lee Millar gives consistently outstanding performances full of quirky finger movements, twitches and sudden changes of direction - mental, emotional and physical. Watson is a bewildered soul mesmerised by Holmes, resentful of his offhand treatment of her, intrigued but unable to escape. Irene likewise is outstandingly good - another flawed character, riveting to watch. This series is a revelation, worth watching for JLM's performance alone. Worth 10/10 were it not for Watson's quacky delivery and Holmes' mumbling when thinking out loud but don't let this affect your enjoyment - just see if you agree. Absolutely brilliant.
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9/10
It is getting better
fcarraldo25 January 2013
It is getting better as it progresses. They are moving beyond a simple police procedural. The crimes are getting more interesting. I like it. I don't compare it to the BBC Sherlock. For one thing, the latter isn't tied to the one hour episode with ads format.

I like the Holmes/Watson interaction, it's a challenge for them to keep the relationship on the right side (ie zero side)of romantic.

Holmes is the classic Aspergers dude. In true Simon Baron-Cohen mode here he's paired with a social radar. So I think the woman partner is, in fact, in keeping with the original SH spirit.

I hope a cable channel buys the rights for the next season so the series can advance in length and complexity of stories.
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8/10
Keep it so that only Holmes and his keen logical mind could have solved the crime otherwise its pointless.
Simon Varley7 November 2012
As long time Sherlock fan of books/ Rathbone films and even BBC Sherlock, I was a little skeptical of this NY incarnation. Especially with the gimmick driven female Watson. Having watched the first few episodes however I am pleasantly surprised. The show is carried and carried well by the charisma and scruffy charm of Johnny Lee Miller, who convinces as the eccentric mental powerhouse who has his fair share of weaknesses both socially and physically. Watson does better as a woman than I would have thought and Aidan Quinn is just as brilliant as a police chief in this as he was in the undeservedly canceled Prime Suspect.

However, I did notice a worrying trend in a recent episode of lessening his deductive powers and in essence having him just follow clues as any normal detective. I hope with all sincerity that this series doesn't cheapen into a regular detective show with gimmicky moments highlighting his powers. i.e. Solving the crime as anyone would through normal police procedure and filling the gaps with inane deductive showcases.

Keep it so that only Holmes and his keen logical mind could have solved the crime otherwise its pointless.
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8/10
Good characters
atlasmb3 February 2013
Okay, so this is not an American version of the Doyle classics. But it satisfies my first requirement of a good show--I like the characters. Holmes is a man struggling with his inept social skills while simultaneously reveling in them. Watson is a woman whose job has become a hobby and more. As they adapt, this could lead to more interesting interactions. The police characters are skeptical and protective of their turf, yet open to help. They grudgingly admire Holmes' results.

Holmes is also a man who has no love of conventions. It is interesting to watch him navigate his way through a society that tries to force everyone to comply with its standards. In this process, Watson acts as liaison and interpreter. As she gains more information about Holmes, she becomes more useful to him and, perhaps, more of an annoyance to him. He wants to remain an enigma so that he can keep his secrets and demons to himself. She tells him it is good to talk of one's feelings, but he will do so only if forced. One can only hope that the writers eventually create a background for Watson that is equally engaging, though she is somewhat damaged from her experience with a malpractice case. This is only the first season, so there is time for more layers to be added.

Regarding Holmes' crime solving techniques, they are best when he interacts with suspects or witnesses. He has an eye for the truths they reveal when they are trying to hide them. Can he see his own truths as well? Wlll he find the time to deal with his own issues when the world offers so many interesting diversions for his curiosity?
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9/10
Love it!
plex4 November 2012
What House was to medicine, Elementary is to investigating. The writing is clever, fast paced and smart. Our eccentric lead "Holmes" instead of having a drug dependency for his gimp leg like House, is a recovering drug addict who is being observed by "Watson" to keep him clean. They writers really make an effort to spell out the deductive-reasoning details, and for the most part, its plausible, IMO. The plots snake thru twists and turns at a feverish pace and Holmes dedication is relentless. You get the feeling he behaves this way to keep him mind from allowing his addiction to regain control. Lucy Liu , who I love, is curiously restrained in her role to offset Holmes's incessant espousing. Her deductive skills are far less than Holme's but she brings medical expertise to the table. They have a unique but likable chemistry. It seems obvious to me that at some point Liu's character will be developed more and eventually Holmes is going to have some sort of relapse. I can only hope this show maintains this level of intensity without sacrificing credibility, but for now, IMO, its one of mainstream's networks finest.
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Muttering
larry-miller3 November 2016
The lead actors are serious actors. But Jonny, seems to my aging ears, mutters a lot, buries his words in his head voice, and not all his dialogue is easy to hear. I wonder if that is part of the recording process and I sometimes have that problem with Lucy as well on this program.Then to make it worse, even in early segments, there is unrelated music in the background adding nothing dramatically, but compounding the muttering problem. CBS seems to add this music on other shows as well while other broadcasters do not, to their benefit. Since much of the drama of the show is Jonny Lee/Sherlock's thought process, and that is at the heart of the character's intrigue, this loss of vocal clarity is self-destructive. I wonder what others think.
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1/10
Sherlock Holmes in name only
A K14 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I don't have cable, so I'm unsure whether this show is 'doing well'. I came here out of curiosity and to figure out if it was overall well-received. I know a lot of people that don't like it, but I was surprised to find so many that did. I can only assume that the people that like this show must not be familiar with Sherlock Holmes lore or if they are that they must lack basic understanding of the very mechanisms of what makes him who he is. I'll watch just about anything involving the concept of Sherlock Holmes and I do watch Elementary. In fact, I've watched every single episode since the show began, perhaps with optimism that it would improve. However, I believe I am watching it at this point only out of morbid curiosity.

The show is so far removed from what Sherlock is meant to be that I can only see it as a detective drama where the characters happened to share the traditional names of Sherlock and Watson. In that respect, I suppose watching it as a fun crime show is understandable, but is there anyone that watches this that is an actual admirer of the works of the original stories? I'm not sure it's possible to be one and like this show.

Simply because the characterization of the man they are calling Sherlock on Elementary behaves in exact opposition of the very essence of this man's nature. I am not talking about portrayals, or moving the flat, or making Watson a woman. These are all things that are creative to change and are good to re-hash into something new to keep interest. But I am talking about things that this character does that undermine the core of Sherlock Holmes and therefore he can no longer be himself.

I began noticing these things right away. Sherlock Holmes, as originally written can certainly be referred to as a drug addict. For those unfamiliar with the works it is referenced in the book that to keep his mind from becoming painfully unused he often used cocaine, sometimes for weeks on end during periods where he didn't take a case. In a sense, he is an addict. He is addicted to the feeling of solving cases. When he is not on a case, he is not happy. He is always waiting for the next case to come and when there is not a case, he turns to drugs to fill the hole of his addiction. This is a fundamental character trait and what fuels this man in every thing he does.

It's hard not to notice that in Elementary they removed this component entirely. Yes, Sherlock's drug addiction is a very strong plot point of the series and though the drug his choice has changed, that is not my issue with its presentation.

My issue is that the reasoning behind his addiction is because of a woman. His supposed loss of Irene Adler is what weakened his mind and spiraled his life out of control and into addiction. This is so fundamentally wrong. To take a character that is essentially a human computer, who has one of the greatest brains ever known, and to take him down to the level of addiction because of the loss of a woman (something he disdained) is so horribly incorrect. From this specific point, you have made this a regular crime drama about a man and his lost love. Sherlock does not have a lost love. He has developed his methods and powers of observation through shutting out all emotions. It allows him to see things that others don't. Simply put, he would not waste himself away on drugs because of a simple base human need. I am so disappointed in this fact, that it does not seem that this could be the same character because it directly conflicts with his computer-like brain.

Recently, the character of Moriarty was introduced. This is Sherlock's absolute adversary, because they are at exact opposite ends of the spectrum. One is the ultimate observer and one is never observed. These two concepts are so strongly opposite that they eventually align perfectly and destruction must come upon one of them simply because both cannot exist. Even though I had given up on the show, I was ashamed to admit that I was still looking forward to Moriarty's appearance, who in my mind represents the greatest opposing force ever designed. Needless to even write, I was pretty disappointed when right away he was mixed up with Irene Adler, essentially using her as a pawn to toy with Sherlock's emotions. Which, of course, once again shifts the focus of the show away from intellect and into emotion. Because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock was all about emotions, right? Right...

In conclusion, I suppose for a mainstream television show, there would be less interest if relationships were not the driving focus. The average person is simply not interested in watching a great mind work. They need the boy meets girl storyline. I am just sorry they had to force that very basic (and trite) concept upon one of the best stories ever written.
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2/10
Panders to Viewers' Trained-expectations; Sells Sherlock Woefully Short
N. Unya Bbwaqs24 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Conan Doyle's Sherlock as written in the Strand:

  • Brilliant - Wholly independent - Coldly logical - Unemotional - Sometimes throws Scotland Yard, or the constabularies, a bone - Supports himself through his consulting detective pursuits - Uses cocaine only to assuage boredom - Doesn't need a "sober companion" - Doesn't have girlfriend issues - Doesn't have daddy issues - Sometimes matches wits with Moriarty, a man who is, for all intents and purposes, Sherlock's equal in ability and intelligence - Just needs a good case to be happy - One of the founding archetypes on which all subsequent detective and mystery fiction is based


!!! Spoiler Alert !!!

Elementary's Sherlock as portrayed on television:

  • Relatively bright - Wholly dependent - Moderately logical - Emotional like a post-teen/young adult - Lackey of the local police - Supported by his dad - Uses heroine because he has girlfriend issues - Has a "sober companion" paid for by his dad - Has girlfriend issues - Has daddy issues - Completely manipulated by Moriarty, a person who, for all intents and purposes, is Sherlock's superior in ability and intelligence - Just needs his girlfriend to be happy - One of the many examples of the unoriginal, copycat, formulaic writing used to pander to viewers' trained-expectations, in hopes of getting them to buy the products in the commercials that repeatedly interrupt the show


The writing for Watson falls far short of Lucy Liu's and Watson's potentials.

The writing for Moriarty portrays the character as being borderline one-dimensional, with inconsistent intellectual abilities and logic skills.

For those whose only baseline for Sherlock Holmes is the BBC's Sherlock, or the allusions to Sherlock Holmes as seen in House, this is probably great show. For those who have read Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, this show may be significantly less enjoyable.

Compared to Conan Doyle's Sherlock, Elementary's Sherlock comes across as being a high-functioning idiot-savant at best.
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5/10
Writers Need Help!
armalis2 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have no problem with the cast, and though this Sherlock does not compare to BBC's Sherlock, I'm getting rather fond of the neurotic, twitchy character. Lu is wonderful, as always. What I think this show needs is better writing, before the writers destroy what could potentially be a fabulous series. This is supposed to be Sherlock Holmes, the ultimate in mystery series, and I managed to figure out the entire plot in the first 20 minutes. "Murder, She Wrote" and "Castle" had/have better writers.

If someone out there knows the writer of this series, please tell him to stop drawing focus to the murderer(s).

"SPOILER ALERT"

I have just watched "The Angel of Death Episode". The elevator scene where Sherlock apologizes to the janitor is unnecessary. As I watched this I was wondering why they would focus on such an insignificant character, just so that Sherlock (who is an egomaniac) would apologize to him? Then you have the whole bit about Watson not being a doctor anymore and I KNEW the janitor had to be the killer. If they left the elevator scene out, we would still have seen the janitor and remembered what a jerk Sherlock was for spilling that water, so when he connected the obvious, that a janitor could have been a doctor, and revealed the killer, we may have been surprised. Then there was the part in the interrogation, when the janitor is convinced the young woman was terminal. An interesting twist, but who could have done it? The only other person that comes to mind is the crazy doctor with the God complex. There are NO OTHER suspects. Mysteries are filled with other suspects!

The greatest of mystery writers always say that they have no idea who the killer is. They write about the murder, populate the scene with character and at the end of an interesting story they pick the least likely character and then rewrite a clue into the story for the big reveal.

The reason they do this is because when you are writing knowing who's done it, you cannot help yourself but write in obvious clues. The clues have to be something tiny that the audience or the reader would not pick upon as they watch or read the story.

So, please for the future scripts give us more suspects, think of a crazy, non obvious scenario and a reason why a murder could be done, and pick the least likely suspect. If you cannot write a mystery (one of the hardest genres to write--that is why Christie and Doyle remain crime royalty) find someone who can and give them a job; even a co-writer who can write mysteries would help.
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4/10
Your Typical Quirky Detective Show...
chrisc-436 October 2012
This show isn't "Sherlock Holmes".... and I don't say that because of any "reimagining" or creative license taken with the character.

This is nothing more than your typical Hollywood detective show that features a quirky guy solving crimes with his straight laced sidekick. It's been done millions of times on US television. Monk, Psych, Mentalist, Lie to Me, Perception, Endgame, The Finder, Life, etc.. The list goes on and on.

This is a very mediocre show... The characters are weak, the stories are weak, and the crimes are mundane. Halfway through the second episode I found myself already solving the "mystery" and spent the rest of the episode wondering why this Sherlock character isn't able to see something so obvious.

Furthermore the character doesn't "deduce" anything important and at least half the deductions are more like dumb guesses, they add little to the character or the story.

The use of "Sherlock Holmes" here is nothing more than a hook to get people to watch the show. In the end the "Sherlock Holmes" character is mere window dressing to your basic quirky detective show. One that isn't even as good as the other quirky detective shows.

The show does absolutely nothing to capture the essence of Sherlock Holmes.

If you really want to watch a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character then you really should watch BBC's Sherlock.

Elementary tries to be like BBC's Sherlock, but other than having a guy with a British accent, it fails miserably on all counts.
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5/10
Mumble jumble
Susan1 June 2016
I used to enjoy Elementary but now I can no longer keep up with the many plots. What makes it really difficult is it seems like Sherlock and Joan are mumbling all the time. I can hear most of the other characters fine, and sometimes Sherlock and Joan come through loud and clear. But often they sound like they're speaking a different language. I've given up! I just can't stay awake and watch them anymore without fully understanding what is going on. My husband still enjoys it. He has trouble understanding what they say sometimes too. But he's continued to watch it. Hopefully the producers can fix the sound for this program.
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9/10
It really is elementary, but it's not Sherlock
Josh-I-Am30 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The often unpleasant comparisons between British TV and American is just that, and it should be noted from the start that this show makes no attempt whatsoever to be the current American version of Sherlock with Cumberbatch and Freeman. The real question therefore is, what is it trying to be? The answer to that isn't simple because it's pilot episode received generally favorable reviews and seemed to be more thoughtful than some of the genre shows that it will be compared with as the series develops. The acting was good enough and there was a plot working, but the show never seemed to get it's legs. Miller and Liu never spark together. Though both have their moments of intensity they don't show us any proof that this is going to be a work in progress.

Sherlock is an unpleasant surprise for Watson and not at all what she's expecting when she shows up for her first day on the job. It seemed to forced and actually trite when Sherlock goes out of his way to make things very personal and distasteful for her when a man of his supposed intellect would readily deduce that she is not the bad guy, not the Judas goat for his interpersonal difficulties with his father. He's rude and demeaning to her, and when we see the very obvious vulnerability in her character it's not done in a very sympathetic light.

We should revile Sherlock but Lui never comes across as a person we want to empathize with or support. Blame Lui, the writing or both, but it's a key factor in the chemistry between these two characters. When Sherlock finally relents and sees the error of his behavior it's rather flat and anticlimactic. That's a fatal flaw.

This is a strange mix of canon and revision and it could turn into something really interesting but certainly the pilot episode wasn't charming, witty, or thoughtful. Perhaps this is a show that will have some appeal to some demographic but it's definitely a strange fruit at it's beginning. It's a sad fact with today's TV scheduling a show which could have potential might not make it because of a rocky start.

Networks want blockbuster ratings right from the start or else they cancel a show. Viewers are often left holding the bag emotionally if they invest themselves in liking the show or the characters only to find their new interest has been suddenly cut off. This leaves a frustrated and short attention span set of viewers and that's just not a good thing for anyone. It seems unlikely Elementary will be one of those that goes the distance unless the cast and crew can tighten up this show in very quick order.
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3/10
CSI: Sherlock
b_st_denis6 October 2012
I love Sherlock Holmes; from the original Doyle books to Basil Rathbone to Benedict Cumberbatch. When I heard that they were going to do an modern American version I thought "hmmmm". We have to admit that the Americans do not have a great track record when it comes to remaking British television. With Elementary they continue this tradition of "not getting it". Why didn't they just name this series "CSI: Sherlock"? They have reduced Sherlock to just another mindless, formulaic American melodrama. Sorry but I will not be watching another episode of this. I will wait for the next Benedict Cumberbatch episode. Three episodes a year of the Benedict Cumberbatch series is better than 20 of Elementary.
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1/10
The WORST Sherlock Holmes show
Paul Baker1 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
CBS does a dishonor to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the stories of Sherlock Holmes in the farce of a show that should be titled "CSI Britain: Lost in New York". Although "Elementary" is an apt title due to how basic the stories and plot lines are in this show.

It would do some good for the writers of the show to actually pick up a Sherlock Holmes book and research the characters before slapping together the nonsense that they put on the screen. When Sherlock Holmes is engaged in the evidence of a case, he goes nearly catatonic in processing the information. CBS' Sherlock is easily distracted by the slightest comment from Watson. Sherlock Holmes also makes use of the "Homeless Network", a group of homeless people that are his eyes, ears, and support solving cases. No mention of this in "Elementary". Irene Adler is a smart and separate character from the criminal mastermind James Moriarty, but somehow CBS thought it best to combine these two characters into one for some really bad plot twist that failed in the season finale. Moriarty is also a criminal mastermind not easily caught or careless. CBS plot holes offered many attempts for their lame version of Moriarty to be caught by ordinary police.

I know that this is just a show, but it is poorly written and executed by those that do not know the stories or characters.

My advise, watch BBC's version called "Sherlock". It's Sherlock done right using creative writing and production to show you what Sherlock Holmes is thinking and seeing. By the time the show is over, you know by evidence presented in the show how the case is solved.

FYI, read the short stories "A Study in Scarlet" before watching "A Study in Pink" and "A Scandal in Bohemia" before watching "A Scandal in Belgravia". I guarantee you will be hooked on "Sherlock" and understand the disappointment in "Elementary".
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2/10
How mundane US TV completely misses the point.
GonzoLubitsch4 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The original stories are fantastic, past adaptations have been very watchable and the most recent modern BBC revival has been a gritty adaptation. Although people surely argue about the BBC adaptation (the way it has been transposed into the modern world), it is clearly well written (some episodes better than others) and made with love for the original stories. The US version has only a single good thing going for it, it's star: JL Miller and even his performance is completely drowned out by the idiotic adaptation, his terrible to mediocre co stars and the general lack of quality in pretty much all aspects of the series. Two things absolutely integral to the character of Holmes have been scripted away with here (it is my guess that the network thought it would upset their gun-wielding, hard-core Christian viewers...well, Americans):

1)Lucy Lui is an actress with the emotional depth and performance ability of an empty card-board box, but that's beside the point. Having made the character of Watson into a woman negates the entire, slightly dubious, relationship between Holmes and Watson. Although, only very subtle there is always the question 'how their relationship is defined', why exactly does the one spend time with the other, etc. This is by no means exclusively or even majoritively meant in a sexual sense, but casting a woman in that role takes away a small but important essence out of the relationship. (Mind you I probably would have somewhat less of an issue with this had they cast someone who could have brought an interesting interpretation of the female character Watson, instead of this one-dimensional cardboard cut out.) Lastly, it does just go to show how American TV networks are as still homophobic as Nazi with gay tendencies (think about it).

2) Again, you can imagine the network producers meeting, having come to the conclusion that even the smallest nuance or hint at a homosexual relationship could most certainly not be endured by its viewers; they went straight onto the 'drug use'. The fact that the recreational use of cocaine during periods of rest are an integral part of Holmes's character (as is the experimentation with chemistry and generally mind altering substances, for e.g. opium) has just been wiped away by making him into an ex-addict. Thereby adhering to the absolute American utopian ideal: All drugs bad (whereby the terminology drugs is only used in the sense of 'illegal drugs'... somewhat 'off the high horse' coming from a nation addicted to painkillers). The simple fact that US TV has to be black an white kills some very enjoyable character traits in this show.

In the end, what we are left with is JLMiller trying his outmost to be entertaining, but it is no better (or no different) from any of the numerous US crime dramas that have always whafted through the networks. Tune out. There's plenty of better (mostly European) crime dramas about. Sorry Johnny!
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1/10
First time ever I've hated a Holmesian Story
hopehoover23 April 2014
I have seen nearly every iteration of Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, ranging from the bizarre to the humorous, from the fantastical all the way to very honest renditions--and literally everything in between.

And always I've found something redeemable about the storyline or the acting or something.

This show broke that trend.

The writing is terrible. Really just pitiful, and so full of plot holes I could drive semi-trucks through them.

Lucy Liu, while usually an adequate actress (if not a particularly moving one) was absolutely wooden and ridiculous in this.

And the creator's obviously wanted to make a correlation between this show and "House" as Miller is a cheep stab at Hugh Laurie, only without the pathos, charisma or intelligence Laurie brings to the screen.

They ruined the Hallmark of friendship and brotherhood that existed in Sherlock stories between Holmes and Watson and replaced it with awkward tension, sexual sub-context that was completely unbelievable given the poor acting (And completely unwarranted, considering we CAN have a TV show in the US without throwing sex in it.) and they spun an absurd tale of babysitting and random (failed) attempts at witticism and plot.

This show is Awful! Do not waste your time.
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2/10
Sherlock Holmes it is NOT
Petethedongle26 October 2012
As crime investigation shows go, I suppose its not bad. As far as Sherlock Holmes goes, this is trash. There is nothing about this show that has any relation to Arthur Conan Doyles books other than the names of the 2 characters. This is like The Mentalist (which isn't that bad either) except the lead characters are ripped off. If this was not associated with Sherlock Holmes it would be just another crime show with a complete a**e as the hero (like The Mentalist).

There is something called reinventing (Sherlock) and then there is something called a rip off (Elementary). If this was not supposed to be related to Sherlock Holmes in some way I'd have rated it high, but for just the sheer cheek for standing on the shoulders of literary greats it gets 2 out of 10.
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4/10
A detective who happens to be called Holmes
eroblesp16 October 2012
OK, I have seen the two episodes so far, and I can say... This is a detective, who happens to be called Sherlock Holmes. But *Sherlock Holmes* he is not. Disclaimer : I am not comparing with BBC Sherlock. IMHO, if you name your character Sherlock Holmes, you must somehow respect your source material. It is not enough to use the names Sherlock and Watson. OK, now we have the violin. Of course I am not asking for the deer hat or the pipe. But to me, so far it seems more a variation of Monk instead of SH, with a sprinkle of Mentalist. I mean, please, he has a FATHER?? A brother Mycroft would have been more credible. And because he only communicates by phone, it would have been even more suitable to the reclusive books character. I have other complaints : If a show, *any show*, is boring to the verge of sleep, it's finished. And it happened to me on both episodes. I got asleep! No suspense at all. The solution for ep. 2 was obvious almost immediately. In the words of Conan Doyle : "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". But in this case, it was almost foolish, and I am no detective. I have no complaints with the actors (I just love Lucy Liu), but I refuse to see the overall result as a Sherlock Holmes variation. It is using only the name.
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6/10
It's just OK
janzen_tyler27 November 2012
To anyone who says that Elementary is a great 21st century adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes series has not watched the BBC version with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. Now THAT is/was an amazing 6 episodes of Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century.

With that said, I don't mind the American version. I find it's often a little predictable... they need to make it harder on the audience. Solvable without being transparent. Jonny Lee Miller is doing really well as is Lucy Liu, it's just the stories need to be more difficult to solve.

The only reason I'm watching this series is because Dexter, Homeland, and Walking Dead are the only three other shows im watching at the moment. Breaking Bad needs to come back RIGHT NOW!!!
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