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Reviews & Ratings for
"Elementary" More at IMDbPro »

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263 out of 363 people found the following review useful:

I'm English, I've read all the Sherlock Holmes books, seen all the movies/TV programs. I like this adaptation.

Author: Matt from United Kingdom
5 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'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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150 out of 191 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent and quirky Thursday night viewing.

Author: Ally Mark
18 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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136 out of 199 people found the following review useful:

This is entertaining television, not an aspiring pledge to the purists at heart

Author: Thomas Ferraro from United States
28 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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67 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

It is getting better

Author: fcarraldo from United States
25 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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62 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

Keep it so that only Holmes and his keen logical mind could have solved the crime otherwise its pointless.

Author: Simon Varley from United States
7 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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79 out of 135 people found the following review useful:

Great Rendition

Author: Swatsmigle from United States
5 October 2012

Elementary gives us a new, fresh take on Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes. So far, I've only seen two episodes, but from these I can already tell it's going to be a show worth watching to the end.

Coming from a huge fan of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock, and an avid reader of Conan Doyle's original stories, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed the Elementary rendition of Sherlock Holmes. Only time will tell exactly how accurately it will follow the books, but so far it looks like it's an entirely new take on the legendary sleuth, which perhaps is in order, considering all the renditions of Sherlock Holmes that have been cropping up lately.

The story, at least so far, is very well-written, and the dialogue is impressive, to say the least. In fact, there are many lines that are stunningly genius. What really intrigued me, however, was the character development, especially Holmes'. At times this great man seems almost human (at least emotionally, not intellectually of course), and already we see indications of a murky past, maybe even a tragic romance. The potential for this is limitless, and I look forward to seeing how they flesh it out.

The mysteries aren't as intricate as BBC's Sherlock, but they're certainly better than something you might find on CSI (though I enjoy CSI as well). They're not hard to follow, but they keep you guessing right up to the final reveal. And the combination of the characters' individual stories with the development of the case at hand is done expertly.

As for the acting, Johnny Lee Miller does an amazing interpretation of Holmes. I am glad they kept the character British. It wouldn't be the same if he were American (maybe we just don't sound intelligent enough). Miller's performance, I felt, introduced a new, even more vulnerable Holmes, but vulnerable in a good way. It's an interesting interpretation to watch.

Lucy Liu does a good job as Watson. The chemistry between her and Miller isn't perfect, though I feel like she carries most of the blame for that. But it's minimal at most, and after the first few minutes you get past it, if you even notice it. Otherwise she does a great rendition of Joan Watson. I'll be interested to see what they do with her character as well.

In short, this is a great show, with a great cast, and good story lines. The cases may not be as mind-blowing as they were in Sherlock, but they're still better than the average crime-solving detective TV show. And if you can't get into the mysteries, the fresh development of Holmes and Watson is sure to draw you in. Coming from a fan of all the modern, and the original versions of Sherlock Holmes, I definitely recommend giving this one a try. I only hope the prejudice produced by comparing it to BBC's Sherlock doesn't kill it, because it deserves a good run.

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60 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Love it!

Author: plex from United States
4 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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51 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Writers Need Help!

Author: armalis from Canada
2 November 2012

*** This review may contain 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).


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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42 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Sherlock Holmes in name only

Author: A K
14 May 2013

*** This review may contain 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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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

A different spin on a classic, A great show on its own merits

Author: will williams from Canada
7 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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