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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