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09 October 2012 @ 07:56 pm
Elementary Squeeage  
We will not be having Elementary this week so to sort of help me through the gap, I put together my Top Five reasons why people should be watching this show.

1. This Isn't Sherlock - Word was that Moffat and Crew were going to watch with hawkeyes over possible infringement upon their intellectual property. Particularly given that CBS created this show after Moffat turned down their offer to translate Sherlock for America. Well, no one needs to worry. Elementary is a completely different show from Sherlock. And yes, that brings it ups and downs, but you won't be getting bored wondering why you're watching a pale imitation of a BBC classic (*coughSYFYBEINGHUMANcough*).

2. Miller!Holmes - I have a tough time explaining to most people what I love about Miller's endearing portrayal of this character. A good friend of mine who also started watching this show and who'd seen Sherlock told me that in her mind, Cumberbatch's Sherlock was like a really spicy dish: very tasty the first few bites but after awhile you want to take a break and maybe not order the dish again the next time you come into the restaurant. While Miller's Holmes was like that well-seasoned, subtle dish that you might think is bland but upon several bites you realize how wonderful it is and it'll most likely end up your favorite menu item. This food analogy is about as accurate as it gets in terms of describing why I keep looking forward to Miller's acting every week. His performance isn't always consistently strong, but when he hits the right groove, he really shines. And you get the feeling he's building up to something. His Sherlock Holmes can rub people the wrong way but much like the original character, he is ultimately a kind person who wants to help humanity. For him, investigation is not about showing off but saving people and catching wrong doers.

3. Liu!Watson - There were so many reasons why this should have failed. Turn a former British army male doctor into a former surgeon turned sobriety companion Asian-American woman. Yeah, it sounds absolutely horrid on paper. And yet, it works. I applaud the writers for making Joan Watson very competent and intelligent in her own right, but also largely unimpressed with Holmes' talents. John is very much in awe of Sherlock's brain (who wouldn't be??) but Joan is very much focused on doing her job and in many ways too shut down to really stop and admire Holmes' deductive powers. It's a nice shift in their power dynamic which brings me to #4...

4. Holmes & Watson - After watching the pilot, I felt Liu and Miller generated little chemistry. But all of that changed when I saw the 2nd episode and I really hope the actors stay on this track. In the 2nd episode the two really created a lot of good banter that never once felt possibly romantic which is a pretty amazing feat. I particularly liked their exchange when Watson revealed (read: threatened) to Holmes how she planned on keeping him from zoning out during an AA meeting. Both their expressions were priceless. And as I mentioned in my previous reviews, I like that they're on equal footing in terms of trying to build their lives back up after each suffered a Bad Event.

5. The Wardrobe - Many viewers (and later characters) obsessed over Sherlock's coat. No one on Elementary has a single signature item of clothing (yet?) but let me just gush over the general costuming. I LOVED what they did with Watson's clothes. The pilot especially had little touches that nodded toward the original character (e.g. the quill necklace = writing; tartan shirt = Watson as Scottish). And in general Joan is just really well dressed. It's subtle and understated but every outfit has something that I love. And the same goes for Holmes and his interesting collection of tee shirts with random slogans. I've told myself that it's less Holmes selecting these shirts but rather him having bought a bunch of shirts in bulk and not having bothered to look at what they say. The font on the two shirts that I can see clearly are the same so I'm going ahead and assuming they came from the same pack of shirts. We so far have "I'm not lucky. I'm good" and "Good looking" that's written across the left side of his chest where his heart is (HA!).
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on October 10th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
Yes! I am absolutely shocked that I am enjoying this show so much.

I loved Granada Holmes because of Holmes—Jeremy Brett was brilliant. He had not one but two fine actors as his Watsons, but for me it was Holmes first and Watson definitely second.

With both Sherlock and Elementary, for me, it's all about the Watsons! I find this very funny because they are so very different. I totally agree: Joan Watson sounded terrible on paper. My righteous indignation came out every time I thought about her. But she sounded on paper like a failure, and she's not a failure. We still don't know if she chose to leave or was forced out, but I really think (despite her defensive tone with Ty) that being a sober companion is something she's good at! She can make a difference, and interact with people, without the same pressures present in a surgery.

John Watson is an enabler. I could give lots of examples. Joan Watson is the opposite of an enabler: she's there to keep Holmes sober, and she will do it.

I find I actually like that Holmes and Joan are not friends at this point. I think they'll grow into it; they've already started. But they have a very different dynamic than any Holmes and Watson I've ever seen before, and that helps set the show apart from the Beeb's and all the other versions. (I will admit, however, that I've seen some opine that the show would be better if they just renamed the characters, and I'm not sure I disagree. They are so different—do we need the violin?)

I'm not entirely sold on Miller, but then, I'm still not sold on Cumberbatch, and I've watched all six episodes! (What I like most about both is how they interact with their Watsons. The rest doesn't grab me quite as much—especially Cumberbatch chewing scenery. That man is going to need dental work if he keeps it up. Directors need to tell him to dial it back a little, I honestly think.)

I assumed Holmes bought those shirts on purpose to see what reactions they'd get! This Holmes seems more interested in people than BBC Sherlock, and he relates to them in more complex ways.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 10th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
John Watson is an enabler. I could give lots of examples.

He totally is. It can be funny at times but other times you just want to give them both a time out.

I will admit, however, that I've seen some opine that the show would be better if they just renamed the characters, and I'm not sure I disagree. They are so different—do we need the violin?

Actually, I'll admit this as well. There are times when I'm watching that I can sometimes forget that this is supposed to be about Sherlock Holmes.

The rest doesn't grab me quite as much—especially Cumberbatch chewing scenery. That man is going to need dental work if he keeps it up. Directors need to tell him to dial it back a little, I honestly think.

I think his scene chewing has gotten worse. I'm not sure why exactly but yes, someone needs to give him the note that less is more. Acting can be just reacting! Take a page from your co-star Martin Freeman. Not that awards mean everything but he earned a BAFTA for his reacting acting!
katarzi on October 10th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
I wonder if the shirts thing is a nod to House. That was his thing, at least for a few seasons.

I've not watched Elementary yet, but I've been told not to by my entire family on the basis that "Holmes cried, Holmes never cries, that's terrible characterization". Which...I think probably says more about my family, that they're that deeply uncomfortable with cerebral-type characters showing emotion haha. Oh Estonians, you hate feelings haha.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 10th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC)
"Holmes cried, Holmes never cries, that's terrible characterization"

Wait, Holmes cried? When? Did I blank that out of my mind when I watched the show?
katarzi on October 10th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
I've no idea! Like I said, I've never watched it. That's just what my family told me on Saturday :S
The Writer They Call Tay: Dresden: Harry confusedawanderingbard on October 10th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
No, I don't remember it either. He's looked sad on a few occasions, but never cried. BBC Holmes has cried, but not Elementary Holmes, afaik.
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Coming Alongawanderingbard on October 10th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
I'm immensely pleased with how different the two shows are. I have room in my heart for multiple Holmes, but it's nice when I have range of Holmes' to love. I really hope it will continue how it's started and get the ratings it needs not to be canned. CBS has not had a good history with not cancelling shows I enjoy. Especially ones with British actors in them. Speaking of which, does Miller ever remind you of Rufus Sewell? I don't know if it's the nose or the mannerisms, but I get a very Sewell vibe from him for some reason.
quickyfant: selective realityquickyfant on October 13th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I am loving his awkwardness without going over to direct assholness. But what I really would love, if they keep it up, is the no attraction between him and Watson! :)