Sherlock and Elementary: I’ve Changed My Mind

When Sherlock debuted several years ago, I was dazzled. I’m still dazzled by a “A Scandal in Belgravia.” Then somebody on here (can’t remember who) said, “Oh, try Elementary,” and I did, and I thought it was fine but it wasn’t Sherlock. Which I’m now thinking is a good thing. I’ve just finished watching all of Elementary in a two-week binge, and I think it’s just as good as the British Holmes and in some ways better. Some of this is, of course, tinged by Season Three of Sherlock because it was terrible, bad enough that I’m not terribly interested in a Season Four. But I’m also coming over to Elementary because seeing all the episodes together emphasized that this show has what Sherlock lacks: characters I care deeply about who change over time.

The biggest problem I have with Sherlock is probably also the thing I like best about it: its immense, flamboyant style. It’s fast, it’s clever, it’s visually stimulating, the characters rage across the screen (great actors across the board), it’s just so . . . smart. Writing all of that now, it occurs to me that that’s the kind of guy I’ve always been drawn to, which explains why all of my relationships tended to not just end but crash spectacularly with musical accompaniment. Sherlock is, if you will, a doughnut of a TV series. I loved watching all the characters–they’re all so clever–until Season Three when Sherlock, the linchpin of the whole shebang–turned sadistic and stupid. He’d always been insensitive, that I could get behind, but somebody who deliberately is cruel to somebody who cares about him because he thinks it’s funny? At that point, the cleverness left a bad taste in my mouth, and it wasn’t helped by all the latent homophobia and not so latent we’re-not-gay jokes that they drove into the ground. It was like going out to dinner with somebody you liked who was rude to the waiter and then left a 10% tip. That’s not something you’re going to forget because it’s so indicative of a mean spirit, but more than that, afterwards you see that everything that drew you to that person was superficial. Style not substance.

Okay, that’s too harsh for Sherlock which is exemplary storytelling, acting, and production, but when Sherlock the character showed a mean spirit, it tarnished all the cleverness of the show for me. The same thing happened to me last year with Arrow, which I loved until Oliver turned into a hypocritical jerk and the whole candy-colored show melted into a sticky mess. I don’t need my protagonists to be likable, but I do need them to be characters I can stand to watch without loathing. Most of all, I need them to stay in character. A Sherlock who’s practically autistic should not turn into the guy who terrifies his companion with the knowledge of his certain death just to laugh at his despair. After that, I’ll take less style and more substance, less flash and more slow character growth. I’ll take Elementary.

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Elementary’s Sherlock is not likable, but he’s fascinating, and so far he hasn’t done anything unforgivably out of character. The show is on CBS, so you’re not getting a lot of flair, but what you are getting is beyond-solid characterizations and a deep and well-developed bench of players you really want to see again that are new versions of old characters, new wine in old bottles or at least new wine with old labels. What this show has done with Captain Gregson (he’s smart), Mrs. Hudson (transgender professional muse and kept woman, and that’s Ms. Hudson, thank you), and Moriarty (I won’t spoil that one but it’s marvelous) is inventive without being clever; all the changes are there because they serve the story. Even the characters who show up for just one episode are faceted and well played. The mysteries aren’t always inspired, but the characters are, and what I’ve found in my two-week binge is that the characters matter more that mysteries anyway. Their struggles, their wins and losses, matter to me because they’re developed slowly over time. It’s not just Sherlock dealing with addiction and Watson trying to find her place in the world now that she’s not a doctor, it’s Gregson trying to cope with the guy who abused his daughter, and Detective Bell struggling with physical disability after being shot, Lestrade in meltdown, and so many more. There’s a sense of a coherent world there populated by people who don’t quip and snark, but instead do things that make sense and still get in trouble. I care about those characters, so the dud mystery now and then doesn’t matter. I want to know what Kitty’s doing now, if Mrs. Hudson has found herself with another married man, if Harlan is still doing math without his shirt, who the Captain’s new girlfriend is, and why the hell Watson hasn’t had painters into that damn brownstone. She’d better paint the basement, that’s all I can say. I’m invested.

All of which brings me back to what I already knew: It’s character. The style and the flash and the snark will get me every time for the first time I encounter a narrative, but if I’m going to settle into a relationship with a story, it’s going to be character that does it.

Note: There are probably going to be spoilers in the comments. Proceed at your own risk.

66 thoughts on “Sherlock and Elementary: I’ve Changed My Mind

  1. My problem is, I keep compiling this list of tv to watch. The list keeps getting longer, but my energy and attention span keep getting shorter. Oh, well, someday…

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    1. I tell myself that’s why God created knitting needles and crochet hooks. That’s how I justify parking myself in front of a screen for waaaaaay longer than I should.

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  2. Yeah, I limit myself to things well within my comfort zone, so there’s excellent TV I haven’t seen. That’s okay. I don’t need to see it all.

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    1. OTOH, I did finally make it up to the 11th Doctor (you may have all scared me a little. ) I’m still not quite sure about him, but Amy Pond rocks. Hard, even. 3 episodes in, and she’s my favorite companion so far.

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      1. He was a big shift from Ten, but I liked him from the first episode with the fish fingers. That’s a brilliant episode. I did get tired of that damn crack in the wall.

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  3. I have loved Elementary for a while now. I love Watson. I think Lucy Liu is great in the part. I also love all the other characters you mentioned. And Sherlock’s sponsor. I can’t remember his name. I’m invested in all of them, too. And, of course, Clyde.

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  4. I’m liking The Good Wife, also from CBS. The protagonist is a stood-by-her-man political wife who returned to the practice of law when her cheating-with-prostitutes corrupt husband ends up in jail. Great characters. Elementary now in my Netflix queue. Thanks!

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  5. Some interesting trivia for you re our two Sherlock’s. In 2011 the National Theatre in London did a new production of Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle. It was filmed and then broadcast to movie theatres in many countries – I saw it in Toronto with a group of rabid Benedict fans. Benedict and Jonny played the two leads (Frankenstein and the Creature) but they alternated roles on different nights. The version we saw had Benedict playing Frankenstein. It was a brilliant production. Everything about it was extraordinary including the sets, and lighting. Alas, not available on DVD, though there are probably bootlegs around.

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    1. I saw that at the cinema too, it was excellent and heartbreaking, sat next to a woman luck enough to actually get real theatre tickets she said while in the cinema version, the creature wears a loincloth, in the theatre version, they were completely naked.

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      1. I was lucky enough to see it live (the upside of living in London). It was brilliant. If it pops up again for an encore showing in a cinema near you – go!

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  6. soooo…you’re saying Sherlock is a doughnut and Elementary is a muffin? (sorry I’ve been listening to Faking It on audiobook for the millionth time lol.)

    You are absolutely right that Sherlock sort of dazzles you at first and you get sucked into it–it’s so fast, so shiny, and thinks that it’s so brilliant that it briefly convinces you, too–but for me, the more I thought about it the more uncomfortable it made me. All the stuff you mention was just so disappointing to see in a 21st century version of a 19th century text.

    Elementary suffers a bit from the 22-episode season, making those delicious character moments somewhat far between, but at the same time the length also allows the emotional payoff to be more rewarding. You won’t get the same razzle-dazzle, or the same nicely set up narratives that you analyzed in your Sherlock Sundays, but oh, the things you do get!

    1. The Joan/Sherlock relationship is so much more functional than the John/Sherlock one. Half the time I want to scream at BBC John on my TV to flee because BBC Sherlock is abusive and if he was my friend IRL I’d hold an intervention so fast. And oh, the queerbaiting is painful. Elementary Sherlock can be a dick to Joan, but she shuts it down IMMEDIATELY. “Oh, because couching your misogyny in scientific terms makes it totally okay.” She eventually becomes a full partner to him and he admires and respects her and it is wonderful. Elementary Sherlock in general can act like an asshole but at his core he is such a decent person, which I personally find more in keeping with canon Sherlock.

    2. BBC Sherlock is brilliant because everyone around him is an idiot. As you say, Gregson, on the other hand, is a perfectly intelligent and competent policeman (as is Bell), which actually makes Sherlock’s genius even better. Also, like Joan, they don’t let Sherlock get away with crappy behavior just because of his “specialness.” Gregson punches Sherlock (such a satisfying moment.) “There was a city and a police force before you got here, Holmes.”

    3. Elementary doesn’t have Moffat. WOO. None of his misogyny/racism/white boy self-insertion fantasy of “it’s ok to be a raging asshole if you’re brilliant.” Sure, it doesn’t have his storytelling skill either, but I can live without that it if it means none of the other stuff.

    4. Irene. Oh, Irene. I know you love Irene, but BBC Irene is, in the end, Moriarty’s puppet, helpless in the hands of those Evil Brown Men, who uses her sexuality as a weapon in a way that canon Irene never did. As for Elementary Sherlock–it literally blew my mind. I love that moment where Sherlock is like, “You are weak compared to Moriarty,” And then–bam. Admittedly, both Irenes are defeated because of their ladyfeelings for Sherlock, but at least Elementary’s takedown plan was concocted by Watson–another woman. Also, I really love the inversion of the canon: ACD’s Sherlock is obsessed with Irene because he sees her not as a woman, but as an intellectual equal. Elementary’s Irene is obsessed with Sherlock because she thinks he is the only person in the world like her. It works for me.

    5. Elementary’s New York actually resembles a modern day metropolis (<333 Alfredo and Ms. Hudson–a trans woman ACTUALLY PLAYED BY A TRANSWOMAN.). Sherlock's London only has PoC who are stupid or evil pawns of a white man. Also, as an Asian American woman, I got actual tears in my eyes when I realized that an Asian American woman was being used as the character with which the audience was supposed to identify. Not as a dragon lady or object of sexual fetishization.

    6. Kitty Winter. Oh, Kitty. In ACD canon, she is a wronged woman who takes vicious revenge on her cruel lover with acid. ACD clearly sympathized with her plight as a fallen woman. In BBC Sherlock, she is the obnoxious reporter dupe of an evil white man. In Elementary, she is another one of Sherlock's partners/equals, a friend and not rival of lady Watson, who dumps acid on the face of her kidnapper/rapist/torturer. What a flawless woman. Yet another example of the BBC version, written in the 2010s, that is actually less progressive than the Victorian version.

    7. Clyde. I'm sorry, but does Sherlock have Clyde? No. No it does not.

    That said, I certainly enjoyed BBC Sherlock a lot, but I don't love it/fangirl it as hard as Elementary. I thought Elementary Season 2 was a bit weak, but Season 3, especially the Kitty Winter arc, has been surefooted and lovely.

    Speaking of things that are referenced in Faking It, I highly recommend the new TV show Fargo. It's fairly low commitment at only 10 episodes in a self-contained season and has Martin Freeman in an absolutely brilliant turn as William H. Macy part 2. Also second The Good Wife recc, though it's much longer. It's totally addicting, though, I watched the 5 seasons currently available in about 3 weeks.

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  7. Man, I want to like Elementary–I like JLM–but there is something about that show that makes me zone out hard within the first fifteen minutes every time I have sat down to watch it. Sigh. I can’t explain it.

    As for Sherlock: I thought it was utterly insulting/a slap in the face to the viewers to essentially be all “Who caaaaaaaaares how a dude threw himself off a building and somehow didn’t die? Fuck you for caring! Fuck you for wondering for years on end!” So obnoxious of the writer to pull that crap, probably because he didn’t figure this out years ago when he wrote that episode and never could think of a way to (even semi-plausibly) explain it. I kinda liked the twistedness of the wedding episode, but…yeah, that was aggravating.

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  8. An Elementary quibble. My getting older hearing has a hard time hearing JLM – especially when he is taking quietly or mumbling. It must be the pitch of his voice.

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  9. My favorite parts of both shows are the Watsons. Both shows have made them such interesting characters.

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  10. Ohhh, yes. I’m with you on Elementary. When I first started watching it, I felt like it was eh, okay, but I kept watching and slowly fell in love with the characters. I probably couldn’t tell you anything about the mysteries, but I find myself tuning in to find out what’s up with these people I’m invested in.

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  11. I love Elementary, and I especially love Watson. You’re right, the characters are all growing and changing, and I even like it that there is no flash there, just life. I haven’t seen all the episodes, probably not even all the seasons, as they’re late in showing many serials in Canada, but I’ve seen enough to know it’s one of my favorite on TV at the moment.

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  12. I started watching Elementary as soon as it showed up as a way to deal with my unsatisfied Sherlock craving, and kept watching it because I love all the characters. The longer season means more time with the supporting cast (I know nothing about BBC Letrade’s personal life, as opposed to Gregson’s marital issues and Bell’s ex-con brother).

    And Watson figures out who did it half the time, which is something that’s begun to bother me about the BBC version. In “Study in Pink,” I felt like John was an equal participant, but more and more, it’s been him following Sherlock around and being back-up when the fighting starts instead of a partnership. Elementary has never done that to Joan. There’s this scene, can’t remember which episode, when Holmes says “I consider you to be exceptional, so I make an exceptional effort to accommodate you.” This is in the middle of his explanation of why he will continue to be a jerk most of the time with almost everyone else. Seeing the way that relationship has developed has been my favorite thing about this show.

    Moriarty. That was brilliant. I thought about talking about it when “Belgravia” was the Sherlock Sunday episode, but I didn’t want to spoil it for anyone. And when they’ve brought Moriarty back since, it’s always been at just the right time. A couple of weeks ago in particular, when [Spoiler] Joan is being threatened by that drug kingpin. Who else could have removed that threat? I especially loved that we only hear her voice reading the letter. You don’t even need to see her to feel that presence.

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    1. I loved that, that Moriarty is looking out for Joan. It’s interesting that whatever jealousy she had for Joan seems to be gone, that she’s realized that they’re a partnership not a romantic couple and she respects Joan for having beaten her. But I also love it that she’s made imprisonment so . . . pleasant? profitable? rewarding? She’s still a sociopath, she’s still having people killed, but she’s friends with her guards and she’s painting amazing portraits. I thought that kidnapping story was the best Moriarty story, especially when she didn’t kill the guard.

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      1. I got the impression from her letter and actions that she wants to destroy Joan herself, rather than let someone else do it.

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        1. I thought it was more like she didn’t want her die because Sherlock needs her. She’s not done with Sherlock, and it’s less of a challenge if she goes up against just him instead of both of them.

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        2. I got that same impression. It was like a “nobody touches you but me until I’m ready to wipe you out.”

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  13. Absolutely. I wasn’t sure about Elementary when it first started–in part because it wasn’t Sherlock. But then Sherlock wasn’t Sherlock either, and Elementary just got better.

    I’m still praying that Sherlock will return to its original greatness, which was pretty damned great, but also glad that I have Elementary in the meanwhile.

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    1. I really don’t have high hopes. When Moffat has somebody sitting on him, like Davies with his Who episodes, he’s amazing. When he’s given free rein, he’s awful. And Sherlock is still hugely popular so I don’t imagine the BBC is sitting on him much. I think there’s a mean side to Moffat that comes out when he’s unrestrained. He’s so brilliant, but there’s a bombast mixed with cruelty that underlies so much of it. There are times when that works; the bit where he’s describing the suspect in the boomerang killing as overweight, friendless, and a heart attack waiting to happen, and then the camera pulls back and shows the suspect sitting behind him, wide-eyed, as Sherlock reassures him over his shoulder that he’s not going to be arrested, that’s just pitch perfect because Sherlock doesn’t realize he’s being cruel, he thinks he’s being nice, explaining to the police why the guy couldn’t possibly have murdered the guy. And then there’s duping Watson into thinking he’s going to die. Meanwhile, Sherlock in Elementary is unrelentingly self-centered and tactless, but never cruel or insulting, except with a couple of jackass criminals who have it coming. I think there’s a consistency in that portrayal, coupled with his slow evolution over time, that makes him a stronger character than the BBC Sherlock as written (although Cumberbatch is brilliant anyway).

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      1. I love how “Elementary” is bringing in Sherlock’s love of bees more and more. It’s the little things sometimes.

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        1. Except for the honey leaking through the ceiling. As a homeowner, all I could think of was “leaks, mold, rotting wood, and disease.”

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  14. Couldn’t agree more with the Moffat analysis. I’m really behind on Elementary and need to binge watch Season 3 soon.

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  15. Our youngest (adult) son insisted I try Elementary the first season, maybe 4 episodes in. Promos hadn’t tweeked my interest, but I promised him I’d watch at least one episode the next time it was on. I’m a character person, so it grabbed me pretty quickly & it’s held on with one small slump.

    I couldn’t watch it for a couple of weeks after Kyle died, but I knew he’d be ticked about that & tuned back in, last week, I think, & it was great to relish it again.

    Loved, loved, loved Sherlock but it simply grew too impressed with itself & too shallow. Missed the jump-off-the-building episode & haven’t even watched any since the wedding episode. Not sure I will unless nothing else is on when it runs. Maybe.

    Jenny, I’m sporadic reading this blog. I had to laugh because the last time I caught up on posts (as opposed to a drive-by quickie reading), you were wrangling with a plot line and I remember several posters said you should trust your characterization to come thru for you. An idea you dismissed at the time. Reading your comparison of Sherlock & Elementary gave me a chuckle.

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  16. A friend of mine gave me the first 15 or so episodes of Elementary and insisted that I watch it. And, it was OK at first. Kind of draggy, kind of angsty, and things just didn’t hang together. For example, in one of the first episodes, Watson’s boyfriend shows up. And he’s Plot Point A. Now, you better believe that in Sherlock, if Watson’s ex showed up, s/he’d be Plot Point A, B, C and maybe even a villain in the employ of Moriarty. So anyway, I wasn’t very impressed. Good quality American TV programming; nothing I’d pay for.

    Then all of a sudden, I think around episode 6 or 8, it was like the writer went to writing school or something. Suddenly, things were tight, a plot point would do more than one thing, and it got very enjoyable.

    I may have to look for Elementary in my DVD rental store . . . . (I want to watch season two of Downton Abbey first, though. Gosh, we are so late to the game here!)

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    1. He was actually more of a ficelle. Showed up because her parents send him and then got conned by Sherlock into showing up at the brownstone so Sherlock could pay Joan back for intruding. It was never about the ex; it was about Sherlock and Joan setting and destroying boundaries. I actually like it that romances, in general, are not considered plots in this series. And I LOVE it that Sherlock and Joan are not romantic partners and never will be. OTOH, I’m pretty sure that anybody who gets serious with either one of them is going to end up a Bonanza Bride.

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      1. Interesting. First time I ran across “ficelle” in either the skinny French bread or the “marionette string” context. What do you think is the best ficelle you’ve seen in written fiction? (or is there such a thing?)

        And, what’s a Bonanza Bride? I’m trying to hook it up to the old cowboy series, and I think I’m moseying down the wrong track . . . .

        (And, they DO have the whole first season at my video store — yay! — and have failed to stock the second season of Downton Abbey. So, I have some viewing plans for spring vacation now!)

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        1. Every bride on Bonanza got killed or disposed of in some horrible way, so Bonanza Bride = someone who’ll be gone before the ceremony.

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        2. I knew that was too ancient a reference.
          There used to be a show called Bonanza about a ranch owner and his three adult sons. It ran for years. Every now and then, one of them would get married, but the bride was always dead by the end of the show. Because it was a show about GUYS. Bonanza Brides are characters who have targets on their foreheads from the get go. Kind of the female version of Red Shirts.

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          1. Oh. Thanks both of you for the info on the reference . . . that’s horrible. I imagined they were just in the background, having vapors at the most, silently supporting their cowboys or at the least, scenery.

            Totally apart from the bloodshed and low value for human life, that’s a cheap trick. Redshirts I don’t mind so much. Death is part of the deal of space travel. But brides don’t sign up to be murdered.

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  17. I think that Moffatt is being true to the character of the books with Sherlock. In the books, he was a jerk, he left Watson for years, came back with a laugh and continued like nothing had happened. In the novels, he doesn’t change, or grow so I can understand that some people would find this lacking as a series, but I would argue that whatever it is, it is the truest recreation of Sherlock I’ve seen. He was never a hero, and often hardly liked, he was just brilliant and fascinating and that was what made you put up with his many faults.

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    1. That’s a fair point. I can’t count how many time in the original stories I wondered why Watson was still friends with this jerk. Yes, Holmes is brilliant. But I wouldn’t want to try to sustain a friendship with him.

      Holmes regulrly leave Watson in the dark and withholds crucial information from him. In the Hound of the Baskervilles, he sends Watson off to Dartmoor and pretends he’s remaining in London, to the extent of instructing Watson to write to him every day in London, which Watson does dutifully… only to find out 3/4 of the way through the story that Holmes followed him to Dartmoor the same day and has been hovering nearby ever since without telling him. He often lies Watson, misinforms him what the plan of action is, refuses to share his thoughts on a case, withholds from Watson his knowledge of who the killer is, etc.

      When Holmes returns from the dead, he does indeed pull a “joke,” approaching Watson in costume and with silly behavior, then suddenly unmasks himself. Watson is so shocked he faints. Some reunion. And when Watson finds out that Holmes deliberately hid himself at Reichenbach and has gone these years without relieving Watson’s pain (shown to be deep, earlier in the story), while meanwhile letting Mycroft know, Watson is hurt and offended–and Holmes is pretty flippant about it.

      This characterization of Holmes was presumably done to keep the POV narrator as “uninformed” so that he could lead the reader on a journey of being puzzled, scared, surprised, and amazed as Holmes’ secrets and plans unfolded. But it did ensure that Holmes was a jerk in the original stories, and not someone I’d have wanted to be friends with.

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    2. I disagree. The first two season, yes, Moffat nailed the insensitivity of the original. But in the third season, he turned into a sadist. That’s not canon.

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  18. I haven’t seen Elementary yet. The first disc is in my Netflix queue.

    But it’ll be a while before I see it, since I’m currently in the middle of watching Spartacus (VERY violent and a lot of gratuitous nudity and sex, but very strong story, with multiple strong characters in conflict over crucial goals in every episode), 30 Rock (had never seen it before, and really enjoying it), Poirot (ditto), Lovejoy (ditto), and George Gently (more British mystery). After that, Outlander and S4 of Game of Thrones are in my queue….

    So Elementary might be, oh, autumn. Or next winter….

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    1. But totally agree that SHERLOCK is style over subtance. If I think about why I enjoy it, yep, it’s the style. The plots are convoluted and skip many steps on the logic staircase, and a lot of the characterization is shallow or mugging at the audience. But it’s very fast and slick and elegant and stylish, and Sherlock’s rapid-patter deductive monologues are mesmerizing.

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    2. Netflix has Lovejoy? Must go see.
      I loved the beginning books in that series and then Gash lost his grip and suddenly Lovejoy was Superstud and instead of being brilliant and iconoclastic was just an arrogant jerk. But the first books are excellent.

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      1. Yep, Netflix has all of Lovejoy on DVD. I’m starting S5 (I think it goes through S7). There’s also a disc of stand-alone specials (IIRC, they’re a couple of Xmas-themed episodes).

        I read one of the books and didn’t find it very engaging. The series has a more charming tone.

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  19. I observed to my husband, when we watched the first couple episodes of Elementary, that it was a perfectly cromulent police procedural, but it wasn’t Sherlock Holmes. Even leaving BBC Sherlock aside, the best of the various Sherlocks have a scenery-chewing, mesmeric quality to them that Elementary Sherlock lacked IMO. I stopped watching long before the end of the first season…and, based on the commentary here, I may regret that decision. 🙂

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  20. I love Laurie King’s Mary Russell books. I was highly dubious about the premise the first time I picked up The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (a teenage girl bumps into the retired Sherlock Holmes watching bees and becomes his protégé and eventually equal mind? Honestly??) but Mary makes a fascinating character that gives Holmes a real run for his money.

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  21. So glad you’re watching Elementary! I kept thinking back to a few of your old posts throughout season 3, largely because I couldn’t shake the impression of negative goals — i.e. Sherlock’s big thing is that he’s a recovering addict, which makes it hard for him to arc any more than he already has because he’s reached a sort of stable point. As stable as he’s likely to get, anyway. So now he’s stuck on “I don’t want to go back to doing drugs” and “I don’t want to lose my relationship with Watson” rather than “I want to be a better person”, and it’s hard to get any sense of development from him that isn’t Watson-related.

    Which is one of the reasons I was sad to see Kitty take off — there was a character with outright, continuous conflict. But am I missing something here?

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    1. I think his goal is to save people, and that’s why he stays off drugs. This week’s episode was outstanding on that, I thought. He was really tortured by the idea that he might have failed someone because he was using. I think it’s that and the intellectual stimulant, he really needs puzzles to solve to feel alive. I’ve never felt his goal was to not use drugs; I think he likes using his mind. They’ve made it pretty clear that losing Irene was the reason he stopped being a recreational used and became a helpless addict. I think he’s in a good place, he has Watson and Gregson and satisfying important work. I don’t see him agonizing over using.

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  22. What are you watching Elementary on? Netflix doesn’t have it available in instant streaming and you have to buy/rent the series to watch on amazon instant streaming. I checked hulu and they only have recent episodes available thru cbs.com.

    Would love to watch it as I just finished watching all of the Inspector Morse series and have already seen Inspector Lewis. So need a new mystery series to watch while I hand quilt! My version of non-pharmaceutical mood enhancer.

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    1. I don’t have cable or local TV, so when I get fixated on a series, I buy it so I can watch it any time. Amazon. Without the cable fees, it’s still cheaper.

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  23. I love how Elementary has been able to develop all its regular characters over the course of the seasons. This show and Person of Interest are my go to’s – I know that I am not going to be screaming at my screen and cursing the writers for having the characters do things to further the plot at the expense of character (looking at you Arrow)

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    1. I’m still bitter about Arrow.

      But yes on Elementary and Person of Interest. I watched this week’s episode of Elementary and it was so good; all that back story and none of it back story, it was all in the now. I think they handle his addiction really well, especially since they don’t foreground it after the first season when Joan isn’t demanding spit tests any more.

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        1. I’m not going near it. I miss Felicity and Diggle, but not enough to go watch that mess.
          Felicity should move to Star City and work with Barry. He’s not an idiot.

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          1. My friend and I dip into “Arrow” from time to time, though we call it “Magic Ninja Island.*” During a recent crossover with the Flash Ollie ended up yelling, “Maybe I’m just not as emotionally healthy as you are, Barry!” We had to pause her TiVo while we laughed for about five minutes.

            *About the time they revealed there were airplane runways on the island, I turned to her and said, “Between the ninjas and the airplanes, I’m starting to think that when they said Ollie landed on an island off the coast of China they really meant Japan.”

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  24. Yes! You checked Elementary out! I was hoping you would. I know we’d chatted about it in previous posts. It’s such a good show and I think you nailed it: I’ve found ….that the characters matter more that mysteries anyway.

    It’s totally this. The mysteries swing widely in terms of interest, depth, and interest, but it’s the characters that engage you and make you want to watch. I love Sherlock & Watson’s relationship. I love the reinvention of classic characters and storylines (the Case of the Illustrious client is a perfect example for this season). I adore the supporting cast that surrounds them.

    Elementary is one of the shows I make sure I watch every week. It’s just darned entertaining. The Moriarty thing is the perfect example of what this show can do. Plus fabulous acting? Totally there.

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    1. You know, I didn’t get it at first. I watched the first couple of episodes and thought, “Huh.” And then Mycroft showed up, and as much as I like that actor, I didn’t like him in that role. Then about a month ago I sat down and thought, “Okay, let’s give this another shot,” and just fell in love with it. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a male/female lead show where I thought, “They’ll never be a romance, but they’ll always love each other.” Supporting characters, yes: Eliot and Parker are a good example. But leads? That’s a really complex, wonderful partnership.

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  25. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I never thought there would come a day when not only would there be more shows worth watching than time available, but that there would be more outstandingingly well-done shows than time available to watch them.

    Back in my day, you had a choice of three network channels, one local channel, and the very early days of PBS (broadcast from the local university). “Creature Feature” and “Gilligan’s Island” were go-to shows. The current umpty-ump channels available is something we never dreamed of.

    And we had to watch thru the snow both ways. (No, really. Mom didn’t approve of science fiction, so I had to watch the original Star Trek on the decrepit tv in my bedroom. For years, I thought the Enterprise had their air-conditioning set so low there was a constant blizzard in the corridors.)

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  26. I had so much trouble watching Season 3 of “Sherlock” that I’m really not interested in whatever Season 4 might eventually arrive. On top of which I then try to imagine the graceful way in which I’m sure Moffat won’t handle Mary’s death or disappearance or whatever. Eek.

    (Can you imagine if BBC Sherlock tried pulling half the nonsense he’s pulled on BBC Watson with Joan? I’d watch that. Hell, I’d sell tickets.)

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