Thursday, May 17, 2012

Elementary, My Dear Watson?

Elementary Preview.

I look at this and I can't help feeling like it's a train wreck waiting to happen.  When I first heard about this show, I was semi-looking forward to it.  I knew it would be nowhere near as good as the BBC's Sherlock, but then, I have to be fair; I've said this before, but when I first saw the DVD of the BBC's Sherlock, I couldn't help thinking, 'This is either gonna be really good, or really, really bad.'

With the BBC's Sherlock, I was pleasantly surprised and incredibly drawn in to the brilliance of the show.  It truly is a modern day Holmes.  He embodies all the traits of the Holmes of the Canon, and the writers are absolutely brilliant in their incorporation of the old plots and conversations to the present day.  I wish I could find a clip of it on YouTube, because the conversation Sherlock and John have (okay, more like Sherlock's monologue and John's baffled and amazed silence,) about Harry and the phone is absolutely brilliant.  (I need a word besides brilliant.)  It so perfectly encapsulates and modernizes the conversation Holmes and Watson had about Watson's late older brother's pocket watch.

Anyway, I didn't come here to fawn over the brilliance of Sherlock (really need a Thesaurus for a word other than brilliant...)  While on Facebook, I saw the preview/behind the scenes look at Elementary, the U.S.'s answer to Sherlock.  When I first heard about this show, I figured, 'Hey, it's kind of awesome.  House is ending, Sherlock, for all it's amazing, wonderful, terrific-ness, only does three episodes per season, so this'll be a good show to distract me while I wait for Season 3 of Sherlock, and it'll keep me from spazzing incredibly about whatever cliffhanger Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat will leave us with next.'  (Cuz we all know another one is coming.  We had the best cliff hanger I've ever seen with the first season, we've got the huge ? hanging over our heads as to how Sherlock pulled off jumping off a building while John watched, and not only coming out alive, but having everyone think he's dead.)

But after seeing the YouTube footage I linked to above, I'm . . . hesitant.  There are a lot of changes, the biggest of which being that Watson is a woman.  Now, if this wasn't an American station doing this, I wouldn't worry so much.  But, and this is not an original thought, many people were commenting on this underneath the YouTube video, when there's a man and woman partnered up in whatever fashion, there's bound to eventually be sparks that fly, a relationship that starts, and insinuated sex scenes to follow.  It happened with Booth and Bones, it happened with House and Cuddy, and I'm sure there are others it's happened with, but I don't watch a huge amount of TV anymore.  The point is, Sherlock Holmes is pretty much the ultimate person to have the 'forbidden romance' with.  He's the one who every woman wants to melt the heart of.  Yet within that lies the problem.  Everyone wants to, but if one wants to stay true to the character, no one can.

I think House handled this the best.  Yes, he and Cuddy got together.  The writers decided to explore the romance possibility.  But at the same time, I don't feel they so escaped the characters' personalities in that exploration, and they also gave the only possible outcome that could have come from a House-Cuddy relationship: it ending BADLY.

Hopefully, if what I'm afraid of happens and they do decide to get Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson together, it will take much the same route as House did.  Not with Holmes crashing a car through Watson's living room, but with a break up, some kind of inevitable separation, and then something forces them to work together, so there will be a strained agreement to work together professionally, with eventually goes back to a friendly camaraderie, but with an understanding that no relationship will ever happen again.

I'm not going to get into it in this entry, but that is something I'd like to cover.  The idea of why Sherlock Holmes is so appealing.  Why people always want to imagine him as being found by a woman who will melt his heart.

Until next time, I'd love to hear comments and thoughts on Elementary, or on the idea of Sherlock not being the analytical calculating machine we all know and love.

1 comment:

  1. You know, there were a couple things I liked about the little Youtube clip *Jonny Lee Miller* and also *Jonny Lee Miller*. Ahem! Oh, and I was kind of interested in exactly how/why the woman apparently passing herself off as a victim was actually the murderer. I'm still very put off by the idea that Joan Watson has lost her medical license. That's hard to do. It either takes something horribly egregious, or a fairly strong pattern of illegal/incompetent behavior. I just don't think most docs can pull it off with just one patient. Also, I don't really see Holmes kow-towing to his father for any reason. So those elements of the back story really bother me. Gender-bend is not my thing, so the whole "Watson is a woman" doesn't do much for me, but that aside...if it's a good show, I'm not opposed to some romantic tension...but it should be along the lines of Mulder/Scully, where the characters themselves seem only vaguely aware of it for, what, almost 10 years? And where it's never the whole point of an episode. Because only then will it be fun or believable for any length of time (imho). In the end, if the writing's good, it might be an ok detective show, but it will be very hard, if not impossible, for me to really see it as Sherlock Holmes. I may be being a bit unfair, but I don't sense the passion or the affection behind it that one does with BBC Sherlock, or the Granada series.