Elementary Review: A Worthy Remake?

at . Comments

Many believe that CBS has taken a big chance this season with Elementary, as it will undoubtedly be compared to its BBC counterpart and Jonny Lee Miller will be stood up beside the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch.

After watching the pilot (twice), I'm willing to say it's a risk that will pay off big time.

Elementary Premiere Pic

Jonny Lee Miller is an exceptional Sherlock Holmes; he possesses all the quirkiness and intelligence we have come to expect from the iconic detective in recent years. Where Miller stands out from previous actors is that he has toned down the narcissistic tendencies and has exposed a small sliver of vulnerability towards Watson.

And Watson... probably the boldest move made in the updated story is that Dr. John Watson has become Dr. Joan Watson. However, it's this change that allows Miller's vulnerability to work so well. Let me be clear that I see no romance happening between these two, something backed up by the series creator, but a closer friendship than two 19th century British gentlemen might have.

Additionally, having Holmes getting along with the Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) allows for a more plausible reason why Holmes would be asked to consult with the New York Homicide Department. I fully expect there will be many-a-detective with which he'll clash, but that's part of the fun, isn't it?

As mentioned previously, I watched the episode twice before attempting to write this review. There were so many little moving parts to view in the relationship of the main characters. I can't wait to learn more about the woman in London that caused Sherlock's downfall into drugs. Is she Irene Adler or will we meet Irene during the season as an American?

What did you think of the first episode? Did you catch all the great Elementary Quotes this week? Sound off below and tell us what you liked or didn't like. 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (236 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


i'm not a big lucy lui fan normally but i think she has found a role i can like. The show is well done and not over your head writing. It will deffinatly be a every week watch


I love SHERLOCK BBC, and adore the duo of Freeman and Cumberbatch. But I also love Jonny Lee Miller's acting, as he does have a lot of talent. So, I tuned in. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It had some very clever moments, and I love the way they have Jonny Lee Miller always moving in some entertaining fashion. Though, I have to say that I will never forgive them for a Female Watson. I have no grip with the actor, but I would have greatly enjoyed if Watson were male. I still prefer SHERLOCK, but I really think I could get into this. Though, everytime Miller's character does something bad, I just raise my eybrow and go "Well that's not very gentlemenlike Mr. Knightly"


I urge fans of the genre and fans of Holmes to watch BBC's Sherlock and the 1984 series Adventures of Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett. I'd watch another episode of Elementary but I'd rather be watching reruns of House or new episodes of the The Mentalist.


All in all, we've seen damaged and brilliant individuals on TV many a times, CBC's Elementary just gets lost in that pool.


I would've liked the pilot a lot better if the characters were not called Sherlock and Watson. Part of the reason BBC's Sherlock works besides the find writing and the brilliant acting is that it is actually an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes set in the modern world, the series always references and pays homage to the original stories and the character development follows a similar graph. Elementary is not any different from Monk, Mentalist, Perception, Lie to Me and other shows based on the Holmes model so why even call it Holmes? The best American adaptation/re-imagination has already been done in form of House. Sherlock is so much more than a brilliant individual, the series Elementary fails to catch the essence of Holmes and even falls short when you compare it to other series like Monk, House, Mentalist etc.


It was good for a pilot, although the acting of the rest of the cast is really gonna show how wooden Liu is.Never felt she was a good actress.
Did anyone catch the premier of Last resort over on ABC. If not try to catch it, Best Premier of the season hands down.


I savored every moment ...twice. I can honestly say that this is the first new series that I was instantly in love with from beginning to end. I agree with you whole heartedly and beg that the writers don't go for sexual tension and remain focused on the the characters. Also, Aiden Quinn is a bonus, I have loved his work forever, he was the bright star in that Mairia Bello dismal show last year.


Underwhelmed. Disappointed. Police procedural dramas and nearly anything in the crime genre are my favorite TV fare, but I could not get interested in this one. I watched it all the way through and felt disinterested all the time.


I watched it. I didn't have high hopes for it, but I wanted it to prove me wrong. It didn't. The beginning looked like CSI, but I could forgive that. But Miller was not Sherlock Holmes. There was no drama, no dazzle, no flair. Try imagining him saying "the game's afoot" - I can't. Honestly, I don't understand why this Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective - it's not the thrill, the game, the ego. Read the ACD stories narrated by Holmes instead of Watson. This Holmes is too meek. Too vulnerable. Too insincere. And the friendship with Watson seemed too forced. I thought she was insane for sticking around especially after their attempts to emotionally wound one another. I did like a competent Watson, but Watson is our Every Man and this Watson was trying to be too much like Holmes - making deductions, finding clues. It's too early for that. Pilots are usually bad. They're all still trying to find their voices. I'll be tuning in for another go, but I don't have high hopes. I'm hoping they'll prove me wrong.


This was just as blandly predictable as I er... predicted. Pasting the names Holmes and Watson on two completely unrelated characters does not an adaption make. I think the cartoon one with the mice was probably closer. At least it was (intentionally) funny! I'm sure it will be popular with the Castle/Bones/Mentalist/Monk audiences but Sherlock Holmes it is not.

Tags: ,

Elementary Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Holmes: Why do you suppose you hate your job so much?
Watson: I don't hate my job.
Holmes: You have two alarm clocks. No one with two alarm clocks loves their job. Two alarm clocks mean it's a chore for you to get up in the morning.

Watson: How do you do it, guess things?
Sherlock: I observe and then I deduce.
Watson: How did you know I was a doctor, you said you could tell from my hands.
Sherlock: Hand, singular. It was soft no calluses.
Watson: How did you know my father had an affair?
Sherlock: Google. Not everything is deducible.