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Elementary

Elementary Round Table: Series Premiere

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Elementary premiered on CBS this week to big ratings and strong reviews.

Did you catch this take on Sherlock Holmes? Are you ready to run it down along with our TV Fanatic Round Table team of staff writers Carissa Pavlica and Jim Garner and Amanda from Grizzlybomb.com and Brian from Geek Magazine?

Read on and chime in now...

What was your favorite scene from the pilot?
Carissa: I don't know why I love it so much, but the way Sherlock says two when he picks up the second glass bottom from the kitchen of the crime scene. It shows where his character is going to go and it's snarky and fun.

Jim: I really enjoyed Watson and Holmes on the roof as Holmes explained nobody with two alarms loves their job. It's so true yet nobody every says it!

Amanda: My favorite scene would have to be the closing. I'm a huge baseball fan and seeing Watson watch her beloved Mets (blech!) was fun. Of course Sherlock ruining the game was infuriating but I imagine that won't be the first of those moments.

Brian: The sad thing here is that I'm struggling to think of one. I kind of felt like I was watching an episode of the shows BBC counter part in Fast Forward as the pacing seemed pretty hurried. I would have to say though, the strongest statement they made here was introducing Sherlock directly following his random sexual encounter - something that is completely out of character based on the established lore. HOWEVER this (aside from being a deliberately "American TV" thing to do) told us early on that they were going to try something different with the story, for good or for bad.

Elementray RT

Watson as a girl: does it work for you?
Carissa: Totally. It's a nice take on the story and gives the whole premise a lot of leeway to move forward. I'm glad they're not going to delve into love interest territory, however. They fit as friends and it's nice to know we can count on that.

Jim: Absolutely. As mentioned in my review it's going to allow for them to be closer friends as there isn't male bravado to get in the way.

Amanda: It does. Girl power and all that. Watson is a fictional character- who says he always has to be a dude?

Brian: I think it'd be easier to swallow if this wasn't "Sherlock Holmes." The dynamic works okay as a show, but this certainly doesn't feel like the characters that we know and love, just another CBS cop show. I'm not crazy about a female Watson, but if the writing were to pick up they could make it work. Liu is a more than capable performer fresh off her run on Southland, but to me she just didn't feel like a strong enough anchor to hold Sherlock. That said, writing strong female characters has never been CBS' specialty.

Do you think Sherlock works in New York City?
Carissa: Very well. I like that he's basically starting fresh and bringing his British senses to the States. They could have gone all US with him, but they chose to keep him a Brit which works even better.

Jim: With Miller keeping Holmes English, yes. Especially since he also has a history of working in London with Scotland Yard, it allows this to take place after any of his British adventures.

Amanda: I do think that location plays a big part of shows but I didn't really notice New York. I mean, I did, but I think it takes more than a mention of a brownstone to make a show scream "THIS IS IN NEW YORK!!"

Brian: No. Taking Sherlock out of London is like taking Batman out of Gotham. The city is part of the character's very mythology, and I really think you lose something by sending him to NYC. It's one thing to modernize it, but to both change Watson's gender and leave London, just feels like it's 'Sherlock' in name only.

Any hypotheses on who the person was that Sherlock fell off the wagon over in London?
Carissa: A lover of some sort. I'm sure we'll get there in due time. It should be a fun ride!

Jim: Irene Adler seems to obvious, but that doesn't mean it might not be true. A lot is going to depend how they decide to portray her.

Amanda: I'm with Watson, it was a girl. Isn't that the answer to everything?

Brian: One would have to assume that Irene Adler is the only person it could be, but again - to the root of the character, Sherlock Holmes would never give in so fully to anyone that he would become a drug addled junkie. As much as he may have loved Adler, he loves himself more. I don't see him risking his reputation for a high. And while it's true that in the original books he regularly used cocaine (which was legal at that time), he did so only because he believed it to be a stimulant to the mind, he was never a prisoner to his addiction though. I just wonder how many fundamentals can you change and still claim it to be the same character?

Rank these Holmes/Watson duos from most favorite to least favorite: Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law; Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman; Johnny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu.
Carissa: Miller and Liu are my new favorite duo! Don't mess it up yous guys! I can't stand Benedict Cumberbitch, but love Martin Freeman, so they're second. And last, is Downey Jr and Law since I never saw the first pairs movies. I love RDJ, just couldn't bring myself to get past the first five minutes of the first movie.

Jim: Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman. The BBC Sherlock get's top vote right now as I have seen many more episodes of it. Then Johnny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu. Miller and Liu were awesome in the pilot, enough to knock RDJ and Law to third place. Lastly, Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law. Both have great banter and wit, but they come up just a tad short for me under Miller and Liu.

Amanda: Hmmmm.... I'm going to go with Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman as the favorite. I'm a sucker for the BBC and Martin Freeman is a joy to watch. Second would be Johnny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu. I think they have great potential. Will they surpass the BBC duo? Hard to say, but I'll be tuning in to see. And that would make Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law last. I've watched about fifteen minutes of the first movie they did and that was it. They may be amazing, I haven't seen enough of them to know.

Brian: 1.  Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman. For me this is the clear cut front runner. While modernized, this show still manages to capture the essence of the characters, and it is the on-screen chemistry between the leads that sells the idea from the word go. They benefit greatly from excellent writing as the show blends a nice mixture of the original stories now updated, as well as new material that is on par. It should be no surprise the Brits do this one the best.

2. Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law. While you have two legitimately talented film actors here, who share a decent chemistry with one and other, the two movies they've produced were really mediocre at best, but that's mostly the the fault of Guy Ritchie. This is a case of trying to cram in action and comedy where they simply don't feel natural.

3. Johnny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu. Admittedly it's too early to condemn the newest duo as we've only seen about 40 odd minutes of them together so far. Initial impressions though leave me with the attitude that the two actors don't really share a natural chemistry, but it's not to say they couldn't establish one over time. Right now however, they've got quite a ways to go...

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When a so-called reviewer begins with "I can't stand so and so" I am pretty sure the review is worthless. Why? It is not an adult or even relevant way to judge the work of someone. How old is Miss Clarissa? 12? Please do not insult your readers with barbie doll nonsense, it is a waste of time. More importantly, american I may be, but this show sucks... it is just another CBS remake of what they have been doing for years, give me Sherlock and yes, Mr. Cumberbatch anytime. And get rid of your reviewer Clarissa. Please!

Fortyseven

1. The scene from the honey dripping through Sherlock/Watson's conversation on the roof.
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. A love interest Just because a program is a different interpretation from one you love does not mean it's automatically poor/not worth watching.

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Too bad CBS had to name them Holmes and Watson. If they'd had the guts to produce an original series, at least we'd have something new. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are appealing, and they deserve characters with new identities, since they bear no resemblance to the denizens of 221B Baker Street. The BBC's Sherlock honours the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with wit, style, and geekly love. Elementary does none of that, and it wastes good actors in a cynical attempt to jump on the Sherlock bandwagon. American viewers deserve more than CBS saying, "Hey, BBC, we got one of those!" No, we don't. We really don't.

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The pilot was decent enough for me to not give it a scathing review, mostly because I love Miller and Liu as performers and they are wonderful - but this is American TV, as much as they might say they won't do a love interest story between the two, I highly doubt it will stick down the line, after all, there's plenty of other shows who have said the same and only proved it wrong a few seasons in. So far, the show has not proven itself to be unique, it is just like another procedural cop drama that CBS does all the time. But it will probably stay on for a while as most CBS shows will last. If I'm gonna give my view on Holmes/Watson duo comparison, then this would be my views: this round table may have mostly placed RDJ and Jude Law at the bottom of the list as clearly a few here haven't seen the movies, but for me, they are my favorite duo simply because they practically embody the characters that I read in the books since I was a kid, they feel like the Holmes and Watson stepping out of the pages of the book. Yes the plots may be more dramatic and action, but the dynamic between the two carries the essence of the books. They are simply the best to me. Benedict and Martin are a wonderful pair, a perfect modern world adaptation with brilliant chemistry and performances, it is beautiful and their last scenes of the end of the season is just perfection. As much as I love Miller and Liu, they are the bottom of the list for me - they still haven't proven themselves yet, I don't feel this immediate connection.

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It is a shame that so many of the people watching "Elementary" haven't watched "Sherlock" or for some even know it exist. Tho i guess maybe some may notice it mentioned and i would hope give it at try on DVD or Netflix.
Moffat & Gatiss are such Holmes geeks and they know so much about the movies and books and they care deeply about, tho adding new things, keeping it Sherlock Holmes.
CBS wanted to redo Sherlock and they said no, so of course they had to go a different way. And the chemistry between Benedict and Martin is so great. In fact as soon as Martin came in the room to read for the role they kinda knew and then when he did - that was it.
Benedict has said it would of been nice to at least see a Billboard of "Sherlock", but of course, none but "Elementary" will be everywhere.
It will have to hold up through a whole season. I think i read CBS think they have maybe 6 years for this show.
But as a Classic - it won't be remember the way "Sherlock" will be.

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This actually fell pretty flat for me. Really like Jonny Lee Miller, and am a big fan of the original books and stories. Felt JLM's portrayal kind of stuck in overdrive. Also, didn't see the connection to the original characters. I saw this is a decent CBS recipe procedural, but not really Sherlock Holmes, more like House or Monk. If I had gone into it with that expectation, I probably could have enjoyed it more. On the other hand, I watched the BBC series right after reading the Conan Doyle stories. I was absolutely delighted with how that series tied everything back to the original stories... Through writing, production sets, and the character portrayals were right on. So, for me Elementary was a disappointment in that it's just another CBS formula drama, and really pale in comparison to the BBC series. I was frankly shocked that the reviews were so favorable. But CBS' marketing really succeeded, and it will probably be a big hit. Makes me sad that not enough people will view the really quality BBC show.

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Yeah, I'll watch it again, but I don't like it as much as the PBS "Sherlock." Watson as a female? Maybe -- but she's no Mary Russell. I did like her watching the Mets, as well as the closing refrain of "Watching the Detectives." (Of course, that song reminds me of "History Detectives," a different show altogether. Best line from Sherlock: "I googled. Somethings can't be deduced."

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.

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