...an almost completely unbiased review.
First things first, I would lie if I said that I wasn't biased towards this show. I did and always will favor the BBC version, but that being said it is simply unfair to compare a BBC drama to a CBS show (Honestly though, Johnny Lee Miller playing a 21st century Holmes, it's like CBS was asking for it...). This does, however, by no means mean that I am one of those Elementary haters, as far as I am concerned the more the merrier. Heck, I even watched that show with the terrier in the deerstalker...
A 21st century Holmes... nothing new, but this one lives in New York, and Watson happens to be a woman - So there's a new angle for you. And I do LOVE this Holmes! Miller portrays the consulting Detective as a modern version of the eccentric addict that we got to know in many of the stories. With his tattoos, shabby clothes, and that amazing bad boy charm, he could not be further away from Cumberbatch and his Spencer Hart clad crime solving machine - Both are so different and both are so Holmes.
However, I sometimes found myself wishing that Miller would tone the crazy down just a little. Imagine Cumberbatch at his worst (i.e. the infamous "I don't have friends" scene) multiply it by ten, and that's the level of agitation that Miller seems to be on during 85% of the episode. At some point I got so irritated that I failed to pay attention to anything but him. Let's just say that the case itself was a little lost on me.
There was something that made up for it though, all those little nods to Conan Doyle's Stories. I am just gonna say bees and opera - and that everything else was suddenly forgiven.
One thing that a couple of insects won't make up for, however, is the general look of the show. It is too early to judge it. Pilots often look cheap, but if they don't step it up a little I might not be all that interested in the rest of the season. We have this amazing eccentric detective, give him the set he deserves! Because what I saw made Law and Order look exciting...
As far as Watson is concerned the jury is still out on Lucy Liu. I still have a little trouble to wrap my head around the fact that this Watson has no military background. Dropping something that is such a big part of a character (and the stories) is risky, but we'll have to see more to make a final judgement...
Good: Miller, the bees, the opera, and the score (I read bad things but I loved the fiddle!)
Okay: The writing, the fact that I barely remember the case makes me wonder if it was because Holmes distracted me or because it was not that interesting in the first place.
Bad: The set, the only location I really felt was the pub which was featured for the eternity of 2 whole minutes...
All in all, Elementary isn't the best Holmes, but Miller is a great Holmes - and BBC Sherlock fans, remember if these two can still be best friends, we can give Elementary a chance.
Peace, Love, and Sunshine