Sunday, September 30, 2012
'Pilot' -- Elementary 1x01
I'm going to try really hard to give this show a chance, since the source material is so very awesome. That being said ... I wasn't very fond of this episode, and I'm really hoping that what happens is that they find their groove with this show. "Sherlock" on the Beeb has been awesome since the very first episode, even with them making it a little bit more modern, but "Elementary" ... not so much.
I think that part of what my issue is here, is that with "Sherlock," the writing staff was still able to keep the soul of the show intact (even while making it a little more modern, and while still giving us all sorts of nods to things from canon). But with "Elementary," the writers seem to have taken the canon, and not so much left the soul intact. They turned Watson into a woman, I can handle that ... in fact, I thought it wasn't that bad of a change. The problem is that the Watson of this show is different in ways that I don't really care for. I would have liked it if they had kept the army stuff in there (even if they took out the part about him having a limp, like they did with "Sherlock"). The fact that Watson was an army doctor was kind of a big deal, and the fact that now Watson was a surgeon that came from money ... that's just a little too much of a departure for me.
I also had a bit of a problem with them sexualizing Sherlock so much, when the canon doesn't show anything like that. My god, the only woman that he really had any interactions with was The Woman ... cuz her mind was so awesome. From everything that I've ever seen, the man was asexual, and was only interested in the work. Why do we need to turn that into something else? Because it's American television? Stupid. And this Sherlock's "drug problem" ... not really happy with that either. Yes, in canon he smoked a pipe (and the patches that Cumberbatch wore as a nod to that were brilliant), and he also used cocaine, but I think that we need to remember that it was a different age then. Back when these stories were written, cocaine wasn't considered to be addictive, or even harmful. Yes, we know better now, but that doesn't mean that at the time we did. It's just that I feel kind of like, in focusing on the drugs, the writers of this show are trying to do the big PSA of "Drugs are bad, kids," instead of focusing on the character the way that he should be focused in on ... in that he is brilliant and an egomaniac, and he needs Watson to help even him out.
What I did like? Giving Sherlock tattoos. That may seem completely random and out of canon (and here I'd been harping about the spirit of canon), but I like it. I would imagine that the ink was really the actors, and the production staff really didn't have any say in whether his skin had it or not ... but they could have kept him covered up so that the ink was never shown.
I'm thinking that I'm going to give this show a couple more episodes before I really decide whether or not I'm going to stick with it, but as it is right now, I'm not holding out much hope.