Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A First Take on "Elementary"

Nice plug for my second McCabe - Cody mystery! 

Everyone will form their own opinion of the new CBS series "Elementary," which I previewed this week. Here's mine:

I thought the first episode was a good mystery, with some suitably Sherlockian deductions and a clever solution. It's hard to tell from the first episode whether the relationship between the two main characters will be interesting over the long haul, but it seemed promising.

My guess, though, is that Sherlock Holmes fans around the world will not develop the passion for this reworking of our hero that they have for BBC's "Sherlock" series. The difference between these two 21st century Sherlocks is quite clear, and not to CBS's credit.

BBC's Holmes and Watson are very much Arthur Conan Doyle's original characters transported to a different time with the same address, the same minor characters, and the same relationship. It's easy to imagine that they are just what Holmes and Watson would be like if they were born more than a century later than they actually were.

This series has brought millions of viewers into the orbit of Sherlock Holmes, many of young, as well as generally delighting long-time fans.

The CBS version, by contrast, could have gotten along quite well by giving the main characters different names -- because they are, in fact, different characters from Holmes and Watson.

Sherlock does have some of the freneticism of the original and deductive genius of the original. He also keeps bees -- on the roof of his New York brownstone. But Joan Watson has nothing all in common with John H. except a medical degree. Gender is almost the least of their differences. 

Depending on how well the series develops, it could build an audience. But I wonder whether many Sherlockians will be part of it.


  1. Agreed, thank you. I've been hesitant about this series.

  2. Yeah, I figured as much about Watson. The previews didn't look promising. Thanks.

  3. This is the kind of thing everyone keeps saying. Just the backstory they give Holmes and Watson kind of rankled me, honestly--as well as an apparent lack of understanding of just how difficult it is to lose one's medical license (you have to be evil, irredeemably addicted, or spectacularly incompetent, none of which I think they want for Ms. Watson)--and if you say they have the personality wrong as well.... The BBC showed us you can move Holmes and Watson all over the place and still have them be recognizable, but yeah, if they're not getting Watson's personality right, then.... It will be interesting, though to see how well it does with people who are not hard-core Sherlock Holmes fans, and who have either never seen, or are not heavily invested in, the BBC series. I expect I'll watch it a few times, and then forget it's on, which is what I generally do with TV anymore. (Leah Guinn, because Google doesn't apparently know me)

  4. Dan, I agree with you. It is a decent crime show, but other than naming the characters "Holmes" and "Watson," it really is not a Sherlock Holmes show. It is no more a show about Sherlock Holmes than any other crime/detective/police procedural show that has used the Holmes and Watson foundation, i.e., "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "Monk," "House," and even "Psych." All of them have that one quirky character who exists outside of normal society and so is able to observe that which the average person misses.

    I enjoyed "Elementary," but I'll still look elsewhere for my Sherlock Holmes fix.