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Hypable was present at yesterday’s Elementary panel and got to see the pilot and hear from its stars!

Elementary takes a unique look at Sherlock Holmes as a recovering addict with Joan Watson as his sobriety coach, all set in New York City. The pilot was an intriguing mix of murder/mystery and character development. This show does have promise as long as it continues to keep the storylines different from THAT other Sherlock we all know so well.

Let’s start with Johnny Lee Miller’s version of Sherlock Holmes. First off, it is not a mimic of Benedict Cumberbatch in anyway. The character will always have certain characteristics that have to be present in order for it to be that character. So will Miller’s Sherlock be incredibly observant and somewhat arrogant? Yes. But he is also fallible, sometimes apologetic, and has the occasional temper tantrum. These characteristics humanize Miller’s version of Sherlock in a way that has not been seen before.

Lucy Liu’s version of Watson is definitely different and not in a bad way. Joan Watson is hired by Sherlock’s father, a shadowy, elusive figure, to help Sherlock remain sober. Watson moves into Sherlock’s broken down town house. She has her own secrets and reasons for being a sobriety coach which are revealed in the pilot. Traditionalists may balk at the gender switch but it plays nicely with this version of Sherlock.

Lucy Lu’s thoughts on Watson being female:

“I think it is wonderful when you turn things on their heads and think outside the box. I think the gender change also creates a dynamic and chemistry that you don’t normally see in the films and obviously the BBC version. There is a very strong link between the two, but there is a difference when there is a man and woman and a man/man there. I think there is something special there in the show for us, and there’s potential. I’m not saying it is romantic, but it is different.”

At one point during the Q&A Johnny Lee Miller was asked if he and Benedict Cumberbatch had discussed the role considering they had just worked together. His response:

“There was obviously a conversation there, we wanted to be sure that it was very different and we had a private conversation about it.  He has been very supportive and we’ve just been discussing the character and how fun he is to play.  I’ve gone back to the books really, that’s where I’ve got most of my information.”

Overall this show has great potential. The pilot established that this is not a mimic of Sherlock for American TV. This show stands on its own and utilizes the books to create backstory that hasn’t been seen in recent adaptations. The storyline about Sherlock’s addiction helps humanize him. It will be interesting to see where the story goes.  Definitely add this to your fall premiere schedule.

  • Laura

    I’m so excited to have Lucy Liu as Watson. its awesome to have a woman at this and one who is a minority! 

    • DarrlynM

       I agree!

    • Jack

      I can get on board with Watson being a woman, but I’m not a big fan of Lucy Liu as an actress. But that’s just my personal preference.

    • Disraeli

      Why not make Sherlock the woman then? That would have been interesting. Or keep it set in Victorian London and change the genders? Changing Watson to a woman, doesn’t really serve anything in a feminism revisionist sense, it’s just tokenism and a cheap way to garner some attention. It’s cowardly, not brave. And yeah, Lucy Liu isn’t a great actor. 

      • Kristin

        Yeah I’m sure everyone would have been so receptive to a Asian female Sherlock because Elementary’s Watson has been met with open arms….oh wait

        • Disraeli

          Which is exactly my point. It was cowardly by CBS, not brave. I think I’m going to stop discussing things with you. It’s really unfair on you, making you have to think and all. 

          • DarrlynM

             Yawn, you’re boring me

  • 7Starrchasers


  • DarrlynM

    I can’t wait! I’m excited about this. And if you are one of those SNOBS who think Sherlock and other British shows are the best thing since slice bread.. Then Don’t Watch!

    • headphones

       Alright…that was borderline insulting. Just because people have preferences for different types of television shows doesn’t make them snobs…

      • DarrlynM

         Yes, they are snobs because they say things like “Americans ruin everything” or “American television is crap” or…well you get the idea. I actually enjoy shows from a rang of countries. I love British show like Skins, Shameless, Misfits, Ab Fab, I love Korean dramas, I watch Canadian shows and I have shows I watch here in America. So I find it snobbish (and silly) when ppl insult a whole country because they don’t like a television show. And again, they don’t have to watch

        • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

          they are allowed to have an opinion…

          • DarrlynM

             And so am I. Your point was?…..

          • Disraeli

            Oh. Can I be as rude with my opinion as yours? Cool. American writers and producers then to lack the deft touch that many international writers do and therefore create worst television. As seen by the fact that of the last 10-15 remake they’ve done, only one or two have been anywhere near the original in terms of quality. 

          • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

            There’s a difference between British fans wanting their ideas to stay theirs and someone rudely attacking them as ‘snobs’.

          • DarrlynM

            Well no matter how rude it seemed (I actually don’t think it was that rude), its still an opinion so…..?

        • headphones

           Sorry, buddy, but in no way does that make them snobs…And if you’re looking at American TV as a whole lately, it really has gone down the toilet. I’m looking forward (more or less…I’m somewhat cringing because I’m not that fond of how Sherlock looks like he’s going to be represented in Elementary, but I’m down with Watson so far.) to both shows when they make their premiers. And it’s not so much as they’re insulting our country as they’re insulting how we’re often represented as. America does not have a happy stereotype. Maybe Americans ourselves should be doing something to fix that instead of sitting around calling people snobs because they have differing opinions, hmm?

          • DarrlynM

             Well, I think it makes them snobs. So…..I guess that’s the end of that

    • Jack

      Yeah, that was kind of rude. We’re trying to be civil here and not give the Brits anything to complain about, but you’re not helping.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

        I’m a Brit and I’m actually really looking forward to seeing it.

      • DarrlynM

         What can I say, I guess I’m tired of ppl saying things like “Americans ruin everything” as if one television show equates to a whole country filled with millions of ppl. And mind you, I didn’t say anything British ppl, I said “SNOBS who think Sherlock and other British shows are the best thing since slice bread”. There are plenty of Americans who fit that bill. So please read carefully before replying back to me #just saying

    • Guest

      Um, way to make yourself look like another ignorant American ass.

      • DarrlynM

         I give not one fuck what you think

    • HarryTheHippo

      He does have a point, even if he said it in a mean way. Some people will probably refuse to watch this because it’s “not British.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Connor-Frye/1326652893 Connor Frye

      Sherlock and Doctor Who are better than sliced bread, from an American. But so are many of our shows it doesnt matter where it is from.

      • DarrlynM

        I totally agree with you, I love both shows. And I guess thats what I’m trying to say. Don’t put a show down b/c it’s from a certain country, its silly

  • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

    I’ll give it a try but Cumberbatch (for me at least) IS Sherlock, hard to duplicate that magic – even if you’re trying to be different. 

  • MJW

    I still refuse to watch this. Sorry, Johnny Lee Miller, nothing against you, but one modern-day Sherlock is good enough for me.

  • Jelly

    I think I would have loved this show if it hadn’t called itself a version of Sherlock Holmes. It’s not that I’m opposed to revision or thinking outside the box. I’m a big fan of Sherlock and what they’ve done with both characters and plots… I still see Sherlock Holmes (and Conan Doyle) in every detail. When I look at Elementary, see and hear about it, I don’t see Sherlock Holmes. I see an American (in a cultural and geographical sense, not necessarily in the sense of production) show that has potential to become a great detective drama with interesting characters and relationships. I can see Sherlock Holmes as the springboard, the prototype, but I wish they would have left it at that. This can never be Sherlock Holmes for me. Watson as a woman I could deal with, although it undeniably changes the dynamic and relationship in a big way, but everything feels off (one not so insignificant reason being the American “turn”… I’m not British and I don’t live in London, but Sherlock Holmes does).

    I wish they would have gone with different character names etc., but the show itself looks good.

  • Disraeli

    I’m not going to watch it because it’s pretty clear it’s not Sherlock Holmes. The writers have said they’re not using Doyle’s story (so why even call it Sherlock Holmes?). And they said they want to have a closer look at Sherlock’s drug addiction (which sort of proves they don’t understand the text; Sherlock’s drug use is complex and can’t really be summed up as a modern day ‘addiction’.)

    It’s clearly not Sherlock Holmes. Only in name. 

    • http://twitter.com/ambersorensen ambersorensen

      Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I agree 100% with everything you’ve said. If it were just a crime drama, that would be just fine. But the fact is they’ve named it “Sherlock Holmes,” and if you do that you need to stick to something besides just names. It’d be like naming two characters Romeo and Juliet, but they don’t fall in love and their families don’t hate each other. It’s not the same.

      Speaking of Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It’s not the Sherlock Holmes name which makes it a Sherlock Holmes story. It’s the STORY itself. If you don’t have that, it’s just a name and a name is meaningless on its own, especially such a famous name as that.

  • DarrlynM

    @Disraeli “American writers and producers then to lack the deft touch that many international writers do” LOL, Ummm, yeah because America has never produced great shows like The Wire, The West Wing, The Sopranos, The Walking Dead…. Obviously all the talent is abroad. Silly me

    • Disraeli

      The Wire, not that great. The West Wing was okay. The Sopranos, again, just okay. The Walking Dead is a meandering thing. None of them matches up to the Danish’s Killing, British’s Sherlock and so on. You really messed up that reply there, pumpkin. America does have some great shows (Breaking Bad, Castle, Fringe) but… you seemed to miss them all in that list. Like you also missed my point. But it’s okay. You’ll get it one day. 

      • J.

        Wooow, Saying Castle and Fringe are better than The West Wing and The Wire? Now we know what your tastes are like.

        • Disraeli

          I’m not directly comparing the shows. Fringe is one of the rare hard science fiction show on television. And therefore makes itself easy to win acclaim. Castle doesn’t pretend to be anything but easy, fun entertainment. And it does that well. You can’t compare them to The West Wing or The Wire. Which I did not, but you did. When against proper dramas, the West Wing and the Wire is hugely found wanting. 

          • J.

             I was comparing YOUR favoring those two shows over the others. I was comparing YOUR opinion (as in those are shows you think are good and those are shows you think are not so good). Not the shows themselves. You shouldn’t compare shows to each other but let them stand alone. The things you like tells me a lot about who you are.

          • Disraeli

            But this whole thing is about comparison. US v International. Dramas were mentioned (the Wire and so on) and I said they weren’t that good (especially when compared to abroad). I then said that the US do make some good shows and mentioned them. Now, those US shows I mentioned? Do they rank with the international dramas that are better than the US ones mentioned. No. They don’t. So I don’t see how you count them as “my tastes”. But, apparently you insist on being a moron. Good day, kind sir. :)

          • J.

             I was basically saying that due to your tastes in TV Shows I’m not likely to listen to your opinion on this subject. It is your taste because you’re stating shows you prefer over others.

        • DarrlynM

           No truer words my friend

      • Jazz

         I will say that while there are many good shows abroad there are also good shows in America. Both have very different cultures surrounding film and television. America has a much larger consumption of both television and film and therefore the stakes a much larger when producing both. Ricky Gervais once said that America creates the best AND the worst films in cinematic history and I think he has a point that extends to television as well. I think the American television industry creates shows with more variety and we do “big” well (big budgets, big ideas, etc) with the fault lying in the attempt at making too much. We inundate ourselves with too much and so we churn out a lot of crap. Other countries are forced to be small and work with smaller stories but as you say Britain and other countries can be more subtle and more quiet. They can also err on the side of boring and predictable and bland. Don’t forget there are also bad shows abroad. But on both counts they make less which is the big difference. Less shows in general means less bad shows AND less good shows. Also, they aren’t slaves to ratings and numbers, they can make however much they see fit if the production companies decide it to be so. But those same companies also have tighter control over what is put out over there (leading to the “less variety” statement I made). In many ways it is MUCH easier to make a show in Britain and there’s an effort of quality over quantity. In America, it’s a dog fight with everyone trying to make the “next big thing”. There’s positives and negatives on both sides, don’t discriminate one against the other just because you want to choose a side. Enjoy the medium of television in all it’s cultures and styles. We’re allowed to do that now, you know with the invention of the internet and such.

      • DarrlynM

         LOL. The Wire not so great but Castle is? LMFAO. Oh man you are killing me.

      • DarrlynM

        I missed your point? Because I disagreed with you? Because I didn’t say “oh man, you’re are totally right! I’ll change my opinion right now!” Silly me again. Oh, and I didn’t give you a complete list of great American shows because….well frankly I don’t care to. If you would like to know however, Google is your friend

  • Kitt and Chips

    I wonder why they think there’s a dynamic between a man and a woman that can’t exist between two men. It comes off sounding very anti gay, or even anti close male friendship.

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