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.

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