Elementary, my dear Watson. It's going to be awful!
What made Sherlock a success is what's going to make Elementary a disaster. Writing! Let me start out by saying I like Jonny Lee Miller as an actor. He's very good. But seeing CBS's teaser for their version a modernized Sherlock Holmes living in America, I thought the series looked awful. Syd and I watched in on her iphone and we sat there rolling our eyes and shaking our heads at the lines Sherlock Holmes was given. None of which we could ever imagine Sherlock Holmes EVER saying.
One of which when he discovers the dead body in the safe by rolling a ball bearing towards a safe to discover a body and then utters "Sometimes I am sorry when I'm right" Or apologizing to Dr. JOAN Watson (played by Lucy Lui) about wrecking her car. Both of us just felt Sherlock Holmes would never do that!! He would never apologize for his actions. Especially if he felt the ends justify the means. I suppose it's American television's attempt to give Sherlock Holmes some humanity and humility. Make him a flawed hero.
I'm not buying it.
In all of his incarnations. From Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Stephens, Peter Cushing and most recently with Benedict Cumberbath and Robert Downey Jr. the thing that has made Sherlock Holmes's character great is the fact he's so unapologetic. Actually, he's just a downright jerk. Probably Rathbone's portrayal of Holmes is by far the warmest and most sympathetic of all the Sherlock actors mentioned.
They even got that right in House. What made Hugh Laurie's character so popular is the fact he was such a jerk.
I should probably state that Sherlock Holmes is public domain. Which means ANYONE can do something with the character. My gripe is that the whole series seems very lazy and this is just American Television capitalizing on the success of something Steven Moffat, wife Susan Vertue and Mark Gatiss worked very hard to create. A modernized Holmes HAS been done in the past. But not nearly as successfully as team Moffat/Vertue/Gatiss has done. And this just feels... well... really lazy.
I understand Moffat and Company's irritation with the American series. They've worked really hard to cultivate this idea and make it a success. As a spectator looking in from the outside, all it seems like to me is CBS just riding on the coattails of Sherlock's success. And doing so in the most contrived and unoriginal sort of way.
However, I do not agree with Moffat's statement that this series will somehow ruin the brand if it's a distaster. Honestly, I don't think it will make his series any less of a success. As a matter of fact, I think just the opposite will happen. I think people who view in on this Americanized Holmes in the Fall who are familiar with the BBC series will just say, "I think the British version is better".
If CBS had any sort of imagination (it's obvious that they DON'T) then they would do just the opposite and create a Sherlock series with Jonny Lee Miller in the States. BUT have it set in the 1890's. Larry Millett did a series of Sherlock Holmes novels set in the states. Why not use that.
Or they would pick another literary character to adapt. If they were smart (see above) they might consider being clever (again, see above) and do a series with Jonny Lee Miller based on A.J. Raffles. A character created by E. W. Hornung.
But I suppose Sherlock is more lucrative than Raffles. And it's easier to rehash something someone has already done than to take a chance and do something completely original.
I won't be watching Elementary this fall. Well, I might tune in on the first episode just to see if the rest of the show is as bad as the previews for it looked.
Either way, I see this making "Show Being Axed" list.