Friday, September 28, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews: Elementary Pilot

  Well, last night was the premiere of the new Sherlock Holmes show, Elementary.

Finding these took a while. (And I had a Downeylock one, but it won't come up, and the Jude Law!Watson one is apparently gone...)

 Whoa! Everybody put your guns down! Let's be civilized here! We don't need to resort to violence over this! Really...

  Anyway, the pilot is about Sherlock (AKA Jonny Lee Miller, or as I like to call him around here, "Millerlock"), fresh out of rehab, trying to solve the murder of a woman, while assisted by his new sober companion, Joan Watson (AKA Lucy Liu, or as I like to call her around here... Joan).

  First of all, I'll get this one thing out of the way: I noticed early in the episode, they had the Twitter hashtag "#Sherlock" in the corner, before switching to "#Elementary". I wonder how many people watching, who don't know about BBC's Sherlock, got confused on Twitter when they saw Tweets with the "#Sherlock" that were about stuff like "The Reichenbach Fall" or "A Study in Pink".

 Okay, let's start with the most polarizing thing: the all-new, all-female Watson, Joan Watson.

  I stated before that I don't like the idea of Joan coming into Sherlock's life here by being his sober companion. I just feel like she's kind of forced to be around him. I mean, yes, it's established that she enjoys what Sherlock does (and actually has a knack for it. I think that's kind of good. And at least the writers are keeping it up with competent Watsons like in the book! Yay!), but still, I would have preferred it if they had found another way to bring the two together.

  And, yes, the two still live together. They didn't change that just because the genders changed. At least, for six weeks they will. But let's face it people, she's Watson, he's Sherlock. Joan isn't leaving when those six weeks are up. What do you want to bet they'll forget about it in-show, and they'll have something like Sherlock saying: "Oh, hey, shouldn't you have moved out [INSERT PERIOD OF TIME HERE] ago?" And Joan replying, "...Oh, yeah..."?

  As said earlier, Joan here shows a little bit of deductive power here, too. That's admittedly impressive. And she seems to be more of the "call Sherlock out for treating people like a jerk" Watson than the " 'Oh my gosh! You're brilliant!' " Watson. It was kind of jarring at first to me, since I was thinking of Sherlock's Watson. I mean, she still admits that he's good, and is amazed at/curious about his first deductions. but she's not like Martin Freeman's John Watson was in the beginning of Sherlock. In fact, the more I think about it, she's almost more like Jude Law's Watson in the movies, and that's the one who's known his Sherlock for ages! In short, in Doctor Who terms, she's going to be more of a Donna Noble or a girl Rory Williams (hopefully) to Millerlock's Doctor. And those are two of my favorite companions, so...

  Anyway, Joan has no military history here. Shame, I was kind of hoping she would, just because it would be awesome. Who knows/ Maybe she'll show some gun prowess later on. And, technically, she's not a doctor, per say. Least not officially. She was a surgeon, until she committed malpractice. But she hasn't forgotten what she knows, which is good. It's not just an informed attribute, so to speak.

  And, on a minor note, I loved the revelation that she is a sports fan here. Even going so far as to wear a baseball hat while watching a baseball game at home! (I'll talk more about this scene later) I've kind of latched on to this aspect of her. I kind of want to find out more stuff about this new, female Watson. I think she does pretty well, and I must give props to Liu for doing better than I thought.

 Now, on to Sherlock himself. I've said before that Millerlock shows promise. Well, in a basic sense, he is. He's decent. He's very good at deduction, heck, he's even good at prediction, too. He has some of the other basic traits I'm used to, too. He gets bored (in fact, he breaks out of rehab. I love his "I showed them their flaws in the security" line.), can be a bit sarcastic like the other two Sherlocks I know (Downeylock's "Once again, Lestrade, you have a firm grasp on the obvious" and Cumberlock's "Brilliant Anderson... Brilliant impression of an idiot", anyone?) and he does have his moments where he's not the kindest fellow, like Cumberlock.  Oh, and I like that he acknowledges he's not in the consulting detective business for credit.

  Now I do have some problems with him. the big one being him and that freakin' woman! They did fondue! They did UMQRA! They did engage in dancing! (Ah, unusual euphemisms from Captain America, Sherlock (at least, I saw the second used as a euphemism before), and Doctor Who, I love you...). I don't like it. I mean, yeah, Millerlock says it was strictly "for stimulation" and "I find this disgusting". But still, couldn't they have gone with something else? It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I still dislike this even being here.

  I also thought this Sherlock "swore" a lot. I mean, in a "British terms I kind of figure are swearing" sense. I'm not used to Sherlock being having a slightly more colorful language. They may not be the severe swear words, but still, it was a little distracting. And I don't think I liked the line where he said he didn't picture a suspect, quote, "having the berries" (? That's a new one to me) to kill the victim. I just, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around Sherlock actually saying that...

  Hmm... I bet this is somewhat like how buddy2blogger feels about Jim Moriarty's "Mr. Sex" (yeah, yeah, I know, I used the euphemisms earlier, but I feel I have to use the word here) line in "The Riechenbach Fall" episode of Sherlock. Might not be exactly like that, but still...

  Anyway, Millerlock does show a bit more human-ness here. I think time will tell if this works out for him (it at least distinguishes him from at least Series 1 Cumberlock...). I, personally, like when Sherlock Holmes shows his more "human" side, but part of why I like it is that he so rarely shows it, so it's a treat.

  Millerlock doesn't have the gimmicks/views inside the head like RDJ's or Cumberbatch's do. (Downeylock having his deductive "Holmes-O-Vision" combat technique-thing, Cumberlock having his subtitles showing his thought processes). It's, again, a bit odd to go from seeing how he's thinking to "just go with it/let me explain". But, he does seem to use his phone/modern things like Facebook and Google (oh, turns out he googled Joan's dad, not her job. That works for me) than his fellow modern day Sherlock, Cumberlock.

  Gregson is pretty okay. He does pretty decent, and, again, it's nice to see him acknowledged here when the other show and the movies pretty much ignore his existence so far. And I'm not totally crazy about Sherlock's dad being in the picture, here. But I do wonder: what does Daddy Holmes do, exactly, that has him own five buildings in New York?

  Okay, enough characters, time for the story and overall show. The mystery is a fairly interesting one. I don't think it was a Canon story, but if the rest of the original stories are interesting, I might not mind. There was the whole "song at the beginning and end that aren't the theme song" thing that I think is sort of a cliche, but that's a personal nitpick.

  I do think the theme and the violin song they played in the episode are decent. They're no Hans Zimmer, but still good. But the theme was too short. Who knows? If they release the soundtrack on iTunes, I might get those songs.

  I really liked the scene at the end, where Joan is excitedly watching a baseball game, and Sherlock is just like: "Can we go eat now?" I won't spoil the rest, but it's hilarious.

  Overall, I think that Elementary is... okay. It's not a bad as I feared it would be, but it's not as fantastic as I hoped it would be. I'm still going to watch it, though. One, because it's the only Sherlock-related thing that's going to be out for a while and Doctor Who's going on break after tomorrow's episode. And two, because I want to see if it improves. I see potential.

  So, my fellow Sherlock fans, let's drop the irrational thoughts and speculation about this show and just give it a try, okay? It's really not the sign of the coming of doom that most people thought. Please?


  1. Nice review.

    I did not think much about the "having the berries" line. Probably because, it was not as in-the-face as was Scott's Moriarty line...You know the one I am talking about ;)


    1. Thanks!

      Yeah. I've kind of come to expect lines like that one you mentioned from Soctt's Moriarty. Sherlock? Not so much. I'm just hoping new Sherlock doesn't make it a habit...