All Sorts of Things

Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.

Sherlock: CBS Steals BBC’s Show but BBC Kicks CBS’ Butt

Sherlock Holmes is one of the greatest literary creations of our time and has inspired a number of shows and movies. Some of these are good, some decent, while a majority of them are terrible. The most recent exciting development in the Sherlock cannon was Steve Moffat’s re-imagination of the character. The genius of Moffat was to take inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories but not be a slave to them and then move the whole world into the modern age. In addition, Moffat found a great Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and a superb Watson (Martin Freeman). The only problem with this show is that it doesn’t have enough episodes – three in the first season and three in the second season; three more are planned for a third season. Now, as a huge fan of this show, waiting a year for three episodes is a bit much so I was excited to hear that CBS was planning to create its own Sherlock show by basically stealing the template from the BBC because I knew that CBS would produce more than three episodes a year.

The first cause of concern came when CBS announced that they were changing the character of Watson into a woman. This completely dashed the joy that I had felt when it was announced that Johnny Lee Miller had been cast as Sherlock. (Incidentally, both Miller and Cumberbatch had worked together in a fantastic rendition of Frankenstein directed by the great Danny Boyle in 2011/2012.) Now, I know that we are in an age where casting is supposed to be gender and color-blind but changing a seminal character such as Mr. Watson into Ms. Watson is unforgivable. So, it was with some worries and concerns that I saw the first episode of “Elementary” and am happy to report that the show is total garbage.

Its garbage because instead of being a Holmes show, it’s a typical CBS procedural with two characters who happen to be named Holmes and Watson. It’s no different from a show like Monk or the Mentalist or any of the countless shows populating network and cable television. I am happy because this show won’t sully the reputation of BBC’s Sherlock. I don’t know, however, if Elementary will last more than one season – I gave up trying to predict the viewing of average morons a long time ago – but I do know is that it will not hurt Sherlock. On a negative note, I am still left with only three Sherlock episodes a year but maybe good television shows, like great food, are meant to be savored rather than gorged.

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