Everyone knows about the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusty companion Dr John Watson. Not everybody will have read the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and up until late last year, I hadn’t either. By the way, the books are fantastic and I highly recommend them, especially since you can get the entire collection for $1 from the Kindle Store. Frankly, I wasn’t a big fan of the crime drama genre, but after watching the BBC movie length mini-series Sherlock, my curiosity was certainly piqued. The series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Bilbo Baggins was a fantastic, engaging retelling of the originals.
Enter from stage left, the new CBS interpretation of Sherlock Holmes Elementary. Where Sherlock follows and adapts the story lines and backgrounds from the books, Elementary takes some cursory background and alters them completely to suit the stage of the series. For starters, the show is set exclusively in New York (well, where else were they going to go?) rather than England and Dr. Watson is female. I personally don’t have a problem with these sort of changes, because there has to be some sort of creative freedom given to writers to make things entertaining. However, I personally think having Lucy Liu play a character with a Western surname really takes a bit of getting used to.
I’m now finally enjoying the different take on Sherlock Holmes, where the first few episodes were very lacklustre in their mysteries. The stories have certainly improved as the first season has gone on. Certainly, each episode in now feels like one of the smaller stories that form the collections of short cases that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. Being a more typical , the characters have a bit more depth to them and has more background. Of course, some episodes have good mysteries and others not so good. This is the nature of television really, but as the season progresses, the writers are able to get bigger and better crimes of the week.