Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is CBS Elementary a good adaptation of Sherlock Holmes?


Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in Elementary
I have been having an interesting conversation about the CBS show with James C. O'Leary.

I decided to post my thoughts about this discussion as a separate post, so that other readers can join the discussion as well. Here is a screenshot of James' comment:



I agree with James that I am expressing my thoughts about Elementary, based on what I expect from an adaptation, irrespective of whether it is based on the Canon or just the characters.

Miller and Liu do make a good Holmes-Watson. I like the sense of humor that Miller brings to his performance. That is very much Canonical in nature and something common to all of my favorite Holmes actors (Vasily Livanov, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing and Arthur Wontner). I also like the smarter than your average Watson as portrayed by Liu.

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary

It is the characterization and the writing in general that leave a lot to be desired. Out of the 17 episodes so far, only 3 have managed to hold my interest from start to finish: Child PredatorM and The Deductionist. That means Elementary is successful only 17% of the time. Not an impressive statistic for a show based on Sherlock Holmes in its very first season.

There are certain quintessential Sherlockian traits that I look forward to in any onscreen representation of Holmes: his aversion to women being one of them. This is what is missing in Elementary and the Robert Downey Jr movies as well. Cumberbatch's version also walked the thin line and came out relatively unscathed. When I see an adaptation that has Holmes having intimate encounters/relationships with women, that is a big turnoff for me.

James gave the example of The Adventure of the Charles Augustus Milverton, where Holmes gets engaged to Charles’ maid Alice. I believe the engagement was forced on Holmes by Alice and he just played along to get the information, he needed to help his client. Holmes uses Social Engineering tactics many times in the Canon to solve cases and I believe this is just another instance.

Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 1:


As James pointed out, Holmes after retirement may have let "the softer passions" play a more active role in his life. I would cite the movie The Seven-Per-Cent Solution as a good example of portraying this probable development in Holmes’ personal life. The ending scene suggests this possibility in a subtle and nuanced manner. The movie by the way is amazing.

James then discusses about Arthur Conan Doyle’s interest in writing the Sherlock Holmes stories only for monetary incentives.

There is always the financial motive that makes people do many of the things they do and Arthur Conan Doyle was no exception. Yes, Doyle wrote most part of the Canon for money.

Conan Doyle had a strong disdain towards his creation. He could not wait to wash his hands of Holmes.

But what he gave us is one of the enduring classics of literature and a character who will stand the test of time as the archetype of fictional detectives.

Unlike Doyle, I however am a fan of Holmes and expect a good level of fun quotient in an adaptation of my all-time favorite literary character.

Arthur Wontner and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Wontner and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
Yes, there have been instances where more than one Sherlock Holmes adaptations competed at the same time for viewer’s attention (and wallets). Arthur Wontner’s movie Silver Blaze (released in the UK in 1937) was renamed Murder at the Baskervilles and released in the US in 1941 to cash in on the popularity of the 1939 adaptation starring Basil Rathbone.

Both Wontner and Rathbone gave two of the best performances ever.

Coming back to CBS Elementary - Yes, it is cheaper for CBS to make their series in the US. My personal and humble opinion is that there is no reason for the show to exist in the first place.

Both the Downey Jr movies and the BBC series have been well received internationally. Downey Jr’s version brought a blockbuster flavor to the legendary detective. Cumberbatch’s version places him in the 21st century with all the modern gadgets and technology at his disposal.

Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Both these adaptations are not 100% Canonical takes by any stretch of the imagination. What they do have is a sense of humor and have been made by people with a good understanding and knowledge of the original stories. This is especially true of the BBC series.

Elementary does not bring anything new to the table that has not already been covered by the BBC series and the Downey Jr movies (not to mention countless ones before).

On the contrary, Elementary has Holmes doing things that are patently not Sherlockian. I am referring to his habit of having “fun” with random women in nearly every other episode. They might as well call him and Watson by some other name and drop the few Canonical nods that crop up now and then. The Canonical nods and the character’s names are the show’s only tenuous links to the Canon.

I expect at least some semblance of resemblance to the Canon and a sense of fun in an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. I personally find both of these lacking in Elementary.

The attempts at humor in Elementary often fall flat. A good example would be the Pink Panther style attacks conducted by Holmes on Joan in Episode # 16 - Details.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary
I can understand people who are unfamiliar with the original stories, taking a liking to the CBS show. Miller and Liu are doubtless charismatic performers, who are a joy to watch on the screen.  I am sure that the show will turn a decent profit for CBS. I am just not sure if Elementary will attain a cult status among fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories.

Click here and here to read the reviews of season finale episodes "The Woman" and "Heroine".

Click here to read all my posts about CBS Elementary.

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36 comments:

  1. I think the prostitutes in Elementary are an attempt to address Holmes' discomfort with relationships with women. In the Victorian Era, an author could not address the fact that the vast majority of people, especially men, have a sex drive. Now, the modern author can. So, you have a man who has no interest in the complications of a relationship, but still has a sex drive. The answer is prostitutes. Many have speculated that was how Holmes in the canon addressed the issue as well. I feel it is a logical extension of what we know about Holmes, and how it would be dealt with during the modern era.

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    1. A very interesting concept. I am willing to bet that Holmes was written as an asexual character. He had recourse to cocaine as an artificial stimulant, when he ran out of cases to solve. Only Arthur Conan Doyle knows the answer.

      As to CBS Elementary, in one of the earlier episodes, Miller's Holmes mentions that he dated Irene Adler for several months. His love for Irene and subsequent grief over her death drives him to take law into his own hands and he tortures Moran in episode # 12 "M". He leaves Moran alive, only because it was not Moran who killed Irene but Moriarty.

      The Canonical Holmes (even assuming that he had sex with prostitutes to satisfy his sex drive) never got emotionally involved with any woman - especially Irene Adler, as Watson clearly specifies in A Scandal in Bohemia: "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler."

      I would say CBS Elementary's version of Holmes is quite unlike the Canonical Holmes.

      Thanks for commenting.

      B2B.

      PS: The intense display of emotions displayed by Miller's Holmes in episode “M” would have one believe that Holmes would put all his energies into tracking down Moriarty with the help of Moran. Interestingly, nothing like that has happened so far and there has been no mention of either Moran or Moriarty!

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    2. It will be good to have Jones back as Moran. He is one of the few bright spots in the show so far.

      B2B.

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    3. I agree with you, B2B. I personally see Holmes as asexual and any interest in women other than that necessary to the case has me thinking twice about the show. Christopher Lee's adaptations are particularly frustrating in regards to this.

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    4. Thanks Reena.

      I would recommend the 1962 movie Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace. It is not one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations, but Christopher Lee is more "Sherlock Holmes" here, than in his other movies as you pointed out.

      B2B.

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  3. Great way to put it, it is not a good adaptation, more of a reimagining with the characters' names. While I am not saying that Elementary is anywhere near the quality of Christopher Nolan's adaptation of Batman or near the same extend as Elementary, but Nolan took the Batman character, used names and some references, but I do not see Nolan's Batman as Batman of the comics. Nolan Batman is a ninja in a Bat costume more than a great detective and crime fighter. His reimagining was fantastic, yet was more inspired by the comics (much more so than Elementary to Doyle's work), opposed to following them. Sorry, that was not the best analogy but I hope it helps in conveying my point.

    Although this is very similar to what you just said and what you have previously stated, but I view Elementary as it trying to be different from the pack. To keep from copy right infringement or just the writers wanting just be different or a simple cash grab on the franchise's recent success, either way it gives a new audience a reason to have an interest in Doyle's work. Because the character has been around so long, I compare it to some comic book characters in a way (not sure what your view of comic books are but I mean that in a very positive way) in that there are many versions of universes were the character exists, some are better than the original, others fan would like to forget. A character like Holmes has been adapted many times without changing the preexisting cannon, but creating something new. Unlike the Star Wars universe for example, where every story whether in film or literature, must exist within the same continuity and not conflict something previous established. Basically, I don't think any version of a source material should not exist, unless it conflicts with something with a continuity. However, I can see why you wish Elementary did not exist.

    Sorry for any use of poor grammar, excessively rabbling and for going off topic. Much of this you already or previously stated but this is my viewing of how Elementary fits in with the other Sherlock adaptations.
    Fantastic, insightful post, enjoyed reading your opinion of the matter.

    -James

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    1. Thanks James.

      I liked your comparison with The Dark Knight trilogy.

      The Dark Knight trilogy was very well made, well acted, had an excellent music score and is immensely enjoyable. That is more than what I can say for Elementary.

      I am familiar with the concept of parallel universe/realities in comic books. I am not sure if that works that well for a literary (and iconic) character like Sherlock Holmes, the way it does for comic book characters.

      The Robert Downey Jr movies can be considered as one such example of Victorian era Sherlock Holmes in an alternate universe. It is the same 221 B and everything, but this Holmes is shorter, fights a lot more and romances too!

      Still, the movies have an amazing soundtrack (thanks to Hans Zimmer again) and an excellent Watson and Moriarty.

      I would take the RDJ movies over Elementary any day.

      B2B.

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  4. Yes, for now, I think Elementary is pretty inconsistant as a show. The episodes have elements I like. But in my opinion, as a whole, the typical episode doesn't "work", so to speak. They just fall flat.

    I also feel the side characters are a little flat, too, in that I don't quite feel as attatched to Gregson or Bell as I do, say, the supporting cast of BBC's Sherlock. It's not that I dislike them, I'm just indifferent to them. (It's a shame, really, as (and correct me if I'm wrong) I think this one of the few, if only, adaptions Gregson's physically appeared in. (Not counting Lestrade bringing up Gregson in "The Reichenbach Fall") Hmm... Maybe this is why Lestrade is the go-to inspector for these.

    Not bringing up the prostitutes. I've complained about them enough.

    But, I know Elementary has it's fans. And, when I think about it, every adaptation is at least someone's introduction to Sherlock Holmes. And if it gets people reading the canon/watching other adaptions, then hey, they've done something right, I guess.

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    1. You nailed it, Loveable Freak.

      I too enjoy certain parts, but the show on the whole is simply uninteresting.

      Again agree with you about the very non-charismatic performances by the supporting cast. Even after (or during) the episode focussed on him, Bell still remains a non-entity. Aidan Quinn also does not seem to be exerting himself much as Gregson. Perhaps it is the way these characters have been written, that the actors do not make much of an impact.

      Gregson appeared in the Russian series (1979-1985) and the BBC series (1965-68).

      You made a good point about Elementary motivating people to read the Canon. If that happens, that would definitely count for something.

      B2B.

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  5. I shall try to be brief (a hard thing for me).

    I've enjoyed Elementary because I see it as a CBS procedural show w/Sherlock Holmes in it. These cop shows have a set model & rarely deviate from them. As such, Elementary has done quite well. While certain episodes haven't been good (Details & Possibility Two are more character than mystery-focused), some have been brilliant (M., Child Predator, I'd add The Rat Race) and I've been entertained by the stories on the whole.

    Few adaptations have stayed w/i Canon when dealing w/Irene Adler. In the popular consciousness she is seen as The Woman...in Holmes' life, this great love in his life. The Downey films played that line, and Sherlock has her as this dominatrix--hardly master criminal material or Canonical. In fairness I haven't seen it, but seeing what Moffat has done to Doctor Who I shudder at what he can/will do w/Holmes. Yet I digress.

    BTW, Moffat is adapting the Canon to present-day, while Doherty is spinning original stories w/these characters. Again, it is an unfair to compare Sherlock w/Elementary because they are doing separate things.

    I believe Moriarty hasn't been focused on recently because M. was scheduled to be the final episode should Elementary not have been picked up, leaving the viewers w/a mystery. Since it was, they would need time to reconfigure the stories.

    Finally, I've enjoyed both Miller's humor to the role and the interplay between Miller & Liu. I've always held that Nigel Bruce did ENOURMOUS harm by making Watson a total dimwit who needed Holmes to show him how to open a door if he wanted to get out of the room. Only now, w/Hardwicke and in particular w/Law's version has the good Doctor's reputation slowly been rehabilitated. Freeman I think and Liu both have not given us the stereotypical version of the stupid Watson, which plays against the popular idea of Watson. Non-Sherlockians think Dr. Watson is stupid because what they know is Nigel Bruce. Now he's seen as an action hero because of Jude Law, and w/Freeman & Liu Watson is not thought of as dumb, but a capable figure as he was in Canon.

    This is why I've forgiven how Miller & Liu's version is going w/how Holmes 'tutors' Watson. Miller's Holmes is a bit manic who finds in Watson an eager student, like a child finding a shiny new toy. I'm not disturbed but not thrilled about it. I don't know where it's going but I'm willing to give it a chance.

    I don't look to any Sherlock Holmes adaptation (w/perhaps the Granada series as the exception) to stay spot-on w/Canon. I'm sure Sherlock has taken liberties w/Canon, even Rathbone's version has taken liberties. Other books & films, like the Enola Holmes stories or Young Sherlock Holmes, have likewise deviated from the Canon.

    Ultimately, each Holmes adaptation, be it Granada, Sherlock, the RDJ films, or Elementary, has to be judged on what it is doing, not on how close it stays to Canon (at least for me). If it deviates wildly from Canon, then there is a problem, but I don't think Elementary has gone that far. Also, I didn't like the RDJ films...too much action, not enough brain (and seeing Stephen Fry nude made the sequel a horror film).

    Sorry I couldn't be brief, but there it is.

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    1. You made some interesting points, Rick.

      I agree about the considerable disservice done by Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Dr Watson. The Russian series and the Granada series were among the first to restore Dr Watson back to his Doylean roots. The RDJ movies, the BBC series and now Elementary have continued this trend.

      I like Miller's sense of humor. That is something that is missing (to some extent) in the BBC version.

      Lucy makes a good Watson too. But the rest of the cast comes off as dull and uninvolving.

      More importantly, in my humble opinion, Elementary writers need to improve the mystery plots. It is quite a tough job to keep writing riveting mysteries for 20+ episodes every season. It is indeed a tall order.

      Unfortunately, making a CBS procedural involving Holmes only makes him one of a dime a dozen detectives with their own TV shows. Holmes loses his uniqueness of being the creation of a great writer, Arthur Conan Doyle. I consider Holmes to be the archetype of fictional detectives and he tends to lose this edge by being the focus of a procedural crime show. Holmes (to me) is an iconic literary character who deserves the best (in terms of plots, acting, production values, music, direction et al).

      Especially, when it comes to non-Canonical adaptations, since that gives the show makers a lot of liberty with their production choices.

      That is one of the reasons I enjoy the RDJ movies, the BBC series and the Basil Rathbone movies. None of these are perfect adaptations of the Canon. What they do have in common are at least one or more of these: great acting, good production values, amazing soundtrack and call for repeated viewings.

      I enjoyed the RDJ movies. Yes, they are quite action-oriented as can be expected from a big budget Hollywood blockbuster movie. I liked Hans Zimmer's soundtrack, Jude Law's Watson and Jared Harris' Moriarty. I think the idea of Mycroft Holmes "parading" himself is a nod to his Bohemian tendencies, which are the trademark characteristics of his younger brother as well.

      That is just my opinion though.

      I respect your thoughts about Elementary. Each to his own.

      B2B.

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  6. Still haven't seen a full episode but what I have seen looks like every other US police procedural. While I like BBC's Sherlock, much is because of Cumberbatch and Freeman and the novelty of spotting how the writers have modernised the stories. Without the traditional elements it's not really Holmes is it, but rather another imitation and the schedules are awash with them. Still, Miller is a class act and a female Watson (as long as that don't start shagging) is a neat twist. I'll try and pick up the inevitable box set.

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    1. GK, You are right in your observations about Elementary. I too hope Holmes and Watson don't start shagging.

      I am with you on Cumberbatch’s performance and the amazing number of nods to the original stories in the BBC series.

      B2B.

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  7. From the amount of passionate support for Elementary, such as the above writer, the show must be doing something right. I really will have to check it out.

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    1. You are right, GK about Elementary doing something right.

      Personally speaking, I am indebted to the CBS show for making me a fan of the BBC series Sherlock. Initially, I was not that impressed with the BBC series, but Elementary made me see the BBC show in a whole new perspective.

      Thanks CBS and Rob Doherty!

      B2B.

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    3. BBC's Sherlock makes great changes to Holmes

      BBC's Holmes:
      Hates the deerstalker
      Doesn't get along with Mycroft. Sibling rivalries.
      Tortures a dying old man (Study in Pink)
      Is heavy in comedy.
      Moriarty is more Batman Joker weird than dangerous

      It makes a little reference to Doyle's work, but kept Holmes brains, and little else. But of course, it is geared for a modern audience and young people seem to be its biggest target.

      It can be fun

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    4. @James - Thanks for stopping by.

      @Demetrius - I agree with all of your points, except for the one about Cumberbatch's version not liking the deerstalker.

      That is a reference to the fact that it was the illustrator, Sidney Paget who created the image of Holmes wearing the deerstalker cap and not the author, Arthur Conan Doyle.

      No doubt, the BBC series version of Holmes is different from the Canonical version. After all, it is set in the 21st century and was never meant to be faithful to the Canon. Mark Gatiss himself has remarked that this is their irreverent take on the Canon. Much like Arthur Conan Doyle himself who was not particularly fond of his own creation.

      Again, I agree that it is geared for a modern and young audience. Still, it would be unwise to pass judgment on the series, based on this factor alone.

      I have observed a lot of references to Doyle's work in each episode of the BBC series. I would suggest that you take a closer look at the episodes.

      I think the BBC series is a very well made series that appeals as much to audience with knowledge of the Canon as it does to those with zero knowledge of the original stories.

      B2B.

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    5. I think what they mostly did right was painting the show as the poor underdog (despite CBS being one of the biggest Network in the US), which had to go up against the strong BBC show and its crazy fans. The Elementary fandom is unbelievable set on allowing no criticism on their show at all, because naturally every word against it comes from a crazy Sherlock fan.

      Honestly, this media frenzy around this show is one of the biggest con every. CBS did it's best to make sure that it would be set up as the rival show for Sherlock, basically taking everything people usually complain about and saying "but we doing it right! We have a female Watson, we promote diversity, our Holmes is more human".

      They also are very good in pretending that the show is actually a success, when in truth the ratings are fairly mediocre. They look good if you take the average, because so many people took a peak for the first episodes, but if you really look at it, you see that the numbers went down very fast after the first episodes and are now barely on the level, which CBS expects from it's average crime show. The Mentalist, which was formally on the same airing spot, did way better.

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    6. Excellent analysis of the tactics and the actual facts of the perceived "success" of the show.

      Thank You.

      B2B.

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    7. Well this post: http://swanpride.livejournal.com/15261.html summons up the strategy pretty well, even though Elementary isn't specifically named.

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    8. LOL! Thanks for the link.

      For the convenience of other readers - please click here to read the post.

      B2B.

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  8. I like Mr. Leary's posting there. My feelings on Holmes has changed over time. Once I was a strict 1800's Holmes fan. But If someone wants to update him then readers should decide and not an organization or something.

    Its fun to go back in time to the 1800's Holmes, but this doesn't mean a modern one can be fun or better for a modern readership.

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    1. I watched Elementary and like it better than Sherlock, although I loved the first three Sherlock episodes
      This idea pops in my head, and maybe you or someone can comment. I thought perhaps Doyle based Holmes attitude towards women on a celebrate priest. And people come to Holmes for help when he, like the priest, is above the typical man.

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    2. That is a good theory. As ACD wrote famously, Holmes was a Bohemian and did not necessarily confirm with what we would call a standard behavior. Here are a couple of examples:

      In The Sign of the Four, Dr John Watson is struck by Mary Morstan's physical beauty but Holmes has a different opinion: “A client is to me a mere unit,—a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.”

      In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dr John Watson writes as he leaves in the train to Dartmoor: “I looked back at the platform when we had left it far behind and saw the tall, austere figure of Holmes standing motionless and gazing after us.”

      In a way, Sherlock Holmes was indeed special as he not only rose above these normal human desires, but also possessed expertise in martial arts and disguises. All this in addition to his extraordinary powers of observation and deduction. That is why he remains the archetype for detectives as a whole.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      B2B.

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  9. It is a tribute to the legendary character of Holmes that people have passionate debate about a fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There may be imitators and flashier superheroes and James Bond, but an intellectual consulting detective is a concept best present in Holmes. Never mind countless imitators and TV knockoffs: CSI, House, Columbo and countless other detective or procedural shows with brilliant detectives or great deductive minds. Who could have been the great precursor to the procedural shows that Elementary is accused of copying? Why it's none other than Holmes. Having created the quintessential timeless detective hero, Holmes now suffers from too many imitations of the original not being par with the original, of course. No RDJ movies or BBC shows can do justice to the original literary genius. I am thankful that we are having a great discussion about a fictional character in these hard times of real needs. Kudos to Doyle.

    By the way, by wanting to like Liu and Miller in Elementary, perhaps we either give them too many breaks or give them too much hard time with comparison to the inimitable original work. Actors are fine. They work with the material they are given. Writers on a weekly series can hardly be so brilliant each week. Columbo and other best TV detectives were sometimes mediocre. I think Elementary, by the sheer acting brilliance of Miller and chemistry between Miller and Liu, stands up well, even to the BBC series. Cumberbatch is way too serious and sexually ambiguous for a modern time. While Holmes was not out there fornicating openly, he was in the Victorian era and he was proud to be a bachelor. But he clearly was not gay nor sexually ambiguous. He did not like to be promiscuous nor wanted to be married like a typical gentleman of his day. He most certainly better fits the modern era for his attitude toward women. Sorry for the rambling thoughts. Good day.

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    1. To each his own.

      Thanks for the comment.

      B2B.

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  10. Elementary fans should not be disregarded any more than RDJ fans. For Christ's sake, RDJ is not even British. People who want to stick to the illustrator's deerstalker lore and pipe and woman-hating Holmes of Victorian era should do so while not disparaging those who have read all the old classics and do not mind seeing modernized versions of Holmes. After all, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Poe, Hugo and their movie, musical and other versions have existed for centuries.

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    1. As I said before, to each his own.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      B2B.

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    2. At least we can agree that we love Sherlock Holmes far too much, much more so than its own creator Doyle. As to why Doyle was so jealous or threatened by the larger-than-life Frankenstein character he brought to life, you can just read between the lines and that the fact that often a creation is far more popular than its creator (example: 007 far more popular than aloof author Ian Fleming). And the character creation, while not always so perfect, is often an ideal character that the author or the creator aspired or aspires to be but falls short, just as Ian Fleming was an Naval intelligence officer, not a dashing field agent getting all the suspenseful action. By the same way, Doyle was never a true detective, but he was a great author. And like it or not, Doyle's name will live on forever as the author of the timeless eternal super detective character. And we can all agree that Holmes is the best fictional literary character ever, bar none, especially Holmes is an original fictional literary character unlike some Shakespearean characters plucked from history or reality.

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    3. I agree that we have more affection for Holmes than Conan Doyle ever did.

      The reason why Conan Doyle hated him so much (from what I have read) is that Doyle was a voracious reader and a writer in many other genres. Holmes' popularity meant he could not spend time on his other pursuits.

      I agree that Doyle's name will be always remembered as the creator of Holmes.

      Doyle in fact, did solve a couple of real life cases. Click here to read more.

      Further, Holmes is not exactly an original fictional character. Doyle was inspired by his teacher, Dr Joseph Bell and also from Edgar Allan Poe's fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin. Click here and here to read more about these two inspirations.

      B2B.

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  11. I think that was what Doyle bothered so much about Sherlock - not that he didn't like the stories, but the knowledge that he would remembered for them and not for the various other stuff he wrote. In a sense, he was Sherlock, being frustrated that only a few people read his scientific publications while Watsons "trivial" stories were read by everyone.
    But about Elementary: I guess, if the show had hit the screen ten years or so ago, I might have loved it. I might not have seen it as a Holmes adaption, but I might have loved the overcomplicated cases, the tormented lead. But after watching Monk, Castle, the Mentalist and Co, Elementary just feels like a rehash. Every single episode looks like something I have seen already, and the Genius/female sidekick to hold his hand dynamic happens to be one I hate with a passion (the main reason why even my track record of watching The Mentalist is very spotty...I do it, as long as I can stand watching Lisbon take the fall for Jane and then I take a break).
    And if Elementary had hit the screen 30 years ago, I might have seen it as Holmes adaption...not THE Holmes adaption, but more or less like I see the BR Movie series, a valid attempt, but somewhat spoiled by a Watson who just isn't Watson, and the interests of a meddling network. But we have been spoiled. We have seen Jeremy Brett copying the habits of Sherlock Holmes to a detail, and now I'm expecting this habits in a valid adaptation. We have seen Sherlock and start to read the book again, seeing old dialogues in a new light (and don't tell me that you didn't, I think I have never read the story as thoroughly as in the last years). And with all the knowledge how Sherlock Holmes was, his CONTROLLED drug habit, his DESINTERST in woman, his respect for the INTEGRITY of Irene Adler, and above all his stunning ability to observe what normal people wont notice, I just don't buy an adaptation which ignores those aspect anymore.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Agree with all of your points. Elementary's version of Sherlock is just too different from the one created by Arthur Conan Doyle.

      And as you correctly pointed out, the episodes are just too pedestrian from any perspective: scripting, acting and other technical aspects.

      B2B.

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