Insert ELEMENTARY Pun Here (The Writers of This Show Probably Would)

Um. The violin music is a nice touch. It may, in fact, be the most appealing element of Elementary, a title which seems to refer mostly to the level of skill displayed on the show.


Show. Don’t Tell.

One episode in, I have a predictive formula for future episodes of Elementary: take one small part Sherlock, add a healthy helping of Law and Order (mixing different iterations liberally), and add just a pinch of Criminal Minds. Elementary, my dear…(never mind. Just. Never mind).

Short story short: If you’re looking for innovation, look elsewhere.

The show works best if you think of it as a kind of postmodern pastiche of the shows mentioned above that, and even then, it’s not working well.  The Americanization of Sherlock Holmes  – he’s sexier, sexed up, and talks in catchier if slightly less intelligent phrases – is a sorry one, and it’s too bad: both Liu and Miller have charisma and chemistry to spare.

Problematic also is Holmes’ legendary brusque, dismissive and condescending attitude toward Watson: they really didn’t think that gender-bending casting decision through. If you thought  Steven Moffat making Irene Adler a dominatrix did a disservice to strong female characters, try making the much-abused sidekick Watson the only major female character:  whip-wielding Irene Adler starts to look like Susan B. Anthony.

OK, maybe slightly creepier than SBA.

Fragments of dialogue echo Sherlock; you can see the invisible pen writing around the British mega-hit constantly, and in some cases, it’s just impossible not to feel that the writers are cheating us, and clumsily too. The beginning, structurally, is very reminiscent of Sherlock’s beginning, which starts things off on the wrong foot altogether.

This is minor, but annoying: because Holmes is British, he occasionally speaks like an eighteenth century person. Hilarious.  My favorite instance of this: referring to the Mets as the “Metropolitans of New York.” Yes. Yes. I’m sure that’s how well-cultured British people living in New York talk.

On a personally disappointing note: they miss at least one great opportunity for a cereal/serial joke, probably because most of the jokes on the show are like a Midwest thunderstorm: you see them coming two miles out and resign yourself to the inevitable conclusion just as quickly. Which is kind of (aside from the music!) a microcosm of the show as a whole.

One thought on “Insert ELEMENTARY Pun Here (The Writers of This Show Probably Would)”

  1. I agree with you and I’m sure many people. There is no doubt the Jonny is an incredible how ever the crap that spews from his mouth sometimes what me to take the writers of the show out back behind the shed..if you know what I mean.. I am no Sherlock Holmes however I consider myself very knowledgeable. The writers do NO research at all about the badly and soo incorrect facts that they have him (jonny) Sherlock spew from his mouth. Sometimes when he spews garbage from his mouth that is so ridiculous or so inaccurate it makes me what to just scream…HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA….! The best thing the show could do is bring in “all” the writers from Saturday Night Live. No that is a creative bunch of folks. They (the writers of Elementary) have lost any respect I might of had in the very beginning of the series. Like for example of his statment he made to Watson about her suggestion to having Sushi for dinner one night season 2 I believe. Spewing a mouthful of diseases along with Salmonella, with is never equated with sushi or raw fish. Of which has nothing to do with sushi. The eating of “raw fish” is known as sushime. The word sushi means wrapped in rice. You can stick a piece of carrot, a piece of avacodo and a piece of artificial crab meat (a California row) and call it sushi. Well I guess I have made my point

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