The big push is on as CBS tries desperately to make us sample – and love – ELEMENTARY, their quasi-Sherlock Holmes quasi-adaptation. We’ll have our own review up today or tomorrow, but, till then:
How Elementary Won’t Go There with Sherlock and Watson – by Natalie Abrams
Millions of Sherlock Holmes fans can rest easy; CBS’ Holmes adaptation Elementary will pretty much never suffer from theMoonlighting curse (and here’s hoping that is the last time we’ll ever mention those two ideas in the same sentence).
After CBS announced that its modern-day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed detective series would feature a female Watson, fans feared that sexual tension may develop within one of the most iconic partnerships in history. But they didn’t need to worry. Executive producer Rob Doherty promises there will be no romance between the dynamic duo in this iteration, which stars Jonny Lee Miller as the recovering addict and consultant for the NYPD, while his distaff Watson (Lucy Liu) is a former surgeon who becomes Sherlock’s “sober companion.”
“It was certainly never about creating a ‘will they or won’t they’ scenario,” Doherty says of reimagining Watson as a woman. In his research, however, Doherty once read a psychological assessment that described Holmes as having a weird aversion to women. “Just as a joke to myself, it made me think, ‘What would make Sherlock Holmes crazier than a female Watson?'” he says. “It started as a joke, but I kept coming back to it and asking myself, ‘Well, what would it really change? Why would it be different? What’s the big deal?'”
So they took the only interesting aspect of this particular twist on two classic characters off the table, leaving viewers absolutely nothing to make them want to watch.
No way do we believe that a TV network deliberately made Watson a babe and vetoed any deviation from a platonic relationship. Nor do we believe that a talented guy like Rob Doherty would deliberately close himself up to interesting opportunities that could be created simply by the chemistry between two pretty, pretty stars.
OTOH, it just might be that keeping them chastely away from each other’s bods wasn’t in the original agenda but is, in fact, a reaction to the fact that when shooting started everybody looked at the result and, lo and behold, there “waren’t no chemistry there ‘atall.” Nice save, CBS! (But we’re onto you anyway.)