Elementary “Pilot” Review – Forget What You Know About Sherlock!

Elementary (CBS) "Pilot" Episode 1 (2)

Elementary premiered on CBS last night, and while I want to like this modern take on Sherlock Holmes, when you strip away the things that make Sherlock… Sherlock, CBS leaves me feeling like Elementary is just another procedural cop show.

I don’t mind that Watson is actually a woman (played by Lucy Liu), and I even sort of enjoy that Sherlock himself has some huge eccentricities to him. After all, Sherlock Holmes was extremely eccentric as well. The issue that I have with Elementary comes from Sherlock’s uncanny ability to deduce realizations and solve parts of a murder investigation with only minimal facts.

Before I hear a lot of “that’s what Sherlock Holmes does!”, it’s hard to picture the famous detective coming to the conclusion that Joan Watson was a surgeon based on the beeswax and no callouses on her hands (which… I don’t have calloused hands and I’m sure as hell not a surgeon).

The first case that Sherlock is presented with is a murdered wife that is found strangled to death in her apartment. The evidence that Sherlock and Watson have to work with is a hand print bruise on the woman’s neck, and a size 11 shoe print on the apartment door.

Here’s the other point in Elementary where I have an issue: Sherlock figures out that the victim had a panic room in her apartment… but her husband (who shares said apartment) had no idea. How… doe that even work? The resolution of the case is pretty far fetched as well, but I can go along with that.

Basically what it comes down to is this: Elementary isn’t horrible. It has a lot of potential and once it can find its footing (since it is a brand new show), I do believe it will be a fun watch. Right now Elementary still has some training wheels on, but let’s stick with it to see what the writers can bring us.

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  • ptjackson

    Here’s my biggest issue with this show – Sherlock needs to speak more slowly. Both my husband and I had to strain to understand him in several places. Part of my problem is my bad hearing, but even turning up the TV did not help in those places.

    As for the panic room, I can see a husband not knowing. Many people are not observant of every day things.

    But, I do agree with you this program is something to keep watching – I think it had a promising start!@

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