Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Elementary," said he.

Here is my review of:

Hee hee.... I'm just kidding.

Elementary! Starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. It is a Sherlock Holmes adaption set in modern day New York.
Boy do I have mixed feelings about this show....
When I first heard about this show (way back when CBS announced it) I was like, "WHAT A HORRIBLE IDEA!!! I HATE THIS IDEA! FEMALE WATSON???? WHAT???? THEY ARE TOTALLY RIPPING OFF SHERLOCK (made by the BBC, also a Sherlock adaption set in modern day)!!!!!! FEMALE WATSON?!?!?!?!?!?!??!??!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!! THIS IS GONNA BE HORRID!!!!!!!!!! UGH! I AM NEVER WATCHING THIS!!!!!"
And then we heard that Jonny Lee Miller was gonna be in it. Now, my mom and I love Jonny Lee Miller because he's in our favorite adaption of Jane Austin's Emma.

So then my mom started saying, "I might watch Elementary just to see him." Because, really, Jonny Lee Miller is a really good actor.
Then she started saying, "Maybe I'll watch the first episode."
Then I started saying, "Maybe I'll watch the first episode with you. JUST TO AFFIRM MY THOUGHTS THAT I HAVE ALREADY MADE ABOUT IT!!!"
Then we watched the first episode. And the second. And then every episode.
So now, here are my thoughts:
I will say right off - I did NOT like the first half of the season. Every episode was the same to me. No episodes from the first half of the season stand out to me. At all. I can tell you the synopsis of every one: Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, his sober companion, help the NYPD investigate homicides. And E-Lock (as Jack and I call him) sleeps with a lot of prostitutes.
Really, that's what happens in almost every one.
Now, I have a couple of problems with that... One: When all the episodes are about the same thing, the writing isn't all that great. When none stand out in my mind, the writing isn't all that great.
Two: In the Sherlock Holmes books, Holmes almost never works with the police... The police have to BEG him to work with them. He doesn't particularly like the police. E-Lock, however, is as cozy with the police as Sherlock Holmes can be. He's always working with them. I had a problem with that. Sherlock Holmes is a CONSULTING detective. Individuals who don't want publicity/don't want the police involved come to Sherlock Holmes and he solves their cases. None of this happened in the first half of the season. Every single episode was done with the police. And every single episode was about murder.
Third, of course, the prostitutes. OH MY WORD I HATED THAT SO MUCH! They didn't show anything. But lots was implied. And it never had anything to do with the plotline. UGH. That annoyed me SO much.
Fourth, the random little nods to the books bothered me, because they almost never showed up again. Like E-Lock's violin. It showed up in one episode, randomly. Then it never showed up again after that. In the books, the violin is pretty important.... In the show, he tries to burn it. xD There were a couple of other things... but I don't remember them.
Then the second half of the season came and I started to like the show better. I will tell you why:
First, less prostitutes! HURRAH! They almost all disappeared.
Second, the plotlines started to vary, thank goodness! (Actually, I lied earlier.... the balloon boy episode stood out in the first season. That was the only one. 'Cause it was kind of a kidnapping/murder story). People actually started coming to Sherlock Holmes of their own will to have him consult for him. And I don't think they were all murder stories either. But I don't remember. Maybe I liked it better because Joan stopped being E-Lock's sober companion (because he's a recovering drug addict) and became his assistant, helping him with his cases and solving her own.
We also get to find out a bit more about E-Lock's past.... That he was once 'in love' with a woman named Irene Adler. We start to see him 'human' side. There was also Alfredo, E-Lock's sponsor, and I liked him. He was pretty cool. Also Joan wasn't all "I MUST help E-Lock become a REAL human person!" She's more understanding and knows that E-Lock just needs to be himself.
And then the finale. Oh wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. WOW! WOW! WOW! That was seriously one of the best season finales I have EVER seen. It's right up there with Doomsday/whatever the first half of that episode is called:

It's also as good as The Best of Both Worlds (which is a season finale/cliffhanger for season 3 of Star Trek Next Generation):
Oh my goodness.... the Elementary season finale... SO SUPRISING. And amazing.
That made me really like the show.
After the finale, I have thought more about the first half and the characters and such.... And I realized that maybe it wasn't so bad after all... At least the character development side of it. I still think the plotlines weren't all that great.
Looking back at the first season of Elementary, I can see how E-Lock started out as a broken man just out of rehab who works on homicide cases with his sober companion and has women who are not his wife come over. As the season went on, some of these things disappeared as he healed. I don't know exactly what changed.... Maybe having an actual friend - Joan. Maybe he realized that you can't buy love (can't buy me looove.... looove... can't buy me loo-o-ooove.... I'm a Beatles fan, remember?). Anyway, I could see the change in his character.
Joan too. She started out as someone who was always in E-Lock's face, trying to get him to open up about himself. Then she realized that that's now how E-Lock works. And they became good friends.
I mentioned the prostitutes already....
There was also bad words, of course.
And there was also a lot of gore for a TV Show - I thought. In the finale (or the second to last episode, I don't remember) Joan opens up a guy's chest cavity.... There's just a whole bunch of blood and gore in this show.
Like I said, I have very mixed feelings about this show. I really loved the finale because it totally caught me off guard - it was something that had never been done before that I thought was absolutely brilliant.
I also liked the parts where Joan and E-Lock were butting heads. Like when she knocked over his key collection. And when he burned his violin. They're a funny team.
But then there's all the content.... Which makes me really really really really dislike the show. As of now, I don't know if I'll be back to see the second season. The Bible says to think about pure, right things. And Elementary doesn't really focus on pure, right things. So I'm not sure. I don't have to worry about it for awhile yet. Before the finale I had made up my mind NOT to watch season two. But after the finale.... I don't know. It just seems like the show might be going in a cleaner direction. So we'll have to see.
So there's my review of Elementary. I can't say I would recommend this show. To me, it wasn't all that great (except the finale). I think their are plenty of other shows out there with wacky detectives (like The Mentalist). I don't think TV needs another one.... But I can see how Elementary appeals to some people.
In other news.... filming of my trailer has become dangerous. I built a jail in my hallway which we've been tripping over all day.

We've also been attacked by snakes:
Actually, I was doing science today and learning about snakes and I was like, "WAIT A MINUTE! I should have one of my characters in After the Twelfth Night be almost squeezed to death by an anaconda! Or a boa constrictor!" So I'm adding that in. Mwahaha.
I'm also thinking about making After the Twelfth Night into three parts instead of two... Perhaps more on that later.
Live long and prosper.

1 comment:

  1. Very good points as usual. I, too, would be wary of who I recommend the show, but it's not the type of thing that would interest younger viewers anyway. So my mom and I watch it, or my friend Megan and I. And I *love* it.

    Jonny Lee Miller is great, of course, and so is Lucy Liu (wow, she's fantastic, actually), and I'm not concerned with accuracy since it's merely an interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, not so much an adaptation. So yeah. I usually think of it as separate from the books since it is so different, and that's how I can enjoy it.

    The finale was great, wasn't it? WOW WOW WOW. Personally I thought this was the best modern take on Adler I've ever seen. And the character development is ah-MAZing. I can't even begin to express how much I love Joan and Sherlock's friendship. Yeah, the initial episodes were super boring, but they laid a lot of important groundwork. Also I love Det. Bell and Capt. Gregson. They're both awesome.

    I guess as a non-purist it's easier for me to like Elementary. The BBC version is way more accurate to the books, but I find that they tend to have a lot more problematic material crammed into their episodes than Elementary does. They both require viewer discretion, so that's a bummer.

    Anyway, great review. I can't wait to see what season 2 brings. Oh, and I also loved JLM in Emma :D

    I'm going to stop ranting now...sorry about that.