ELEMENTARY: The First Season

CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Adian Quinn

What if…Sherlock Holmes lived in New York? What if…Dr. James Watson was a female Asian-American?

That is essentially the premise for ELEMENTARY. Sherlock Holmes has recently gotten out of rehab and is now liviing in New York. Captain Toby Gregson (Aiden Quinn) previously worked in London and met Holmes there. Briggs has asked Holmes work as a consultant for the NYPD. Holmes’ wealthy father has hired Joan Watson to act as Holmes’ sober companion. Something that Holmes initially resents more than a little. As time goes on, he appreciates her and comes to respect her character and her emerging sleuthing skills.

Johnny Lee Miller is outstanding as Holmes. Within a few episodes, what initially seemed to be arrogance starts looking almost like psychological disorders. Miller plays Holmes as a person that struggles in regular society and views any failings on his part as being completely unacceptable. I would have like to see the misfit side of him played up even more, I have no doubt Miller would handle it beautifully.

Lucy Lui, as Watson, and Aaden Quinn do a solid job, but initially do little more than feed lines to Miller’s Holmes. Midway through season one, Lui’s Watson starts to get more to do. She becomes Holmes’ apprentice and once that starts to happen, Lui is actually pretty entertaining. But early on, her job really is to hop between baffled and annoyed. Once that passes, the overall quality of the show increases dramatically.

Most folks I know had made dread predictions about Holmes, but the show continues to surprise. More work could/should be done with character development, but Miller’s performance makes this something more than just a redo of a classic. I found it enjoyable enough that I will certainly come back for more. If the latter part of the season is any indication, the best is yet to come.

Jeremy Lynch