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Can CBS' Elementary out-Holmes the BBC's Sherlock?

05.17.2012

A lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, I absolutely love the recent BBC series SHERLOCK starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The quality of the show is phenomenal (only 3 episodes per season) and the writing is superb. Taking the original Conan Doyle stories and updating them for the 21st century, series creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss have crafted one of the best shows on any network in any country.

Not to be outdone by the Brits, CBS has a new Sherlock series of their own that was recently announced to premiere this fall.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson. Rob Doherty (ITV's "Headcases"), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Wait, Lucy Liu? As in CHARLIES ANGELS Lucy Liu? What the hell?

Surprisingly, it kind of works. While I have no doubt the show will not be as good as SHERLOCK, it does have some appeal to it. Transplanting Holmes to New York City but maintaining his addiction and quirky personality plays well. Miller looks like a natural Holmes. Liu gets to play the straight (wo)man to Holmes oddball and she seems to do well when showing character restraint.

Check out the ELEMENTARY trailer/behind the scenes clip and then look at the SHERLOCK trailer below it. Choose your preferred Holmes and explain why in the comments below.

Source: CBS

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