In a word – no. Big apologies to all the Elementary fans out there, I have tried really hard to like this modern-day Holmes and Watson solving crimes in New York but I just can’t feel the love. I don’t hate it and can appreciate many of its finer points but can’t help turning to Husband at the end of every episode (and boy there are a lot of episodes) and moaning about the same old stuff – doesn’t relate to the original 56 stories, too similar to BBC Sherlock and probably wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t been brave enough to try it first and make it such a success. Husband got another earful at the end of this episode too.
(Spoiler alerts coming up)
I watch Lemon-Entry through the wonders of Sky Plus because its UK viewing time doesn’t really fit in with my routine. So I’ve only just watched the first episode of the new season. And it brings me right back to my usual moan about Elementary’s closeness to BBC Sherlock (queue much groaning and rolling of eyes from Husband). As far as I recall, Inspector Lestrade has had his name pronounced ‘Lest-raid’ in every Holmes TV adaptation until BBC Sherlock changed it to ‘Le-strahd’. And what a surprise to see that Elementary have done exactly the same thing. Does this matter? Well, yes – to me it does. And hiring a ‘Rupert-Graves-alike’ actor to stomp around looking angst-ridden served only to further compound the similarities.
Then, with Mycroft they went completely the other way. As if to distance him as far as possible from Mark Gatiss’ brilliant portrayal of Holmes’ smarter brother who ‘is the British Government’, they draft in Rhys Ifans to play Mycroft as a sort-of womanising, chef-cum-restaurateur. A restaurateur? Where the … did that come from? And then we get all this emotional stuff about Holmes sleeping with his fiancé, him nearly dying etcetera. Elementary seems to do this a lot, it pours syrupy-sweet emotion by the bucket-load into places it shouldn’t be – like Holmes falling in Love with Moriarty/Irene Adler, his relationship with Gregson and here with Lestrade, Watson’s back-story. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing when writing about Holmes, but I just don’t think Elementary gets it right – it wavers between police-procedural and soap opera with nothing in-between.
Just like in Sherlock, Mycroft is now slim, even though Holmes still calls him by his nickname Fatty. Oh dear, it’s almost as bad as in Guy Ritchie’s Game of Shadows when they refer to each other as Mickey and Shirley. But the thing that most aggravated me was the storyline about Lestrade getting into trouble for taking the credit over crimes he didn’t actually solve, being exposed in the papers and then falling on hard times. Anyone read my short story Charlie Milverton in Sherlock’s Home, The Empty House? Did this Elementary storyline ring any bells? They were clanging away in my head like a campanologists’ convention. There I was shouting at the screen, “That was my idea! Oh my God, they’ve read my story. They’ve even called him Gareth! And they mention Langdale Pike too. Not content with ripping off Sherlock now they are copying me as well!” At which point Husband just turned to me and said, “I’m never watching Lemon-Entry with you again.” And I think he meant it this time.
(Note to CBS – please don’t sue me. I’m not saying that you actually did copy me or BBC Sherlock, it just felt like it at the time and prompted a good old fashioned rant at the telly followed by a bout of marital disharmony. I’ve calmed down now. But I will be watching your show on my own in future.)