Wednesday, 12 November 2014

[Let's Watch] Elementary

Books, films, hit BBC shows... Brought to life by faces such as famous faces such as Sir Ian McKellen, Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and a whole host of others dating back to 1905! It's more than fair to say that Sherlock is a story well told. But well told and told well are worlds apart.  Like this particular adaptation of the literary classic penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that's not like any you've seen before...
Let's Watch
My dear Watson.
CBS's take on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective story 'Elementary' pits recovering heroin addict Sherlock partner up disgraced doctor and 'sober companion', Joan Watson. Nope, that was no typo. Joan. Joan Watson. This telling of the Sherlock story takes place in New York, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson. Elementary also brings back classic names like Irene Adler, Sebastian Moran and arch-enemy Moriarty, but throws in extra new faces for good measure.

I like Elementary, for two reasons. The first, is that it plays with the original story. The addition of a female Watson, the drugs, the relocation to New York, as far as I can tell are all story telling elements unique to Elementary. Altering the gender of Dr Watson, adds an entirely new dynamic to the Holmes/Watson relationship, but does so in a way that isn't like watching a video adaptation of a bad fan-fiction. Phew! I also like the choice for New York for the new setting, as I feel that the Brownstones are a nod to the classy Georgian style terrace houses where Sherlock would have lived in London.

The rehab angle almost humanises the genius detective, leading to glimpses of Holmes' vulnerability and fears. Opportunities to relapse appear regularly, revealing the strength of character to overcome the situation. Speaking of which, the second reason why I like this programme, is Jonny Lee Miller's portrayal of 'Sherlock Holmes'. The classic character is re imagined as a twitchy yet charming, quick witted, marginally irritating, a tad sarcastic, and yet still very likable genius. He's not what I expected Sherlock Holmes to be at all, but then again not a lot going on in Elementary is...

I can't make a post about Elementary without mentioning Joan Watson's wardrobe. The costume department responsible for dressing Liu do an amazing job and I find myself on google trying to find out what she was wearing roughly once an episode. Similarly, the soundtrack team have me reaching for the keyboard to find out what the closing song is. They always fit the mood perfectly, and it's a great way to find new music.

Yesterday kicked off season three with the return of a somewhat muted Sherlock and a complex new dynamic. It wasn't quite the start to a new season I was expecting, but it was a very clever episode and has lay the ground work for what i'm hoping will be a very interesting new season. With the introduction already of at least one new and important character drawing from Sir Doyle's original novels being introduced that I don't quite know what to make of yet.

I think Elementary offers a Sherlock for the younger generation, one that isn't quite as acquainted with the Sherlock of old. The show has a lot of energy, character and sass, but it may not be to everyone's tastes. I had a good long chat with mum in the kitchen about the differences between Elementary and Sherlock, and while she agrees they're both good... She prefers the classic interpretation of Sherlock brought to us by the BBC.

I know a good handful of people who already love BBCs Sherlock, and keep telling me to watch it. After seeing this video on Youtube, I think I might give it a watch and see how it compares to my beloved Elementary. It'll give me something to keep me occupied until next weeks new episode Elementary airs. Roll on next Tuesday, I can't wait to see what the next episode has in store.

Who is your favourite Sherlock?
Let me know!

Catch up with me;

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