ELEMENTARY (USA) Television Review

elementaryThis US update of the Sherlock Holmes saga has only one good thing going for it, it’s star: Johnny Lee Miller. But even his performance is completely drowned out by the politically-correct interpretation, terrible to mediocre co stars and the general lack of quality in pretty much all aspects of the series. Things absolutely integral to the character of Holmes have been scripted away with here. It is my guess that the network thought it would upset their more conservative, right wing viewers.

Lucy Liu is an actress with the emotional depth and performance ability of an empty card-board box, but that’s beside the point. Having made the character of Watson into a woman negates the entire, slightly dubious, relationship between Holmes and Watson. There is always the question of how their relationship is defined, why exactly does one spend time with the other, etc. This is by no means exclusively or even meant in a sexual sense, but casting a woman in that role takes away a small but important essence out of the relationship.Elementary-season-3-episode-5-recap-kitty-sherlockI probably would have somewhat less of an issue with this had they cast someone who could have brought an interesting interpretation of the female character instead of this one-dimensional airhead. Lastly, it does just go to show how American TV networks are still homophobic. You can imagine the network producers meeting, all in agreement that even the smallest nuance or hint of a homosexual relationship would most certainly not be endured by its viewers. Then there’s the way they handle the hero’s drug use. Elementary-season-3-episode-5-recap-featureThe fact that the recreational use of cocaine during periods of rest are an integral part of Holmes’s character (as is the experimentation with chemistry and generally mind altering substances like opium) has just been wiped away by making him into an ex-addict.Thereby adhering to the ideal that all drugs are bad, so the terminology ‘drugs’ is only used in the sense of illegal ones. Coming from a nation addicted to painkillers, this is a bit rich. The simple fact that US TV has to be so black and white kills some very enjoyable character traits in the show.setting-aside-their-differences

In the latest series, actress Ophelia Lovibond (what a name!) adds a bit of a much-needed spark to proceedings. This somehow made Lucy Liu look even worse. Maybe they need to up the quota of British performers to show the Americans how to act with presence and conviction. For those hard of hearing viewers you will have to put up with loads of whispering and mumbling that is so typical of TV shows today. At least Elementary is less violent than most crime series coming out of America. It is strange to see the Holmes character making mistakes and being so dysfunctional. Perhaps this is what draws in the fans. Its reasonable viewing to pass the time if nothing else is on. 6 out of 10


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