Double Take: In which Courtney K and Natali argue SHERLOCK vs ELEMENTARY
During a text conversation with my secret twin sister Natali (@uberdorkgirlie) we started comparing the two most recent television adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes tales. CBS ELEMENTARY and BBC Sherlock specifically. “What’s the big deal?” you may be asking, WELL the CBS version has gender swapped Watson. That’s right, Watson’s got boobs.
Here’s my thing: I like Lucy Liu, she’s spunky, funny, and she can act. But I don’t like a female Watson. I just don’t! I’m all for female characters: I was a big spouter of Girl Power during the Spice Girls era I promise! It’s not THE ACTRESS I have the problem with. It’s the fact that Watson is a dude. HE’S A DUDE.
When it comes to Sherlock Holmes, I’m more of a purist about the characters and their relationships. The whole series of anything Sherlock Holmes is about the deep and meaningful bond between two men who aren’t related. Holmes and Watson are the first Odd Couple, they are quintessential character bases. Making one of them female screws up the entire dynamic! It opens the door to a romantic storyline and while I’m fully a Straight Supporter for Gay Rights, I don’t need romance in my Sherlock/John relationship. I just need the quick-wit and clever puzzle solving combined with eye-rolling that I’ve come to know and love.
While the storyline isn’t romance for ELEMENTARY now, I point you to the other shoe that will inevitably drop. It’s going to happen. They are going to run out of interesting storylines and wind up having some sort of romance between the Sherlock and the female Watson. It may not happen soon, but there’s almost no option for the show runners not to take it there! And when it does, it’ll be like Moonlighting all over again and the series will be shot to hell.
Here’s the part that’s probably going to piss some of you off: I’ve never seen ELEMENTARY (ducks and covers). I KNOW! I meant to watch it, but it got lost in the Fall Premiere Season shuffle and now the pilot is nowhere to be found so I feel like I can’t just jump in and watch it. And do not get me wrong, I’m definitely an admirer of the supreme dirty-hot that is Jonny Lee Miller. I just, I don’t see Sherlock in him. I still see him as Crash and Sick Boy. I know I know, I need to see past it, and I’m sure I could. But that’s what I think when I see the promos for ELEMENTARY. “Crash!” Nevermind.
I’ve never been shy about my love for SHERLOCK and the deliciously lofty Benedict Cumberbatch (really, his name is just fun to say) and his perfectly cast Watson, Martin Freeman. I cannot gush enough about Freeman. He’s vulnerable, he’s snappy, he’s got the deadpan down and when he gets angry it is downright core-shaking! Paired with the snooty yet incredibly wackadoodle Sherlock, the BBC’s version is everything I’ve ever wanted in a series. And AND there already IS a strong female character IN the book series and she is utilized in SHERLOCK and her name is IRENE ADLER. She’s the one who challenges Holmes on levels no one else can. She’s the one he can’t figure out. He calls her “The Woman”. I MEAN COME ON! That’s just awesome. There’s no one else who can even come close! Where is the Irene Adler in ELEMENTARY? There’s no way the female Watson can be Adler too! That’s too much of a stretch for character. And let’s face it, if ELEMENTARY brings in an Adler and they remain even the slightest bit true to the characters, the female Watson is doomed to love Holmes but he won’t be able to love her the same way. It wouldn’t happen! Adler would have ruined Holmes for life because she’s the woman! Everyone else pales in comparison! Plus, Adler is as smart if not smarter than Holmes, Watson (male or female) may have some traits that surpass our kooky consulting detective, but Watson is never as smart or smarter. Ever.
So there it is. As much as I commend CBS for trying, I just don’t know if I’ll ever jump in fully to ELEMENTARY. I’m too SHERLOCK-ed, if you’ll pardon my fandom. What do you think?
During a text conversation with my secret twin sister CourtneyK. (@the_games_afoot) we got on the topic of one of our favorite men- Sherlock Holmes. More specifically, the two recent television versions of him. Now, I feel it’s only right that I state a couple of points for the record:
- BBC’s SHERLOCK is one of my favorite shows. Ever. It is positively brilliant on so many levels. And Benedict Cumberbatch, the dreamboat that plays Sherlock, is beyond swoony.
- I have a huge weakness for witty men. I have an even bigger weakness for witty men with tattoos.
Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, it seems CBS has done what American television likes to do. They have found a British series that has been solidly popular and they’ve decided to give it a go. Although, they’ve done it a bit differently than usual. In this case, they have decided to take Watson and change him to a gorgeous Asian woman played by the lovely Lucy Liu. Yes, Watson now has boobs. My initial reaction to this included quite a bit of cussing and I declared it ridiculous. Being the grown adult that I am, I also stomped my foot and refused to watch.
But, I changed my mind. What did it? In all honesty, the cast. I happen to like Lucy Liu and I was pleasantly surprised to see Aidan Quinn play the Captain. Oh and I suppose that Johnny Lee Miller playing Sherlock had just a tiny bit of influence as well. (Seriously, pilot episode, shirt off, tattoos showing, wit flowing, brains aplenty, it was inevitable that I become smitten.)
The pilot left me on the fence. The biggest key to it all is being able to separate CBS’ ELEMENTARY from BBC’s SHERLOCK. If you compare the two, there is no contest. Sherlock is the better of the two of them. If you can view them a completely different and in their own right, I think that ELEMENTARY has enormous potential.
I fully agree with my amazing secret twin that the story line of Sherlock and Watson is sacred in some respects. Their bond is a cornerstone in literature that is somewhat unparalleled. However, I think that it’s okay to have a show that explores another side of Mr. Holmes. I am hoping that is the goal of ELEMENTARY. There is, of course, the huge fear that they are going to make them romantically involved. If they do that, I’m done. But, if they add a new dimension to Sherlock and how he relates to women by finally introducing a close, strictly platonic relationship with a female his own age, I am all for it. So far, Lucy’s Watson is a combination of Mrs. Hudson and Watson. Which gives me hope. And Johnny Lee’s interpretation of Sherlock is quite fun, smart, very flawed, a bit naughty, and quite sexy.
Their characters have grown on me week by week. Here’s hoping that it continues this way.
What side does Amrie fall on? “I will love JLM until the day I die, thanks to HACKERS, so methinks it’s NYC Sherlock vs the BBC!”