Fans of Steven Moffat’s Sherlock have been dreading the day when CBS’ rendition of the world-famous detective would debut. Now the wait is over. Audiences nationwide have been exposed to Elementary, a show that sadly blends in with the stale network dramas of late — minus its lead actor.

The Players:

Episode Title: “Pilot”

Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) has been assigned as a sober companion to a recently rehabilitated and exiled Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). Instead of following her own regimen, Sherlock continues on his path of solving crimes with the NYPD. Holmes and Watson’s will is tested as they learn to cope with each other’s personalities and flaws amidst their first homicide investigation.

The Good:

  • Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes: Those who were fearful of the similarities between his interpretation and Benedict Cumberbatch‘s shouldn’t worry one bit. He retains the same staple quirks that we all love while creating his own nuances. At the same time, it appears his version of Holmes is slightly watered down. This mainly has to do with the story, but this feels tamer. Whether or not that’s good or bad will be determined in future episodes.

The So-So:

  • The Look of Elementary: What can we say? Elementary looks like any other drama on a major television network. Between the recycled hues and shots, there’s not much that makes it stand out apart from the name Sherlock Holmes. It’s a shame to see that.
  • Holmes/Watson Together: Although the term “chemistry” may be one of the most cliché words to use, we must do so. While Miller’s Holmes is making a valiant effort to connect with our female Watson, she couldn’t care less. Which leads us to our next topic…

The Bad:

  • Dr. Joan Watson: Lucy Liu has proven herself as a fun, smart actress but not this time. Her version of Watson comes off as the weakest we’ve seen in recent memory — a pushover if you will. Liu appears to be somewhat bored and in return Watson seems uninterested in the case that’s unfolding in front of her.
  • Our Main Story: When you have a predictable story like this, it’s kind of hard to sit through. Given that it’s a Sherlock Holmes story we’d like to be posed with a challenging crime mystery. Nope, not today. By the half hour mark you’re able to point out who the killer is and wiggle in your seat waiting for them to come to their obvious conclusion.


Sometimes one actor can carry a film/TV series, but that doesn’t mean they should have to. Elementary still has work to be done, which may improve in the coming weeks.

Rating: 5/10

Will you be sticking around for more Elementary?