Elementary: New CBS TV Series; Is It Worth Watching?

TV series Elementary on CBSThe BBC’s Sherlock series has lots of fans but what will TV viewers think of Elementary on CBS? Will it get high ratings or be cancelled after just a few episodes? Is it even worth watching?

Elementary offers a modern-day take on the classic Sherlock Holmes characters. After leaving London and a stint in rehab, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) returns to New York where his wealthy father forces him to live under the watchful eye of a sober companion, Doctor Watson (Lucy Liu). An eccentric detective, Sherlock grows restless and resumes his work as a police consultant with Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn).

Is Elementary worth your time? Here’s what some critics say:

Boston Globe:Elementary should fit snugly alongside the other procedurals on CBS, including The Mentalist, the various incarnations of CSI and NCIS, Blue Bloods, and the new ’60s-in-Sin-City drama Vegas with Dennis Quaid. (We’re holding The Good Wife as a cut above.) Each is a perfectly entertaining drop-in show with good actors, familiar premises, and the occasional truly mysterious mystery that aren’t a bad way to pass an hour.”

NY Daily News: “The challenge for the writers will be to create murder cases intriguing enough to match the fascination of the Miller/Liu partnership and the viewer’s inevitable curiosity about where it will go. It’s a formidable dramatic test, one that by all indications will be worth watching.”

Variety: “Admittedly, this is hardly the fall’s most exciting new show, but one needn’t possess inordinate deductive skills to discern Elementary has perhaps the best chance of hanging around awhile. As for those who would accuse CBS of simply milking the same proven formula over and over, hey, no sh*t, Sherlock.”

USA Today:Elementary looks like every other procedural that has ever borrowed from the Sherlock Holmes stories — including CBS’ own The Mentalist. Still, you may also take note of how cleverly the clues are planted and discovered, some of them even by Watson. And you may appreciate the flair and poignancy Elementary brings to the crowded procedural field, and the energy, wit and sex appeal Miller brings to his role. Original, maybe not. But welcome? You don’t have to be Sherlock to know the answer is ‘yes.'”

Philadelphia Daily News: “Miller’s approach may be different from Benedict Cumberbatch’s in Sherlock, but he’s as riveting a screen presence. Even if you don’t care about the weekly whodunit – and mostly, I don’t — Elementary could be fun.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “The New York settings are picturesque, although the geography, as it was on Law & Order, is a little addled. The idea of a potter’s field taking up real estate at 86th and Third is ludicrous. Stylishly directed, Elementary is one loaded show, including its wonderful, well-matched leads. But its success will be singularly dependent on its writing. For reasons that should be pretty evident, Sherlock.”

SF Chronicle: “If you think too much about everything you know about Sherlock Holmes, Elementary may disappoint you. Yes, next to the PBS Sherlock, it’s only a pretty good also-ran. But the PBS Sherlock only shows up once a year with a frustratingly small handful of episodes. If nothing else, while you’re waiting for its return, Elementary offers a compelling way to pass the time.”

Salt Lake Tribune: “Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work probably won’t recognize either character – and might complain about this adaptation – but it gets off to a very good start. Miller and Liu have the beginnings of what could be some very nice chemistry, and the crime-solving part of the drama is top notch.”

Newsday: “Two things are going for this latest adaptation — solid production values and a talented lead actor. Make that three things — a network that knows just what viewers want.”

What do you think? Have you watched Elementary on CBS? If so, will you watch again? Would you recommend it to a friend?

Canceled and renewed TV show

30 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. PJ says

    The show is ok. I watch it but if I have something recorded I don’t watch it. They are hard to understand and the place they live is nasty.
    The real Sherlock, I have seen them all over and over. I do not like the Cumberbatch guy. He jumps around like he’s crazy. Not at all like the old guys.
    I loved Vegas, too bad they canceled it. They cancel the good shows and keep the stupid ones. Oh well with DirectTV we have so many things to choose from.

  2. says

    Watson reminds me of “Murder She Wrote”, ” Colombo” “Monk” other classic, clean, clever “Who Done Its”. While I am not crazy about the Star, I do feel it is well worth watching and it is believable and thought provoking. Most of the sitcoms and supposed Real Island living in my opinion is for the birds and should for every ones sake fly right off the TV as they are a waste of time.

  3. mary scott says

    I love this show so much I cried . Please don’t cancel this show it’s very different than what cop show’s you have on the TV now. These two are awesome Sherlock and Watson together. The other staff is good to. Please don’t cancel this show please. Thank You

  4. Donna says

    Have watched Elementary and found the characters believable and intelligent writing keeps you engaged. The Sherlock character comes across as an 8 yr old genius and is right on with the original character. Doyle had Sherlock come across as an impatient, egotistical genius and that is being played to the hilt. This Sherlock character is fresh and makes you feel he needs a hug and put in time out at the same time. Love Lucy Liu’s Holmes character and doesn’t needlessly hover over Sherlock while showing support. Great chemistry, acting and writing will make this show a must see.

  5. Linda says

    Please do not cancel Vegas Excellent show.. Love that it takes place in the 60’s…
    Please Get rid of your reality shows, they suck…

  6. says

    I can’t believe you are thinking of canceling Vegas, one of the best shows on the air. It is so great to see the early Vegas. Please keep it for us older folks. Sure beats all those reality shows.

  7. Peter says

    Just watching an episode right now. Very disappointed. Nothing remotely Holmes-like about the main character. Turning it off now.

  8. JLR says

    Jonny Lee Miller fans look forward each week to Elementary. Interesting and certainly entertaining procedural – but Miller sets it far above any other interpretation of Sherlock Holmes since Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone. But then Jonny Miller is the exceptional talent of the English speaking stage and screen. Nobody – but nobody – comes anywhere close to him in ability.

  9. GSH says

    We are enjoying this program very much. It is a different take on Sherlock but that makes it more interesting. The PBS Sherlock is great also. We hope this does NOT get cancelled! We think Jonny Lee Miller, Adain Quinn and Lucy Lu are terrific!

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