The 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?