Fall Television is here! [And there was great rejoicing…] To celebrate, we tuned in and watched two brand new CBS pilots this week for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—Elementary and Vegas.
Before I start talking about Elementary, I often get asked how I manage to watch all these shows. That question stems from two places: 1) I have a kid and a life and TV watching takes time and 2) I do not have cable.
The answer to both of those questions lies in technology. A contract job blessed me with an iPad, which allows me to do most of my TV viewing from anywhere. Most of the time, I catch up on shows in bed, after the little guy goes to sleep. Quite a few of the shows I enjoy can be accessed with a Hulu+ subscription (and some of my old faves on Netflix).
CBS, alas, does not have its shows on Hulu, and CBS.com videos are not iPad compatible, so Elementary led me to discover Amazon’s Instant Video app. You can download shows and watch them on your iPad using this device. The pilot for Elementary was FREE, so no need to sit at the computer for this one.
Leave it to Sherlock Holmes to teach me something new.
Which leads us to Elementary. If you didn’t already know, Elementary is a Sherlock Holmes series. Not a character based loosely on him (like House), or a brilliantly perceptive detective with sidekick (like Psych, L&O:CI, Monk, The Mentalist, etc), but a show with an actual Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
But wait. Isn’t there already a Sherlock series? Oh, you mean the one from last week’s review?
Yeah. The BBC has an amazing modern-day Sherlock series (aptly titled Sherlock), which make it really hard to watch the show without making comparisons.
So. Let’s get this out of the way. British TV and American TV are two different animals. Love me some British TV. It stands to reason, then, that an American version is not going to live up to my “already fulfilled by the BBC” expectations.
This Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) is a recovering addict just out of rehab. Doctor Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is the companion hired by his father to ensure that he stays drug free now that he is out of rehab.
While this Sherlock is brilliant, as all Sherlock’s before him, he is also more playful, and in some ways, more emotional. In one episode I’ve yet to determine if this is due to the writing, Miller’s acting, or a combination of the two.
My gut reaction was to hate it. Coming off of the BBC Sherlock, I expect him to be entirely in control of his emotions, insensitive, arrogant. Miller’s Sherlock is perhaps a more palatable version of those things, which may be a wise choice for the American audience.
I really wanted to hate it.
But I didn’t.
Jonny Lee Miller is charming. While the choice of a female Watson had me on the fence, I’m feeling better knowing that CBS states that Watson and Sherlock will NOT be romantically linked. I wasn’t bowled over by Lucy Liu in the first episode, but seeing her performance in Southland gives me hope that she can really sell the part.
The show will be yet another procedural it seems, in the style of shows like The Mentalist, so if you aren’t a fan of procedurals, this probably isn’t the show for you.
If you are, I have a feeling that the show will at least deliver in that respect.
How I will feel about the show as a story of Sherlock Holmes remains to be seen. Wow me, CBS. SSTV for now.
Did you watch the Elementary pilot? What did you think? Are you a fan of the BBC version? Unfamiliar with Jonny Lee Miller’s work? Let me know and I’ll suggest some viewing in the comments.
(Did you know there is supposed “bad blood” between the two shows??)
Now, head over to Tiffany’s to hear what she has to say about Vegas. I’ll tell you right now, it isn’t at all what I expected…
Come back next week when we take on two of the new 2012 ABC dramas.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech