Five Fall Shows We Love: Elementary Is Simply a Standout

CBS' modern take on Sherlock Holmes takes a top spot in our favorite new shows

By Christina Dowling Aug 29, 2012 7:00 PMTags
ELEMENTARY, Jonny Lee MillerJohn Filo/CBS

We are suckers for a good mystery. Add dysfunctional tragic heroes and we're just about smitten.

CBS' take on an old classic brings the famous friends Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to New York City, but don't let the unconventional duo, locale and times fool you: This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Elementary (CBS)
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 27, 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Scandal (ABC), Rock Center (NBC)
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn
Status: We've seen the pilot episode

We should probably preface this with a disclaimer. We are big fans of the BBC's Sherlock, but we believe that more than one modern Sherlock Holmes adaption can exist in the universe without taking away from the brilliance of the other. Shocking, we know.

You may think you know Sherlock Holmes, but you don't know this one. It's different approach focusing on the recovering-addict Holmes. He's quirky in the best sense of the word, but probably more aptly, he's complex. 

We're introduced to Sherlock Holmes (Miller) through his newly appointed sober companion, Dr. Joan Watson (Liu). She is no-nonsense, but Holmes has her number from the get-go. Or does he? She's suffering from some past trauma that pushed her out of the OR. And Holmes used drugs to forget some past trauma that pushed him out of London. It's a match made in dysfunctional heaven.

Elementary is very much a CBS show. CBS knows what they do well, and this they do very well. If you like crime shows, you'll recognize the beautifully stylized slow-motion shots and intricately weaved mystery.

But while perfectly feeling like a CBS show, it feels fresh and different from their other offerings. It may be due to Miller's complicated and nuanced performance as Holmes. There is enough intrigue to keep us interested, enough humor to keep us entertained. We've already saved a place on our DVR for this baby.

And before you get your panties in a twist about sexual tension and a female Watson, cool yo' jets. This Holmes and Watson have an interesting dynamic, not because they want to jump each other's bones, but because they both are intelligent, stubborn and interesting people who are both clearly damaged. And while Watson is being paid to be Holmes' sober companion to keep him on the straight and narrow, something tells us this new partnership will be good for her too.

Liu says that the bosses don't have any intention of taking the Holmes-Watson relationship to the romantic direction, but references the source material for Holmes' interesting relationship with women. "There is friction," Miller adds. "That creates a tension and a friction rather than the other way."

Our Review in GIF Form: 

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Verdict: Watch it. We love Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu together. This should be a huge success for CBS and we will be there watching each week.



2012 Fall TV Preview: Elementary