TV: Elementary, Episode One

Via a leaked DVD screener (plastered with a perma-Copyright notice) and the intertubes, I have seen the pilot for CBS’ take on Sherlock Holmes, Elementary.

There are no credits on this screener and no opening titles. It runs a surprising 47 minutes, which leads me to think that, bloated by ads, it will run for ninety minutes.

Well, if you last for the entire program, at least you will run the risk of possibly being entertained by a clever ad.

Because this damn well won’t do that.

Relying on IMDB, I see Sherlock is played by Jonny Lee Miller.

Watson is Lucy Liu (who is instantly recognizable from her many roles).

Aiden Quinn is Lt. Gregson. And although the IMDB listing isn’t saying so, I swear Dallas Roberts — who played the twitchy Miles in Rubicon — also has a prominent role.

(And that is confirmed under the listing for Dallas Roberts.)

The script is by Robert Doherty who has a wide list of credits.

Unfortunately, credits are no guarantee of actual style. And there is none here.

The dialogue is all annoying flat, nothing is memorable, and spinning Holmes as some spoiled ex-pat rich Brit brat just out of (or escaping from) rehab for drug abuse — with Watson as his “sober companion” — does little to make any of it interesting. We already know Holmes is not going to go back to the toot, so why even bother with this line of attack?

We expect Holmes to be brilliant, but the brilliance here doesn’t feel right. It feels scripted. Holmes has no depth. I don’t know if that’s Miller’s performance, the flat directing, or Doherty’s script — or the toxic combination of all three — but nothing here is inherently interesting. If this wasn’t Sherlock Holmes, why the fuck would we even care?

So if you watch it, forgetting it’s Holmes, you don’t care. There’s nothing here to care about. It’s just … more bad American TV.

Moffat and Gatiss in England don’t have to worry about this being any sort of competition to their brilliant adaptation, Sherlock. This series won’t last the entire season. A Gifted Man had more depth and that got the axe — and it was also a better show.

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