Holmes and Watson - Elementary
Pretty much. And you won’t need a high school diploma, to understand it.

The History
Following hard on the heels of BBC television’s excellent updating of the Sherlock Holmes legend (“Sherlock”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, and Martin Freeman as Watson), it was only a matter of time before American TV jumped on the bandwagon.

“Elementary” is CBS television’s re-imagining of the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous literary creation.

The Stars
Aidan Quinn, as New York Police Department Captain Tobias Gregson.

Jonny Lee Miller, as Sherlock Holmes.

Lucy Liu, as Joan Watson.

Hang on; JOAN??!?

Yeah, that’s what I thought, at first.

But, it works. Kind of.

The Premise
Burnt out, and drummed out on account of some as-yet-to-be-named addiction (Given that it’s Holmes, we presume that non-prescription drugs were involved), Sherlock Holmes leaves his job in London as a consultant to Scotland Yard, and moves to New York.

There, Holmes is given accommodation in one of his father’s apartments – on condition that he stick to a strict program of rehabilitation.

To enforce and monitor this state of affairs, Holmes’ father hires Joan Watson (a former surgeon) to act as Sherlock’s live-in “sober companion”.

Joan soon finds that she’ll need to be on her toes, as one of her ward’s conditions of service is that she accompany him on his new job – acting as a consultant to the NYPD.

Segue to scene of baffling crime. And Holmes deducing startling facts about the case, in classically quirky manner. Indulged all the while by NYPD Capt. Tobias Gregson – a man familiar with Sherlock’s methods from a previous encounter, in London.

The game is afoot. And all that.

The Trailer
By courtesy of YouTube:

The Verdict
Miller is a much better than adequate Holmes, for the modern era.

He’s more vulnerable, than narcissistic, the ravages of his addicition having presumably blunted his natural arrogance.

The intellectual vanity is still there. And the remarkable intellect.

His British accent, too. A deliberate choice, on the part of the producers – and a good one, I think.

Lucy Liu is fine, as Watson. Cool and demure, she nonetheless manages to convey some of the awe mere mortals feel, in the face of the great detective’s more startling deductions.

There’s the barest frisson of chemistry, between the two (Lucy Liu; she does that). But, that’s all there’ll ever be – or so the producers maintain.

Will they, or won’t they? They won’t. Also a wise choice.

Their initial murder case (I won’t spoil it, for you) is multi-faceted and puzzling, but a little low-key. I’m hoping that the proposed series will throw up some punchier and more expansive mysteries.

On the whole, not bad. Not bad at all.

Not as good as “Sherlock”, but it’ll do.