First of all, in case you haven't suspected already, I am about to begin another rant. So be prepared. This time, it's about the infamous BBC Sherlock American ripoff called "Elementary."
I must say that I am usually quite proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. I'm proud to be in this country: even if its citizens can sometimes be stupid and ridiculous. But I also have to admit that I have never been more disappointed of a handful of my fellow Americans until this day. I mean...really...what is this crap?
Here, this is the first CBS trailer for "Elementary" on YouTube. You should go and watch it if you haven't already: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrDVSx…
Ok, now that you're back, we can begin. I'm going to go through every single bit of this trailer...I'm literally going to comb through it, and point out every single thing that I find wrong with it. This is not gonna be in any order of importance...or, I guess, of the strength of my offense. It'll just be as the problems come up. Here we go.
1. The Music
Yes, that's right, people. Before anybody in the trailer even BEGINS TO SPEAK, I have already found a problem with it. The beginning song - the violin melody - is too reminiscent of BBC Sherlock, ACD Sherlock, and ENGLAND IN GENERAL. They wanted to transpose it to America, right? Well that is definitely *not* American music, I can tell you that. On top of that, it's corny and strange. But it doesn't end there. A few scenes later, the music abruptly switches to some 80s hard metal rock song. Which is American, but not at all even remotely Sherlockian. Really. The changes in their theme is giving me whiplash already.
2. The Accents
Even though these people claim to want to put Sherlock in a modern, American setting...HE STILL HAS A BLOODY BRITISH ACCENT! HE IS STILL FROM ENGLAND! ...What the--? You cannot even imagine my reaction to this. There is just...so many levels of hypocrisy to this fact that I don't even know where to begin with peeling them off. If Sherlock is still British, then everything CBS has been trying to do has been a stupid lie! Throughout the entire trailer, they say, "We want to make an American Sherlock." Guess what, idiots? If you grew up in England, and you have an English accent, and you WORKED FOR BLOODY SCOTLAND YARD (which, by the way, I will get to in my next point), just because you moved to America for a handful of years does not make you American. We do not even know if Sherlock has citizenship! And he obviously still thinks of himself as British. When I thought of an American Sherlock, I thought of one with an *American* accent. Not a British one. It's like, they're blatantly copying off British TV, then they try to say that their idea is original, and then they go and make one of their main characters British again. It's like, WTF?
3. Gregson, Sherlock, & Scotland Yard
Like I mentioned before, Sherlock - and now Gregson (and I assume Lestrade will come in at some point) - is more British than American in this show. This completely throws their entire point off course. Not only are the 2 of them *British,* but they also worked for Scotland Yard. Just like canon, and just like in BBC Sherlock. Do I really need to say anything else in this point? No? Yeah, I think you got it.
4. The Coat and Scarf
Yeah. It's true. The bastards took the Cumberbatch Look. They have blatantly stole the black, swooping overcoat - it is exactly the same, I swear. And instead of having a *blue* scarf...they have a red one. Aww. Isn't that sweet? The cute little Americans are original! I am not amused.
5. Watson's Gasp
When the body in the safe-room is revealed, a woman who is clearly Watson turns away with a horrified gasp. *sigh* Even in this convoluted version, it's been established that Watson is a doctor - a surgeon who went to med school, if not a practicing doctor. From what I can assume, they also made her an army doctor. That means that she has seen her share of bloodshed. In canon - and BBC Sherlock - Watson is rarely fazed by dead bodies: and especially not violence and blood. He's a doctor, for God's sake! Shouldn't it stand to reason that this shouldn't unnerve the fem!Watson (as I've dubbed Lucy Liu's character) as much as it did? This may not seem like such a big point, but it could foreshadow a "weak, helpless, feminine Watson," who just falls into Holmes's arms because he's the masculine, distant hero and all that crap. Which is just ridiculous. Watson needs SPUNK to deal with Holmes - whether that character is male or female, it doesn't matter. They need to be strong. And I really don't know how the hell fem!Watson is gonna deal with her new life with Sherlock Holmes when she can't even handle a little blood. It certainly won't be easy. I mean, come on: I've seen fem!Watsons in FANFICTION who have been tougher than this version.
6. "Sometimes I Hate It When I'm Right"
...In what universe would Sherlock Holmes EVER say this line. Please. Somebody tell me that. Sherlock is famously - or sometimes infamously - a character who is arrogant, cool, collected, brilliant, and above everybody else. And he takes no shame in having absolute glee when he is right and somebody else is wrong. So, tell me, what in God's name would ever make him say a line like this? I mean, really? A *modest* Sherlock? What the--? I can't even...ugh. Sherlock is a show-off! And he prides himself on being so! End of story.
7. The Font
Yeah, that's right. I'm even gonna take a hit at the font of the title of the show. I mean, come on. It's almost the exact same way that "Sherlock" for BBC is written! They probably, legitimately used the same font. The only thing I can seen that is different is the L, and if you think about it, that could just be a ploy (and probably is) to make it seem that they AREN'T copying BBC Sherlock in everything. Which they are, by the way. Also, the whole background of that "title page" looks suspiciously like the pictures in the theme song for Sherlock. The microscope...petri-dish...etc. Coincidence? I think not.
8. Their Attempts To Make it Sound Original
During every single interview of the cast and crew, there was a distinct emphasis on the fact that it was modern day Sherlock IN AMERICA. I checked. Every single one of them said it. The director, the crew members, the cast...every single one. If you just ignore the utter hypocrisy for a second, you can see that the reason for this is because they're defensive. Because they know that they're copying a better show, but they keep trying to shove the supposed "originality" down our throats. The actor who plays Sherlock repeatedly claims that the fact that Watson is a woman makes this COMPLETELY different from any other rendition of Sherlock. Which is, of course, bull. If you just forget about the fact that Elementary is obviously a ripoff of BBC Sherlock, this is not the only rendition of Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. Take the show Monk, hmm? Sharona Flemming and Natalie Teeger? They were so obviously the female Watsons to Monk's Holmes. For God's sake, Natalie even goes out and blatantly SAYS that in the series! And look at House as well: Wilson may obviously be the Watson character, but there are around 6 other main, supporting female characters that could also be considered a Watson figure. Cuddy, Thirteen, Cameron, Adams, hell, even Chi! And BBC Sherlock? Watson may obviously be a man, but there's also the character of Molly, who could also be considered a strong supporting, "Watson-like" character. The point I'm trying to make is that having a female Watson DOES NOT make their show original.
9. Sherlock Shirtless: A Blatant Plea for Viewers
You see this ploy everyday. You take a man that's relatively good-looking, and then you abuse that attractiveness by taking off his shirt in every scene. You try to lure the teenage girls in with muscles and a rough face. You know what? For half of BBC Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch has nothing on but a purple bath robe. And so many people - teenagers and adults alike - are in love with him and his character. Half of that love is because the man is just a plain god in his sexiness. But the other half is the brilliant way in which he plays the character. I mean, if BBC Sherlock asked me to go out with him, I would probably just die right there: partly from those cheekbones, and partly because of the harshness and depth of his eyes. But I digress. My point is that other adaptations of Sherlock - including ACD's canon - don't need a good-looking Sherlock for people to love him (although I have to admit, it does help). Obviously the producers of "Elementary" think that their version *does* need to be good-looking for him to succeed (which means that they probably haven't developed his character correctly, from what I can tell). And if he's good-looking, American logic dictates that he therefore MUST have his shirt off in the very first trailer that they air. We've seen this with Jacob in the Twilight Saga, for god's sake. I mean, yes, the man is buff. Yes, he is hot. But in the first 5 seconds of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, he already has his shirt off! That's just metaphorically beating the dead horse: and I believe that this is what they're doing.
10. The Tattoos
Also in that scene with the shirtless Johnny Lee Miller/American!Sherlock, it shows that he has tattoos. Many tattoos. As in, all the way up and down the shoulder and back tattoos. Now, I don't know if the actor has tattoos, and he just didn't want to cover them up with makeup, or if it was too difficult, or if it was a decision by the producers. But I must ask you this: can you see Sherlock Holmes going somewhere as rundown and pointless as a tattoo parlor? To get such a ridiculous thing? I mean, really? I can't see it at all. And CBS, if you're trying to make your Sherlock out to be a "bad-boy," I'm gonna tell you right now. It's not going to work.
11. Watson's Medical Malpractice
Now, this isn't stated directly in the trailer linked above, but I do know from another review of someone who read the script that in this version, Watson received a dishonorable discharge because she committed medical malpractice. This is why she says to Sherlock in the trailer, "I'm not a doctor." ...Now, do I really need to explain why this is terrible, horrible, and just all around bad? I think not.
12. Phone vs. Camera
In the BBC version, Sherlock constantly uses his phone for many reasons. To look up information, as in A Study in Pink, or to text John, also first seen in that episode, and for various other reasons. He also uses it on crime scenes. Now, in a scene at approximately 1:50 in the video, i noticed that Sherlock is carrying a digital camera. A ripoff of BBC's phone idea? Obviously. An attempt to incorporate modern technology into their version that hasn't already been taken by Moffat and Gatiss? Definitely.
13. "Detective Javier Abreu"
This character is obviously another ripoff of BBC Sherlock. This time, of its well known and hated character, Anderson. The actor who plays this man states outright that his character doesn't like Sherlock. And we can assume that Sherlock doesn't like him in return. Remind you of anybody? Yeah. I thought so. Now, Anderson has appeared once as a minor character in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by ACD...so somebody could argue, I suppose, that they got their inspiration from there. But this Detective Abreu is obviously a pretty major character, like Anderson in BBC Sherlock. And the Constable Anderson in ACD's canon was nowhere near as important: he appeared in only one story, after all.
14. The "I'm Sorry," And The Strange Interpretation of Sherlock's Emotions
After American!Sherlock is arrested for supposedly busting Watson's car, he and Watson are on the phone in the jail cell, and he not only apologizes for doing it...he's EMOTIONAL about it. Again, I say, in what universe of believable Sherlock Holmes adaptations would this happen? I mean, in BBC Sherlock alone, it took Sherlock 5 episodes - which spanned like, a year, basically in the show time - to admit that Watson was his best and only friend, in the Hounds of the Baskervilles. And before and after that, he still was rather harsh and cold to Watson...yet in a way that still clearly spoke of their friendship. They're polar opposites...yet they compliment each other so well. Sherlock is cold and distant; while Watson is emotional. They're the perfect balance for each other. In the American version, it's completely different. It seems as if Sherlock is the emotional one who's almost begging for forgiveness...and Watson's the cold and distant one. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I mean, there is no way that is not weird. How can you have a modest, emotional Sherlock Holmes? It just doesn't work.
15. The Feel of the Show...It's Just...Off
When I watched BBC Sherlock for the first time, I felt something click inside me. I watched that first episode and said to myself, "This is absolute genius. The writers are amazing, the characters have been adapted perfectly, the actors and actresses are completely brilliant, and the modern twist has been applied superbly." I literally fell in love with this show at first sight. Everything about it is just...right. And when I first read A Study in Scarlet, the first one of ACD's canon...I again felt something click deep inside. And the same when i saw Jeremy Brett's movies, and even Robert Downey Jr.'s American films. There's something perfect and loyal and beautiful about every single one of them. But as I watched this trailer...everything just seemed...really off and odd. At first, this perplexed me. I thought that it was just my judgment about all of the things I found wrong with it - including all the other 14 points above, and the fact that they stole it from Moffat and Gatiss. So I went back and watched the trailer with no bias whatsoever. I just tried to imagine this being a show that I have no prior knowledge of the premise whatsoever - a "Sherlock Holmes never existed" scenario, if you will. And I still got that same feeling. So I went to a friend of mine who is well-versed in ACD canon, but hasn't gotten into BBC Sherlock yet (I've been waiting until summertime to "break her in," so to speak). I showed her the trailer. And she agreed with me: there was just something *off* about it. It doesn't have a "Sherlock" feel to it at all! This point is difficult to explain...because it's something that you'll have to feel for yourself. If you take all the points I just made away...if you just look at it as a TV show in its purest form...I still don't like it. I still hate it because it's just plain bad. There's no other way to say it. If you take everything else away...I still truly wouldn't like it, just because it's not good in a general sense. The actor who plays Sherlock isn't very good, and while I have a great respect for Lucy Liu, I just don't think she plays this character well. And they don't have any chemistry at all! And the deductions that Sherlock makes? They don't seem very good as well. He's too calm while he's deducing. He's supposed to be excited, happy, smug, ANYTHING. But in that first scene...all he does is drop a marble, calmly say some things to Lestrade, and then say that he sometimes hates when he's right. How does that make any sense, I ask you.
In conclusion, my fellow Sherlockians say it all: on YouTube, the trailer has already gotten 3000 dislikes. Which definitely overpowers the mere 1700 likes it got. In addition, I'd just like to name a few Facebook comments I saw on the show's page:
~ "Unfortunately, this is rather dull. There is no chemistry between Holmes and Watson. I don't see anything that other detective shows haven't already done. Will be skipping this."
~ "They don't seem to play off of eachother at all. Also, why isn't Joan the tough millitary professional we all have grown to love? Y'know that women can be tough too, don't you CBS?
~ "'Sometimes I hate it when I'm right', said no decent adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, ever."
I rest my case.