This is my new favourite show of the past TV year.
Ten reasons why I love it, in no particular order (no major spoilers):
- The acting. I came on for both Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. I stayed on for them and everyone else.
- Shot in New York which makes the city a character in itself on the show. Similarly, London was a bit part of the books.
- The Wardrobe. Lucy Liu can wear clothes!
- This is a procedural with character development in every episode! Slow burn. This is how network TV should be. I do not think I’ve ever loved or been addicted to an American procedural like I have this one. None of them come close, and I use to watch “House” for Hugh Laurie, but I was mostly ambivalent to the other characters and even to House himself after a couple of seasons.
- The crime writing on the show was not the best in the beginning, but it has improved slightly. Still, I see every case as a way of developing the characters and it usually parallels them in some way. It actually feels organic when the characters learn something through what they do and experience.
- Canon references. I love ’em all, but the bees especially.
- Half of the characters are Persons of Colour and it is bordering on Friday Nights Level of colour aware. As for gender, this show has a strong female lead. Joan is a woman of colour and it does not define her. They’ve also cast transgender woman. I think they have been very consistent with how well they portray POC and women so far.
- Sherlock is socially awkward, but he cares. I think he’s one of the best modern renditions. I prefer this version more than the BBC’s “Sherlock” (no offense Benedict Cumberbatch, still adore ya) and over “House” (Hugh Laurie, I’ve adored you even longer but House wasn’t great). “Elementary” Sherlock apologizes to people, was less jerkish to Joan as the season progressed, and admitted to being embarrassed twice.
- Joan Watson calls Sherlock on his BS all the time. Even Gregson gets in on it. I’m tired of watching shows where the lead is an asshole all the time and the other characters let him because he’s a special snowflake or something. On this show, they do call him out on his assy behaviour more than once which is great continuity.
- The relationship between Joan and Sherlock. I am someone who is prone to shipping when adoring a show, but in the spirit of the books, I am completely fine if the two protagonists do not get together romantically. The writers said they won’t do this, but I’m too hardened to believe TV writers. In any case, it wouldn’t really hurt me if they did get together. I think the actors have great chemistry, and I just want Joan and Sherlock together full stop. Whether platonically or romantically, they are great together.
In what is becoming a tradition on my TV review posts. Here’s the opening credits. They’re wonderful and I always like a good title sequence: