Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Elementary' Premiere Review - 1.01 Pilot

        On the premiere episode of CBS' new drama Elementary, Detective Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), along with his sober companion, Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), consults with the NYPD on a home invasion case that resulted in murder.

        This new show fits exactly into the brand that CBS has made for itself - and to an extent works just like many shows on TNT and USA as well as ABC's Castle and FOX's House. It is simply another procedural with a twist. The twist this time is that the main detective is actually Sherlock Holmes - and not just another quirky character with many Holmes-ian qualities. Also, Watson is a female. The pilot is very well put together but it probably won't be breaking any kinds of new ground - just like the majority of CBS shows. But since it doesn't really strive to break the status quo, it will likely be a huge success for CBS.
        The thing that makes or breaks a typical show like this is the cast. All of these shows have the same foundation and the only way to differentiate the good and the bad is whether or not you enjoy the main detective staring at the evidence, being smart and solving the crime that no one else is capable of. To that extent, this show does succeed. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are great in this even though they are surrounded by many familiar and boring stories for anyone who has ever seen a procedural show. They share a great and interesting chemistry that is completely platonic and not sexual. However, it should be interesting to see if the show can keep up the non-sexual tension with the increasingly difficult shooting schedule.
        Everyone else on this show is pretty much a non-entity. Aidan Quinn is also a series regular but he is only there as a connection and explanation for bringing Holmes onto all of these cases. It's a role that is sorta necessary but has absolutely zero flash. The entire police department works that way as well. So the level of how engaging this show will become will either be based on the case-of-the-week from each episode or the relationship between Holmes and Watson. Right now, only the Holmes-Watson scenes really pop.

So what did everyone think of the premiere? Will you tune in next week for Episode 2? Share your thoughts in the comments.