Last night, CBS showed the pilot of their new procedural, titled “Elementary”. This is another incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. I am a huge fan of the BBC Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock, so it’s not like I couldn’t love one more Sherlock…but I won’t be watching.
There has been a lot of uproar over CBS’s new show. CBS approached Steven Moffatt, the creator of the BBC version, and asked if he would help with an American adaptation. When Moffatt said no, CBS proceeded anyway. There has been a lot of discussion (http://screenrant.com/elementary-cbs-bbc-sherlock-holmes-comparison-similarities) about the controversy and even Benedict Cumberbatch has been talking some smack (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/benedict-cumberbatch-elementary_n_1908478.html). Of course the Sherlock “fandom” has also been in an uproar. (Sorry for some reason I can’t get links to work in wordpress)
There are a few reasons that people in the fandom are upset. First of all, in the CBS version, Watson is a woman – Joan Watson – played by Lucy Liu. Another issue with the Watson character is that she isn’t a military surgeon. Why can’t a woman be ex-military? I don’t know. It’s an important facet of the Watson character. And it goes without saying that having Watson be portrayed by a woman causes the stories to lose that subtext that most of us fangirls enjoy so much. If Sherlock and Watson are finally going to fuck, of course Watson has to be a woman. THERE’S NO OTHER WAY, RIGHT? RIGHT, AMERICA???
If Watson is played by a woman, the caretaking, nurturing and worrying that Watson does in regards to Sherlock will just make the woman seem subservient. Instead of a tender story about two male friends who become better people when they meet each other, it will be about a crazy detective and his nursemaid.
Sherlock’s character is not supposed to be interested in women (or men, for that matter). From what I have gathered, this version of Sherlock is a horny bastard who is warm for Joan Watson’s form. Johnny Lee Miller has stated in interviews that he thinks they will end up having sex eventually. This is not in character with Sherlock.
If CBS wanted to create a new procedural with a will-they-or-won’t-they couple, why did they need to use the Sherlock and Watson names? These characters are not even Sherlock and Watson anymore.
BBC Sherlock was created by two huge Arthur Conan Doyle fans, Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss. CBS created Elementary as a money-grab and I have a feeling that none of the writers/producers or anyone else has any reverence for the source material. This is my greatest complaint and concern, and is the reason why I will not be wasting my time watching the show.