Elementary my dear Michael

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Has anyone seen the American take on Sherlock Holmes called Elementary? It’s available via Prime video. I am watching it, on and off. I wouldn’t say it grips me, in fact I probably sleep through as much as I watch. But it is a fascinating commentary on the USA and New York in particular. To some degree it reflects the modern world generally.

Watson is a woman, which may horrify some. It doesn’t bother me, what does concern me is that she is put on a par in detective ability with Holmes in many episodes. Don’t mishear me, I don’t have an issue with her being a clever woman. In fact I would have no problem if they had made Holmes a woman and Watson a man or both women. The problem for me is that Conan Doyle wrote about Holmes as a genius and Watson as a dense side kick. It isn’t gender but character that is the problem.

The funny bit about watching an American version of Sherlock Holmes is the way they update it. NYPD, that’s New York Police Dept to you and I, use Holmes and Watson, separately at times, as consultants. They all sit around in the interview rooms taking turns firing questions at suspects. All very amusing if unbelievable. I can’t imagine what the lawyers would make of scene when it comes to a court case. The nod to the original Holmes character is hilarious in the extreme. They have created a character who at times looks like he has just got out of a maximum security section of a mental health unit. In fact you wonder if they should still be detaining him for everyone’s safety.

Holmes walks, talks and acts in the most peculiar fashion. There is a peculiar stiffness in his gait and speech as if he were not all there. He didn’t start the series that way, they have made him more extreme in each subsequent series. I guess if you are not going to make him the brightest then make him the weirdest. He does still have flashes of genius and insight which make him stand out. But by far his outstanding features are his behaviour and looks. His “irregulars” no not his bowel movements but his group of people he calls on for help tend to be hackers who take a delight in ridiculing him.

The most absurd thing is the way he never seems to sleep. He just appears in Watson’s bedroom, the female Watson. Having bought her clothes, checked things about her person or changed her room while she slept. No sexual harassment is ever suggested. Yet Holmes is painted as sexually active in the extreme. Conan Doyle, must be spinning in his grave.

Don’t get me onto dim wit Mycroft or Holmes billionaire and evil father! Where is he in the books? Or an extra side kick, also a woman. I really loved the BBC adaptation Sherlock. This American one is funny, unintentionally and has moments worth watching. But it is not a story about the Holmes I know. Discuss… 😳😁

Seriously do comment if you’ve seen it.

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