Let me start off by saying that Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite characters of all time so I understand the fairly recent trend of Sherlock Holmes movies and shows. Even though they are not the old Rathbone movies I find that I really enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr. version, I like the first one the best. However the greatest thing in this new surge of popularity is the BBC show Sherlock (though I haven’t seen season two because BBC hates me, but I’ll get to that another time). Sherlock is the brain child of Steven Moffat, who is also in charge of the new Doctor Who (2005-present), thank you Steven. For those of you who don’t know the plot, basically Sherlock is a show about Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century. What I love about it is the fact that it takes a lot from the original Sherlock Holmes stories, adapting it to today, and adds that wonderful dry wit and humor that I love so much about British shows. I could rave about Sherlock for hours as it is one of my new favorite obsessions. It’s smart, funny, has drama and action, and gives me the warm fuzzy feeling of nerdy bliss.
Sigh (let me bask for a moment).
OK, where was I? Oh yeah, while I do have the super love for all things Sherlock Holmes that doesn’t mean that I’m a complete Sherlockian snob, at least I don’t think I am, I do like things that have their own take or have inconsistencies with the original books. All of the ones I have mentioned above are like that in some way. But, I do have a limit of how far someone can go and still call it Sherlock Holmes. My line was drawn at the new show coming out in America called, “Elementary”. It seems that American TV producers (not going to name the network) observed the shinning beacon that is Sherlock, its popularity, its large fan-base in America, and I guess they saw dollar signs ($). I’ve heard that they originally tried to get permission to remake Sherlock, but Steven Moffat being the wonderful man he is, said no. Did that stop them? You’re kidding right? This is America were talking about, we don’t take no for an answer (even when we should). So they, at the unnamed network, decided “hey, we can make our own version, we don’t need their permission”, their own version being this “Elementary”. The plot of this show is that Sherlock Holmes was a consultant for Scotland Yard, in today’s time, but for some reason he went to a rehab in NYC for his drug addiction (they don’t have rehabs in the UK?). After he gets out of rehab he stays in New York and moves in with a “sober companion”, Jane Watson, played by actress Lucy Liu. Watson is a doctor who lost her license because a patient died while she was consulting with the NYPD, doesn’t make sense to me but whatever.
Here is what is wrong with all that…Everything. I will explain. First, Sherlock Holmes being in America…um no…one of the many reasons I like Sherlock Holmes is because he is British, now the actor who is playing Holmes is British (the shows only saving grace). But when I think Sherlock Holmes I think London, to be more specific, 221b Baker St. in London. Not just Sherlock needs to be British, part of the fun is the other characters. Like the cops, British cops are extremely different than American cops, have you seen Law and Order: UK? Britain is well known for their unarmed police force, i.e. no guns (though there are exceptions to that rule, they can get one but more than 80% don’t have them or want them). Way different that American cops, look at our Law and Order and look at theirs, point made. Also Sherlock Holmes does use drugs, in the books it was morphine and cocaine and in the new Sherlock it is nicotine patches, but he isn’t really an addict and in both (the original and the new show) the drugs are legal for the time period. If he is addicted to anything it is the rush of when he is on the case. Then there is the who Lucy Liu thing, I’m sure she is a very talented actor (I’ve only seen her in Kill Bill and Charlies Angels and I liked her in those), and I’m all for women power, putting a twist on a show etc etc. But if you make Watson a woman it changes the whole dynamic of the main characters, thus also changing the story, thus making it not Sherlock Holmes and I have the sneaking suspicion that they did that so that they could make the two a love interest (blech). And, Watson was a an army doctor/war hero and also a doctor in London when he got back, though he did have a hard time when he got back (war is hell) and Holmes kind of helped him get over it, without all the weepy lifetime movie touchy feely crap. For the most part Watson is an all around stand up guy, balancing out the crazy, and lets face it, sometimes illegal things that Holmes does.
American TV people. Just because something is popular in Britain doesn’t mean you should steal it, very few things translate well and you just ruin it. There is a list of American shows that were originally British ( you can find it online) and most of those shows didn’t make it past the fourth episode (the average being two episodes before being canceled). I will tell you right now that Sherlock Holmes will not translate over well and by doing this you are degrading the genre. I mean would you want Doctor Who to be American? Not if you have an ounce of sanity in you brain. When I first heard about this it was so wrong on so many levels that my brain stopped from the shock. There are somethings in this world that are fine the way they are, so leave it alone. I’ll feel like my mom for saying this but, “Quit picking at it, you’ll make it worse!”