Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nightmare Watson.

The Mary Sunshines of the world continue to beam, “I'm going to give Elementary on CBS a chance!”

And yet, the CBS promotion machine continues to dole out the painful promotional tidbits:

“Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.”

Yes, Watson is now Sherlock Holmes's worst nightmare.

If you google "Sherlock Holmes" and "his worst nightmare," you'll find CBS's promotional blurb . . . and several references to Professor Moriarty, who was a little more qualified as nightmares go. And actually, I'd even dispute that -- Moriarty was Holmes's greatest challenge, and probably a great time from a Holmes-centric point of view. Some inescapable situation of ultimate boredom? That would more likely be Holmes's worst nightmare. But wait!

Later in the promo verbiage, “Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator.” And, suddenly, Holmes’s nightmare starts to make sense. The world’s greatest consulting detective, saddled with someone who likes “playing investigator”? Just because Lucy Liu rhymes with “Mary Sue” doesn’t mean it has to be bad pastiche Watsoning. And the actual bits of the show they’re using to promote it look just as terrible as their descriptions.
Elementary’s latest television blurb touts, “Think you know the story? Presume nothing.” Well, if they insist I don’t presume that I’ll like this new kicked-out-of-England Holmes and his nightmare Watson, I guess I can indulge them. I kind of liked the story I knew before, even when it was told with a Cumberbatch and a Freeman. And Martin Freeman is nobody’s nightmare. A great friend met by happy chance? That’s our Watson. And Freeman fit that role like a dream.
My personal nightmare is that CBS’s Elementary is as bad as it looks and is still successful with the general public. The only thing worse than no popular Sherlock Holmes would be a very popular false Sherlock, forcing his existing fans to spend their days going, “But that’s not how he really is!” 
I can only loan out so many copies of the BBC Sherlock.

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