This week's Elementary opened with Mr. Elementary trying to teach Joan Watson how to be a consulting whatever-he-is. The deductions were less that impressive, lacking that certain snap of a true Sherlock Holmes . . . I think I've seen Jeff Goldblum do better in non-Sherlock parts. (The "Grover's Mill" speech in Buckaroo Banzai is just one of many great Sherlock-ish deductive moments Goldblum has pulled off.) Soon, there was a reference to a Musgrave, more single-stick (He's teaching Watson through having her beat a dummy about the head? I really don't get Mr. Elementary's version of this martial art.), and a client turned down.
Yes, the Holmes tags are being added, but the basics of Holmes and Watson just aren't there. Mr. Elementary lacks the command, the sophistication, the almost other-worldly quality the best Sherlocks possess. There's a reason Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the villain in that upcoming Star Trek movie: he has those qualities that made Rathbone great.
This Mr. Elementary guy . . . throwing yelling fits, twitching like he's got to pee because he's chilly . . . he's a little boy. I have yet to be convinced that Watson admires or looks up to him. He has hired her to be his assistant and he's paying her to be his apprentice. Some idiotic website called "After Elton" actually ranked the relationship between Mr. Elementary and Joanie Watson to be superior to that of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson of BBC Sherlock. Watching Martin Freeman do his Watson act, I've always known his feelings and sympathized with him. He's a friend first, the basic role of a Watson. Joanie Watson might as well be an office drone in cubicle city, dragging herself around behind this little boy pretending to be a genius detective. I suspect "After Elton" equates "totally different" with "innovative and good," without considering that something that's worked solidly for a hundred and twenty-some years might actually be a the actual key to the characters.
I miss Freeman's Watson. I miss that crazy-ass Moriarty. I miss kinky and so-very-alive Irene Adler. I miss the real Sherlock Holmes. And watching week after week of Jonny Lee Miller missing the mark, it's starting to feel like Benedict Cumberbatch is that real Sherlock Holmes. And a real Sherlock Holmes that lives in the modern day, with his friend Dr. Watson, living in a London that has a ferris wheel and a Mrs. Hudson.
So I went out and made a pledge to the Sir Boast-a-lot fanbook on Kickstarter. It's well over its goal, and it should be a beautiful piece of work. That silly "After Elton" website claimed, after rating all the elements of the two, that BBC Sherlock and CBS Elementary were equals. Well, until Elementary starts inspiring lovely pieces of work like Sir Boast-a-lot, I think the evidence remains in favor of Sherlock's complete superiority.
That other guy? Well, he's Mr. Elementary. Still.