Monday, April 1, 2013

The light seen! It was Elementary all along!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say. And it's true. Weeks have passed since CBS last televised a new episode of Elementary, even taking away reruns last week for some sporting event of minor importance. And without that reliable Thursday night jolt that I've grown so accustomed to, where did my heart pine to be this week?

A certain Brooklyn Heights brownstone, of course, where one Joan Watson gets paid . . . paid you understand . . . to spend time learning from the world's finest deductionist, a master of his field, a man these pages have oft referred to as "Mr. Elementary." Perhaps it was, earlier, used as a placeholder for a character I resisted calling "Sherlock Holmes" as CBS had, but really . . . what honorific could be more fitting to the next evolutionary step of Sherlock Holmes, a character boldly taken out of an old English urban folk tale and elevated it to modern American relevance?

It's just so . . . Elementary. To call him "Sherlock Holmes" would be like calling you or I "neanderthal." A bit of an insult, really. So "Mr. Elementary," he will remain here, just as his Watson remains a "Joan," stepping up from that hanger-on John of the past. But that's all that stays the same.

I admit it: I pre-judged Elementary last summer before ever seeing an episode, and when it came out, well, I didn't even watch the first six episodes and just blogged based on what I read on the web. And then, when I finally did watch a whole episode, I still just could not bring myself to admit that here was possibly a true American counterpart to BBC's sets of Sherlock movies.

And then, a single comment from a single reader of this blog put it all into perspective. I'm sure you may remember the comment, it was pretty hard to miss. The insight probably touched you as well.

Suddenly, the entire history of this country and its breakaway from the British motherland made sense . . . our fore-fathers didn't just fight to escape their present taxation, but to be a separate, better country, where we could take the old things of England, improve them, and make them our own. I mean, where would James Bond be without Hollywood, U.S.A.? He's the most American movie hero of the last fifty years! It may be hard to get King Arthur and Robin Hood to America, as it didn't exist as America proper back then, but . . . well, let's get back to Mr. Elementary, the star of our consulting deductionist firmament.

In the weeks ahead, you'll be seeing a new side of Sherlock Peoria. Or should I say "Elementary Peoria," which the blog will be changing its name to just as soon as I figure out all of this Blogger buttons and switches to do so. And then the fun really begins as we delve into a myriad of in-depth topics revolving around Mr. Elementary and Joan:

The professions Mr. Elementary loves to insult. The friends Joan has when she's not on the job. The furnishings to recreate Mr. Elementary's lifestyle. Gregson and Bell, the combo of Scotland Yard and Doyle's med school teacher. The ex-lovers of the team, including one-nighters. The clever t-shirt references. Speculation on just how much Joan is getting paid to study deductionism. Mr. Elementary's bathroom and what its contents reveal about his transition to American life.

So much material to cover! Will there be room to start speculating on how soon Elementary's ratings popularity will catapult it to the big screen to compete with Robert Downey Jr.? You bet there will be, I can write two or three of these blogs a night, if need be!

Somebody just needs to point me in the direction of ElementaryCon 2013 -- I've got my cosplay outfit already started, and -- SPOILER ALERT -- it's Father Holmes! The pictures that have sprung up on the web of that character are making him the must-be for upcoming Elementary meet-ups. So much to do, but in the meantime . . . .

Can't wait for Thursday!

Yours truly,
Mr. Elementary Peoria


  1. Clever, Brad. Your post reminded me what day it is. I have my guard up now. :-)

  2. I started reading your blog quite recently and have to confess that I like your rants against CBS Elementary.

    I myself am not a big fan of the show but still watch it for the Canonical Nods.


    PS: I noticed your posting time. Nice touch!

  3. I really am quite shocked! How could you even compare the two? Even after only six episodes, the characters of "Sherlock" are much deeper and richer than "Elementary" after eighteen. Let's take the secondary characters. Elementary: "Gregson and Bell, the combo of Scotland Yard and Doyle's med school teacher." That's it. "Sherlock" has the Canonical Greg, Molly, Sally and Anderson. Don't forget Mrs. Hudson. "Elementary" doesn't have one. Well, they might after Thursdays episode, which you'll no doubt be rubbing in our faces. But too little, too late! Joan having a life outside of the brownstone? Her generic friends and pathetic dating life? How can that compare to John's Stamford and inamoratas, Sarah the doctor, then the one with the spots, then the one with the nose, then the boring teacher? That New York guy and his meaningless hook ups with the boroughs' soiled doves? How can that compare to the rich and deeply felt homo-platonic relationship in Gower Street that so subtly mirrors the Canon? There is so much fan love for "Sherlock" that the internet is awash in fanfic and fanart and merchandise. You can buy John's jumper, Sherlock's Belstaff coat and his Paul Smith scarf; all that's offered from the CBS store is two novelty tee shirts, and ones that weren't even worn on the show! You are so right when you call that New York guy a "hobo-fashionista". You can replicate his wardrobe at Goodwill for ten bucks, not the thousands you need for Sherlock's. There are learned tomes on "Sherlock": "Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom", "Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century: Essays on New Adaptations"; books on the show itself like "Sherlock: The Casebook" and books by the fans themselves. What does "Elementary" have? Nothing! We know (and can buy) John's red briefs. For all the time that New York guy spends out of his pants, we don't even know boxers or briefs--or god forbid commando. If I didn't know you better, I'd say that this post is some kind of sick joke!

  4. And here I was wondering why you hadn't blogged for a week! I surely expected something for the first of April - but couldn't see any of the new blogs until today, though I visited daily. Very strange.

  5. Does anyone know where I can find the tee shirts he wears on the show?