OH . . . MY . . . GOD . . . .
SPOILER ALERT! I hate Elementary. I'm also giving away pieces of this week's episode. If either of those might cause you upset, better move along now. Now.
This week's Elementary just began with Moriarty calling Mr. Elementary on the phone and delivering lines straight from the Canon. One problem, however.
They were Sherlock Holmes's lines.
What was perhaps the longest bit of Holmes's Canonical dialogue in the show so far, and it was delivered by Mor-fricking-arty. And not a scary, creepily genius version of Moriarty. Just a guy on the phone, sounding like a guy on the phone. And it gets worse.
Moriarty wants to hire Mr. Elementary. Mr. Elementary wants information about the death of Irene Adler, and Moriarty says he'll give it to hiim if Mr. Elementary solves a murder for him.
Yes, now Mr. Elementary is actually letting Moriarty solve the case that fascinates him more than any other. Bad enough that Joan Watson has been played as a victim to Mr. Elementary's little social terrorisms for so much of this year, but now the show's prime detective is letting Moriarty run him around like one more minion in his web? This show isn't about heroes. It's about victims. Always has been. Victims of addiction. Victims of career disaster. Victims of just being less than adept at living in society.
Interestingly, Mr. Elementary makes some small deductions about Moriarty from the phone call. His age, for one. The fact that he comes from Sussex for another. Sussex. That place where the real Sherlock Holmes eventually retired, and to some students of the Master, grew up as well. One almost envisions a classic Sherlock Holmes hanging up the phone with a chuckle and going, "Well, Watson, I've got that New York pretender looking into the case, which is about all it rates."
Joan Watson spends a lot of time spreading peanut butter on bread this episode, which I quite enjoyed. It has kind of a Zen calming effect, watching the smooth, rhythmic motion of the table knife. Ah.
But back to Mr. Elementary. No, wait . . . Joan Watson is talking about Gregson's penis. What is it with this show? Mr. Elementary kicks a soccer ball against an indoor wall, this being his random irritating act for this episode. Find one irritating thing that the real Sherlock Holmes did without an obvious and productive reason for doing it. This show continues to reveal that it just doesn't know how actual smart people work. It's like a stupid person's subjective version of someone of high intelligence, "This is what they act like. I don't know why they act like that, but this is how they are!"
. . . and Moriarty is back, telling Mr. Elementary he's not done enough and that there's more he needs to find out about the case. Let's think about that for a moment. It's almost like our boy has a mentor in Sussex who actually knows how to solve a case.
Man, you have to like the sound of Jonny Lee Miller's voice to like this show. And that accent, which is completely wrong for Holmes and makes me wish I had Professor Higgins's ability to place his upbringing . . . wait . . . what? Mr. Elementary just made a reference to the smell of Joan Watson's urine. Seriously, people think this is a good show? Seriously? I am as baffled as I was back in September and October of last year.
After monologue after monologue by Mr. Elementary, he tag-team solves the case with Joan Watson, Bell, and Gregson. They're a pretty solid team for those few minutes of the show, which might be cool if they actually were a team the rest of the time. One more random bit of writing in a random show.
And the last scene of this week's Elementary? The thing that makes Mr. Elementary wrinkle up his face in fussy-baby emotion? More random writing. Oh, look, the whole reason for his original breakdown and addiction, the whole crux of this show, seems to be a lie . . . a lie that he wasn't smart enough to see at square one. Or else we're talking twins, the most hackneyed soap opera twist of all.
They say that dogs have a more highly developed sense of smell than ours, by a multiple of thousands. And yet dogs seem to enjoy sniffing crotches and poo. In that same fashion, perhaps my brain is just not highly developed enough for Elementary. Because it sure looks like crap to me.
I am envisioning Jeremy Brett's Holmes prank-calling Mr. E with both Hardwicke and Burke trying not to snigger too loudly....Freeman and Cumberbatch ruining another Cluedo board over in the corner, and Rathbone and Bruce trying to find a scary movie for later. All the Mrs. Hudsons are making snacks for their boys. RDJ and Jude Law just broke something. It's a Sherlockian slumber party. Hey, Mr. E? You got Prince Albert in a can?ReplyDelete
Not to say you don't have points to make but "Seriously, people think this is a good show? Seriously? I am as baffled as I was back in September and October of last year." You mean back on October 20 when you wrote, "I gave it another look.... I didn’t make it through the whole episode. Probably not even half." Yes, I can understand why you were puzzled since apparently you had yet to see a full episode in those months. But, point taken. One only needs a whiff of asparagus to know it must taste bad and you don't like it.ReplyDelete
And then there's this: "Oh, look, the whole reason for his original breakdown and addiction, the whole crux of this show, seems to be a lie . . . a lie that he wasn't smart enough to see at square one." I agree. In fact, many fans of "Elementary" surmised she wasn't dead. But back on November 15, it wasn't so obvious to you: "And then there’s the Irene issue. At the end of last episode, they teased that there was an Irene in Holmes’s life that he reacts badly to a mention of. At the end of this episode, he says she died and he took her death badly. Elementary just wasted one of the great characters of the Sherlock Holmes mythos. Off-screen, with a couple of comments."
"Joan Watson is talking about Gregson's penis....Mr. Elementary just made a reference to the smell of Joan Watson's urine....Seriously?" Apparently they are engaged in that activity you coined, Sherfocking around. Well, your indignation is entertaining. Next week blog should be a doozy. I'm looking forward to it.
Here's the thing about the death of Irene. I was expecting that the writers of this show were actually considering Mr. Elementary to be as bright as Sherlock Holmes. If someone close to Sherlock Holmes had died, the most observant man in the world, as we know Holmes to be, would have at the very least, assured himself that she was truly dead and there was a decomposing corpse. Say what you like about my viewing habits, which you continually underestimate for your arguments, try to run down BBC Sherlock, which is the other fallback argument, but at the end of the Elementary is just poorly written.Delete
My estimate of your viewing habits are based on what you write. You are the source of my estimation; I quote you to prove it. Now, as you point out on April 29, "I may not have hung on every detail. I may have seen but not observed. I may have obscured my vision by wincing uncontrollably through many an early episode. But I have watched Elementary." So you might have missed that in "M." Moran kills his victims by hanging them upside down, slitting their throat and draining them of their blood and dumping the body in the Thames, and around half of those bodies were washed out to sea and never recovered. So, if twelve pints of Irene's blood found, like the other victims, and her body is not, like some of the other victims, I think that even the Canonical Holmes would be fairly certain that Irene was dead: "Circumstantial evidence is occasionally very convincing, as when you find a trout in the milk, to quote Thoreau's example." The fact that you, like Miller's Sherlock, believed Irene dead, without a decomposing corpse, but on other evidence--in your case that "Elementary" is just poorly written--should suggest that you purchase another dairy's product.Delete
As I've said, and will continue to say, I like BBC "Sherlock", a lot. I do not think it is a perfect gem, but it has flaws. And not just one or two. "Elementary", in my opinion, has not yet written a script as bad as "The Blind Banker". And once again I state that this was my opinion after Series 1 aired on PBS, before "Elementary" existed. And "Elementary" are not taking the advantage of using Doyle's plots.
By the way, as a feminist, you shouldn't have quoted Liu's penis comment out of context. She felt she was being patronized by Gregson. He said hang around Sherlock was dangerous; she replied that he faced danger too. Gregson: I have a gun, Joan: Yes, and a penis. Point to Joan.
"This show continues to reveal that it just doesn't know how actual smart people work. It's like a stupid person's subjective version of someone of high intelligence, "This is what they act like. I don't know why they act like that, but this is how they are!"ReplyDelete
Kill me now.
'Find one irritating thing that the real Sherlock Holmes did without an obvious and productive reason for doing it.'ReplyDelete
Holmes shooting 'V' into the wall of 221b.
I challenge you not to watch the last episode.
Since you hate it so much, that shouldn't be a problem.
Surely you can find something better to do with your evening.
Oh, he had his reasons.Delete
Sorry to disappoint, but how can I not watch the finale?
And what were those reasons?Delete
Come on, surely you are up to the challenge and are made of sterner stuff. Skip the show, show your resolve.
I certainly agree that "The Blind Banker" was pretty terrible; but every series will have episodes that fall short. "Sherlock" is a pretty good series; so is "Elementary." They are not competing with one another. Well, except maybe they are trying to decide which of the Sherlocks is more narcissistic, more annoying, more inhuman. Actually, Miller's Sherlock seems to care more about other human beings (and seems to actually be one) and is more aware of the moral objections to criminal activity. But these two actors have a long history together; I wonder how they compare notes.ReplyDelete
Scratching aimlessly on that violin was pretty damn irritating to Dr. Watson, as I recall.
Brad's obsessive hatred of "Elementary" is regrettable, but this is apparently his raison d'etre these days. In my view, "Elementary" is getting better all the time; the canonical links are increasing. (Using Milverton as a take off point was really inventive and clever, and if you put the Moriarty comments into his own mouth, rather than Holmes', so what?).
Looks like we'll get another 24 episodes next season (that will total 48 or so), and "Sherlock" will be bringing us all the way up to an astronomical 9. Good for Sherlock Holmes, good for our little subcultural obsession, good for Jonny Lee Miller, good for CBS and BBC, good for Benedict Cumberbatch, and good for Sherlock Peoria. No worries for lack of outrage and fuel for it.
I only bring up "The Blind Banker" to illustrate the point you brought up; all episodic series have their ups and downs. I agree with all your points except one: Watson list of Holmes' limits. Watson writes. "Plays the violin well." And, "I might have rebelled against these exasperating solos had it not been that he usually terminated them by playing in quick succession a whole series of my favourite airs as a slight compensation for the trial upon my patience." Perhaps you're thinking of Solar Pons.Delete
Well said Bill.Delete
Thank you for your heroic resolve in continuing to view this show. I have long given up any desire to watch if after the first few episodes. Frankly, I find your tirade more entertaining than the actual show, which is an offence against the canon in my opinion. Please keep up the review for the rest of us!ReplyDelete