The subject of getting me into a pro and con debate on CBS's Elementary has come up again this weekend, forcing me to consider my position on that bit of Sherlock-play once more.
My friend Bill Mason originally suggested a debate last winter, as he's fond of the show, and Bill and I have had some fun conspiring on a thing or two in the past. (A script for a Hee Haw episode based entirely around Holmes and Watson being perhaps the most notable.) But we never found a venue where we could both be present at the same time, and . . . well, my journey with the last season of Elementary was far from done.
Originally, when Elementary was new, there were those who enjoyed the show and those who didn't. Both camps were watching the show, and Sherlock Peoria seemed to provide a nice voice for those who didn't, something they could read and go, "Yeah, that bothers me, too."
But as time went on, those who didn't like Elementary wisely quit watching the show. Except for me. When you're blogging and the reader numbers shoot up whenever you express your opinions on a certain topic, you tend to be motivated to express your opinions on that topic. And writing a blog week after week, a weekly television show is natural grist for the mill. By the end of the first season, two kinds of people seemed to be watching Elementary: the fans of the show . . . and me.
I've been told I make people who like the show feel stupid. I've been told I like to rain on people's parades. And those were the nicer comments. But, oddly, those were the ones what made me feel worst.
If a rabid fan of Elementary gets on your case, well, you can write that off. They're rabid fans, and going a little nutball is their prerogative. This blog demonstrates that little fact all the time. But when you start to feel like you're bringing down some fairly normal, happy-go-lucky Sherlockians, well, then you start to have doubts about the merits of what you're doing.
Debating the merits of Elementary, at this point, isn't something I can just do for fun. I'm not a sociopath, I do care about my fellow Sherlockians more than a little bit. Sure, I can give an honest reaction to a new episode or news bit, but those are just reactions, not the basis for a political campaign. (One of a politician's greatest skills seems to be NOT giving their initial, honest reaction.) And occasionally I get lured into attempting to validate those reactions here in the blog. But actually just going up against someone who likes Elementary and arguing, "No, your show sucks, and you are wrong, wrong, wrong!" . . . . well, that would just be mean.
Maybe I've been mean to Elementary fans in the past, and maybe I'll be mean to them again. The rabid ones can get a little annoying in their delusional insistence that Elementary is good TV. See, I just did it again. And that was mean. In the blog, I can try to edit that stuff out. But in an open debate format?
So for now, when it comes to Elementary, I'm going to have to say there is no debate. Once the show has been over for a few years, and we can all step back and calmly and rationally discuss it, then I might be game for it. The interest in such a thing will have surely declined by then, but that, I think, might not be a bad thing.
Not a bad thing at all.
If anyone could have a friendly "debate" over Elementary's good and bad points, it would be you and Bill Mason. Both brilliant and witty gentleman, you would make it an entertaining diversion. Would you change anyone's opinion of the show? Unlikely. But you might bring the conversation to a humorous level that would have us all--hater and fan--delight in witnessing the frivolity of unwinnable debate that Sherlockians thrive upon. I might entertain the thought of inviting you two to do such a thing at the next Scintillation.ReplyDelete
We've got a whole second season to go, Jacquelynn. By the time I've watched that, you might only be getting the shattered remains of a once "brilliant and witty" gentleman who looked like something Watson dragged out of an opium den.Delete
I participated as a panelist on an "Elementary Vs SHERLOCK" panel at a large SF convention a month ago. Rather than become a snarkfest of "your show sucks" we actually discussed what we liked and didn't like about each show. I'm sure we didn't change anyone's minds one way or the other (for SHERLOCK has it's detractors, too) but agreed that no matter the adaptation, there is always SOMETHING to like about it. Even Matt Frewer's versions. Or the one with the dinosaurs.ReplyDelete
I don't know, Mary . . . while I have a favorite moment in the Frewer version ("I own Stonehenge?") and others, I'm still struggling to find Elementary's sweet spot.Delete
Well, I was always hoping for a tongue-in-cheek, have a lot of fun at it kind of a back and forth. In fact, I recall suggesting that we do it like pro wrestling; take it on the road, and one time you would "win" and the next time, I would "win."ReplyDelete
I have spent nearly four decades as a Sherlockian because I wanted to, and always do, have a lot of fun with it. At its best, it's totally removed from the polarized dead-serious but still often-really-important work I did as a Congressional, White House and Governor's Office staffer.
At its worst, Sherlockians can take stuff, and themselves, way too seriously. I noted that at least one of the (former) posters here seemed to get way too worked up and serious and combative about the whole Elementary matter.
I always have enjoyed your comments about the show, although I don't really agree, and although I still really like the show and especially the really outstanding work of Lucy Liu. I am looking for a venue to sing her praises particularly.
But you are probably right. I think we could put on a good-humored, fun, tongue-in-cheek "debate" about Elementary, but I afraid there are those who might get too adamant about the whole thing and make the whole matter way too big in the scheme of things. And I don't want to be a conduit for that. I have no interest whatsoever in being a part of anything that produces even more schisms in the Sherlockian world. I am the point in life that I just want to love everybody and will try to do so in spite of them.
But don't stop, Brad. I have said before that Elementary seems to have energized you, and, hey, it's your blog and you can go after whatever you like. And when Dick and I respond, you can be darn sure it won't be with rancor.
Gentlemen, I see a lovely opportunity here. Brad, are you coming to the "Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place" conference in a couple of weeks? If so, you and Mr. Mason could hold an entertaining, impromptu debate during lunch on Saturday. I would anticipate that with as much enthusiasm as I am the rest of the conference.Delete
By the way, Mr. Mason, I am looking forward to your presentation on the Masters of the Victorian Underworld!
I'm afraid Minneapolis got pushed off my calendar a long time ago, but thanks for the thought, Melissa!Delete
Thanks, Bill! You and I could probably have some fun with it at an in-person, scion-society level, to be sure. The last year on the net has convinced me that beyond that, things might get a little crazy. Lucy Liu is definitely the card you'll be wanting to play, so I can see you're well prepared.Delete
Well, that's a pity. You know, I don't think it's being mean to "E"-fans when you express your opinion on your own blog. They can always choose not to read it, like I don't read blogs/tumblrs etc. permanently dissing Sherlock (ONTD comes to mind).ReplyDelete
Don't worry, Silke, I'll still be expressing my opinion on my blog. I'm just not going to get into an actual debate on the matter. Like you say, people can choose to come here or no.Delete