Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elementary Points and Counterpoints, a postscript.

One thinks Elementary hates Sherlock Holmes. One thinks Elementary treasures Sherlock Holmes.

It looks like Bill Mason and I currently live in two different alternate realities, almost exactly the same, but where CBS has two very different shows called Elementary. That's my only explanation for it, as I know Bill, and he's an intelligent and charming fellow, who would surely not enjoy the TV show that I've been seeing on Thursday nights. And I'm sure the converse is true in his case, knowing that I would surely enjoy the Sherlockian delight that he's been watching. That's the only reasonable explanation I can find for what you just read here on Sherlock Peoria.

Had I not met Bill, spent time with him, had a wonderful time at the Grand Old Opry with him and his wife, co-written Sherlockian entertainment with him, etc., I might be tempted to write him off as being completely insane for seeing something so opposite to what I'm seeing. But I know Bill, unlike many other folk whose paths cross mine on the web every day. Without Bill's established relationship, some actually do seem quite insane, especially when it comes to Elementary. But maybe they just live in that other universe that Bill does, where CBS is broadcasting a somewhat different show. Someday, perhaps I'll meet them and find out they're quite lovely folk, just like the esteemed Mr. Mason.

But like it or not, Elementary is a Sherlockian phenomenon that cannot be ignored. Never has a single entertainment featuring a character called "Sherlock Holmes" been distributed to so wide an audience over so long a period of time. Good, bad, or indifferent, Elementary is an important event in the history of Sherlock Holmes. And that is why it seems to be the most potentially divisive element in Sherlock Holmes fandom that has ever existed.

While some are going, "Great! More Sherlock Holmes! Spread the word!" others among us feel compelled to practically cry, "Fraud! Arrest that man for pretending to be Sherlock Holmes and despoiling his good name!" We are, both sets, passionate about Sherlock Holmes. Which is why I've resisted actually doing a head-to-head debate on Elementary, and will continue to. We're not talking about a matter with a logical conclusion that can be rationally settled here. We're talking an ideological war, where there the only winner is the one left standing over the bloody corpse of the other -- the only way to be completely right in a dispute like this one is for the other point of view to cease to exist. (Which is why we get so many passive-aggressive arguments about manners and not saying anything negative when it comes to Elementary -- they're just non-lethal ways of making the other point of view cease to exist.)

So for now, I'm going with this alternate universe theory, just to help acclimate myself to living with an alternate point of view that doesn't seem to be going away.

So Bill Mason and I may live in different universes, which is true of every human being you'll ever meet. We all have our personal mental universe, born out of lifetimes of different experiences and different genetic makeups. But like countries that neighbor each other, those universes don't have to go to war. We just to have to acknowledge that they are unique places unto themselves, and maybe go, "Good for you, strange other opinion!" Because even though I'd rather he be on my side, I can still be glad Bill is having fun with this Elementary thing.

This, however, is Sherlock Peoria. And while I don't speak for all Sherlockians or all Peoria, I do speak from the universe in which I live. Bill is welcome to come and visit these pages as a guest blogger any time he wants, but mostly, what you're going to get here is that view from the universe where Elementary is a much-hated abomination of a show. I'll try to be nice about it, but hey, it's the show that's coming in on my TV. I have to write about what I see, and I do get a bit passionate.

Another season of Elementary begins, for all of our neighboring universes. So I'll sing this blog out:

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
"A beautiful day for a neighbor.
"Would you be mine?
"Could you be mine?"


  1. No review of the 2nd baker street babe episode?

    1. Well, if you really want one, I'll try to get one in! Talking about the Babes does nothing but increase the hits on my blog exponentially, so I feel like a bit of a blog-whore when I do it . . . though I guess if it's for love it's not so whore-ish, and I do love me some Baker Street Babes!

    2. Did not like their Lestrade, hated their Mycroft, loved Lucy Liu (but not her characterization of Watson) just Lucy Liu. My wife (not a Sherlockian) loves the show and thinks it is perfect. Therein lies the problem. The most disturbing thing (about the blog) You BOTH went to the Grand Old Opry and had a wonderful time (shudder)

  2. Too rigid in thought. Relax & enjoy with your wife.

  3. I live in the same universe than you (just in another part of the Earth), "where Elementary is a much-hated abomination of a show". I would love to like this version but I can't (for me, it's not Sherlock Holmes, not Dr Watson, not Mycroft Holmes, no alchemy, no great friendship, too depressing...). And I feel too that the fans of "Elementary" live in a parallel universe. Good for them.