Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Joanlock Non-Conspiracy

As we near the return of CBS's Elementary, and a certain actor has helped revive disenchantment with what might be the final season of BBC Sherlock, we're due for a little more recruitment to the quietly-playing background bandwagon that is America's TV Holmes.

And I can't help but think of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Is it possible for a male and female heterosexual leads in a compatible age range to endure season after season after season of network television without a romantic plotline rearing its ugly head?

It was almost like gravity among television writers of old. An inevitable, "what haven't we done?" move that comes in later seasons. Of course, most shows haven't run their course with an ongoing vow of non-lead-romance like Elementary has. Still, one has to wonder . . . gravity, and all.

And all the arguments that have been made for Sherlock's queerbaiting can be equally applied to Elementary's hetero-baiting. The series poised Mr. Elementary's ex-grilfriend Jamie and Joan as rivals. It played romantic potential for comedic effect. And then there was the unforgetable "can't be with little brother, so sleeping with the older brother" oddness.

Given that Elementary's latest season has been pushed to the weirdest starting date I've ever seen, at a time of year when the show's ratings normally fall off anyway, one can't help but wonder if this is the last gasp as the show makes it to a total number of episodes that can be syndicated. That being the case, it might end before the Joanlock romance stories finally kick in. And we live in a different age from the old traditional TV tropes, in both good and bad ways, so you never know.

Would anyone care if Elementary went Joanlock at the end, one way or the other? Would it make any more or less sense than some of the show's other plot directions?

We shall see.


  1. Considering the series creators said at the beginning of the show that there will never be a sexual relationship between Joan and Sherlock, I'm seeing the lack of romance as them being true to their word.

    If we were looking at a real situation (instead of a television show), their relationship is already professionally ethically questionable at best (Joan has a friendship with Sherlock, which considering her former role as sober living companion, could qualify as a'dual relationship' - the type majorly frowned upon by the American Counselors Association). Adding a sexual element between the two would make it a that much more unethical (and potentially could result in ethics board sanctions or legal action).

    So, the relationship between the characters should stay neutered. And how wonderful of an example it is of non-sexual friendship between two opposite gendered people...because those can't possibly exist in the real world. ;)

  2. Since Joan quite her sober living companion job to become an apprentice consulting detective, and since has graduated to full consulting detective, it gets a little hard to apply real world standards. But as it has, at least, kept the same show-runner, it does stand a better chance of keeping the original promises than most.

  3. Understood and appreciated. Keeping the same show-runner does lend itself to a greater likelihood of kept promises.
    For our real world example, the ACA has a 5-year ban on sexual relationships. So, we could be skirting close to the edge of the time-period. ;-)