Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sherlock vs. Elementary

Once again proving that Hollywood ran out of original ideas about 38 years ago, CBS is planning a new series re-imagining Sherlock Holmes as a modern-day detective in New York city, Elementary. Not only are they revamping British Victorian literature, but they're revamping BBC's Sherlock that's currently in production. That would be enough to irritate me, but the fact that they have turned John Watson into Joan Watson disgusts me. Maybe, and I stress the maybe, I'd've been all over this when I was a teenager (about half a million years ago) because, theoretically, it means a new strong female character on television. There was little enough of that when I was growing up. Now, though, all I can see is the fact that CBS appears to be desperate to heteronormatise a relationship that, at its core and in its origin, it is a story about a friendship between two men. If they think they're going to gain female viewership this way, well... Maybe they'll gain some, but I'll bet cold hard cash that a huge part of why many (dare I say most?) women are watching BBC Sherlock is because of the gorgeously slashy nature of the relationship they've built between Sherlock and John.

What do you think? Do you care? Will you watch Elementary anyway? I freely admit that, should they make this disaster and air it, I will likely watch it with the goal of finding everything they've done wrong. (Me, judgmental? Hell yes.) I will be pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong, but I don't anticipate that happening. And in the meantime, I will once again mainline Sherlock S2 to try to cleanse my mind of the horrors of even the suggestion of a Joan Watson.

1 comment:

4am said...

I am of the opinion that, honestly, there are about 5 good things that came out of American television in the last decade. And one of them is House (a medical Sherlock Holmes, if you think about it), with a British lead. Maybe the odd episode of Criminal Minds can qualify, or Mad Men. Lost was good for a while, even if it got all twisted at end and didn't explain anything. And maybe there was one thing I haven't seen.

But? Honestly?

I import near 90% of my television. That's some anime, k-dramas, and some British shows: Being Human, Doctor Who, and (most recently) Sherlock. And this new CBS remake of Sherlock Holmes (definitely not rushed out to capitalize on the current craze over the movie Sherlock Holmes or BBC's Sherlock itself, no, never!) scares me a bit. I desperately hope that it will not be as bad as the Americanized Being Human ended up being, but, odds are, it's won't be a pretty sight. I don't think it will end well at all. But I'll (suffer through it) give it a chance. Personally, Joan Watson seems like a last ditch attempt to make sure that there will be no poor, uncomfortable homophobic viewers who think that Holmes and Watson are just a tad too close. Honestly, even with the amazing writing (I do love Moffat and Gatiss) a major, integral part to what makes this show so great is the way Cumberbatch and Freeman act and play off of each other. Without that chemistry (and slash fanfiction opportunities), I don't know how much I'll like it.

Another worrying point: Homes, in the CBS (rip-off) version, is recovering from being in some sort of rehab center, and Watson is a down-and-out surgeon who lost his- WHOOPS, her medical license. The decision too take Sherlock Holmes in a new, darker direction could be really good, or (more likely) really, really bad.

But I'll watch it, yeah. (If only to criticize it and say how much better BBC's Sherlock is.)

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