Elementary

Pilot: Conflicted about this CBS show.  The cast is strong and has good chemistry and it is a refreshing new take/spin on the usual Sherlock formula, however, comparison with BBC's "Sherlock" is inevitable and for a fan of the latter, "Elementary" appears a weaker cousin. Elementary has the potential to be engaging but it runs the risk of becoming yet another procedural ala "The Mentalist" or "Lie to Me". Its strongest suit is its cast. Johnny Lee Miller portrays Holmes more maniac but with a heart; Lucy Liu's Watson is more of an equal to Holmes here as an investigation, but her role is written with a tad too much gender bias. Interestingly, a sly shout-out to "Sherlock"'s creator Steven Moffat in the way Holmes addresses Watson. Aidan Quinn is always a great addition to any show (RIP "Prime Suspect"), but sadly the other supporting casts are stereotypical and superfluous. The direction by Michael Cuesta (from "Homeland", and also an executive producer here) and script by Robert Doherty (another EP) set the tone, palette and future direction for the series. Sean Callery's score (of "Homeland" and "24" previously) was appropriate and heightens the tension of key scenes. Never really a fan of straight-up procedurals, but will hang on in for a few more episodes to see how this turn out. Note to self: try not to compare with "Sherlock".
Episode 2, "While You Were Sleeping": The quality of the show is maintained. However, it suffers from a formulaic, procedural plot with a twist any seasoned viewer/reader could see a mile away. The highlight of the show is still the chemistry between Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller. Liu's Watson is also a refreshing change from the usual sidekick and she can hold herself competently against Miller's Sherlock. While the rest of NYC police is depicted as simpletons, Aidan Quinn at least has some sense and gravitas. What is the overarching plot of this show? When are they introducing "Moriarty" or his equivalent?

Episode 3, "Child Predator": This show is getting formulaic. Just like any procedurals. Even the "twist" ending is expected. The chemistry between Holmes and Watson is developing but at a glacial speed. There need to be an overarching plot/mythology to engage the audience for the long run, e.g "Red John" or "Miniature Killer", etc...so, where is Moriarty? And guess what? I said the same thing last episode. That's not to say it is not watchable, but it is mainly thanks to the leads and Aidan Quinn for selling it.

Episode 4, "The Rat Race": The best thing this show has going for it is the chemistry between Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, their scenes together are usually the highlight of the episodes. In particular, the scenes that do not involve the case of the week. Miller's Holmes is also slowly changing to someone less foreign and esoteric, and slightly more relatable (a bit different from Cumberbatch's Sherlock). Just through the sweeps to see if I would stay on with this show regularly.

Episode 5, "Lesser Evils": Boring, straightforward case and of course with a slight twist at the end. Interesting to find out a bit more about Watson, and I hope do hope we get to see more of her past and Anika Noni Rose. Similarly, it is the chemistry between Watson and Holmes that makes this interesting.  Hopefully, this relationship will never turn romantic.

Episode 6, "Flight Risk": Lots of red herrings here. At least makes the show more interesting, and more Holmes-ish. A vain attempt to try for character development initially, which paid some dividends in the end. Good acting by Miller for the last scene.

Episode 7, "One Way to Get Off": Last episode of the Sweeps season, and I think I will continue on watching this for a bit. Holmes and Watsons have an interesting dynamic but they are building it rather slowly. The case-of-the-week and procedural style is really beginning to drag it down. More character development for the 3 leads will be much appreciated.

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