CBS’s Elementary airs despite success of BBC’s Sherlock

CBS’s Elementary finds the famous detective, played by Jonny Lee Miller, living in New York City, having escaped from rehab. Holmes’ rich father has hired Joan Watson, played by Lucy Liu, as his sober companion. To distract himself as he recovers, Holmes, followed closely by Watson, helps the NY City police department solve crimes.

Although the show was good, as a Holmes’ adaption it was rather lacking. First of all, it was alarming that Elementary portrays Holmes, a man known for his independence, as the most dependent person in the show. At one point, he begs Watson to drive him somewhere. Furthermore, it was not Holmes, but Watson who discovered the crucial clue to solve the mystery, and while this is fine, it should not happen in the pilot. However, in the second and third episodes, Elementary came back strong with better clues and more characterization of Holmes and Watson. Elementary is on Thursday’s at nine P.M.

BBC’s Sherlock picks up with Watson, played by Martin Freeman, returning from Afghanistan after being shot. Short on cash, Watson moves into 221B Baker Street with Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. As a consulting detective, Holmes, joined by Watson, helps the police when they are out of their depth.

Closely following the path of the original books, Sherlock introduces characters such as Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft Holmes and Inspector Lestrade. Cumberbatch is brilliant as Sherlock, and the show does an amazing job with the relationship between Watson and Holmes, managing to be funny while not detracting from the mystery. Both the first and second season have great endings that leave you wanting more.

Overall, Sherlock is much better – from the casting to the script to the way the lines are delivered. Elementary feels more like a version of CSI than a Sherlock Holmes show. Unfortunately, Sherlock’s third season does not air until spring of 2013. Until then, Elementary will have to be good enough.