Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sherlock BBC vs Elementary USA

This post is about the two modern tv series.

So I have never read a Sherlock book, not in its entirety. I read about 1/3 of "TheHounds  of Baskerville" when I was in my early 20's and I found it boring. Yet Sherlock in movies and shows I find fascinating.

We discovered the BBC version in 2010, and I loved everything about it. Soon after we heard about the American version and I was concerned. American adaptations of shows/stories from other countries does not usually translate well. But the female Watson drew me in. I had to see what they had done.

Sherlock BBC
Is a modern retelling of the Sherlock books. Each episode is based on a Sherlock story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyal. The writers have done a wonderful job of literally turning each story into a modern retelling and capturing the characters and also translating them into a modern world (using things like smart phones). 

The main actors who play Sherlock and Watson are amazing and their dynamic together is unbeatable. For me they literally are Sherlock and Watson. Plonk those actors playing Sherlock and Watson, into any setting modern or old and they would be perfect. I was curious to see they had turned Irene into a dominatrix Madame. But the scene where Sherlock meets her is fascinating.

A little slightly off topic moment, I found that the writers have done a really good job modernising and portraying the women and Sherlock and Watson's lives. Mary is a fantastic character. I find this curious as I believe the writers of Sherlock are currently in trouble with Dr Who fans for dropping the ball when it comes to female characters in that show.

But everything about this show is addictive and breaths new life into the original Sherlock series. 

It will be interesting to see if they continue the series once they run out of official stories. I have heard though the current season, season 3 is the last.

Elementary USA
This series is not a retelling of the books. It is Sherlock as police procedural type show, and a modernisation of the characters in an entirely new setting. One of the biggest a twists is that Watson is a woman.

I love that Watson is a woman, and Lucy Liu is perfect for the role. I think this has been a clever twist on the Sherlock fokelore. It could have been done badly and they could have made it sexual. But the writers have done a good job and their relationship is like a brother and sister relationship. The dynamic between the two main actors is perfect.

Johnny Lee Miller does an excellent job of a modern Sherlock. I like how he physically transforms his posture and with precise almost upright movements.

With each episode a new scenario is played out and the writers need to create realistic reactions and behaviours in modern situations. 

Best of all the twist with Moriarty and Irene has been really clever.

This show probably doesnt get much credit for what it has done. It really is quite a clever show that pushes the boundaries of the Sherlock mythology.

I love both shows for very different reasons.

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