The Insominac’s Choice Award
Goodness gracious, where to start? I saw Elementary when it debuted and admittedly expected it to be bad, but was surprised that your new Sherlock Holmes show was actually boring. I figured you just needed time to better understand the genre and how to write a good script. I realize it’s hard to compete with the excellence of Sherlock and sympathize with you. Talk about pressure. Yet you are handsomely paid, so my sympathy’s short lived.
Last Thursday I tuned in again believing you had enough time to improve the show. I saw an episode called “M” and expected rightly that Moriarty would be involved. Boy, was I disappointed.
Like the first 1.3 episodes I saw in the fall, the story opened with a murder. The scene had a weird tone as my guess is that the vibe on screen is nothing like what a real murder would be like and it wasn’t like the usual (and better) murders shown on TV. The beginning was rather boring and odd.
Next Sherlock appears and doesn’t deduce what happened and why there’s a pool of blood on the floor of the crime scene, he remembers a previous crime with the same pattern. Yep, Sherlock Holmes just remembered to figure out the case. Do you realize we don’t watch Sherlock to see how average thinkers solve crimes we watch to be bowled over by his astute thinking. Can someone on staff make note of that?
All the while Watson prepares to tie up her assignment. She’s feeling rather sad to be going as she confides to her shrink, who’s remarkably wooden. Only this lifeless Watson would continue to see such a cold shrink.
Writers, your homework is to watch some good psychologists like Paul or Gina on In Treatment or the guy from Numb3rs now on Newsroom. Even Bob Newhart might inspire you. Psychologists can have personalities and be objective. Joan Watson’s shrink suggests she go into police work if she enjoys it so much, but Joan rejects that sensible suggestion for no reason. She really doesn’t appear to be in love with Sherlock because she displays no emotion vaguely akin to love.
You mention Irene Adler in exposition. Irene evidently died (missed opportunity early on in a season). Granted, I missed that episode or the episode when it was revealed but present this with some drama so I CARE.
Then you had “M” plant a letter in Sherlock’s apartment. Ho hum. There’s a little tension here, but it’s minimal. We didn’t see it done. We don’t see “M” at all just his henchman.
Joan gets annoyed when she learns that Holmes has cameras in his own house. Yes, he could have told her, but they weren’t in her room and she is a hired gun. Get over it. There are no real tests of trust the way we see throughout Sherlock. Minor sniping and irritation doesn’t count. Perhaps you should steer clear (or steal) the elements that work so well in the hands of Moffat and Gatiss.
Eventually, the murderer acts again, but Sherlock intervenes. He somehow transports this hulking man to an abandoned warehouse that his father owns. How did he manage? Did he rent a car? Does he even drive?
Oh, yeah, he smashed that suspect’s car in the first episode, if that counts as driving. How would Sherlock, who’s no muscle man, manage to hang such a muscular, brawny chap up by himself? Actually, the episode was too boring for me to really want to know. In fact, I often considered changing channels and probably should have. You have not earned my attention.
Well, Joan and the Inspector do find Sherlock just after he’s learned from his victim that this guy is simply a hit man, that Moriarty, like the one on Sherlock does his work by proxy. During the episode we saw Joan ask Sherlock’s father to extend her time with him. I knew you’d have to somehow keep them connected since that was one of the weaknesses of your premise. She’s only supposed to work with him for a couple months.
The father said no via a text and she then lied to Sherlock about that. She’s decided to stay on for free. Since there’s no chemistry between the two this just made me yawn. Strange since lies usually beef up a story. Apparently, you’ve got reverse Midus‘ touch. You can take good characters and a popular genre, i.e. gold and make it into dust.
Read Aristotle’s Poetics. You’ll understand that when characters are closely related, conflict between them is more powerful. That’s why we see Mycroft in Sherlock. Hint: Bring the father in.
Do you realize how lucky you are that enough American viewers require so little in terms of entertainment. You are blessed by the equally anemic writing on other Thursday night shows. Sincerely, SK