Elementary

British Actor Rhys Ifans to Play Elementary’s Mycroft Holmes

CBS’s Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary continues its streak of making incredibly interesting casting choices for secondary roles – decisions that are just intriguing enough to make you come back to the show again and again even its actual stories are maybe not everything you might wish. (This is at least where I am with the series – I know many people love it and many can’t stand it. So clearly, your mileage may vary greatly with this particular crime drama.)

They really are pretty good at pulling you back in right when think you’re out though. Well done, show.

Elementary, which stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson, also seems to pride itself on its non-traditional casting and character decisions. Besides making Watson a woman, the show features a transgender Mrs. Hudson and cast Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer as Irene Adler at the end of last season only to turn around and make her Moriarty by the finale. Now another British actor will be joining the mix – Rhys Ifans is set to play Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft Holmes when the show returns for its second season this Fall. And what kind of twist we might expect on this particular canon character is anyone’s guess.

Elementary Gets Its Own Irene Adler: Natalie Dormer Set for Guest Role

Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.

That’s been largely my experience with CBS’ Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary – the two of us have certainly had a yo-yo sort of relationship. I expected to hate it. I did not. I love Jonny Lee Miller’s performance as Holmes. I don’t really believe in Lucy Liu’s Watson. I like some of the secondary characters. The generic mysteries of the week are dreadful, but on the rare occasions the show has actually attempted to use the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle cases as inspiration – the episode featuring the introduction of Sebastian Moran, for example – it’s actually quite interesting. The show rarely uses the Conan Doyle stories as inspiration.

My internal back-and-forth on this issue is rather extensive. But, Elementary’s managed to hook me at least through the end of their first season, now that they’ve cast one of my favorite actresses as Holmes’s former flame Irene Adler. British actress Natalie Dormer has officially joined the cast for a three episode guest run – you’ve probably seen her as Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones or Anne Boleyn on The Tudorsand she is basically perfect for this part. Well, played show. I (reluctantly) tip my hat to you.

Heads Up Sherlock Holmes Fans: Elementary Renewed For Season 2

CBS renewed their Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary for a second season this week, guaranteeing that Holmes enthusiasts everywhere will get at least one more year of the network’s genderbending adventures featuring stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

The CBS drama picked up considerable buzz at the beginning of the US Fall TV season for their decision to turn John Watson into Joan in their interpretation of the stories featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective. While the actual series hasn’t done what could be called a terribly stringent job in adhering to the Conan Doyle canon, the detective drama has nevertheless managed to gather a sizeable audience on Thursday nights.

Sherlock Holmes Series Elementary Gets a Full-Season Order From CBS: Four Things to Work On

CBS announced yesterday that it’s giving a full-season order to its freshman drama series Elementary. This news isn’t a huge surprise - the modern-day Sherlock Holmes adaptation has been performing admirably for the network on Thursday nights. It’s the second most popular new series of the season and averages somewhere in the 11-14 million viewers per episode range, even if their demos do skew rather on the older side. (This is CBS though, so I’m sure that fact wasn’t terribly unexpected, either.)

For many Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, this is probably very welcome news – and I agree that more Holmes in any incarnation is almost always excellent. While Elementary did not turn out to be quite the trainwreck I had originally envisioned and I mostly enjoyed the pilot, personally, I’ve found its subsequent episodes to be somewhat mediocre. Since it’s now confirmed that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu for the rest of the year – American seasons run for 22 episodes after all – there’s plenty of time for the show to work out its kinks. Here are a few suggestions.

Amazing Internet Things: Sherlock Weighs in on the Fall TV Season

Traditionally, the week after the Primetime Emmy Awards (which, whatever, Academy, you let me down this year) marks the official kickoff for the American Fall television season. This tradition is less prevalent than it used to be – many new series have already started and some won’t debut until well into October – but this unspoken “rule” does still hold true for many properties on the four major networks.

Personally, I’m not terribly excited by much of 2012’s Fall slate, but that may actually be why I find this particular Amazing Internet Thing so hilarious. One of the most widely promoted – and possibly most anticipated? I can’t really get a read on public opinion here – is CBS’ new Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary, a drama which many have accused of being “a rip-off” of stellar BBC series Sherlock.

Comedy site Jest has made a fantastic spoof in which Sherlock himself deduces the why the current crop of Fall TV newcomers, including The Carrie Diaries, Nashville, Chicago Fire and The New Normal, all seem so familiar. Though he can’t quit put a finger on what’s going on with that CBS Elementary show. Click through and take a look for yourself!

CBS' Elementary Is Actually Better Than These Posters Would Indicate

My relationship with upcoming CBS Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary is already rather fraught and complicated, and the series hasn’t even premiered yet. Since way back when this was announced as a pilot – well before it was even greenlit to series – I have not been entirely thrilled about the prospect of another modern-day Holmes TV show, and transplanted to New York no less! (I know that I was not alone in this initial reaction either, so I don’t feel too badly about it.)

My opinions toward Elementary, however, have softened considerably since seeing the pilot episode at Comic Con this summer. While it’s certainly got nothing on BBC’s masterful Sherlock series, the CBS adaptation does have its moments and star Jonny Lee Miller is interesting enough in the role of Holmes to at least merit a couple of episodes’ worth of our attention. It will certainly be interesting to read all the initial reactions to this series once it premieres on September 27 (that';s day after tomorrow, if you're counting).

Unfortunately the promotional material surrounding the series’ debut seems determined to play up the most cliché, cringeworthy and even, yes, elementary elements prior to its launch. When everyone who follows any sort of entertainment television at all is automatically going to compare this show to the BBC’s highly stylized and super intelligent Sherlock series, the decision to release an initial series of promos and clips that appear designed to showcase the most banal and expected moments from the American version seems ill-advised. And that’s before we get to this, the latest set of promotional posters that have been released. Which are…not good. Like, really, really not good.

There is literally no way to prepare you for how bad this is, so click through and just look at them for yourselves.

 

New Trailer for CBS’ Sherlock Holmes Adaptation Elementary

CBS has released a new trailer for their upcoming Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary. This one is very heavy on the Jonny Lee Miller version of Holmes being sort of quirky and strange stuff, but at least seems to have backed off the Holmes/Watson vaguely relationship-oriented tension thing, which is nice.

Is it weird that it bugs me so much that Joan apparently doesn’t get a first name in this trailer? She’s just “WATSON”. So bizarre. That’s a kind of strange tick throughout the pilot actually – they’re forever calling her Watson, which I suppose is some kind of nod to the canon, but I am having a hard time imagining a woman who enjoys being addressed like that.

Click through and take a look for yourself - Elementary premieres Thursday, September 27. It will be so interesting to see what everyone else thinks of it.

Want a First Look at the Elementary Pilot? Read on for an Early Review

CBS held a preview screening and cast Q&A with the stars and writers of their new modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Several thousand of us all got to watch the pilot together and then listen to folks behind the scenes talk about their new project.

Given that I have previously expressed more than a few varied and detailed issues with the fact that this CBS Holmes adaptation exists at all, you may be surprised by what I’m about to say here. Which is, basically, that Elementary – or the pilot at least – is not nearly as bad as I expected. In fact, it’s quite enjoyable.

The pilot isn’t perfect, and it seems apparent that this show will never hit anywhere close to the same level of quality as the BBC Sherlock that’s currently all the rage on both sides of the pond. That said, it’s very watchable, thanks in large part to the great cast. It’s enjoyable enough even that I’m going to give it a couple of episodes to see how it goes instead of just immediately writing it off. (Trust me, I’m as surprised as any of you about this fact.)

Why? Click through for a more detailed read on my early thoughts on Elementary, as well as a few tidbits about the show’s direction that were let out of the bag during their Comic Con panel.

 

Take a Look at Elementary, CBS’ New Sherlock Holmes Series

Last week during CBS’s upfront Presentation, an annual tradition where the big networks share their slate of new and returning series for the Fall season, it was announced that the “modern day take” on Sherlock Holmes known as Elementary had been picked up as a new series.

CBS President Les Moonves offered up a preview of Elementary during the network’s presentation – it’s a bit of a trailer and a behind-the-scenes featurette mashed up in one – that gives us our first look at the show and its stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson. Personally, I’m not so crazy about the fact that this series exists, generally, but you never know, it could surprise me.

Click through and take a look at the promo for yourself and then let’s talk it out.

CBS’ Modern Sherlock Holmes Pilot “Elementary”: Great Idea or Hot Mess?

As you have probably heard in some way by now, CBS is currently developing a series called Elementary, described as a “modern-day take” on the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective Sherlock Holmes. In addition to the modern setting, the new CBS drama will transplant Holmes and Watson from London to New York City. And there are some, um, other terrible ideas big changes in the works, too.

The project is being helmed by former Medium producer/writer Rob Doherty, and the series pilot (all that has been approved at this point) will be directed by Homeland’s Michael Fuesta. Now that both Holmes and Watson have been cast, (though those particular bombshells are under the cut), it’s probably time to talk about it because, well, everyone else is, and I don’t think I can keep all the thoughts inside much longer.

I know the character of Sherlock Holmes is all kinds of trendy right now, what with the BBC’s popular Sherlock TV series and Guy Ritchie’s successful film franchise, but, CBS’s decision to move forward with this pilot just raises all kinds red flags for me. (And I don’t think I’m alone in this, given the general uproar that seems to be happening online.) So – is this show a worthwhile idea? Have we achieved Sherlock market saturation? Are there too many changes on the table? Most importantly, is this even going to be good television?

Click through, and let’s have a chat about it. I apparently have a ridiculous amount really quite a bit to say.