Fans of the hit show Sherlock, the good one not the crappy American version Elementary, should be overjoyed at the recent Hollywood Reporter announcement that Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul McGuigan are teaming up to bring the story of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein to the big screen. Cumberbatch will play Epstein in the yet untitled film, and McGuigan, who has directed several episodes of Sherlock, is attached to direct. Like any good story to come out of Hollywood there is also another Brian Epstein biopic in the works based on Vivek J Tiwary’s graphic novel titled The Fifth Beatle, Epstein’s oft used nickname. McGuigan and Cumberbatch do have the advantage of having Tom Hanks in their producing corner however, so hopefully that will bring some extra credibility to the project.
The story is reported to focus more on the personal life of Epstein than that of The Beatles, and little as I know about Brian Epstein he is described as a “closet homosexual with drug and gambling problems” so it seems like there is a lot of material to draw from other than him being the manager of the biggest band in the world.
For his part Cumberbatch has become quite the hot commodity of late, lending his talents to the much-anticipated The Hobbit, working with Brad Pitt in Twelve Years a Slave, and taking on the role of a young Khan (rumored) in J.J. Abrams world of Star Trek. One would think that the familiarity between Cumberbatch and McGuigan will help raise the acting level of the project and as pictured above, at least on looks and accent, it seems like they have the right man for the part.
Last week we all had the great pleasure of watching an editor squirm as one of his writers did something he found to be quite abhorrent. I fear I might draw the ire of the esteemed Dr. Kronner once again because dare I say it? I enjoyed this week’s episode as well. [Dr. Kronner – I did not.]
However I did not like the title of the episode because “While You Were Sleeping” will always and forever make me think of this, not of a crime procedural.
(in case you don’t remember the mid-90’s, this is from the Sandra Bullock movie, While You Were Sleeping)
I felt there was so much to enjoy in this episode. It started off with a new title sequence which reminded me of yet another thing from years gone by, the game Mousetrap. While watching though, I had to wonder- is it possible to shoot a marble out of a gun?
Of course I turned to the internet and discovered that it is a common practice for people (delinquents?) to shoot marbles out of paintball guns. Because apparently those paintballs don’t hurt enough.
Moving on- the episode provided a moment of pure Sherlock Holmes canon with the “brain attic” thing, but of course Watson pointed out that it was completely ridiculous, and the entire world agreed with her. Come on Sherlock, let the attic thing go. Another thing I really did not like was a classic procedural move, the “repeat for the dumb audience because they can’t remember what happened five minutes ago”. Sherlock asks that the victim’s neighbor sit with a sketch artist, a scene or two later (if even that many) he meets up with the detective who says “we’ve got the sketch”. Of course he responds with “oh the sketch from the description of the lady the neighbor gave?” I don’t know if they are trying to suggest that the character Sherlock would say that, but it just gets under my skin. Dear writers; we aren’t stupid.
Best part, for me at least, was the back and forth between Sherlock and Watson. She says there is coffee, he holds out his cup fully expecting to get a refill, and she gives him the perfect “eat shit and die” look. Fabulous. When she threatened to stab him in the “soft part of the thigh”, hearkening back to Sherlock’s method of verifying a coma state, I couldn’t help but laugh. There is a very good chance I relate to her so well because I’m married to a man who can be equally ass-ish at times so I recognize the coping skills.
Sherlock’s one-liners were the highlight though: the zipper-mask, the two cheeks- one leathery, the other smooth as a baby’s bottom, telling Holmes that she should sleep with the ex-boyfriend, “Ampersand, not a dash”; they all combined to make for an enjoyable hour of TV.
Playing the world’s smallest violin as opposed to going into a trance- it’s impossible to not laugh at that.
If you are like me, you enjoy knowing what songs are played during an episode. If you are also like me, you googled lyrics from the last song (not the one played by Sherlock) and ended up here. Let’s just hope that my husband doesn’t go perusing my search results, he might start to get a little nervous. If anyone can tell me what the song was, I would be grateful.
As for the piece that Sherlock played at the very end- that was none other than Bach’s Partita no. 2 in D minor. All those readers who took a music history course would remember that this was the piece rumored to be written in memory of Bach’s late wife, Maria. Was the selection purposeful? Did it tie into the “penance” theme running through the duo’s storyline?
We’ll just have to turn in to the third episode, airing two weeks from now, on October 18th, to find out.
Funny, witty, and one of the greatest violin solos of all time- I’m going to have to give it a three and a half out of five.
In closing- my love, Aidan Quinn flashing his badge, oh baby.
In honor of last night’s Elementary premiere, I have put together a little musical tribute. Enjoy.
Can you hear the fandoms scream? Expressing their hatred with angry memes. They feel that since it was done in England, It can not be done again. – set to the tune of “Can you hear the people sing?”
Going into the show, pretty much all you heard was “It’s not as good as the BBC version. I can’t believe John Watson is a girl. I mean really Lucy Liu is Watson? What are they thinking? Sherlock Holmes lives in London, not New York! This show is obviously going to suck. I can’t believe people will even watch this shit.” [Editor’s Note: Yeah, that was mostly me]
Well, there were enough people that didn’t think it would suck, or were just curious because Elementary premiered to some rather good numbers. I, obviously, watched it as well, and rather enjoyed it.
Was it as good as the BBC version? Well, I don’t know that we can even compare them like that. While Sherlock is a mini-movie, Elementary is a typical procedural- we see a murder, cut to title sequence, meet the cops, find a bad guy, it’s the wrong bad guy, sit around with pensive looks, have a EUREKA! moment, find new bad guy, and of course it’s the right bad guy. [Editor’s Note: My point…] If it’s a good procedural, there is enough storyline between the main characters that keep us coming back each week. I don’t know about anyone else, but I watch NCIS more for the relationship between Gibbs’ team than the actual murders they solve.
Johnny Lee Miller is a believable incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. He’s quirky, witty, quick, and intelligent. And he’s got enough of asshole in him that makes it entertaining. He’s not intentionally an ass, as shown by his attempt to not pour salt into Watson’s wounds, but it’s there, just waiting. As he begins his post “junkie jail”/rehab life, his father has hired Liu as Joan Watson to be his sober companion. Blame it on my sheltered life, I had no idea that such a job existed. He has also decided that instead of just sitting around, he is going to return to a job he did with Scotland Yard- police consultant, this time with the NYPD. We all know what Sherlock Holmes is like, and Miller does it well.
Call me nuts, but I like Joan Watson. I don’t know that the leap from surgeon to sober companion is all that believable, but they did a good job at setting it up. I loved Sherlock’s assessment of how much she likes her job though. Can’t say I’ve ever considered the number of alarms set as an indicator of how much one likes their job, but hey, it was fun. Watching her step into the investigator role was rather ingenious. I was afraid it would be forced but it really wasn’t. And can we discuss the fact that Joan Watson is a baseball fan? I love when a woman is a baseball fan. I do want to ask her opinion on pink uniforms, I’m sure we would both agree on that topic.
If there was no other reason for me to watch this show- it would be this man. I would watch Aidan Quinn do anything. ANYTHING! I’m just hoping he has a longer stint as police captain than he did as a police lieutenant in Prime Suspect.
So- the big question is, would I watch it again? I would. Pilots are always a bit messy. They have a lot of back story to fit into a little bit of time and it makes for, at times, an awkward flow. I thought Elementary was successful in navigating those waters. The murder/investigation story vs. the relationship between Sherlock and Watson was pretty balanced. Both Miller and Liu were believable as the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing if/when Mycroft is introduced as he is one of my favorite characters. I’m the oldest child of some crazy siblings, so I can relate to his pain. What I’m really hoping is that Sherlock will start introducing Watson by a variety of titles, a’la Sean Spencer.
Because there is potential and I’m excited to see how things develop, I’m going to give the pilot episode a 4 grizzly rating.
That wraps up this review- we’ll meet up next week and see what our favorite detective and his sober companion are up to then!
[Editor’s Note – I (Doc) am at a bit of a loss here. I have to disagree with my colleague. I thought the relationship was forced, the characters were boring, and the NYC setting was akin to moving Batman out of Gotham. 2/5 for me. They felt as natural together on-screen as they look in this picture:]
As you may recall, back at the start of the year we reported that CBS announced that it was to make a modern-day telling of Sherlock Holmes (after the BBC refused them the right to make a version of their show, Sherlock) to be called Elementary. It is to star Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson (!) and be set in New York – because the thing Sherlock Holmes stories always lacked was a female Watson and American accents…
What do you make of the new US modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, Elementary?
Jonny [Lee Miller] asked me if I was all right with him doing it. I said, “What are the similarities?” And he went, “Well it’s modern…” I went, “Oh.” Then he said, “Lucy Liu’s going to play Joan Watson…” And I went, “Oh.” I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see. I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.
It’s a strange position to be in…
It’s very odd. I did say, “Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.” When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay cheque at you, what are you going to do? I think Jonny was like, “Mate, I’ve got the f*cking mountain to climb here [to reach the acclaim of Sherlock], you’ve got nothing to fear.” I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.
And that is a polite way of saying that it’s a really bad idea and they’re all just doing it for the money.
This can only be a colossal bad idea. It’s just going to be another dumb TV detective show – which we need like we need syphilis. So, we can now only wait for this inevitable train wreck to happen and hope that it’s death is swift and painless.
ABC, NBC and CBS’s fall schedules overall seem disappointing to me, some more than others (I’m looking at you, ABC!) There are a few that look promising. Nevertheless, here they are… the good, the bad, and the honky-tonk. (SupaScoot here. I’ll give you my thoughts along the way with the pictures cause I like to step all over other people’s articles. Sorry Michelle... I’m not sorry)
This is a thriller that takes place in a submarine 500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, and then an exotic island. This, I will not be watching. The ocean terrifies me.
This show looks absolutely terrible. Nashville is about a washed-up country singer who pairs up with a young country star. Not only does the plot sound terrible like a Lifetime movie… but it stars Hayden Panettiere. Pass.
How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life:
I know that I sound cynical, but this show doesn’t look like a winner. I love Sarah Chalke, but I am already bored with the plot. A single mom moves in with her parents. It’s all been done. [Doc: Drink 7-Up]
666 Park Avenue:
This one looks like it might be interesting. 666 Park Avenue is one of those “Be careful what you wish for” shows. I know that’s been done, but this seems slightly more exciting than that. An apartment building, which is run by evil and supernatural forces, exchanges all of your hopes and wildest dreams in exchange for your soul. I will probably watch this.
It seems this show has been pushed to next summer. There’s not much to say about it, just that it has a scantily clad Alyssa Milano and lesbians. Oh hey, look! It won you over.
This is a conspiracy show, which means I will most likely check it out. Zero Hour is about a man who is the editor for a magazine for skeptics for 20 years, and then is pulled into a bizarre conspiracy.
A guy takes over a small business. Is there more to this? I hope so.
Oh come on. Reba was good in ‘Tremors’. That was it. Let it go.[/caption]
This show is about a family who, after moving into the suburbs, realizing all of their neighbors are aliens. This might be funny.
This is a TV movie about Sherlock Holmes cases in New York City. It looks completely uninteresting to me, but then again, it has neither singing nor Mariska Hargitay.
[Doc – I’m with Scoot here, eff this show. Go watch SHERLOCK.]
Made in Jersey:
While yawning, let me tell you about the plot of Made in Jersey. This show is about a young, hard-working female lawyer who competes with her colleagues by using her sass and resourcefulness. It sounds oddly similar to the plot of “Single Female Lawyer” from Futurama.
Here is the full schedule:
8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
8:30-9:00 PM PARTNERS
9:00-9:30 PM 2 BROKE GIRLS
9:30-10:00 PM MIKE & MOLLY
10:00-11:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
10:00-11:00 PM VEGAS
So the bane of my existence America’s #1 Network – CBS is planning a new modern-day ‘Sherlock Holmes’ show called Elementary. This announcement comes after they approached the BBC and Sherlock show runners about remaking the British masterpiece, and being denied. This has led to their announcement ruffling the feathers of the Brits a bit, as I’m sure they don’t want to see their show bastardized, which CBS would surely do.
These statements came from Sherlock executive producer Sue Vertue‘s Twitter:
We understand that CBS are doing their own version of an updated Sherlock Holmes. It’s interesting, as they approached us a while back about remaking our show.
At the time, they made great assurances about their integrity, so we have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn’t resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying.
We are very proud of our show and like any proud parent, will protect the interest and wellbeing of our offspring.