“Sherlock” V. “Elementary”
February 4, 2013 • Carissa Atallah, Managing Editor
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
Both BBC and CBS have brought to life the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes in recent years, leaving viewers to deduce the answer to one simple question: which is worth the watch?
The character is depicted by Bennedict Cumberbatch on BBC’s “Sherlock” while Jonny Lee Miller stars in the CBS version “Elementary”.
Miller’s portrayal is snark and witty, vaguely reminiscent of the character ‘House’, and overall clever.
Cumberbatch is far less typical, and a bit of an acquired taste. He plays a child-like, eccentric Holmes who fails to quite comprehend society outside of his brilliant mind.
If viewers desire originality, BBC takes the cake. The acting allows the character to come across without being explained. A raised eyebrow says more than entire scenes in “Elementary”.
“Elementary” provides quite a twist. Watson, portrayed by Lucy Liu, is female. As a head-strong women, she often fights with Holmes for dominance. While change is not always unwelcomed, in this case, it seems like a gimmick and excuse to pin Holmes and Watson together in future seasons.
Regardless of gender, Freeman’s portrayal has more chemistry and a far deeper connection with his Holmes.
Both are modern-day portrayals, but the similarities end there.
“Sherlock”, set in London, employs the original stories in new and clever ways while “Elementary” offers original mysteries in New York City.
If viewers enjoy crime show style mysteries then “Elementary” is the proper choice. It is easy to watch episodes out of context and generally appreciate the show without investing too much time in it.
The BBC version takes a different format and feels more like a series of resurrected Homes adventures.