Entertainment Television

TV review: CBS' new Sherlock is rather 'Elementary'

Casual Sherlock Holmes fans may not be aware that the great detective often pumped a 7 percent solution of cocaine into his arm.

Rod Doherty makes that detail from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books the jumping-off point for his new crime drama, "Elementary" (9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, CBS; 3 stars out of 4). It could be an interesting choice, if CBS lets Doherty move beyond its pat crime-procedural format to more of a character drama that delves into the psyches of its two main characters.

Jonny Lee Miller plays a modern-day Holmes in New York fresh out of rehab. He's an oddball, all fidgety but cocky and socially callous. His Dr. Watson, played by Lucy Liu, is a disgraced former surgeon hired by Holmes' wealthy father to act as Sherlock's sober companion. She'll live with him 24-7 for six months--certainly longer when CBS picks up the series for another season.

In the opener, after they meet Holmes returns to consulting on cases for Capt. Gregson (Aidan Quinn) of the NYPD. Watson is at first stupefied not by Sherlock's brilliance, but by his battiness. She eventually warms up to crime-solving, if not to Holmes himself. (Although that is likely to happen soon.)

For folks who are obsessed with PBS' far superior "Sherlock," "Elementary" will be quite disappointing. Miller is infinitely watchable as the twitchy detective, and I'm sure Liu will bring more to Watson if she's given the chance. (Making Watson a gal could be another compelling decision.)

My biggest problem with the opener is the crime they are asked to solve: It's rather, well, elementary. I figure pretty much any cop could have solved it.

CBS knows how to do the procedural. Heck, that's pretty much all the network airs. And it works. So I have little doubt "Elementary" will succeed. But if the network wants to keep Holmes purists happy, it'll need to make future cases worthier of the sleuth's attention.

Other Sept. 27 premieres: "Last Resort," 7 p.m. ABC; "The Big Bang Theory," 7 p.m. CBS; "Two and a Half Men," 7:30 p.m. CBS; "Person of Interest," 8 p.m. CBS; "Grey's Anatomy," 8 p.m. ABC; "Scandal," 9 p.m. ABC

Want more? Discuss this article and others on Show Patrol's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • TV review: 'Last Resort' an implausible thrill ride

    TV review: 'Last Resort' an implausible thrill ride

    A lot of viewers aren't going to like the military drama "Last Resort" (7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, ABC; 3.5 stars out of 4). They'll probably dismiss it for its crazy premise, its characters' speechifying and its multiple subplots.

  • Fall 2012 TV preview: Scoop on 20 returning shows

    Fall 2012 TV preview: Scoop on 20 returning shows

    It's been quite a while since viewers were getting their weekly fixes of favorite shows. Now that the new TV season is underway, you may not remember exactly what happened in the spring finales. Here are quick recaps of some returning shows, as well as a peek at what might be coming in the new...

  • Fall 2012 TV preview: Ranking 21 new broadcast network series

    Fall 2012 TV preview: Ranking 21 new broadcast network series

    The broadcast networks have started rolling out their new series for the fall and of the 21 new shows they will debut in the coming months, only a handful merit much more than a shrug. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I had a hard time picking a Top 5. That assessment might be a bit unfair. I've...

  • Fall 2012 TV preview: 10 cable, PBS shows to watch

    Fall 2012 TV preview: 10 cable, PBS shows to watch

    The cable networks and PBS are bringing the best TV to the Fall 2012 season. There are so many networks, not to mention shows, I won't be listing them all. But here are 10 shows that you should consider adding to your DVR recording list if you haven't already. Curt Wagner, RedEye's Show Patrol...

  • 'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in the lake

    'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in the lake

    During an early morning jog along Lake Michigan with his wife and children Tuesday, John Corba spotted a man struggling in the water nearly 30 yards from the shore.

  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The three clichés that color every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half-over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

Comments
Loading