• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 27, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Oct 5, 2012
    80
    There's enough room left in the genre for another modern pairing, and Mr. Miller and Ms. Liu bring something memorably new to each character.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 4, 2012
    88
    [A] highly satisfying update. [8 Oct 2012, p.57]
  3. 50
    This is a slight but watchable show, yet more brain candy from CBS's vending machine.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    Miller and Liu, simultaneously irritating and charming each other, make Elementary far more watchable than anybody could have expected.
  5. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    Stylishly directed, Elementary is one loaded show, including its wonderful, well-matched leads.
  6. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 27, 2012
    70
    Miller's approach may be different from Benedict Cumberbatch's in "Sherlock," but he's as riveting a screen presence. Even if you don't care about the weekly whodunit--and mostly, I don't--Elementary" could be fun.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    Elementary brings edgy new life to CBS' procedural formula, and is just different enough from the Masterpiece Mystery! version (and Benedict Cumberbatch's Emmy-nominated spin) to prove yet again just how versatile this legendary character is.
  8. Reviewed by: Marisa LaScala
    Sep 27, 2012
    60
    If Elementary is a standard detective procedural, it is at least well done. This is largely based on the strength of Miller, who brings a rejuvenating energy to a genre full of morose investigators
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    You may appreciate the flair and poignancy Elementary brings to the crowded procedural field, and the energy, wit and sex appeal Miller brings to his role.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 27, 2012
    67
    Elementary turns the myth into CBS' answer to "Castle," with a shade more intelligence.
  11. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 26, 2012
    80
    Miller is certainly competent and even compelling as this round of newly imagined Sherlock Holmes.... Liu gives her Watson the perfect blend of wariness and admiration--she is clearly brilliant in her own right and while she may be his keeper, she is not his chronicler. And her journey may turn out to be just as interesting as his.
  12. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 26, 2012
    80
    Sherlock Holmes may hail from two centuries ago, but Elementary, this latest incarnation of the old chap, produces the the season's best new broadcast drama.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Sep 26, 2012
    83
    Elementary is probably the closest thing to a new fall-season surefire hit. Miller gives off an infectious enthusiasm in this new role.
  14. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Sep 26, 2012
    70
    Jonny Lee Miller does a fine job in his iteration. One series being brilliant does not preclude the next from being enjoyable.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Sep 26, 2012
    60
    However, beyond its stars (and a welcome guest appearance in the pilot by Dallas Roberts), Elementary is a mixed bag. Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic "Medium," is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics.
  16. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 26, 2012
    75
    So while Elementary fits a little too comfortably into the CBS lineup (in the timeslot "The Mentalist" was in last year), its specific approach to Holmes and Watson, and the way that Miller and Liu interact, makes the show work on its own less ambitious terms.
  17. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 26, 2012
    75
    Miller is infinitely watchable as the twitchy detective, and I'm sure Liu will bring more to Watson if she's given the chance.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 26, 2012
    80
    [A] slickly made, shrewdly conceived series.
  19. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 26, 2012
    75
    Elementary actually works on many levels, not the least of which is his reason for being in NYC.
  20. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    Two things are going for this latest adaptation--solid production values and a talented lead actor.
  21. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 25, 2012
    40
    The two leads lack any kind of chemistry, platonic or otherwise, and the storytelling lacks the smarts and insight of one of TV's best Sherlockian creations, "House."
  22. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    Elementary will probably infuriate Sherlock Holmes purists, but other viewers are likely to find it gripping and well cast.
  23. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Elementary entertains intermittently, particularly in exchanges between Holmes and Watson, but its draw will be strongest among viewers who can't get enough crime dramas in their TV diet.
  24. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 24, 2012
    58
    Thursday's series premiere ends up being watchable but not really something to phone your friends about.
  25. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 21, 2012
    80
    Purists will miss the trappings of 221B Baker Street. But Elementary is appealing on several counts. Count No. 1 is Miller.
  26. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 21, 2012
    80
    Along the way, Elementary should prove rather conclusively that it's a solid cousin to Sherlock and will give fans of the character more chances to see him solve crimes.
  27. Reviewed by: Zeba Blay
    Sep 18, 2012
    75
    It's sleek, smart, but doesn't take itself too seriously, managing to present what could have been a mere caricature wrapped up in the mythos of the Holmes character as a singular personality in his own right.
  28. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 14, 2012
    83
    Elementary exhibits enough stylish wit in its mood and look to quickly distinguish itself from the latest British "Sherlock" series.
  29. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 11, 2012
    75
    While the latest interpretation doesn't live up to the British import, it's still more entertaining than your typical CBS procedural.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 235 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 52
  2. Negative: 11 out of 52
  1. Sep 29, 2012
    2
    Holmes did not wow me; one is supposed to be mystified by his superior skills of deduction and intellect. Instead he frequently got things wrong, was difficult to understand, and did not live up to what Holmes is supposed to portray. I highly suggest BBC's "Sherlock" instead, it is much more captivating. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2012
    4
    A fairly generic procedural crime drama that uses Holmes and Watson in name only. Other than the names these characters are indistinguishable from the myriad of similar characters on similar shows. Just another case of the week show, only this one uses a big license to get people to pay attention. Without the name I don't think anyone would care at all, and even with the name I certainly do not. If you love procedurals then I am sure this will bring enjoyment, but if you are in it for Sherlock Holmes then you will be sadly disappointed as he is not here. Watch (or rewatch) the superior BBC show Sherlock. Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    3
    BBC's Sherlock is more intriguing, fascinating and interesting. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a great partnership, while Lucy Liu as Joan Watson (seriously) and this Sherlock don't have any atom of Chemistry. Full Review »