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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 241

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  1. Sep 27, 2012
    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. Expand
  2. Sep 29, 2012
    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.
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    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.
  4. Dec 4, 2012
    It is impossible not to compare "Elementary" with "Sherlock". If it weren't for the success of the latter, there would have been no motivation to develop another modern-day version of Holmes. However "Elementary" falls short on every single feature the British counterpart exceeds in. For example, if you think "Elementary" is stylish, you just haven't watched "Sherlock." Same thing could be said of the intelligence behind the scripts and the way suspense is handled; the chemistry between Watson and Holmes; the villains (Moriarty is genius in "Sherlock"); and acting, in general. Expand
  5. Oct 9, 2012
    I don't really know what it's trying to be. Modern Sherlock Holmes? Meh. BBC Sherlock? Fail. Crime Drama? So-so. Can CBS please bring something new to the table next time?!
  6. Oct 1, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is not Sherlock Holmes. The writing is lazy and not creative at all. Holmes is supposed to be brilliant at the art of deduction, but he only appears brilliant because he is surrounded by idiots. For example, in the case a victim's phone goes missing and the police brush it off and say it was lost. Just stupid stuff like that. There is absolutely no chemistry between watson and holmes. I don't mean sexual, I mean chemistry friends would have because I know they don't want them to be together. They aren't a good fit. Overall this is your run of the mill crime drama, where one person is smart and everyone else is stupid. So if you like that, then have at it. If you want something with good writing, interesting stories, and characters watch anything else. Expand
  7. TJN
    Oct 1, 2012
    Elementary throws a gender bomb into Holmes and Watson and the result fizzles with tepid writing and a weak dynamic between the iconic pair. Johnny Lee Miller's Sherlock is a kept dillatante on the leash of his father at one end and the feminized Watson at the other. There is nothing interesting or mysterious about Holmes and his deductive talents are bragged about but seldom shown. Miller minces about while Liu rolls her eyes at his antics. This retelling brings change for its own sake with nothing else to offer. Expand
  8. Oct 5, 2012
    There is no point in this show existing. There are already countless depictions of Sherlock Holmes that are eons better. Especially because Elementary seems to forget that they are calling these characters by familiar names because they are from a certain source material but instead goes for the sad illusion that people will watch anything they love being butchered because they are a fan. Instead I was watching the saddest caricature of the most common piles of tropes and cliches. Every single moment 'Sherlock' was on screen I wanted to punch him. And Joan. Joan. Why change the gender of a pivotal character? ROMANCE, I'm assuming, based on the assumption that it is physically impossible to create something without it shoehorned and in the fashion that I imagine would need a bloody knife for. And then all we get is a migraine as I have to watch the typical girlfriend cutout screeching and rolling her eyes. Goody. Just watch House, or Sherlock. Really I imagine that whoever made this was disappointed House had ended and they were stuck with having to come up with something original until they remembered they can make a terrible, terrible, in name only adaption and pretend to be clever or showing respect to the source. Expand
  9. Nov 7, 2012
    Just a generic police procedural. Doesn't really feel like Holmes. It feels like they're trying not to be the Sherlock Holmes film or BBC's Sherlock, and thus loses something. The Characters may as well be called James and Margaret, will not make any difference. Feels like they are using the names just to drive interest, and do not want to make any justice to the original characters. You can get something good from that, (but no longer is Holmes) but this isn't that good. Expand
  10. Dec 5, 2012
    Desecrates Holmes and Watson. If they insist on a touchy feely show, leave out any references to Holmes. Typically American reworking, Watson steps in to humanize and dumb down Holmes. As soon as Lucy took over, I knew it was doomed. Goodbye subtle, intelligent television.
  11. Sep 28, 2012
    I gave it to the first commercial. Police show with eccentric detective, whose eccentricities have been worn thin. Holmes was great before I was born and modernizing him makes him look......yawn.
  12. Feb 3, 2013
    I was bored watching the first episode of this show...when they introduced "Watson" as a woman, I just rolled my eyes. This is just another lame, crime-drama that borrows from other shows and uses the names from Sherlock Holmes stories to gain viewers.
  13. Jan 10, 2013
    There is nothing about yhis show that is redeeming. A steaming pile of cra p that like a lot of american tv, tries to be successful by copying someone elses ideas. Please stop producing this shi t or if you do, please dont export it to australia. Why? Why bother?

    This new sherlock is like a sex deprived loser who spouts nonsensical verbal diareah. Whats next? Winnie the pooh reimagined
    as a crack dealer who bums tigger in a gimp suit.... stop making this cra p. Collapse
  14. Oct 2, 2014
    In trying too hard to be original this show just seems to want to re-write the original characters in a contemporary way but it s missing the mark. I'm sure the producers were trying to make him different than the Cumberbatch Sherlock but went way overboard on it. Here Sherlock Holmes is a recovering drug addict, he's unclean and unshaven most of the time, is a slob, lives in a dump and looks like a bum. He's got a skilled surgeon who lost her confidence who is now a sponsor/social worker for recovering drug addict but then converts to detective work. For me that s a stretch. Now there s also Miller's robotic, unemotional rendering of the character that grates on my nerves (when i can understand what he's saying)
    Notwitstanding those character flaws, the stories themselves are entertaining and the supporting cast is adequate. I don't see this show having a very long run.
  15. Nov 17, 2014
    Just finished the first season and am not itching to see the second -- although I will probably see it. This obviously LOW budget sleuth drama is somewhat entertaining. Interesting to have a female Watson and nemesis. Some story lines are better than others. I LOVE Gregson. It is hard to buy Miller as Sherlock (Miller looks so emaciated and pasty). His acting is fine but he exudes absolutely no charisma. Lucy Liu is ok but doesn't emote as much as she should. I like it a tad better than Sherlock which became too fast paced, too techy -- like watching a smart phone. I condemned it after the second season although I could watch Benedict forever. Elementary -- is not bad and not good -- it is well -- elementary. Expand

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
    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
    [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.