• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 27, 2012
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 268 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 268

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  1. Sep 13, 2013
    8
    I was a little worried when I first started watching because it is based off Sherlock Holmes and I didn't want to sit through a show that simply revisits the cases from the books. That being said, I love it. Miller is fantastic as Holmes and Liu is a wonderful lead actress who compliments the Holmes character well as Watson. The stories are enjoyable but a little bit predictable but stillI was a little worried when I first started watching because it is based off Sherlock Holmes and I didn't want to sit through a show that simply revisits the cases from the books. That being said, I love it. Miller is fantastic as Holmes and Liu is a wonderful lead actress who compliments the Holmes character well as Watson. The stories are enjoyable but a little bit predictable but still entertaining to watch.

    I'd recommend it, It's a pretty good show and I don't see how people can hate it let alone give it a negative review.
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  2. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    Did you love Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and BBC's Sherlock drama? Do you think because they were so good, that CBS's own take on Sherlock Holmes just couldn't compete? Well, you're wrong. It can, and it does. Elementary is e.v.e.r.y bit as brilliant as Sherlock. In fact, the two shows are extremely similar. After all, they both involve the same character, whom atDid you love Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and BBC's Sherlock drama? Do you think because they were so good, that CBS's own take on Sherlock Holmes just couldn't compete? Well, you're wrong. It can, and it does. Elementary is e.v.e.r.y bit as brilliant as Sherlock. In fact, the two shows are extremely similar. After all, they both involve the same character, whom at this point has been made to be pretty unique. When you have a character like Sherlock Holmes, you need the writing to make him seem as brilliant as he is, and Elementary has that writing. I WILL say, that the character of Watson, as portrayed by the lovely Lucy Liu, is not as deep of a character as Martin Freeman's Watson. However, because Elementary has so many more episode than BBC's Sherlock, and the writing really is just as brilliant, I have grown to love Lucy's Watson, and Johnny's Sherlock even more than Freeman and Cumberbatch. It's important to understand that simply because there are more episodes, we get more character development, more brilliant deductions and crazy stories, and more Sherlock! I highly recommend this show to fans of Sherlock, mystery, and brilliant writing. If you enjoy this show, you will also enjoy the new series, "The Blacklist" which is also very intelligent. Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2012
    4
    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.
  4. Oct 12, 2012
    6
    I'm not going to compare the both versions of the Sherlock because they both are too different when considered solely. Elementary has both good and bad sides. Good sides being Jonny Lee Miller's amazing performance as Sherlock Holmes, and good overall direction of the show. Bad sides being the whole idea of having a female support to Sherlock Holmes, I'm not impressed by that because itI'm not going to compare the both versions of the Sherlock because they both are too different when considered solely. Elementary has both good and bad sides. Good sides being Jonny Lee Miller's amazing performance as Sherlock Holmes, and good overall direction of the show. Bad sides being the whole idea of having a female support to Sherlock Holmes, I'm not impressed by that because it sucks. Additionally, this series doesn't have any slow-motion scenes/shots similar to BBC's version and Robert Downey, Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes movies. Overall, I can still say that I am going to keep on watching this series because "Sherlock Holmes", I wouldn't miss that! Expand
  5. Oct 27, 2012
    5
    I don't mind a modern "Sherlock Holmes" variation and I like both Miller and Liu. Although in this case, given Holmes' personality, the show could also be called "Sherlock House".
    Miller is the one who fuels the show with energy, something you can't say about Lucy Liu.
    Sadly, there's no immediate chemistry between the two and Watson, albeit her backstory isn't a very interesting
    I don't mind a modern "Sherlock Holmes" variation and I like both Miller and Liu. Although in this case, given Holmes' personality, the show could also be called "Sherlock House".
    Miller is the one who fuels the show with energy, something you can't say about Lucy Liu.
    Sadly, there's no immediate chemistry between the two and Watson, albeit her backstory isn't a very interesting character and her motivation for assisting Holmes with his cases is not very compelling.
    But far more problematic is the fact that Holmes' observations and deductions only come across as razor sharp because the cops are depicted as incompetent fools, only standing around, stating the obvious and not seeing one bit past what's apparent to the eye.
    A high-level bank CEO dead in his big clean apartment with a heroin filled needle in his arm.
    The scene screams "murder staged as suicide". What do the cops say? "Accidental death". Oh come on, guys!
    I can look past the fact that Holmes' deductions often seem arbitrary and that others (e.g. the coroner) could come up with the same results and conclusions based on their own competence and work.
    But Holmes looking like a genius because the cops around him are seemingly idiots that do no police work is a weakness that's hard to swallow week after week.
    Thanks to Miller, the show still is watchable and it has the potential to be more the it is now, and that is just an average procedural.
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  6. Dec 11, 2012
    8
    Quickly people have compared Elementary to the UK version 'Sherlock', I've seen both seasons of the BBC show and I like it, but I don't love it. Whereas in Elementary I love the whole show, foremost in my mind is Jonny Miller as this version of the title character, the stories are engrossing and-up to now-it hasn't jumped on the 'Sherlock-Moriarty' band wagon like the other show did. TheQuickly people have compared Elementary to the UK version 'Sherlock', I've seen both seasons of the BBC show and I like it, but I don't love it. Whereas in Elementary I love the whole show, foremost in my mind is Jonny Miller as this version of the title character, the stories are engrossing and-up to now-it hasn't jumped on the 'Sherlock-Moriarty' band wagon like the other show did. The only downside I see is the lacklustre supporting cast, but we're only a few episodes in and there's nothing serious to complain about, Lucy Liu is rather decent in this show compared to the BBC's Martin Freeman.
    Will it continue to be engrossing with 16 episodes left(11-12-12/12-11-12) only tie will tell, but I'm hoping so.
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  7. Jan 25, 2015
    7
    I always found the “traditional” Sherlock Holmes stories incredibly boring and I am really glad this show is anything but.

    I truly like the idea of having Watson as a woman and the first series played brilliantly for me. I find Lee Miller’s Sherlock intriguing and interesting. His character is actually developing nicely and his relation with Watson (played by a not-as-good Lucy Liu) is
    I always found the “traditional” Sherlock Holmes stories incredibly boring and I am really glad this show is anything but.

    I truly like the idea of having Watson as a woman and the first series played brilliantly for me. I find Lee Miller’s Sherlock intriguing and interesting. His character is actually developing nicely and his relation with Watson (played by a not-as-good Lucy Liu) is one of the most intriguing and no-cliché that I have seen on TV in a long, long time.

    I just hope Lucy Liu will improve along the way, because she tends to be quite flat and not engaging, especially compared to the great Lee Miller performance.
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  8. Sep 28, 2012
    5
    An unremarkable police procedural that bears little resemblance to the Conan Doyle Sherlock (or Watson), except for the noncredibly keen observations followed by the inevitably accurate deductions. What annoys me most about this show is the hard to understand machine gun like dialogue coming from the Holmes character. I'm 72 years old, but my hearing can't be that bad.
  9. Oct 1, 2012
    3
    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
  10. Nov 27, 2012
    8
    Yet another procedural drama, with a twist. A modern day take on Sherlock Holmes starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Sherlock (Miller) comes across as the "House" of private detectives while his "companion" Watson (Liu) is the "Cuddy" character, keeping him in line as much as she can. It definitely works, though this seems like a bunch of borrowed ideas. Sherlock is very much aYet another procedural drama, with a twist. A modern day take on Sherlock Holmes starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Sherlock (Miller) comes across as the "House" of private detectives while his "companion" Watson (Liu) is the "Cuddy" character, keeping him in line as much as she can. It definitely works, though this seems like a bunch of borrowed ideas. Sherlock is very much a "mentalist" of sorts, inferring from the smallest of implications. His wide range of expertise combined with his attention to detail makes him a very good, yet neurotic, consultant for the police. He is accompanied by Joan Watson, a companion hired by Sherlock's father due to a bout of drug use in Sherlock's recent past. She is to keep him clean, and help him recover; but he ends up using her to help him solve cases. The chemistry between them is very tense at moments, yet Watson seems to break through Sherlock's barrier at least a few times. I would recommend this show to anyone who's looking for a police procedural with a twist, or Sherlock Holmes fans with an appreciation of the present as well as the past. Rating it an 8/10. Expand
  11. Feb 15, 2014
    7
    While Elementary struggles to be half as smart as BBC's Sherlock, it does prove to be entertaining enough on its own if you forget Benedict Cumberbatch's finest hours on telly. It is a good time filler in between the waiting time between the BBC's next batch of Sherlock episodes that are yet to be filmed.

    Don't get too excited over watching this interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's
    While Elementary struggles to be half as smart as BBC's Sherlock, it does prove to be entertaining enough on its own if you forget Benedict Cumberbatch's finest hours on telly. It is a good time filler in between the waiting time between the BBC's next batch of Sherlock episodes that are yet to be filmed.

    Don't get too excited over watching this interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic consulting detective; just take it for what it is and it should be fine.
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  12. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    This series is fantastic. Screw BBC-s Sherlock Holmes. Elementary is an awesome series i give it 10 points! It is funny, interesting and i can only recommend it to all those Sherlock Holmes lovers out there. Awesome CBS keep it going! :D
  13. Nov 1, 2012
    8
    This show has started off with a lot of promise. Though it doesn't introduce many new things, the genuinely committed performances by Miller and Liu make it worth watching. The twists are sometimes surprising. Give this show a few more seasons, and I think it'll get it's niche.
  14. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is so dramatic and very funny sometimes with its quotes. Also, it's funny because of Sherlock! He is always so nervous! He has his own room always upside down! Such a lunatic person!

    All the episodes had a very complicated and encoded connection in one way or another, which makes it more mysterious and adventurous! My best episode: 110 The Leviathan!

    The filming set is very good. Each viewing angle has been filmed perfectly.

    Cant wait for season's 2 episodes
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  15. Feb 4, 2013
    10
    This is an interesting new way of looking at Sherlock Holmes. Taking place in New York, in the present, with Watson as a super hot woman. The mysteries are expertly conceived. The recent introduction of Moriarty's involvement in the series (episode 12), AMAZING!
  16. Feb 3, 2013
    0
    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.
  17. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    I started this show recently, and think that it has many good aspects to it. I think there should have been more episodes dedicated to the main plot than there were. The main plot was very good, and I think there were too many episodes on random missions that Watson and Sherlock take part in. Though they were interesting, there were far too many. Nevertheless, the show shows a lot ofI started this show recently, and think that it has many good aspects to it. I think there should have been more episodes dedicated to the main plot than there were. The main plot was very good, and I think there were too many episodes on random missions that Watson and Sherlock take part in. Though they were interesting, there were far too many. Nevertheless, the show shows a lot of promise and I'm looking forward to the next season. Expand
  18. Oct 2, 2012
    9
    I enjoyed the new House. I doubt it will be as good, but it was better than most attempts at something new. It sort of reminds me of that Police show set in NYC where the detective was an immortal. I can't remember the name. The real question is, how soon will it get old. I'll tell you one thing, anytime you can replace an old crusty Dr. Watson with a smoking hot Lucy Liu, you should.
  19. Nov 16, 2012
    8
    I have seen episodes 1 through 7, and I would recommend this show to everyone but younger children. The first episode suffered from terrible writing, but the rest of the episodes have been excellent, and the acting has been wonderful. The mysteries are interesting (enough) and the completely-platonic relationship between Holmes and Watson is refreshing.
  20. Dec 19, 2012
    8
    Good show. Nice to see Miller & Liu on tv again. Some episodes were a bit boring but in general, I really like this show. There's good character development for Sherlock & Watson. I also like that they show different sides of them: e.g. funny, serious, sad, etc. Sherlock is a fascinating character. What I admire about him is that he does whatever he wants & doesn't care about othersGood show. Nice to see Miller & Liu on tv again. Some episodes were a bit boring but in general, I really like this show. There's good character development for Sherlock & Watson. I also like that they show different sides of them: e.g. funny, serious, sad, etc. Sherlock is a fascinating character. What I admire about him is that he does whatever he wants & doesn't care about others perceptions of him. Watson is there to temper his wildness, which she does very well. Looking forward to seeing more of this show. Expand
  21. Oct 9, 2012
    1
    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?!
  22. Oct 21, 2012
    9
    If you expect something like BBC's "Sherlock" you'll probably won't like it. In my opinion Jonny Lee Miller can't keep up with the Sherlock that Benedict Cumberbatch delivered.
    But still this show is different and has a fresh new approach to Sherlock Holmes. I find it to be entertaining, the acting is alright and the stories have been fun too (four episodes so far).
  23. Oct 2, 2014
    4
    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 andIn 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.
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  24. Dec 4, 2012
    0
    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 beIt 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
  25. Nov 7, 2012
    3
    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. YouJust 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
  26. Feb 16, 2013
    9
    When BF made me watch it I was skeptical. Another procedural? Cute Asian chick as Watson? I read Sherlock as a kid and that casting is just weird. Then again Homeland and Dexter and Breaking Bad are still in the works. Nothing much to watch so I sat through two episodes... At first Lucy Liu just felt too flat and subtle in contrast to Jonny Lee Miller's OTT mad theatrical style. As theWhen BF made me watch it I was skeptical. Another procedural? Cute Asian chick as Watson? I read Sherlock as a kid and that casting is just weird. Then again Homeland and Dexter and Breaking Bad are still in the works. Nothing much to watch so I sat through two episodes... At first Lucy Liu just felt too flat and subtle in contrast to Jonny Lee Miller's OTT mad theatrical style. As the fast pace story progressed...I GOT HOOKED. There's a point to their high contrast delivery! Well-written plots, well directed pacing, quick yet allow for character's personalities to shine through. No boring get-this-over-and-done-with-quick moments, not overly procedural-ish...no cheesy weirdness, only surprises after surprises. Well done Elementary team! Can't wait for next series.... Quiicccckkk! Expand
  27. rcj
    Feb 1, 2013
    10
    Johnny Lee Miller is AMAZING Lucy Lu is always perfect and the show is intelligent, well-written,. directed and cast. I'd rather eat dirt than miss an episode.
  28. 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.
  29. Oct 6, 2012
    8
    So far, so good! It's not as good as the recent BBC version of a modern Sherlock Holmes but it is quite good, quite well acted and produced. Sherlock's observations and deductions are for the most part believable and it is interesting throughout. I will watch this one regularly.
  30. Jun 12, 2013
    8
    Sherlock Holmes wasn't about horse drawn carts, or the nineteenth century, it was about an amazing detective and his sidekick. For me, Dr. Watson is more of a role than an actual gender, so the fact that Watson is played by a woman doesn't bother me. This show brings an exciting update to the ancient stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. We start off by seeing a new Holmes, almost the polarSherlock Holmes wasn't about horse drawn carts, or the nineteenth century, it was about an amazing detective and his sidekick. For me, Dr. Watson is more of a role than an actual gender, so the fact that Watson is played by a woman doesn't bother me. This show brings an exciting update to the ancient stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. We start off by seeing a new Holmes, almost the polar opposite of his BBC counterpart. This Holmes could quite possibly be regarded as a Hipster. Nonetheless, the way he gracefully danced around the first crime scene was awe inspiring; it was like it was Jonny Lee Miller's natural habitat. Also, the chemistry established in the first exchange between Holmes and Watson was strong. Before watching this show, I was quite nervous because there was already a similar program already present. After watching the pilot, I was instantly hooked on this quirky new update. It is far too different to "Sherlock" to be compared to it. I was also worried that the show would become a police procedural drama, but that's when I remembered that 56 of the 60 Sherlock Holmes stories were basically a police procedural. I can't wait to see what this show brings us for the next season and hope to see many more seasons following closely. Expand
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.