• 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. Sep 28, 2012
    In spite of the dubiousness of the proposal of another modernization of the legendary Mr.Holmes, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. With it's suitably holmsian narrative and handsomely shot scenes, the New-york version gives some promising performances despite trying to avoid similarities with its contemporary British version. Should be an interesting watch to observe the character arc of the new Mr.Holmes and Ms.Watson. Expand
  6. Oct 25, 2012
    Great show! Love the banter between Holmes and Watson. Much lighter than CSI, more like the detective shows of the 80's, which I loved. I really enjoy Miller's version of Sherlock. Great job CBS!
  7. Nov 16, 2012
    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.
  8. Jan 29, 2013
    I watched the BBC's Sherlock before watching this. Sherlock is boring, but this is exciting. Jonny Miller's acting is fantastic, Lucy Lui not that much. There were a few boring episodes, but overall the best new series
  9. Oct 9, 2012
    This it is solely based on the pilot episode.

    As someone who has watched Sherlock, I can't help but compare the two shows. But I'm going to do my best to keep an open mind and remember that Elementary and Sherlock are completely separate entities. So, unlike just about every other review of this show, I'm going to avoid the topic of BBC's Sherlock.

    The show begins with Sherlock
    Holmes' first day out of rehab. His new sober companion, Joan Watson meets him at his house to help him make the transition back to the real world as smooth and natural as possible. She is supposed to be staying with him for six weeks, but since a show that only spans six weeks (besides 24) would either be a failure or a mini-series, Watson will clearly stay for longer. She will, no doubt, fall in love with Sherlock's way of thinking and puzzle-solving and stay on as his sidekick for a long time. I say "fall in love with his way of thinking," because the creators promised that there will be no chance of the two of them getting together romantically.

    We don't learn too much about Joan Watson in the pilot. We know that she was a surgeon who left her job to become a drug sitter, which is quite unusual for someone who has never had issues with drugs. She is easily intrigued (she quickly caught interest in Sherlock's way of thinking and the case he was investigating) and fairly quick to anger. Hopefully her personality will expand soon, because right now, she is neither interesting nor relatable.

    On the flip side of the coin, we learn quite a bit about Sherlock. He used to be a consultant for Scotland Yard, which gave him the freedom to work as he saw fit and he didn't have to answer to anyone, which would clearly be a major difficulty for him. As Arthur Conan Doyle intended, Sherlock is hyper observant, he can determine an occupation from the calluses on one's hands and will notice if the tiniest detail doesn't add up. But he isn't afraid to fact check, Google is his friend. He can keep a ridiculous assortment of facts in his head, he's writing an entire book without writing anything down! Manipulating people comes easily to him, and he doesn't hesitate to do so in any situation.

    One thing about Sherlock's brilliance that really irked me was that so much of what he deciphers would be impossible, even for a savant to do. He figures out the exact outcome of a baseball game, down to the plays. He would have to know every single statistic about every player on the field and be lucky for that to happen. But sometimes it's the little things that drive me the most crazy.

    Since this is a police (more or less) show on CBS, you should definitely expect a standard procedural with some elements of Doyle's work. If you are a big fan of either procedurals or Sherlock Holmes (or both!), you should definitely tune in. If you tend to only follow serialized shows, this is not going to be your new favorite show. I have very little doubt that Elementary will become a hit, seeing as crime procedurals are what CBS does best. And if Watson becomes a genuine, lovable character and the writers manage to keep the cases interesting, I think that Elementary has a real shot at being a fun, captivating show.
  10. rcj
    Feb 1, 2013
    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.
  11. Nov 1, 2012
    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.
  12. Jan 12, 2013
    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. Sep 28, 2012
    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.
  14. Dec 11, 2012
    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. 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.
  15. Feb 16, 2013
    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 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
  16. 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?!
  17. 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
  18. Jan 13, 2013
    It´s funny because everyonee is extremely sexist about the female watson, calm down we are not in the Victorian era. Also, NBC has the right to make their own version of sherlock holmes it´s not like Sherlock were the first to make an adaptation. Aside from that, this is a good detective-like show
  19. Oct 2, 2012
    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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Oct 6, 2012
    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.
  23. Oct 21, 2012
    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).
  24. 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
  25. Oct 12, 2012
    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 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
  26. Nov 27, 2012
    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 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
  27. 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.
  28. Dec 19, 2012
    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 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
  29. Feb 4, 2013
    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!
  30. 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.
  31. Mar 16, 2013
    I'm failing to see how a comparison between Elementary and Sherlock, which I love as well, could yield a resulting score of 0.0 for this show. What is wrong with people? Is there only place for a single show of every topic, and every other must automatically be entirely useless?

    Yes Elementary is not as lofty and stylish as Sherlock. But it is more down to earth, and the characters are
    more relatable. Which, in my book, is worth something. Plus I really find Miller's take on Sherlock Holmes refreshing. And someone was mentioning there not being any chemistry between the characters... have you even watched the show more than 5 minutes? I think there is more than enough space for two Sherlock Holmes shows on TV, and both of the work fine and are highly entertaining. At least I think so. Expand
  32. 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.
  33. Sep 13, 2013
    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 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.
  34. Sep 10, 2013
    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
  35. 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. Expand
  36. May 30, 2013
    This show is worth investigating if you are looking for a crime/mystery series that deviates from the established norms of CSI and its contemporaries. As a fan of the Sherlock Holmes movies and the BBC Sherlock television series, I find Elementary to be a much looser interpretation of the Holmes universe. This is not necessarily a good thing, as the changes serve to drag down what was previously a great series (the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes to mind). Regardless of what anyone else says, the casting of Watson as a woman negatively impacts the unique Holmes-Watson relationship, which was one of the most enjoyable features of the original series (for me personally, this decision was an unforgivable sin). Holmes' deductive skills also suffer, as many of his deductions are unrealistic or lack consideration for possible alternative conclusions (I never felt this way with the BBC series). On top of this, the show generally lacks the level of clever writing found in other renditions of Holmes (it is not awful, but it's not good either). I will continue to watch Elementary, but only to hold me over until the BBC series resumes. Expand
  37. Apr 26, 2013
    Yes Sherlock is much better! I know! I love Sherlock as well! But this series is very different and very good! Now onto the review:
    Elementary is a very different take on the Sherlock character. I really liked the way this series focused on what it's like to be Sherlock Holmes and slightly less on the cases (Which can be good or forgettable). I am still waiting for Moriarty to make his
    appearance because I do feel that this series needs some kind of overarching villain (There is still time for that though).
    This series does however have a habit of people receiving potentially fatal injuries but being ok afterwards.
    This series has great performances by all the main cast especially Johnny Lee Miller. Also Watson is actually being taught by Sherlock at how to be a detective.
    Yes I know Watson is a girl but don't worry there isn't really any major changes to her personality.
    So all in all I enthusiastically recommend this series.
  38. Oct 10, 2013
    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 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
  39. Feb 15, 2014
    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. Expand
  40. Jun 9, 2013
    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 of promise and I'm looking forward to the next season. Expand
  41. Oct 27, 2012
    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.
  42. Apr 8, 2013
    It's practically unavoidable that this show doesn't get compared to BBC's earlier take on setting Sherlock Holmes in modern times, however I believe some of the reviews written here do it quite an injustice. If you believe this series to be worth a 0, then apparently you don't really know what bad is.

    Considering I like BBC's Sherlock, although I believe the 2nd season didn't quite live
    up to the first, it's not impossible for one to appreciate both renditions. Yes Watson is a woman. Yes, Sherlock makes mistakes. However it's these differences which makes me like the series. We get a stronger character as Watson as opposed to a 'lackey' of sorts. And a Sherlock Holmes who is not infallible, which makes for a far more likable character than other versions I've seen.

    The observation that Elementary is at it's core a police procedural is correct, however it's one that does it right. It's because Sherlock makes mistaken deductions, or ones that seem wrong but end up being right on the nose, a case is mostly not obvious from the get go. The twist and turns in most episodes makes me want to keep on watching despite it 'merely' being a police procedural.
  43. Jun 12, 2013
    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 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
  44. Jun 12, 2013
    I love this show. Holmes' deductive reasoning is a great take on the run on the crime of the mill crime show. The show moves at a great pace and both the male and female leads are easy to look at.

    The only reason I don't give it a ten is because it changes it's formula later on in the season and I didn't really like that. Watch the show, just do it.
  45. Nov 22, 2013
    This incarnation of Holmes may not be as flashy as some more recent takes on the character, but Miller brings so much energy and uniqueness to the role and it's so enjoyable just to tune in and watch him every week. Lucy Liu's Watson is no hapless sidekick and does a great job as both a foil to the more quirky Miller while being a great character in her own right.
  46. Dec 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sherlock Holmes has finally come to America! As an avid fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works, as well as television-show crazy, I have to admit that I didn't expect much from this Sherlock redo. However, after the first season, I was blown away by the ingeniously produced show, Elementary.
    The first thing that caught my attention was how similar the plot was to the real books that Doyle wrote. When explained, Sherlock's actions were all simple even though they did not appear so at first, giving me the same feeling that I got when reading the books. Also, the TV Show did not have the distracting sideline romance between Sherlock and Watson (who was in this case, a woman. Well casted!) that often gets in the way of a TV show. Also, in the first season, the last few episodes built on a mysterious figure from Sherlock's past, Jamie Moriarty/Irene Adler, both adaptations from book characters. The finale revealed almost everything, withholding some information to build suspense for the next season. Romance sort of got in the way in Season two, as Watson and Mycroft (Sherlock's brother) got too involved with each other, and the mysteries have been somewhat more obvious.
    Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller perfectly personify their characters. Chosen to represent Watson, Liu has the professionalism of the surgeon she used to be, as well as a captivating yet strict personality that often gets Sherlock frustrated by her limits. Jonny Lee Miller incorporates the old all-assuming air of the old Sherlock Holmes while adding his own sort of modern spin and humor into his character. The series has covered nearly all of the characters mentioned in the Adventures, Memoirs, and Return of Sherlock Holmes, something that not all TV shows have been able to do (*cough* *cough* Sherlock cough*) I also really liked how the casters changed many female actors to have male roles.
    Unlike the "cheesiness" of some blood and effects in other shows, Sherlock had exemplary special effects and closely resembled authentic NYPD protocol. The music seemed to come in at right times, with the right themes, and never obscured the meaning of any of the words. However, Miller's British accent spoken softly (which he did rather often) interfered with my comprehension so I had to watch the show with captions more than once.
    All in all, Elementary is the best adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that I have ever watched, and I look forward to the remainder of the season and (hopefully!) more seasons to come. If you're on the border between watching Sherlock and Elementary, I strongly recommend Elementary. It won't disappoint! Check it out if you haven't watched it, and hopefully you will become a die hard fan like many of us
  47. Jan 6, 2014
    Nothing like the tired old attempts at re hashing the same old style thank god. Its about time a new perspective was put on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character and this is it. Sherlock has arrived in the present day. Jonny Lee Miller I.M.L.T.H.O has relegated all those before him to pretenders to the throne the same can be said of Lucy Liu`s Watson. No doubt there`s loads of sticks stuck in the mud denigrating it with banal statements like "its Americanised" but who cares. Its better and is a refreshing slant on something that has been getting tired. Excellent Expand
  48. Jan 24, 2014
    Jonny Lee Miller's rendition of Sherlock Holmes is simply the best portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in modern media yet. That, combined with the interesting dynamics between Watson and Holmes, the witty writing and interesting cases, make this one a winner.
  49. Mar 14, 2014
    I really like the characters in this show - but why must so many in the cast mumble? I hadn't brought it up previously because I am in my 50's and have a hearing aid, but recently I have realized that many people I know of varying ages have simply stopped watching the show because it is so frustrating to lose three-fourth's of what Sherlock and Watson say. What a shame! I am on the verge myself of giving up.... Expand
  50. qev
    Aug 17, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Elementary is an exceptional piece of work. J Lee M is bang on his character. that's his character, not the one written by Conan Doyle. of course, shows with such weighty subjects as The Most Famous Fictional Detective Television Has Ever Seen will attract its detractors who stand tip-toe in the wings for any sign of proof they were right all along in saying "No, no, i knew it would never work, didn't i tell you? no? are you sure? well, i told someone!" will ALWAYS find fault, no matter how obscure, in their insatiable need to exercise their well-honed righteous indignation, which is why they do it, and which is why good actors rarely if ever heed the bluff and guffaws of the critic. you know when you're in a pile of tosh, i certainly have in my lengthy career, and if you know what you're doing and how the show stands up to your own critical professional values and those of your trusted and equally committed colleagues you can walk any length of carpet, red or otherwise, with your head held high, and with no fear of facing either a damning personal review OR, worst of all, that nemesis of many a once sure-fire winner, a jumping shark. my only criticism is very slight, and one that has been addressed to the point that now i simply don't care, my mind has been changed, and for the greater good and even deeper depth of my enjoyment. i speak of the dreaded D-word. having read the entire opera of Sherlock Holmes novelettes a number of times over the years i understand his predilection for infrequent forays into varied mind-bending intoxicants, and it's not difficult to see a/ why, and b/ why not, it doing neither him nor his trusted companion and closest friend (which the uber-talented Miss Liu performs effortlessly, top marks) John Watson any noticeable harm at all. indeed, Holmes is vocally pro the D-word, noting astutely and correctly the enormous benefits to his sociopathic character after having imbibed such nefarious narcotics. no, Mr Miller pulls off HIS characters various and chronic (in the way Holmes is NOT addicted, chronic nor otherwise) addictions with absolute believability, as indeed he does with his personal, rarely private, yet invariably rather painful path to achieving freedom from them. in all, a truly masterful piece of drama, littered with countless equally masterful classes on the craft of acting. from the top two to pretty much everyone else. it brims with vignettes, nuances, and the moments delicate. beautifully and consummately crafted. a real joy. hence a ten. unlike 'Sherlock' to which, even in fairness for the work and effort clearly gone into it, there is no comparison. i mean, nicotine patches? don't be daft! Expand
  51. May 2, 2014
    Johnny Lee is awesome - writing is very witty. Right on par with the English version (both really engaging and entertaining shows), I actually grew to like Elementary a little more by the end of Season 1.
  52. Aug 6, 2014
    Whoever is giving this show less than an 8/10 is just ridiculous! This show is addicting, creative, and will blow your mind! I discovered this show a month ago and ever since then I've been watching it non stop. I've seen a few of Lucy Liu's movies since I was in my teenage years and I'm so glad that she is doing a show now because I absolutely love her acting and as for Jonny Miller I haven't really seen any of his other shows/movies, but his acting in this tv series is outstanding. Can't wait to see season 3! Expand
  53. 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.
  54. 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.