Elementary : Season 1

  • Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 27, 2012
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 297

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. 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. Collapse
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    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
    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.
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  6. 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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  7. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    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
    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.
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  8. Mar 10, 2015
    10
    This is one of my favorite, "can't miss" shows. In addition to the clever and interesting mysteries, what I find compelling is the slowly unfolding relationship between Waston and Holmes which opens one petal at a time each week. Jonnie Miller's Holmes is so much more interesting than Cumberbach's, I think the awards last year went to the wrong Holmes. Lucy Lui's very reserved and stoicThis is one of my favorite, "can't miss" shows. In addition to the clever and interesting mysteries, what I find compelling is the slowly unfolding relationship between Waston and Holmes which opens one petal at a time each week. Jonnie Miller's Holmes is so much more interesting than Cumberbach's, I think the awards last year went to the wrong Holmes. Lucy Lui's very reserved and stoic Watson is a wonderful counter play to Holmes bouncing off the walls. I've always been a Sherlock Holmes fan and have read the books, seen the movies, old and more current versions, have seen the BBC Sherlock and this is by far the best of them all. Expand
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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. 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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  14. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    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
  15. 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.
  16. Oct 9, 2012
    7
    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
    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.
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  17. Oct 25, 2012
    9
    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!
  18. 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
  19. 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).
  20. Sep 28, 2012
    9
    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 characterIn 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
  21. 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 certainlyA 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. May 30, 2013
    6
    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 wasThis 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
  25. qev
    Aug 17, 2014
    10
    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
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Jan 29, 2013
    10
    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
  29. 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.
  30. 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
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. People Weekly
    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.