Elementary : Season 1

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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 27, 2012
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Elementary Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 296 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: After a stint in rehab, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) resumes work, this time consulting with the NYPD. His father, however, has appointed him a sober companion in the form of Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu).
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 4, 2012
    88
    [A] highly satisfying update. [8 Oct 2012, p.57]
  2. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 14, 2012
    83
    Elementary exhibits enough stylish wit in its mood and look to quickly distinguish itself from the latest British "Sherlock" series.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    Stylishly directed, Elementary is one loaded show, including its wonderful, well-matched leads.
  4. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    Elementary will probably infuriate Sherlock Holmes purists, but other viewers are likely to find it gripping and well cast.
  5. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 26, 2012
    75
    Miller is infinitely watchable as the twitchy detective, and I'm sure Liu will bring more to Watson if she's given the chance.
  6. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 27, 2012
    70
    Miller's approach may be different from Benedict Cumberbatch's in "Sherlock," but he's as riveting a screen presence. Even if you don't care about the weekly whodunit--and mostly, I don't--Elementary" could be fun.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 25, 2012
    40
    The two leads lack any kind of chemistry, platonic or otherwise, and the storytelling lacks the smarts and insight of one of TV's best Sherlockian creations, "House."

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 55
  2. Negative: 11 out of 55
  1. 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 LuiI 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 Expand
  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'sDid 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. 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. IGreat 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! Expand
  4. 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)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
  5. 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
    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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  6. 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 showI 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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  7. Dec 5, 2012
    0
    Desecrates Holmes and Watson. If they insist on a touchy feely show, leave out any references to Holmes. Typically American reworking,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. Expand

See all 55 User Reviews

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