Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Deductions on a few Mysteries

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen
Give a Mystery!

CBS remake of
Sherlock Holmes

It is the season of crime solving.  Of course, it's always the season of crime solving.  I can't remember a time when detective shows didn't fill a television line up.  Even as a child I remember watching my grandmother soaking up her weekly Murder She Wrote and Matlock.  (Is it really bad that I have the seriously old and seriously bad Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen song "Give us a Mystery" running through my head.  I only remember the title line, but it still keeps coming up.)

This week I enjoyed the third episode of Bones, the second episode of Castle, and the premiere of Elementary, the new Sherlock Holmes inspired series. Here are some thoughts and reviews. (Spoiler abound throughout, so back off now if you don't want to see them!)

Esposito & Ryan make up. Yay!
I'll start with a quick mention of Castle, since I talked pretty extensively about going into the new season last week. (Click here to check out last week's review.)  As I predicted, Castle was back to it's usual back and forth between Beckett and Castle while solving the case of the week.  I found the case interesting enough to keep my attention, and I was satisfied watching Esposito and Ryan make up.  Their relationship troubles has been bothering me.  I was happy to have the deep  stuff pushed to the side and have an episode keep it light.

Sweets getting kissed by his associate and assailant,
new FBI Agent Olivia Sparling
This Bones episode was my favorite so far this season, mostly for the same reasons as I enjoyed Castle.  It kept it light. Even the second episode had a tense tone as the couple stumbled around trying to figure out how to fit back into one another's lives.   For better or worse, it managed to keep it light by keeping Brennan & Booth out of the limelight.  Sweets is paired up with a new lady FBI agent. (Whom he totally likes and I'm confused by- are we supposed to want him to cheat on Daisy? I don't like cheaters... he needs to cut Daisy loose ASAP.)  Sweets and the new girl, Agent Olivia Sparling, do most of the mystery solving.    Booth and Brennan are barely active.  They are cute in the final scene.  I hope next week we let them do a bit more crime solving, but I'll take Booth in a t-shirt smiling and deciding Brennan can spend her paycheck on his, I'm sorry the baby's, new grill.

Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law
Blockbuster Film Sherlock & Watson
Now onto Elementary.  I will admit to being an avid Sherlock fan, and I was not ready to like this show.  Watson is not a girl, he's Martin Freeman.  I enjoy the latest Sherlock movies, but they aren't really Sherlock, they're hyped up Robert Downey, Jr. with an accent.  Enjoyable, but I don't really group them as Sherlock remakes. Another aspect is that  this new series isn't planning traditional Doyle based mysteries, at least not as of yet.  

Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman
BBC's Sherlock
First thoughts- I didn't make the connection from the still images I'd seen that our new Sherlock, Jonny Lee Miller, was Edmund in the 1999 version of Mansfield Park then moved on to Austen's Mr. Knightley in 2009.  I liked him ok in that, but this modern man is different.  He's a very British actor to me (despite having led the American series Eli Stone) in an iconic British role, but that's just not good enough for Americans.  We must move it to New York.  What's with that?  I mean, this is a week for Britains in NY (Doctor Who), but still.   According to IMDb, Miller's first role in 1982 was in Doctor Who, so points for him.  Also in my thoughts, I think lady Watson, Lucy Liu, as a sober companion is an annoying premise.  Watson should tag along because Sherlock is fascinating to him/her from the get go, not because he/she gets paid.  I do like that she wants to be called his companion. 

After completing the episode I felt something was missing.  I can take someone other than Cumberbatch as Sherlock, but I was missing that manic energy and arrogance.  This Sherlock, while showing moments of excitement, was a bit passive for me.  I didn't smile just watching him flummox people, and that's part of what makes Sherlock who he is.  The mystery itself didn't really intrigue me.   I still hated the British detective on American soil.  If you want a modern, American remake, then make him American.  Otherwise, leave him in Britain   It was just annoying throughout. This is a show that could make decent filler while you waited on Castle next week, and granted it's possible things might change, but I am less than intrigued. 
Best quote of this show, delivered by Watson.
"Just because you don't understand something
doesn't make it less awesome." 
There was one major redeeming quality- in the final scene Watson is watching baseball with Sherlock (against his will), and when he gets grumpy she gives him this amazing line that I loved.  "Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it not awesome."  Sherlock then proceeded to prove that he did understand, but this doesn't make the quote less fabulous.

Mini-rant: Don't count on me regularly watching Elementary.  I watch things online and on Hulu Plus, and CBS shows are mostly only viewable on the CBS website.   There were twice as many commercials as on Hulu, and twice it froze, so I had to reload.  After reloading I had to rewatch ads.  Since most people DVR things and don't even watch commercials, stations shouldn't alienate those of us who are watching them. 

Stay Shiny!

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