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Cut for spoilers! And gifs!

So far, I am mostly ambivalent about Arrow. It's definitely better than I expected it to be, but I don't feel like it's 'great' yet. I feel like this show is still settling. The characters are definitely not what I think of when I think of Green Arrow or Black Canary (that's still Bruce Timm's version), but they're interesting interpretations of these characters. It hasn't really grabbed me yet though and I'll be honest in saying that I'm mostly sticking around because John Barrowman is due to show up soon. Also, sticking around because Kelly Hu is playing China White and Kelly Hu is AWESOME (start 1:18 in):

They really needed this fight scene to be longer though... and with better shot choices.

I'd been on the fence about watching 'Elementary' since I'm a big fan of 'Sherlock' and not a huge fan of American adaptions of good British TV. However, once the casting of Lucy Liu of Watson was announced, I decided to give it the ol' 3 episode try: if I can't make it through 3 eps, then it's gone from my sights.

Surprisingly, I really liked it. It's definitely NOT BBC's 'Sherlock', but it's a fun show that focuses a lot more on the friendship between Sherlock and Joan Watson instead of the cases. This Sherlock is still arrogant, awkward around other people, thoughtless, and wrapped up in his own work, but he's a Sherlock that's recovering from being fucked up which makes him more compassionate. There's a genuine interest in people there, it's still mostly as puzzles, but he's a bit more aware of that there's more to people than the puzzle. Joan still has to step in and tell him to shut up often but when he notices that she's starting to get interested in the art of deduction, he does warn her that people don't always deal well with it. Intellectually, I think Cumberbatch's Holmes is smarter than Miller's, but Miller's has more of a sense of awareness of his surroundings because he's gotten his head somewhat tugged out of his own ass. Cumberbatch's Holmes is still stuck in his 'mind ass palace'.

It's probably no surprise that I love Joan Watson. An Asian-American female BAMF-ing Watson is something I could see a fan do but did not expect it ever to be on actual television. Also, Lucy Liu is a fabulous actress and works well with Johnny Lee Miller's recovering Sherlock Holmes. Like the Watsons before her, she's damaged but instead of having been through Afganistan, she was a top surgeon who had failed to save a patient. I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't keep the war veteran backstory but it doesn't make her less of a bad ass. She doesn't put up with any of Sherlock's crap, she's good at coaxing him out of his shell and when he's wrapped up in a case and has to keep plowing through, she's good at keeping him going until the job is done. There are still elements of Watson missing in her, such as chronicling their adventures, but there have only bee 4 episodes so far so maybe it'll come up. I'm still hoping that she'll be a crack shot, or she can't be that, be a master martial artist (which Lucy Liu is).

As much as I enjoy Martin Freeman's Watson, I feel like Lucy Liu's Watson is a lot more proactive and better at getting Sherlock Holmes to share knowledge with her and behave. She also dives right into the crime scene after the first episode, digging around with gloves on to discover vital information and important observations where Freeman's Watson was definitely more hesitant and careful about interfering in police work. Also, Liu's Watson does this:

(gifs from here)
You know Freeman's Watson would've just gone over and poured it after one 'Hurry up!' look from Holmes.

In terms of the cases, they're okay. Still entertaining but not full of complicated puzzles like the BBC Sherlock series. The focus on this series is definitely the relationship between Holmes and Watson and I like that. I don't think these two will be a couple, but I like how they're slowly getting to know each other. They're not friends, not yet, but they're seeing the impressive, amazing things in each other very clearly and have managed to gain a solid foundation of respect for the other person.

Cinematography-wise, it's pretty clean and competent. The shots move well and progress the story nicely. There was one shot that was reminiscent of the BBC Sherlock that was used for showing evidence on people, and that was weird because it was strangely grainy and had a filter on it, but they've only used it once and hopefully they won't anymore. BBC's Sherlock does a lot of strange camera and effects that they're still settling into, and while I appreciate that they try these things, it sometimes does distract from the story. But they have time to experiment because their show is only 3 episodes per season while I think Elementary is doing about 7 episodes.

Overall, Elementary was fun. Different from Sherlock, but still enjoyable. I will keep watching this series.


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November 2013

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