How many episodes is it going to take them before they start hinting at a 'will they/won't they' thing? I'll bet it's not long.
Not necessarily. There are plenty of shows on TV, including on CBS, where the male and female leads are never treated as potential romantic partners. There was never any romantic subplot between CSI
's Grissom (or Langston or Russell) and Willows, or between CSI: NY
's Mac Taylor and either of his female leads, or between Goren and Eames on Law & Order: Criminal Intent
, or between Reese and Carter on Person of Interest
. We're well past the old days when it was assumed that female characters could only be love interests.
On the other hand, I did see a hint of a "chemistry beat" between them in one of the clips in the preview. And heck, it's not like the implication of romance between Holmes and Watson is anything new, at least where some fans are concerned (see Moffat's Sherlock
and the running gag where everyone assumes Sherlock and John are a couple).
Changing things is fine when it's borne of a genuine intention to explore different aspects of a story. This however, is most likely more to do with CBS wanting to pull in the shipper audience.
Like I've said, there are plenty of CBS shows that are not built around "ships" between their male and female leads. So I don't see any reason to conclude that here. Don't you think it could've simply been out of a desire to be more inclusive? After all, they cast an Asian actress as Watson and a Latino as the Lestrade equivalent. Maybe they just dislike the idea of a show without a central female character.
Re the location/era change, I don't necessarily have a problem with that as both make sense, given that it's an American series. Given the magnitude of these changes to the original story though, you'd have thought that this alone would have given them enough to play around with.
Why does there have to be a limit to how many changes they make? Especially since there's a competing modern-Holmes show on in the UK at the same time, and the producers of that show have hinted they might raise a legal challenge if the shows are too similar. So the producers of Elementary
have an incentive to differentiate it from Sherlock
as much as they can.