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Old February 28 2012, 03:16 PM   #31
The Wormhole
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I have nothing against Watson being a woman, couldn't care to be honest. But is it actually necessary to do a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes for American audiences? We already have Sherlock, and that's readily available on DVD for Americans who are interested.

Yeah, I know this is quite common, and in some cases the American version is just as popular as the British original, such as The Office or Being Human. And indeed, there are even American shows which are similarly adapted for the UK, like Law & Order. I just don't see the necessity of it. American and British culture isn't that different, do people really only understand a show if everyone is driving on what they consider the right side of the street and if they speak with familiar accents?
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Old February 28 2012, 03:20 PM   #32
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

scnj wrote: View Post
IndyJones wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post

Seriously, what the hell? Why make Watson female? This looks like it is going to be so stupid.


Yup.

And did you hear nuBSG is going to make Starbuck a woman? Ugh. I'm totally not watching that!
I was gonna say, reading this felt like being back in (holy crap) 2003. Has it really been nine years?!
Hah! Good point.
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Old February 28 2012, 03:27 PM   #33
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

nuBSG called. They want their (admittedly great) stunt casting back.
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Old February 28 2012, 03:30 PM   #34
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Zion Ravescene wrote: View Post
I also remember watching a few episodes of an animated series, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century in which the preserved body of Sherlock Holmes is revived and rejuvenated in order to take on a clone of Moriarty. He teams up with Lestrade's female descendant, as well as a robot who develops the personality of Watson having had its memory uploaded with Watson's journals.

As TV Tropes put it, not to be confused with Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century.
Never heard of that, but before the 22nd Century show, there was a backdoor pilot 2-parter in Filmation's BraveStarr called "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century," in which a freak time warp at Reichenbach Falls sent Holmes into 23rd-century London, where he teamed up with an alien Dr. Whitson and a tough female descendant named Mycroft Homes, and found himself battling the original Moriarty (voiced by Jonathan Harris!), who'd had himself cryogenically suspended.


Cutter John wrote: View Post
Sound slike good old-fashioned "We've really got nothing new to say, so lets stir up some free word-of-mouth by changing the sex of a major character."
Or maybe they just know their target demographics. A lot of CBS cop/detective shows pair strong male and female leads, or at least have teams with prominent female members. That's what their audience likes to see. And remember, when they remade Hawaii Five-0, they cast Grace Park in the role of Kono, who was a heavyset man in the original show (which was the second time Park was cast in an originally male role, the first being Boomer on BSG). And the Five-0 remake also changed the governor character from male to female.

After all, most of us realize this is the 21st century and don't insist on drawing some kind of absolute dividing line between male and female roles, and thus wouldn't see this as in any way shocking. Seriously, do you have any idea how much gender-swap cosplay there is these days?


The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I have nothing against Watson being a woman, couldn't care to be honest. But is it actually necessary to do a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes for American audiences? We already have Sherlock, and that's readily available on DVD for Americans who are interested.
I always think it's nonsensical when people question creative choices in terms like whether it was "necessary." What the hell does that even mean? You could argue that any work of fiction is "unnecessary" in the strictest sense, so it's kind of a hollow criticism -- and frankly a disturbing one, smacking of a Soviet-realist type of mentality where only art that serves some approved function is allowed to exist.

But do I think it's valuable to explore new variations on the Sherlock Holmes premise? Hell, yes. Any truly timeless, classic idea can be reinterpreted and updated to fit new cultures and eras, to speak to new audiences. If "Pyramus and Thisbe" could spawn Romeo and Juliet which in turn spawned West Side Story, then yes, it is valuable to update and reinvent great stories. Frankly I'm surprised it took as long as it did for someone to try remaking Holmes as a modern character. He's been transported into the present or future in a few adaptations, but always as the same Holmes who originated in Victorian times. Actual attempts to reinterpret the character from the ground up have been surprisingly rare. And now it seems we're getting a spate of them in quick succession -- first House, which is a loose modernization of Holmes (and based just as much on Doyle's inspiration for Holmes, the brilliant diagnostician Dr. Joseph Bell), then Moffat's Sherlock, and now this.

Naturally there's no guarantee that any given modernization or updating is going to be great, but that's exactly why it is worthwhile to try it multiple times, to improve the chances that you'll get some really good ones out of it. Frankly this one does feel like somebody wanted to knock off Sherlock but homogenize it into a CBS-style procedural, but if we say these guys can't try it, then that might inhibit the next creator who actually does find a really fresh and interesting way of doing it. Or, for all we know, this version may turn out to be good after all.
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Last edited by Christopher; February 28 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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Old February 28 2012, 04:22 PM   #35
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I foresee a pilot, a couple of unaired episodes, and a quick death...
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Old February 28 2012, 04:40 PM   #36
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Wasn't there some talk about Lucy Liu playing Charlie Chan, but she would be the granddaughter of the original (male) detective? Or have I hallucinated that?

I think a female Sherlock and male Watson would have interested me more, come to think of it.
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Old February 28 2012, 04:49 PM   #37
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Why even call the Sherlock Holmes if it's so radically changed? Just do a new show with new characters.
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Old February 28 2012, 05:06 PM   #38
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

^ Christopher already addressed this, but what don't people get about the word ADAPTATION? If every person who has ever tried to produce a telling of something classic like Sherlock Holmes or Shakespeare didn't try to bring a fresh or original twist to the material, said material would get very boring very quickly.

Just because this new take on Sherlock Holmes differs from other previous takes on the material (especially to as drastic a degree as changing the gender and ethnicity of a key character in Watson) does not automatically mean that said take is wrong or that it will fail.
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Old February 28 2012, 05:14 PM   #39
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Forbin wrote: View Post
Why even call the Sherlock Holmes if it's so radically changed? Just do a new show with new characters.
I've heard people ask the same thing about Moffat's Sherlock, but it worked pretty well for that.

Christopher Nolan's and Christian Bale's Batman is radically different from William Dozier's and Adam West's Batman, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have both been called Batman, because there are certain core elements to the character that are shared by both. Sam Raimi's Hercules had very little to do with the ancient Greeks' Herakles, but if they'd given him an unfamiliar name and been unable to draw on the myths (however piecemeal and revisionist their approach was), it wouldn't have had the same resonance. Human creativity has always worked this way, blending familiar ideas with novel approaches, exploring variations on familiar themes.

One could just as easily argue that there are a ton of shows about new characters already, so what would be special about just churning out another one? Blending the characters of Holmes and Watson with a modern and/or American setting is something new. All creativity is about blending existing elements in new ways, and taking an old story or character and putting it in a new context has always been a common and perfectly valid way of doing that. Creativity is a dialogue with the ideas of the past, a response to them, an expansion upon them -- not an avoidance of them.

Think of it like evolution. Every new species contains most of the DNA of its ancestors, just with a few key changes in content or expression. It's not a wholesale start from scratch, since that would be inefficient and get nowhere in the long run. It's building on the strengths of what came before and adding something new that takes it further. Related species can share a lot of DNA yet be adapted for widely different niches. So why can't a given character like Batman or Hercules or Holmes be allowed to evolve and speciate, to become a whole family of stories branching out in new directions, rather than being stuck in a single fossilized form forever while culture and creativity evolve ever outward around it?
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Old February 28 2012, 06:54 PM   #40
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Wasn't there some talk about Lucy Liu playing Charlie Chan, but she would be the granddaughter of the original (male) detective? Or have I hallucinated that?
Yes, she was signed to star in a Charlie Chan movie some years ago, but it never escaped develoment hell.
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Old February 28 2012, 08:26 PM   #41
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I'm surprised they cast a 43 year old instead of someone much younger. But then it's CBS which skews to older viewers so it's not too surprising. But whatever...I love Lucy Liu so I am not complaining.
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Old February 28 2012, 08:52 PM   #42
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Well, Watson is traditionally older than Holmes.
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Old February 28 2012, 09:10 PM   #43
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

As always it will depent on the execution if that was a good idea or not, but this actually has made me more interested in Elementary and it separates it a bit more from Sherlock.
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Old February 28 2012, 09:30 PM   #44
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I have nothing against Watson being a woman, couldn't care to be honest. But is it actually necessary to do a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes for American audiences? We already have Sherlock, and that's readily available on DVD for Americans who are interested.

Yeah, I know this is quite common, and in some cases the American version is just as popular as the British original, such as The Office or Being Human. And indeed, there are even American shows which are similarly adapted for the UK, like Law & Order. I just don't see the necessity of it. American and British culture isn't that different, do people really only understand a show if everyone is driving on what they consider the right side of the street and if they speak with familiar accents?
CBS wants to make money and they know that Sherlock is popular now and wants in. I don't thinks it's a "favour" for the American people.
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Old February 28 2012, 10:22 PM   #45
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
I'm surprised they cast a 43 year old instead of someone much younger. But then it's CBS which skews to older viewers so it's not too surprising. But whatever...I love Lucy Liu so I am not complaining.
Forbin wrote: View Post
Well, Watson is traditionally older than Holmes.
Plus if you cast someone too young, your Watson may no longer be believable as both a licensed medical doctor and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. That's assuming Liu's Watson will still be such, of course, but seeing as it's such a big part of Watson's history, I don't see why they wouldn't keep it.

I was annoyed about this whole idea when I first heard about it, but that was more out of loyalty to Sherlock than anything else. Now I'm over it; there's plenty of room in the entertainment world for both series. I just hope Elementary actually does something interesting with the characters, and doesn't turn out to be another generic CBS procedural.
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