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Old May 17 2012, 04:45 AM   #196
Guy Gardener
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Do we call a strict admiration the genre Holmesian or Doyley?
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Old May 17 2012, 06:30 AM   #197
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I don't watch a whole lot of stuff on CBS and haven't watched a 'first-run' procedural in quite a while, and I think this is going to be a fun series. I also have to agree with Christopher (and repeat something I think I've already said at least once before in this thread) in denouncing this idea that the writers are going to pair up Holmes and Watson romantically simply because they've chosen to male Watson a woman.

As to the notion of whether things are 'Holmesian' enough, I was reminded of the relationship between RDJ's Holmes and Jude Law's Watson, so I think things are going to be more than sufficiently Holmesian.
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Old May 17 2012, 08:57 AM   #198
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Angel4576 wrote: View Post
Edit: Given the nature of the Holmes character, I'd suggest Adrian Lester over Colin Salmon.
Yeah I could see that, Lester can play quirky better than Salmon (who would have made a good 007) that said I'm still hoping he'll turn up as the Master at some point...
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Old May 17 2012, 09:32 AM   #199
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Just watched the video.

It is pretty meh. As others have said, it's pretty much just an American procedural.

I guess it depends on Miller's performance. However, it will be hard not to compare him to Shalhoub or D'onofrio both of which are very difficult to match.

Not to digress, but I haven't seen him since he hacked the planet. If I hadn't known who he was,, I wouldn't have recognized him.
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Old May 17 2012, 04:10 PM   #200
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Based on the promo video...

Meh, it'd be better if they just renamed the character and pretended it was original- could be a fun mystery show, but the cop is cliched, the cinematography and direction is ripping off Sherlock, and Johnny Lee Miller is just... knocking off House and The Mentalist, with no charm. Both Cumberbatch and Downey kick the living shit out of him without breaking a sweat...
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Old May 17 2012, 04:21 PM   #201
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Christopher wrote: View Post
You know, I think I've had this whole debate back when this thread was new, but just for the hell of it: If they are following the pattern of the Holmes canon, then logically one would expect Joan Watson to meet a male equivalent to Mary Morstan and end up in a romance with him that leads to marriage. And I'll be surprised if Elementary doesn't follow the standard practice of Holmes adaptations of including Irene Adler as Holmes's primary romantic interest.
I don't know that they'll be following the canon that closely. Most likely they'll take the two lead characters and then drop them into the standard CBS-drama template.

Also, it may be premature to assume that this isn't going to be an ensemble show. Indications are that Aidan Quinn's Captain Gregson is going to be a major character (based on a minor character from the canon), and the promo certainly played up the Latino Lestrade equivalent as a core player. So that's at least four central characters.
Granted this is more from expectation rather than observation, however I think it's fairly clear that the vast majority of the show's focus is going to be on Holmes and Watson. There will be screentime for the other characters obviously, but I doubt that they'll receive anywhere near as much screentime as JLM or LL.


Why? The only way that a character's ethnicity could possibly be relevant is if the stories addressed issues of racism or classism, and American TV today usually isn't willing to tackle such questions outright. Ethnicity is pretty much a neutral trait in TV these days. When Laurence Fishburne took over as the CSI lead, the fact that Dr. Langston was black never became an issue as far as I recall.
Racism or classism? Why are we limited to that? Surely there's more to ethnicity than skin colour and social divides.

A teacher was talking to four students, one each from America, Europe, Africa and China. He asked them, "What is your personal opinion of the international food shortage?" The American said "What's international?" The European said "What's a shortage?" The African said "What's food?" The student from China said "What's a personal opinion?"
Cultural idiosyncrasies - a black Holmes would defacto have the same cultural background and values as a white Holmes?

And what the hell has "narrative mileage" got to do with it anyway? Like I said, why shouldn't women or nonwhite actors get the same opportunity to play these great characters as white men have had? Does there have to be a special reason to make one or both of them female? Can't it just be about playing fair?
They should get those opportunities. Of course they should. Personally though, it thoroughly fails to impress me when such changes are made for change's sake. Have the writers made this change to benefit the series and the stories that they'll be able to tell? Or is it a cheap grab for a certain audience that they know they'll be able to lock in? Hopefully it's the former, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's the latter. Guess we'll find out.

I think it's an antiquated notion at best to assume that a "buddy" relationship can only exist between two people of the same sex, or that any male-female relationship has to be romantic. Lots of men and women are just friends with each other, both in real life and on TV. We've had a number of male-female "buddy" relationships in various shows, relationships where the possibility of romance wasn't even remotely on the table because the characters saw each other more as surrogate siblings or surrogate father and daughter.
Perhaps it's just the shows that I watch, but it seems more common than uncommon that shows with a couple of leads generally tend to eventually flirt with shippers if not going down that route completely. I'm bored with that. At least try and be different if you're going down that route. Sherlock obviously has the running gag about Holmes and Watson as a couple - play is straight (pardon the pun), be different. I'd rather they did that than go down the route that many shows have been before. Again though, never going to happen as it would alienate a certain element of the audience. CBS is the most-watched network and it's not hard to see why - their vanilla product rarely ventures past what it perceives to be safe.

And it's wrong to think that the fundamentals of the Holmes-Watson relationship require them both to be male. Hell, Watson's role has always been as the more emotional, socially adept, nurturing member of the pair. So if anything, a female Watson is a natural idea. (And it wouldn't be the first time. The 1987 backdoor pilot movie The Return of Sherlock Holmes starred Margaret Colin as Jane Watson, a descendant of Dr. John Watson who discovered and awoke a cryogenically frozen Sherlock Holmes and became his partner.)
I think it's fair to say that the archetypal interpretation of the story is going to lead to the expectation that Holmes and Watson are male. I doubt that many heard the news that there was going to be a new Sherlock Holmes series and instantly concluded that this would probably feature a male Holmes and female Watson. Why would they?

Besides The Return of Sherlock Holmes, there was also the later movie Sherlock Holmes Returns, with Debrah Farentino. Although she wasn't playing Watson, or a variant of Watson, it did represent another example of them trying to work a male/female dynamic with the story.

Both of the examples above changed the fundamental dynamic of Holmes/Watson, both transplanted the action to America, and both moved the story into the modern era. Neither story met with much success.

I see that Moffet's already raised a similar concern regarding Elementary;

They've got three big changes: it's Sherlock Holmes in America, it's Sherlock Holmes updated and it's Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. I wonder if he's Sherlock Holmes in any sense other than he's called Sherlock Holmes?
Perhaps CBS should have gone down the route of having Holmes be blind, and Watson could have been his guide dog. Sounds emminently more interesting than what they look like they're going to be serving up here.
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Old May 17 2012, 04:47 PM   #202
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

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CBS released a trailer/behind-the-scenes look at Elementary today.

Looks promising!
only if the promise is "this will be shit, i promise"
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Old May 17 2012, 05:14 PM   #203
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I wonder if this will do better than the re-make of the also British Prime Suspect, that CBS tried not so long ago..and was cancelled after only few episodes.
The promo of the Elementary looks good enough,
though I do not see much new there to the Cop-show genre, besides the accent that is.
Though, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old May 17 2012, 05:57 PM   #204
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Angel4576 wrote: View Post
I don't know that they'll be following the canon that closely. Most likely they'll take the two lead characters and then drop them into the standard CBS-drama template.
And as I've already said, your assumption that "the standard CBS-drama template" equals "romance between the two leads" does not match up with reality.


Granted this is more from expectation rather than observation...
Obviously. You're so mired in your expectations that you've already made up your mind regardless of the evidence. As Holmes himself said, "It is a capital mistake to theorise in advance of the facts."


Cultural idiosyncrasies - a black Holmes would defacto have the same cultural background and values as a white Holmes?
But would American viewers understand how the Afro-British cultural background differs from the white British cultural background, or from the African-American background? Heck, it'll be an accomplishment if the writers even portray his Britishness authentically.


Perhaps it's just the shows that I watch, but it seems more common than uncommon that shows with a couple of leads generally tend to eventually flirt with shippers if not going down that route completely.
It must just be the shows you watch, because I've seen a number of shows where that's simply not the case. You're making far too many assumptions beyond the evidence.



I think it's fair to say that the archetypal interpretation of the story is going to lead to the expectation that Holmes and Watson are male. I doubt that many heard the news that there was going to be a new Sherlock Holmes series and instantly concluded that this would probably feature a male Holmes and female Watson. Why would they?
So what the hell is wrong with challenging assumptions? Make up your mind! Moments ago you were criticizing CBS for being too formulaic and safe, and now you're saying they're wrong to defy expectations!


Both of the examples above changed the fundamental dynamic of Holmes/Watson, both transplanted the action to America, and both moved the story into the modern era. Neither story met with much success.
The ultimate in spurious objections, and a gross abuse of statistics. This is the same BS you hear when a movie with a female action lead does badly. They never admit it's just because it wasn't a good movie; they insist on blaming it on the sex of the lead character, even though they never do that in the many, many cases where a movie with a male lead fails. Okay, sure, there have been two movies where Holmes was given a female partner and they flopped. But how many Holmes adaptations with a male Watson have also flopped? Quite a few, I'm sure. (Does anyone even remember the Matt Frewer Holmes movies?) It's no surprise that two given Holmes movies in the past have failed, because the majority of movies are failures, period. Statistically, the fact that both movies with female partners for Holmes happened to fail does not prove any kind of causation, because the probability that any two given movies with a random trait in common would both fail is high to begin with. It would take a far larger statistical sample to demonstrate any meaningful correlation, and even then, correlation is not proof of causation.

If you're going to defend your view of Sherlock Holmes, you should at least try to employ his methods in formulating your arguments.
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Old May 17 2012, 06:01 PM   #205
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

JRS wrote: View Post
I wonder if this will do better than the re-make of the also British Prime Suspect, that CBS tried not so long ago..and was cancelled after only few episodes.
NBC made Prime Suspect, not CBS.
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Old May 17 2012, 09:44 PM   #206
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I found the promo to be ok. It didn't get me especially excited for the series, but neither did it turn me away. I'll watch the first few episodes to see how it turns out.
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Old May 18 2012, 11:09 AM   #207
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Christopher wrote: View Post
And as I've already said, your assumption that "the standard CBS-drama template" equals "romance between the two leads" does not match up with reality.
No, the CBS-drama template is that of bland vanilla, appealing to the widest possible audience by playing things safe.

Obviously. You're so mired in your expectations that you've already made up your mind regardless of the evidence. As Holmes himself said, "It is a capital mistake to theorise in advance of the facts."
Not at all. I'll employ my usual approach towards the show. I don't have the time to watch everything that I ordinarily would do, so I'll leave this one on the backburner until the first season has aired. By that point we'll know well enough whether it meets or exceeds my current expectations. If it meets them then I probably won't bother proceeding any farther. If it exceeds them then I will. Theorizing and speculating ultimately makes very little difference to whether or not I eventually end up watching a show.

But would American viewers understand how the Afro-British cultural background differs from the white British cultural background, or from the African-American background? Heck, it'll be an accomplishment if the writers even portray his Britishness authentically.
Should that prevent them from trying? How will people ever learn without someone trying to explain cultural differences? Whilst entertainment is an important, and primary function of television, particularly prime time, it shouldn't be the sole function.

It must just be the shows you watch, because I've seen a number of shows where that's simply not the case. You're making far too many assumptions beyond the evidence.
Well as I've already stated, it could be me, and if it is, then it is. I do however, call it as I see it.

So what the hell is wrong with challenging assumptions? Make up your mind! Moments ago you were criticizing CBS for being too formulaic and safe, and now you're saying they're wrong to defy expectations!
You're comparing apples to oranges. There are certain assumptions and expectations around the Holmes 'world'. The gripe that I look like I'm going to have with the show is the number of changes that are being made to squeeze it into CBS's bland format rather than to necessarily benefit the narrative.

The ultimate in spurious objections, and a gross abuse of statistics. This is the same BS you hear when a movie with a female action lead does badly. They never admit it's just because it wasn't a good movie; they insist on blaming it on the sex of the lead character, even though they never do that in the many, many cases where a movie with a male lead fails. Okay, sure, there have been two movies where Holmes was given a female partner and they flopped. But how many Holmes adaptations with a male Watson have also flopped? Quite a few, I'm sure. (Does anyone even remember the Matt Frewer Holmes movies?) It's no surprise that two given Holmes movies in the past have failed, because the majority of movies are failures, period. Statistically, the fact that both movies with female partners for Holmes happened to fail does not prove any kind of causation, because the probability that any two given movies with a random trait in common would both fail is high to begin with. It would take a far larger statistical sample to demonstrate any meaningful correlation, and even then, correlation is not proof of causation.

If you're going to defend your view of Sherlock Holmes, you should at least try to employ his methods in formulating your arguments.
I think you've totally missed the point, as that's not what I said at all. The concern is that they've made too many changes, to too many fundamental aspects of the Holmes 'world'. The point that I raised, cited three major changes within the movie that you pointed out, and a subsequent movie which made exactly the same changes. Both failed. Were they bad movies? Possibly. Are we totally excluding the possibility that making all of these changes contributed towards the movies not being very good? I don't recall at any point suggesting that both movies failed simply because they had a female lead.

I think it's fair to say that Moffet has a pretty good understanding of what constitutes good 'Holmes'. and the potential pitfalls that new adaptations should be wary of, having to navigate them themselves when they came up with Sherlock. He's raised exactly the same concern that I have. I don't think he's being unreasonable in his concern. Why don't you tweet him and tell him that he's wrong......
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Old May 18 2012, 03:53 PM   #208
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
If Moffat has an infringement case, he should call his lawyers. If not, his comments are pointless, and he should stfu. He's just trying to get some free PR by inventing a controversy. The stuff about the coat and scarf is just desperate and sad.

Most likely, this pilot will never go to series. CBS has a lot of pilots and few available slots. (Given their ongoing success, this is the case every year.) Pilots have a much easier time on ABC and especially NBC.
So clearly they are trying to ride Sherlock's coat tails.
Sherlock has no coattails to ride. Do you honestly think CBS viewers have even heard of it? Trust me, Americans know only two types of TV: American TV and Downton Abbey.
But Downton Abbey comes on PBS with some little show called Sherlock.

I like AQ, LL and JLM as actors. So the show does have that going for it, but it looks sort of bland and paint by the numbers.

Sherlock had two things going for it in my book - 1. Benedict Cumberbatch and 2. I watch PBS on Sunday nights almost religiously.

Seriously though they need to stop putting stuff on Sunday night - Masterpiece Classic, Masterpiece Mystery, Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Plus Revenge is moving to Sunday nights next year.
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Old May 18 2012, 04:10 PM   #209
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Wow, that was incredibly uninspired. I figured they would at least try to make it a LITTLE cool and edgy like Sherlock, but instead they turned it into just another tired, run of the mill CBS procedural, with another slightly wacky detective who's got some issues. Yawn.

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Meh, it'd be better if they just renamed the character and pretended it was original- could be a fun mystery show, but the cop is cliched, the cinematography and direction is ripping off Sherlock, and Johnny Lee Miller is just... knocking off House and The Mentalist, with no charm. Both Cumberbatch and Downey kick the living shit out of him without breaking a sweat...
Yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up. Maybe if we hadn't already seen Hugh Laurie do the same exact act for 8 years (with the same exact facial hair and haggard appearance), this might seem fresh and original. But as is, it just feels like a generic knockoff.

I do appreciate that they're actually letting a guy use his British accent for once though.
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Old May 18 2012, 04:18 PM   #210
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

I think it's important to keep in mind that trailers and promos aren't necessarily accurate representations of the actual works. The people who create them specifically tailor them to appeal to a particular target audience. It stands to reason that CBS's promotional department would want to make a new show look like the same kind of show that the CBS audience likes to see, and thus would play up its similarities to other CBS procedurals. So just because the trailer doesn't significantly distinguish itself from the pack, that doesn't necessarily mean the show won't.

Granted, it's certainly possible that the show will be just as familiar and formulaic as the promo suggests. But it is always a good idea, in any context, to remember that advertisers are not in the business of presenting accurate and unfiltered data.
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