Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Dream, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The tensions between Miller's Holmes and Liu's Watson gave a slightly sour taste to the pilot. Unless "bland" more or less means that the Miller Holmes wasn't entertainingly kick-ass (too flawed in ordinary human ways, as opposed to the ludicrous BBC version,) the pilot wasn't bland. Or does "bland" mean lacking in scenes were the Hero delivers a devastating one-liner while the punching bags obligingly remain mute? Or worse, is the "bland" the same kind of difference as between a Honda and a BMW, which is to say, snob value?

    To turn to another topic, it is highly unlikely there is any such thing as a "CBS crime show fan." The chances that anyone is so undiscriminating as to watch both NCIS shows, both CSI shows, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Person of Interest and Elementary is extremely low. In fact, there are considerable differences between all these shows which far outweigh any (probably imaginary) commonalties derived from being broadcast by the same network. Most likely, the supposed "CBS crime show fan" is a fan of two or three series, indifferent or even hostile to the others. Therefore, it is entirely probable that there are many viewers who will indeed know quite a lot about Sherlock Holmes.

    CBS shows tend to be better written with higher production values, possibly less sensationalist (as being "bad writing",) possibly a little better at race, possibly a little worse on gay issues. The better writing and better production values appear to come mostly from being able to afford it, so I'm not sure too much credit should be given for it. I'm also not sure anyone watches enough primetime network TV to be able to issue very many reliable generalizations on a whole network. The real issue in anti-CBS rants seems to be a deranged hate/fear of supposed old people.
     
  2. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    It was very bland, very generic, very safe. Very CBS.
     
  3. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^Generic? Generic means no-name, just the general product. Sherlock Holmes is pretty much the name in mysteries. Also an Asian female Watson isn't a safe approach. What you're saying makes no sense. Either you are wrong or you are using buzzwords instead of saying what you really mean.

    Incidentally, if this approach has a predecessor it would be the movie The Zero Effect, which was a daring but satisfying revisionist take on Holmes.
     
  4. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It makes a lot of sense. If you took away the name Holmes and Watson, this show would be a lot like a lot of other shows... the consulting detective (Castle, The Mentalist, The Show With The Guy From Will And Grace.)

    It was a bland, safe hour of TV.

    And personally, I thought there was zero chemistry between the two leads. How much chemistry can there be between a Brit and a piece of wood?
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Plenty, if it's in the shape of a box, is painted blue, and has a flashing light on top...
     
  6. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol::lol: Touche!

    And true. Perhaps the exception that proves the rule.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    First, the show wouldn't be much like any of those other shows you mention if you took the names away. It's kind of bewildering that you could think so.

    Second, they weren't aiming at "chemistry" between the two leads, they were aiming at mutual respect and need. It's quite obvious that this was not a safe goal or approach, given the assumption here that the leads need to have "chemistry." It remains to be seen if this approach will actually be successful.
     
  8. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Bewildering for you perhaps, but not for me. It's the current vogue in procedural. Some do it better than others. The quirky flawed helper of the police. Monk, for example.

    Sure, the tone might be different than the ones I suggested... but the shape of them, pretty much the same. Cops needing to turn to a deeply flawed individual who can see and deduce circles around them, with demeaning quips. Rise and repeat. Though some do do it better than others. Here... with unengaging leads...

    That's a form of chemistry. Not ALL on screen chemistry has to lead to romance. Look at Ryan and Esposito on Castle. Those two actors have GREAT chemistry together. They are a BLAST to watch.

    If you mean they aren't playing it "safe" by having a male and female costars without a romantic intent... sure. But really is that doing something different nowadays?

    Chemistry is just about something happening... ANYTHING... between two actors that elevates it from two actors just acting to something special.

    EDITED TO ADD: Maybe in time for the premiere, they added the 2nd series of Sherlock to netflix streaming... #winning
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Certainly not. There are a number of shows today featuring male and female leads whose relationships are strictly and definitively platonic, like Pete and Myka on Warehouse 13. Or the short-lived The Middleman, where the creators clearly portrayed MM as more of a surrogate father to Wendy -- and were thus rather disgusted in their online podcasts when fans kept trying to "ship" those two.
     
  10. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Miller's Holmes is a little dull, a little, um, non mercurial, compared to Cumberbatch or even the original in the books.

    I like Miller, really liked his show Eli Stone, but this is a little... it's the show I'll watch when I have nothing better to do.
     
  11. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great example!
     
  12. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah, this is solely about trashing Elementary as an imaginary vindication of Sherlock. Well, Sherlock fails on its own lack of merit. Miller's Holmes interrupting the opera is mercurial enough. It just comes across as a little tacky and petty. What it isn't, is being as cool as Cumberbatch boasting he was a sociopath, not a psychopath, get your terms right. Given that the supposed distinction is not actually getting the terms right, I think that neatly exemplifies what's stupid about Sherlock.

    Pete and Myka however are a terrible example. When the two leads on Warehouse 13 are both in real relationships simultaneously for more than a couple episodes, then we can start talking about definitively established Platonic relationships. The Middleman example rather reinforces the point about the expectations of sexual tension, unresolved or not. One of the things to see about Elementary is whether they can stick to this premise.
     
  13. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Mmm. Dude, I'm not here to fight about it. As a program, it's just not worth that much to me, and I explained why. If you like it, and think it'll go great guns, that's fine and good luck to you.
     
  14. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Listen: I'm glad you like the show. Many people agree with you. Many people don't.

    It's an interesting circumstance, however, that there are two modern day Sherlock Holmes currently on the airwaves, so comparisons are inevitable.

    Personally, Sherlock is a much better show. Not only are the characters more sharply crafted, so are the stories. I think there's a boldness that is lacking in Elementary. I think Sherlock uses the tools of a visual medium in a much more compelling fashion.

    But, do carry on. Enjoy the show. But don't mistake your opinion for fact or that you are being persecuted because people disagree with your opinion.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not even remotely. I don't think Sherlock needs "vindication," and I'd be very happy if Elementary and Sherlock were both excellent and enjoyable shows. I don't have any need to pit them against each other. Why would I? I want good, enjoyable TV, and if both shows are good and enjoyable, that's better for me as a viewer than if one of them is a disappointment.

    I don't want to "trash" Elementary. I sincerely hope it gets better. As I've already said twice in this thread, the quality of a pilot doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of the show that follows. A lot of shows have weak pilots and get stronger as they progress, although some go the opposite direction. So it would be premature to either embrace or write off the show based on the pilot alone. Elementary's pilot was underwhelming and a bit dull, but I like the idea of it enough that I hope it gets better. But it will have to get better in order to hold onto me as a viewer.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't know. It's been four seasons and the show really hasn't gone there.

    And I can testify to the fact that, when I was writing my WH13 novel, the show's writers and producers were emphatic about the fact that I was NOT to imply any sort of romantic connection or chemistry between Pete and Myka. I was specifically instructed to go for more of squabbling siblings vibe . . . .

    (Besides, we all know that Myka is in love with Helena!)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think it's fallacious to argue that the only way two opposite-sex characters can be confirmed to be in a Platonic relationship is if they're currently seeing other people. That's not the way it works. A Platonic relationship isn't just the lack of romantic opportunity. There are a lot of different ways that people can bond, even if they're of opposite sexes. It's simplistic to assume the only possibilities are "in a romance" and "not free to be in a romance." After all, it's not like every man is attracted to every woman, or vice-versa. Sometimes -- probably often -- there's just no romantic chemistry at all between two people, but they can trust and respect each other as friends or rely on each other as professional partners.
     
  18. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This. Very good point.
     
  19. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Finally watched it, and thought it was actually pretty decent for a CBS procedural. The writing seemed fairly intelligent, and the characters were well-written...

    Unfortunately, with the incredibly witty and original BBC version out there, it just can't help but feel a bit generic in comparison.

    The other problem is I actually found Lucy's Watson to be FAR more interesting and compelling than Miller's Holmes. Her character seems to have a real depth to her, while Miller basically just acts a bit nervous and edgy. It's a decent performance, but frankly I thought RDJ did the same thing a lot better.
     
  20. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the men and women can't be friends argument of 'When Harry Met Sally' is a huge load of crap. Assuming a man and woman together for longer than two seconds must mean they have a romance building is a simplistic and neanderthal way of looking at human relationships.