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

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    If you actually read my posts you would see I'm reserving judgment, but find the Liu's Watson's tensions with Miller's Sherlock interesting, possibly inspired by The Zero Effect.

    Comparisons should be inevitable. I found the CBS version of Watson more believable than the BBC version, which I could not accept as both an alleged adult and a friend of a self-proclaimed sociopath. Personally, I think the notion that Sherlock's sensationalism is bold, or sharp, or well-crafted fails to see how close Sherlock is to unintentional camp. But we agree that Sherlock is more extreme, you and others just choose adjectives that sound more favorable to Sherlock. (I choose adjectives that are more accurate of course.;))

    The problem with these peculiar posts is that Sherlock being more extreme does not make Elementary "bland" or "generic" or whatever other buzzword you people choose to throw out. That stuff would be nonsense if it hasn't become obvious that the intent is to foreclose any positions other than Sherlock=good and Elementary=bad. This aim is so important for whatever childish reason that posters keep writing the most peculiar things.

    For instance, Miller's Holmes spent far more time in conflict with Watson than in making quips at the expense of the cops. Or indeed making quips at all. That should show people that Elementary is not a generic copy of Monk, House or The Mentalist. How very tiresome then to insist on saying such nonsense.

    Final aside on Pete and Myka: Squabbling brother and sister is never the effect achieved. What you get is middle school boy and girl who don't know how to relate sexually. Myka as closet lesbian? Maybe. Four years of unresolved sexual tension is nothing for TV land and means nothing though. I think the episode about the agents in love was not just a standalone story but a parallel story.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. Nerroth

    Nerroth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Has it been stated whether or not any episodes of Elementary will be based on, or inspired by, older Holmes stories (the way Sherlock has been); or is this series going to have all of its scripts drawn up from whole cloth?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'd expect it to be original stories -- although I did wonder if the serial killer's fondness for redheads was an oblique nod to "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League."
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    But I'm not picking up on any sexual tension there. Even when a show keeps the couple apart, there's usually lots of will-they-or-won't-they teasing in the air. But on WH13 there's none of the usual longing looks or jealousy over potential rivals you get when TV shows are playing that game. And, unless I'm forgetting, they haven't even done the obligatory "going undercover as honeymooners" trope that shows with unresolved sexual tension almost always go for . . . .

    And, for what it's worth, what I got straight from the producers' mouths was that I wasn't to imply any sexual tension between Pete and Myka.
     
  5. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Since Sherlock is doing that I'm guessing that Elementary is going to avoid it. I think that they want to keep the two versions as different as they can.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    There was one episode where they woke up naked in bed together and didn't remember what had led to it, but it turned out that the reason they did that was because they knew they would forget something urgent that they had to remember, and since they both knew they would absolutely never end up in bed together under any circumstances, finding themselves in that situation would compel them to investigate and discover what really happened. So that story depended on the definitive absence of any romantic interest between them. I wonder if the whole point of that was to tweak those fans who mistakenly perceive sexual tension between them.

    But then, there are always fans who imagine sexual tension where absolutely none is intended to exist. That's how the slash-fanfiction genre came into being in the first place. Although these days you're more likely to see intentional slash subtext, like Mkya and H.G. -- or Sherlock and John in Sherlock, at least where everyone around them is concerned. So it's become more of a general "shipping" thing. For any two characters in a fictional franchise (or across different franchises), you'll find someone who imagines them as lovers, no matter how insanely wrong a pairing it is.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Apparently Mulan/Sleeping Beauty shipping is already a going concern--after only one episode of ONCE UPON A TIME!
     
  8. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    Dude, that is such a tired argument on the internet. I read your posts. I disagree with your posts. Keep condescending away, I don't really care.
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    Oh, I don't disagree about what the Warehouse 18 producers said. I'm just not into believing them over what's on screen. And "work husband" the "only one [Myka's] ever going to have," just doesn't scream squabbling brother and sister to me. Also,if they're squabbling brother and sister, the naked in bed scene should have been more matter of fact. Unless they themselves are supposed to think of themselves as brother and sister, in which case the semi-incestuousness of it all should been much more uncomfortable.:lol:

    Pete and Myka live in the same home. They aren't going to have romantic relationships with other characters, even offstage ones, that will cause anything in their lives to change. They won't move into their own homes. They'll still spend their free time with each other. They're a couple. Pete gets to have a roving eye but the double standard means Myka doesn't except for lesbian chic. It's Claudia and Jinks who are doing the brother/sister thing. It's true that we'll no more see Pete and Myka doing the horizontal mambo than we'll see Jinks and anyone. Warehouse 13 isn't that kind of show.

    Finally, does anyone commenting on Elementary have anything to say about it's approach to Watson, which is the lynchpin of the whole adaptation?
     
  10. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    I thought Liu's Watson was basically a blank slate. I don't think she's a very good actor, and the pilot didn't do anything to convince me otherwise.

    As far as the background for the character... she lost a patient and so... she quit her job...? Meh. It would be great if there was something much more to the story. Like SHE spiraled out and did drugs for a while... or shot herself or something... Right now, she's a character for Holmes to talk AT.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think there's a lot of potential in this version of Watson, since she's a damaged character with some interesting textures that could be built on. I like the idea of Holmes recognizing a kindred spirit in her and trying to bring it out. It's not just Holmes lecturing Watson about his deductive methods, but actually nurturing the same gift in her, helping her discover and embrace that part of herself. It does feel a lot like the Doctor recruiting a new companion, admittedly, but in the context of Holmes and Watson it's an interesting twist on the dynamic.

    It's true, though, that Liu's performance doesn't impress me yet. I haven't seen enough of her work to have a firm opinion of her overall abilities as an actress, but so far she's not bringing much to the part beyond those stunning eyes.
     
  12. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    ^^^The way I thought of it was that it was not yet clear that Watson was a character we could admire, and therefore one whose endorsement of the outre Holmes would matter. If you actively dislike Liu's performance, the whole thing is rather disjointed, with no dramatic flow at all.
    I'm a little reluctant yet to assume that the problem is Liu can't deliver the script's Watson. They would want to hold back, pace the reveals, I think. The revelation that she likes opera enough to ditch Holmes and go alone seems a little stingy, though. The disquieting thought is that Liu's Watson is being set up as a sexless person. In which case, this Watson is not the normal human perspective on genius and crime at all.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Why would someone be "sexless" just because she has more going on in her life than sex, or doesn't immediately start flirting with the male lead? That's a huge leap.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Why is sex or sexless relevant to Watson and Holmes's dynamic at all? If the characters were the same gender this question wouldn't come up, nor would I expect the creators to give a sexual dynamic to the male versions. Though, that would be a far more interesting take than the humorous one used in Sherlock. To say that sexuality has to be an issue now because we have a female and male lead pair is very sexist. I enjoyed their upending the idea at the outset with the 'love at first sight' routine, which took a strait shot at just such expectations when there is a male/female lead in a show.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Just noticed your Halloween name. I watched Twins of Evil last weekend.:evil:
     
  16. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    Arthur Conan Doyle knew there was an issue with Watson's sexuality and his relationship to Holmes. He didn't handle it very well as it turned out. He lamely tried to have Watson dropping his practice and wife at a telegram from Holmes. But what doesn't work well in a short story works even less well in a long-running television series. Has nothing to do with sexism. Is there some determination to misunderstand even the simplest thing?

    There is no issue in any single episode of Elementary. It's a question of how they will handle it if the series is successful. If they give their Holmes a sex life it will be a risky break with tradition. If they give their Watson a sex life, it will mean writing a sex life for a woman lead who can't be thrown into the refrigerator. Yet given the premise, the woman in this case can't be defined by her sexuality.

    And it's not a question of flirting with Holmes. This Watson is supposed to already have a life of her own, and unlike this Holmes, hasn't left it thousands of miles away. Has she no one to go to the opera with?
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Didn't you catch the part in the pilot where Holmes said that while he found sex distasteful, he needed it as part of his "process," which was why the hooker was just leaving when Watson showed up? It's certainly not a love life, but it is a sex life.


    Which is not even remotely uncommon in television today, a fact you seem to be missing. You're assuming that it's somehow exceptional for "a woman lead" not to be defined solely by her sexuality, and if you think that, then you must not have watched a lot of television in the past decade or two.


    How the hell does that make her "sexless?" Lots of people are lonely without wanting to be alone. If you've never experienced that, I envy you, and so would millions of other people. Hell, this Watson is obviously pretty screwed up emotionally, dealing with guilt and failure, embarrassed by her past. It's not surprising that she'd be reluctant to let people get close, or that she might've lost the friends and associates she had in her former life. There are plenty of reasons why she could be alone without being "sexless." That's simply a ludicrous assumption to jump to.
     
  18. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Thanks, I love the old Hammer Horror films. I watched The Vampire Lovers last night, and was planning to watch Twins of Evil this weekend.
     
  19. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, California
    She bought the tickets to the opera for herself and Holmes to celebrate what they thought was the conclusion of the case at the time. It's part of her job to interact with him socially. She was doing it not only to reward herself for a difficult couple of days but also to break him out of his shell. She may very well be lonely or have difficulty dating, but the opera was not indicative of that.
     
  20. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    No. That must have been when I was answering the phone.

    But, wait! Bland, generic, safe CBS has the hero using a prositute? You must be pulling my leg. Giving Holmes a sex life is just too radical a break with tradition for the senior citizens who are the only ones who watch CBS.

    Ah, I get it! You're pulling my leg!:guffaw:Surely if such a thing had happened people would have discussed this instead of babbling about bland and safe! It would have been a big deal.