Thursday, June 20, 2013

Television Review: Elementary, Season 1

I must admit, when I first read that in this incarnation of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries that Dr. Watson was going to be played by a Chinese-American woman (Lucy Liu), I was skeptical. However, I felt like they've handled that alteration of the basic storyline pretty well. Leann and I got sucked into this series pretty quickly and it was one of our favorite shows during this last fall–spring schedule (along with Arrow [1]).

My verdict: The main characters are interesting and engaging. They seem to have borrowed the idea of making Holmes an antisocial, neurotic, sociopath from the BBC's Sherlock.[2] But this one has a weird way of standing (arms straight and tightly pressed to his sides, shoulders slumped, head jutting forward and down) that manages to accentuate that personality. His backstory is intriguing and comes to a nice head at the end of this season. Sometimes Joan Watson's character arch seemed to drag, and her bumbling attempts at sleuthing don't always seem genuine, but other times she really seems to be in her element. The solutions to almost all of the cases so far have had surprising and clever twists. Some of the twists concerning Moriarty were surprising, but I did guess the very last one before the season ended.[3] I particularly appreciate that they usually give you enough information that you can figure it out yourself if you're attentive enough (which is a stark departure from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's handling of the stories).


[1] Read my review of that show here.

[2] Read my reviews of Seasons 1 (here) and 2 (here).

[3] Incidentally, show's attempt to name a new species of bee ("Euglassia watsonia") is flawed in several regards. First of all, it's not a new species, it's a new hybrid. Because its parents (Apis mellifera and Osmia avosetta) are from different genera, it should properly be called × Osmiapis, not Euglassia (which is not an existing genus and doesn't appear to mean anything in Latin) or Euglossa (which is an existing genus, but it's not related to Apis or Osmia and it's not pronounced the way Sherlock pronounced it). Second of all, adding -ia to the end of a surname is the proper way to convert it to the name of a genus, not the name of a species. Used as a species name it would imply that there is a Latin adjective, watsonis (or watsonius or watsonium), which is declinable. (There isn't such a Latin adjective.) The proper way to convert Ms. Watson's surname to a species name is to use the genitive case: watsoniae (and the proper way to conver a Mr. Watson's surname to a species name is: watsonii). So, in summary, Sherlock should've named the bee: × Osmiapis watsoniae.

Image attributions:

Honey Bee is by Marc Andrighetti, available at butineuse et son pollen.JPG.

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