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Holmes vs. Elementary

Often mo­vies or TV se­ries co­me in pair­s. The­se da­ys I wa­tched two se­ries that are ob­vious­ly re­late­d, Sher­lo­ck and Ele­men­ta­ry and the­re is even a mo­vie se­ries by guy Ri­tchie (whi­ch I ac­tua­lly like!) but le­t's ta­lk TV.

I am not going to be ori­gi­nal in sa­ying Sher­lo­ck is the su­pe­rior sho­w. But why is it?

We­ll, I thi­nk it mos­tly co­mes to one being do­ne by peo­ple who ha­ve read the books, and the other by peo­ple who heard about the­m.

For exam­ple, that evil word "E­le­men­ta­r­y". It's not in the books. It's in the mo­vie­s, thou­gh. So, if you fo­cus on se­con­d-hand sour­ce­s, it makes sen­se to use it, but if you ca­re about the ori­gi­nal ma­te­rials it makes sen­se to ca­re­fu­lly avoid it.

The­re's al­so the pro­blem of Ele­men­ta­r­y's Hol­mes looking like a ho­bo. Hol­mes was fas­ti­dious­ly nea­t. He was a slob about his lo­dgings, but he alwa­ys kept hi­mself clean and we­ll dress­e­d.

Or le­t's con­si­der addic­tio­n. Ye­s, in the books Hol­mes shoots co­cai­ne and does mor­phi­ne, Thing is, tho­se things we­re not even ille­gal at the ti­me. Co­cai­ne was a cou­gh me­di­ci­ne. So, trans­po­sing that in­to ni­co­ti­ne addic­tion makes sen­se, spe­cia­lly sin­ce Hol­mes was al­so a ve­ry hea­vy smo­ker even for vic­to­rian stan­dar­d­s. Tur­ning it in­to a drug ha­bit that for­ces Hol­mes in­to re­hab (re­ha­b!) does­n'­t. Al­so, "this is a th­ree pa­tch pro­ble­m"? Ha­ve to chu­cle at tha­t, du­de.

The Wa­tsons al­so are qui­te di­ffe­ren­t. I qui­te like Lu­cy Liu's dea­dpan de­li­ve­ry of eve­r­y­thin­g, but Wa­tson is not su­ppo­sed to be a da­ma­ged per­son that nur­tu­res. He's a th­ri­ll seeke­r, a ba­da­ss cha­rac­ter that is on­ly mil­d-­man­ne­red when com­pa­red to his com­pan­y. Agai­n, Sher­lo­ck wa­lks clo­ser to the books the­re, whi­le Ele­men­ta­ry tries to shoe­horn so­me weird per­so­na­l-­gro­w­th si­de­plo­t.

Ye­s, Wa­tson is the one that brings out the hu­man si­de of Hol­me­s, but he does that not by being all so­ft and cu­dd­l­y, he does it by being a hard hea­ded bas­tard who stan­ds up to hi­m. He's a true frien­d, and frien­ds do­n't take shit from frien­d­s, at least not wi­thout gi­ving shit ba­ck. In Sher­lo­ck he does tha­t, and clear­ly Hol­mes res­pec­ts hi­m. In Ele­men­ta­r­y, Wa­tson is to­le­ra­te­d, and treated like a pe­t.

Wi­nks. Bo­th se­ries try to make re­fe­ren­ce, mo­re or le­ss obli­que, to the sour­ce ma­te­ria­l. Agai­n, it feels like Ele­men­ta­ry is wo­rking from se­cond hand re­fe­ren­ce­s. If I could find you the "Hol­mes in­ten­tio­na­lly avoi­ds lear­ning things of no im­me­dia­te re­le­van­ce" bi­ts in bo­th, the Ele­men­ta­ry one was a groa­ning ex­po­si­tio­n, in­clu­ding ph­y­si­cal de­mons­tra­tion of how wa­ter dis­pla­ces oi­l. In Sher­lo­ck? We­ll, it's an ar­gu­men­t. In­cre­du­li­ty on one si­de, qui­rki­ness on the othe­r, funny dia­lo­g.

Be­cau­se tha­t's what Ele­men­ta­ry is­n'­t. it's just not fun. And a Hol­mes tha­t's not fun, is a bro­ken Hol­me­s.

María Amalia / 2012-10-29 18:38:

Genial, definitivamente ahora no voy a ver Elementary :)

Sebastian Galante / 2012-11-02 14:24:

Además, Benedict Cumberbatch se pasa como Holmes en la serie británica...


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