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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
I hope major BSB fan Kendall J. Pagan has heard it.
We do this for free, so please consider donating or becoming a sponsor. Creative Commons License. The Baker Street Babes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License and is limited to the use of libsyn links and embedded streaming as ...
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Joan moves back to the Brownstone with a vengeance.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
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Al Clark

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Is Elementary a basic police procedural with a Holmes gloss? Bob Byrne comments ...
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Ian Miller's profile photo
 
While Mr. Byrne raises some excellent points, I think Elementary is deliberately eschewing many of the trappings of Sherlock Holmes, while hewing thoughtfully to aspects that are often overlooked. I strongly disagree that it's merely a procedural with the names changed.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
The Angus/Private Life Connection

Introduced in the first season of "Elementary" was Angus the phrenology bust that was Miller's sounding board in England when he was Watsonless. (As Watson says in CREE "His remarks could hardly be said to be made to me - many of them would have been as appropriately addressed to his bedstead..." or a phrenology bust). Well, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" was recently re released on DVD and I have watched the movie for the first time since I saw it on commercial television thirty plus years ago. There, I was surprised to see Angus' grandfather on the mantle above the fireplace at 221B. In fact, the phrenology bust plays an important part in one of the deleted scenes, "The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room" where Robert Stephens' Holmes deduces that mastermind behind the upside down room is Colin Blakely's Watson.

WATSON: Mr. Fowler? Are you implying that I am....?
HOLMES: Of course, the name didn't originate in your head--it came from this head. (he points to the porcelain phrenology head)
 
By the way, the Fowler brothers were America's preeminent phrenologists.

Once again, I am impressed with the creators of "Elementary". They have consistently shown a deep knowledge of the Canon. The "Easter Eggs" they place in the show are more often than not subtle. Angus was not some random prop but a nod to "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes", and done in such a way that, if you're not paying attention, you'll miss it.
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Harrison Hunt's profile photo
 
Good catch, James!
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Sherlockian Sherlock

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
In our new article you can read about the American references of Sherlock Holmes - Vivat Elementary!

More information:
http://sherlockian-sherlock.com/sherlock-holmes-usa-america.php

Keywords: CBS Elementary, Sherlock, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, american, USA
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
"Elementary's" Thursday night episode involved insect-sized drones. While some have stated "instead of jumping the shark, Elementary jumps the killer robot mosquito", such drones either already exist or are about to. Once again, the writers of "Elementary" do their research.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
While I thought the episode "No Lack of Void" was one of this season's better shows, it still had some story-telling problems (the cliche of the imaginary conversation with with a dead friend, a predictable villain), "Elementary" has gotten addiction and Sherlock Holmes-addiction right.
Critic's Notebook: 'Elementary' affirms it's TV's smartest study of recovery in a recent take on Philip Seymour Hoffman's death.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
With "Sherlock" Series Three and "Elementary" mid-season two, I am trying to keep happy thoughts. Both have been, shall we say, underwhelming in execution from a Sherlockian standpoint.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Well, while I wouldn't give it one pipe, Jonny Lee Miller's focus on Lucy Liu and Rhys Ifans sleeping together is childish in a way that I don't think Holmes would act. It was more over the top than Robert Downey's jealousy of Jude Law's courting Kelly Reilly, although it was in the same ballpark. For me last season's "Déjà Vu All Over Again" was a low point that "The Marchioness" did not match. It is the type of episode that dislikers of the show can point to and say "See, they're not Holmes and Watson, just quirky TV detectives with the same name." It will be interesting to see how Benedict Cumberbatch reacts to Martin Freeman's upcoming marriage. I have a feeling it will be closer to "Elementary" than Cumberfans (and Johnlock shippers) will admit to, but we'll see.

The problem is that, as you and I, John, are Sherlockians, we look at "Elementary" through a different lens than a TV show fan with a casual knowledge of the Canon. The juvenile way that Downey and Miller react to their Watson's emotional involvements with someone outside the partnership is an expansion of the dismissive attitude evinced by Holmes in the Canon: "Miss Morstan has done me the honour to accept me as a husband in prospective." He [Holmes] gave a most dismal groan. "I feared as much," said he. "I really cannot congratulate you." And: "The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone." It is on these slender threads that the modern conceit of a Holmes jealous of the emotional infidelity of his only friend leaving him for another is founded. It's like the Holmes/Adler pairing so common among Sherlockians, pasticheurs and screenwriters. The respect Holmes felt for a worthy antagonist has been changed to love. The conventions of melodrama that the hero always gets the girl has been a Holmesian albatross since Gillette in 1899. With our 20th century Adler romance now comes the 21st century Holmes/Watson bromance.

Simple friendship is not enough these days. Watson's "Three Garridebs" wounding is now seen as something deeper than heterosexual male bonding: "Then my friend's wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair. 'You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!' It was worth a wound - it was worth many wounds - to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation." Now we have Downey and Law sharing clothes like sorority sisters and secondary characters assuming Cumberbatch and Freeman are lovers. While gay undertones are written into the Warner Bros. series and the BBC, the fans are bring to the proceedings their own fevered imaginings, and mixing up the Canonical characters with those pale photons that share a name. You even have the Baker Street Babes talking about Canonical "hand porn" as evidence for something that Arthur Conan Doyle could never have written.

Miller's Holmes is aggressively heterosexual. Sex for him is a stimulant, leaving his brain "awash with neurochemicals". It had no emotional connection, except with Natalie Dormer's Irene Adler/Jamie Moriarty. "Is this all I am now? A piece of exercise equipment for your brain?" Unfortunately for Miller the answer was no. One of the things that "Elementary" did brilliantly was connect Miller's addiction to Irene Adler's death and then make Adler Moriarty. If the BBC could have gotten away with it, they would have done something similar with Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott. There is Scott's pick-up attempt of Cumberbatch in the beginning of "The Great Game" and his psychopathic "flirting" with Cumberbatch throughout both series. The sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It is still a bridge too far to have a male Holmes and Moriarty romantically linked, even for British television.

Despite the opposite genders, "Elementary" executive producer Rob Doherty has declared that Holmes and Watson will not be romantically involved. Sherlockians who like the show could not be happier. TV show fans, however, are a fickle lot and Miller/Liu shipping is rampant. An episode like "The Marchioness" plays into that with Miller's peevish jealousy and sibling rivalry. It makes Miller less a Canonical Holmes, more an average TV character.

Miller's sexual escapades exist only for mental stimulation. While Miller has taken the Watson role of have an "experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents", it was Liu who came off as something of a prude. To have the viewer find out she slept with Ifans is jarring. It seems out of character, especially as the show never set up an emotional connection between the two. Sex makes everything complicated. Introducing it in a non-Canonical way will always leave a bad taste in a Sherlockian's mouth.
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Stephan Pickering's profile photoJames O'Leary's profile photo
2 comments
 
That is the problem of non-Doyle depictions of Holmes and Watson +Stephan Pickering. Even setting them in the usual Canonical surrounding of Baker Street in Victorian England, the creators have to capture the essence of the characters to make them believable (or at least make the consumer suspend disbelief). Setting the characters outside their milieu, the creators have to work harder to succeed. I think, on the average, "Elementary" has done well by Holmes and Watson. Like John, I think the opening at the support group was excellent--what would happen to Doyle's Holmes with 21st century distractions and temptations? The mystery story, a nominal reworking of "Silver Blaze", was fine. It's Miller's obsession with whether Liu and Ifans slept together that seemed not only wrong for Sherlock Holmes, but wrong for "Elementary's" Sherlock.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Benedict Cumberbatch October, 2012: "“[Jonny Lee Miller is] phenomenal; he’s completely different; he’s far more contained. He’s stunning to watch as well – he’s just a beautiful specimen, Jonny – and he really knows what he’s doing..."
The actor readies for an ultramarathon to help cure Sanfilippo Syndrome and teases the Elementary finale
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Manny Brum's profile photoJames O'Leary's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Manny Brum As I said Holmes was never going to be the life of the party and he would never tolerate Lestrade coming by and chatting about the wife and kids, but the inspector never had this kind of relationship in the early days and the Holmes of BOSC would have not tolerated this kind of visit and I doubt Lestrade would have felt as welcome to "drop by" in 1889 as he evidently does in 1901.

These differing views of the Canon is what makes Sherlockian discussion lively and fun.
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
The hot poker of truth comes to the fore on tonight's Elementary. No matter what you think of the show, you gotta love the movie theater quality posters they produce for the episodes.
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Luke Kuhns

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
If you are following +Elementary I've been reviewing season three. What are people's thoughts? 
When Sherlock’s Irregular, Harlan Emple, plays a unique math game that takes a deadly twist he partners with Sherlock, Joan, and Kitty to help solve the case and hopefully bring a killer of mathematicians to justice before more bodies pile up! Also Sherlock is encouraged to reach out to Kitty regarding her past, and Joan …
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Tom Dunne's profile photoLuke Kuhns's profile photo
2 comments
 
I agree. I'm happier overall with season has been improving each episode. At least when it comes to the mysteries and Sherlock/Kitty. Joan is the drag. She's pulling everything down. 
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Sherlock's address is never mentioned in "Elementary", but is always referred to as "The Brownstone". Season 2, Episode 3's "We Are Everyone" is an important show in the "Elementary" mythos. It introduces this Holmes' version of the Baker Street Irregulars, the hacker collective Everyone. They can go everywhere, see everyone and over hear anything online. Payment for their services are not in shillings, but in Sherlock's ritual humiliation--in one show Sherlock had to sing a song from the movie "Frozen" in a prom dress, in another he suffer punches on the arm from strangers, and in another search for a missing cat in an abandoned church belfry. As Joan asks, "Can't we find hackers that take cash?" It is a clever update on the Canon.

In "We Are Everyone", Sherlock uses the screen name of "sherlock221b", highlighting the importance of that his original London address has for him, as established in the season 2 opener "Step Nine".

"We Are Everyone" also establishes that Sherlock is still in communication with Jamie Moriarty, currently holed up in the federal blacksite Newgate. Of course, Newgate prison was London's most famous prison, in use, in one form or another, for over 700 years. It was part of Holmes'  "profession to carry about a portable Newgate Calendar" in his memory. [3GAR] The Newcate Calendar was a publication originally put out by the Keeper of Newgate Prison to list executions, but evolved into a series of chapbooks and broadsides relating the crimes and unhappy ends of famous criminals of the day.

In a glimpse of one of Moriarty's letters we see the address of Sherlock and Joan's brownstone, 42 Stamford Ave, Brooklyn (like 221B Baker Street, a fictional address). It is another one of the showrunners' clever and subtle nods to the Canon. In STUD Watson's old dresser at Bart's, Stamford, introduces Holmes to Watson. In the pilot of "Elementary", Joan introduces herself to Sherlock at 42 Stamford.
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Epril SiDragon

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Haha aaaw!
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Russ Cross's profile photoHome Stuck's profile photoTailye's profile photo
 
That's hilarious.
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Colin Steele

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
As I watch tonight's Elementary, I begin to dislike it. As it make Lestrade seem to be a real cad.
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Stephan Pickering's profile photo
 
Shalom & Erev tov...which, likely, he was/is...
STEPHAN PICKERING /  חפץ ח"ם בן אברהם
Torah  אלילה  Yehu'di Apikores / Philologia Kabbalistica Speculativa Researcher
                              לחיות זמן רב ולשגשג

THE KABBALAH FRACTALS PROJECT
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James O'Leary

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
The "Elementary" writing staff does its research.
Last night, Elementary made TV history. It was the first police procedural to use the obscure paleo phrase "dead clade walking." The CBS versions of Sherlock and Watson reveled in the jargon so muc...
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I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
moderator

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Is Elementary guilty of lowering the quality of its content because of politically-correct standards? Or perhaps for another reason? Or is the content dumbed down at all? Discuss.
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James O'Leary's profile photoLaura S.'s profile photo
3 comments
 
"These are not politically correct errors, they are opinions and everyone from Mr. Lott to the fictional Sherlock Holmes are entitled to them."  My thoughts exactly. 

Really there have been a lot of updates to the Sherlock Holmes canon that could be considered "P.C" (Watson being a lady is the most obvious), but most of them have caused interesting twists, not dumbed the stories down.
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I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
moderator

TV: Elementary (CBS)  - 
 
Conan Doyle knew full well the effects addiction had on the addicts and those around them. He didn't have to give us a Holmes who suffered “drug mania”. Yet he did, and Elementary picks up on that and does so intelligently.
"I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic..." [STUD]  Reading press releases early in 2012 on the premise of CBS’s Elementary was a cringe inducing affair for many Sherlockians, me included...
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John Foster's profile photo
 
A very, very well done piece. 
Thanks for sharing.
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