ELEMENTARY – SEASON 1 (2012)

216566-elementary-elementary-posterOf all the few TV series’ that I follow, Elementary is by far the one which has captured my imagination the most. Unlike Sherlock, which whets your appetite the whole year just to come out for three episodes which again has moved downhill in content this season, Elementary takes a more solid approach towards the Sherlock Holmes tale and interestingly changed the setting to modern-day America. John Watson is Joan Watson and Sherlock is a recovering addict with Joan Watson being his sober companion to start with and gradually warms up to his profession of a private detective. By the end of the first season, the tale takes the two through a tumultuous journey which ends with the biggest jolt of modern-day Holmes when Holmes love interest Irene Adler turns out to the Moriarty his arch enemy. This could very well be the first occasion when Moriarty has been portrayed as a female and it works unbelievably well.

Each of the episodes is delicately poised and there are enough twists and turns to ensure that the viewers are unable to make out who is the real perpetrator. The greatest charm of a detective story lies in theelementary-episode-6-flight-risk-13 fact that one is unable to predict the outcome of the story and for most of the episodes, Elementary is able to achieve that. The third episode of the first season (Child Predator) gives you a jolt as it takes you round and round and then throws you off guard in a matter of seconds through a discussion between Sherlock and the possible victim. That episode really set the mood up for the rest of the season. Episode 8 (The Long Fuse) was another stupendous achievement. The very beginning of the story sets us up on a path that involves a goose chase and yet shows how deductive reasoning can easily simplify a goose chase and narrow it down to one person if the need be.

The WomanEpisode 18 (Déjà vu All Over again) is another exquisite piece of work. What I loved about it was that from the very beginning the audience is thrown off balance and led in the wrong direction. We are helplessly drawn to a series of events that we cannot ignore but finally, when the truth comes to out, we see precisely how simple the matter actually was and we were led to believe what the creators wanted us to believe. That’s where the true power of the narrative lies. The two-part finale, however, is the best that the series has to offer in the first season. The way the narrative builds up and the bonding that is evidently on display between Sherlock and Moriarty is scintillating to look at. After giving us everything that we wanted to have, the creators take away everything and tell us that the woman that Sherlock loved with all his heart is his arch-enemy in reality. Natalie Dormer’s enchanting beauty makes you go limp on your feet. Sherlock’s predicament is completely understandable.

Johnny Lee Miller is superlative as Sherlock and his on-screen chemistry with Lucy Liu, who plays Watson is undeniable. The duo has the perfect timing and they l_Elementary_S1_ep16complement each other wonderfully. They make the deductions in such a way that the audience constantly gets a feel of being in the situation looking at the cases from the best chairs in the house. That, however, also has to be credited to the director and the creator of the series for weiving such an absorbing piece of drama around the characters. John Michele Hill and Aidan Quinn also have roles of significance and they are immensely likable throughout the season.

The first season of Elementary ends with a promise of such relentless entertainment and drama in the future. I just hope that the second season which is on will be just as worthwhile as the first. I am already a fan and chances are, if you enjoy mystery and detective stuff, are open-minded enough to look beyond the more traditional Sherlock versions and are able to ignore the searing success of the Cumberbatch-Freeman duo, you will love it too.

Rating: 4/5 (4 out of 5 Stars)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch says:

    Elementary is nothing compared to the series I star in.

  2. Anshuman Das says:

    An American adaptation of Sherlock Holmes as a recovering junkie solving petty crimes in New York with assistant Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). Guess what Irene Adler / Moriarty’s the same person. That’s all folks.

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