Full disclosure: I love the BBC Sherlock. And I’m obsessed with Elementary. And this isn’t a contradiction.
I was on Pinterest earlier today, and realized I was pinning a lot of Sherlock stuff but no Elementary. Considering the fact that I am, as previously stated, obsessed with the show, this was clearly something that needed to be remedied. So I went searching for Elementary pins.
And I found the hate.
A bit of history: when Elementary was first announced, a lot of Sherlock fans were immediately up in arms. They sneered at the idea that Americans were trying to take advantage of the popularity of the BBC Sherlock, and laughed at the obvious gimmick of making Watson a woman.
I know all this because I was one of them.
I wound up watching the pilot because I was curious. I expected to hate it. Instead I fell in love. Elementary is nothing like Sherlock. The approach it takes to adapting the source material is totally different, and compelling in its own way. And a woman Watson? Brilliant. Joan Watson is one of the best parts of the show, for no small part because the relationship between Sherlock and Joan IS the best part of the show. And before you ask, no. No, it is not romantic. And while I will admit to being a Joanlock shipper (that’s fannish for wanting Joan and Sherlock to get into a romantic relationship) it is awesome that it did not happen in the first season. Sherlock and Joan’s partnership is not based on sexual attraction, not even remotely. It is based on mutual respect and a shared passion for the Work.
Elementary has been on for a year and a half at this point. It is wonderful, and by any measure a success. And yet there’s still so much hate. People saying that they’d never watch it because it’s obviously a cheap knock-off of Sherlock. Worse, people attacking the show because Joan is female. I even saw someone post that “I just hate that Watson is a Chinese woman.”
Look, nothing is ever going to please everyone. It’s okay to like Sherlock and not like Elementary. But people who reject Elementary out of hand just because it’s Not Sherlock are missing out. They are different shows, with different strengths, and it’s okay to like both! I promise!