Two TV Shows, One Consulting Detective.

London vs. New York City.

John Watson vs. Joan Watson.

Sherlock Holmes vs. Sherlock Holmes.

The UK and the US have both recently made modernized TV series versions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous “Sherlock Holmes” mystery novels.

The UK version, called Sherlock, came out in July of 2010.

Set in London, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a brooding,  smart-alecky and easily bored version of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock and John. 

 In the first episode he meets John Watson (played by Martin Freeman) who is an army doctor recently returned from Afghanistan.

  Sherlock and John become flatmates at 221B Baker St. and, though Sherlock may never admit it, crime-solving best friends.

Sherlock and Joan.

The US version, called Elementary, was released this fall. It is set in New York City.

Johnny Lee Miller plays an ex-addict, incredibly hyper and slightly lovable version of Sherlock.

Joan Watson (played by Lucy Liu) is Sherlock’s sober companion and is living with him for six weeks to help him stay on track after rehab.

(I’m anxiously waiting for the romantic tension between Sherlock and Joan, but there has been none so far.)

Cumberbatch and Miller play very different versions of Sherlock Holmes. Both, however, excellently portray the brilliant deductions that the detective makes.

The intensity of the shows are also very different. Sherlock has gotten deep with plot lines, making an overarching story of Holmes’ battle with his archenemy Moriarty and creating a modern version of the heartbreaking Reichenbach Fall.

Elementary has just started, but it is easy to tell  that it is styled like an American crime show. It doesn’t have an overarching plot line (yet) and the characters develop a little more each episode.

So, which is better?

Or are they too different to tell?

So far, both are great modern representations of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. As more episodes of Elementary are released, it will be continually compared to the British show and it might become easier to find a favorite.

In the show Elementary, will Sherlock meet Irene Adler? What about Moriarty or Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes? How will the Reichenbach Fall be interpreted, if it at all?

If Sherlock were around, he could probably deduce the answers for us.

But I guess the rest of us will just have to keep watching to find out.

Are you a diehard Sherlock fan or a new Elementary fan? Or, like me, do you think both are fab? Share your thoughts in comments.


3 thoughts on “Two TV Shows, One Consulting Detective.

  1. Lori says:

    I just saw the first episode of Elementary and loved it! Too soon for me to choose one show over the other, but I do love Lucy Liu, and I also love Johnny Lee Miller's version of arrogance. He's so lovable. A lot of love for everything from me. 🙂

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