I've seen Sherlock and enjoyed it at first. But then I realized that Sherlock's Sherlock is a really big douche. I didn't like that he lorded his intelligence over everyone and absolutely everyone was inept when he was around. I also didn't dig that Watson had absolutely no reason to hang out with him or be his friend.
Watson in the stories has always been a valued partner to Holmes. Holmes even told him:
"It makes a considerable difference to me, having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely."
Which, coming from Holmes, is a big deal. Holmes's relationship with Watson is one of the biggest weakness of Sherlock but it's one of the biggest strengths of one of my favourite shows Elementary.
In Elementary, John Watson becomes Joan Watson, played with intelligent adorability by Lucy Liu. This caused a bunch of people to freak out when the show first premiered cause how DARE they make a white man an Asian woman! HOW DARE they not make her a solider! HOW DARE she not be a doctor (even though she is).
But Lucy quickly usurped Jude Law's position as my favourite Watson in fiction. And it's not just because of her fabulous Joan Watson wardrobe.
But she's such a great character. She starts the show as a disgraced surgeon turned sober living companion assigned to Sherlock Holmes after his stint in rehab. By season three, she's an NYPD consultant who takes over for Sherlock after he disappears to London and is probably just as good as he is at deduction. Together, they're unstoppable, working together as a great team that compliment each other perfectly.
And the relationship between Joan and Holmes never goes anywhere near romance, which is amazing! They value each other, they deeply care about each other, but when someone mistakes Sherlock for Joan's boyfriend, she reacts with annoyance and mild disgust. He looks out for her and she looks out for him. They're family. Their relationship is how I imagine Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr's Watson and Holmes would have started their relationship.
I also love that she doesn't take any crap from Holmes. When he tries to get her to pour him a cup of coffee by rudely holding his mug up, she tells him to do it himself. Or one of my favourite situations is when they have sneaked into the morgue and Sherlock is trying to convince Joan to dissect a body, which she isn't going to do. He starts to dissect the body himself but he keeps mucking it up so she takes over.
Sherlock: That’s lovely. You’re really quite skilled, Watson....
Joan: No! I am dissecting a body in the middle of the night. We are not having a moment.
This show treats female characters so well that I just love when they add new women. I hope they bring more Ms. Hudson into the show (played by the amazing Candis Cayne) and after the amazing Kitty Winter arc, I really hope they bring her back.
And Sherlock. He is a real person in this show! One of my least favourite things about Sherlock Holmes adaptations is how Sherlock gets away with acting like an insufferable know-it-all. Sherlock is an ass in Elementary but people call him out on it and he does try not to be so much of a dick (which he is). I like watching his growth on the show. His change from the person who tells Joan he doesn't need her in season one to the person who tells her he's better when she's around.
Maybe I'm biased cause I think Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller are great actors but it's a legit awesome show. I've got about 10 episodes to finish in season 3 before season 4 starts on Thursday. I hope they bring back Ms. Hudson!