Sherlock Vs Elementary - Has there been a shift in judgement?

A little over a year ago I wrote a post entitled The Elementary Problem. In this post I made the observation that Elementary was probably being judged more harshly for its mistakes than its BBC counterpart.

Now I'm still yet to see any of Elementary apart from the pilot but I do recall that my viewpoint had its supporters from amongst the pro-Elementary camp. However, I am now starting to wonder whether the situation still applies.
Keeping "a weather eye"

As Mark Gatiss' Mycroft would say, "I've kept a weather eye" on sites that discuss Elementary and I have noticed that its critics have been slightly less harsh about it than they have been in days past. Whether this is because they feel it is improving or because they've just tired of kicking it is something I'm still trying to decide.

However, the critics (by which I mean the public rather than professional critics) are beginning to be less forgiving of Sherlock. Series three, with its pandering to fandom (episode one opening) and extra attention on the lives of its characters away from crime (The Sign of Three), has seen, in my opinion, a change in attitude. Some, once passionate, fans of the show were not shy to express their disappointment in the series and their worries for the future. This was presumably because they felt seriously let down. There was almost an unstated attitude of "I would expect this sort of thing from Elementary but not Sherlock" (and no that's not an opinion on my part).

I too found aspects to series three that I was not entirely happy about but not enough to start calling out for an undertaker to bury it. I hope series four steers more back towards the model of the first two with each episode being firmly about a case. It was, after all, the model that brought Doyle his success. The fact that it was a Victorian model does not make it unfit for purpose.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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  1. All of this is true and then some, I think. While harsh E-critics have tired of stating the same things over and over again and parts of the once passionate S-fans have cooled off, there seems to be a new cooling off period for E-fans, too, as far as I was able to observe.

    The feminist enthusiasm from the beginning about how the character of Joan Watson was handled has apparently made way to a new 'meh!'-feeling as she's been relegated to the background - or so I've heard.

    It seems that none of the current Sherlocks has left their fans entirely happy.

    I'm quite happy with Ron Howard at the moment. Lovely chap!

  2. It is going to be interesting to see where it all goes.
    "Elementary" has improved for most of us over the last couple of weeks, and we keep hoping it will continue.
    I think the biggest problem with comparing the two was, . . um . . well, comparing the two.
    Let them rise or fall on their own merits.
    It has been very calm since "Sherlock" 3 ended, hasn't it?

  3. Witholding comment for now ... still making my way through the Elementary Sn 1 boxset.
    It's definitely different. Bad different or good different is yet to be determined, and then the comparisons can be made.
    Have to say, not complaining yet though!

  4. Personally speaking, I am tried of kicking Elementary. You are doing fine by skipping the show. Trust me, you are not missing much.

    I do agree that the third season of Sherlock is a comedown from the quality of the previous seasons. Still, I would take "The Empty Hearse" over the best episode of Elementary on any given day.

    I share your hopes that Gatiss and Moffat will bring the show back to its Doylean roots in the coming season(s).


  5. Hopefully the third season of Sherlock was a diversion and it return to its roots (season 1-2 & Victorian). Although I am a couple of weeks behind on Elementary, the show has grown on me. Having more hours to develop characters and plots is a definite advantage over Sherlock.

  6. It seems Sherlock is liked by the great unwashed rabble and Elementary is favoured by the professional critics. Elementary is not improving but the notion that Joan has been relegated to the background is not true.

    The professional critics are correct and Elementary is vastly superior. If you cannot see why that is so now you never will.

  7. Well that's certainly not an opinion designed to provoke now is it?

  8. I think the Elementary discussion has simply become one sided...most of the Sherlock fans didn't really care all that much when it turned out that Elementary is very different from Sherlock, so they judge it now more based on the question if it is a good Sherlock Holmes adaptation or not. A lot of people consider Elementary too far removed from canon, others enjoy both, but in any case, for Sherlock fans, there is the secure feeling that "this show is different and will never have the success Sherlock has either way".
    The only think which keeps stirring the pot are the occasional "Why Elementary is better than Sherlock" posts.