Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks His Silence on CBS' Elementary: 'I'd Be Frightened'

Benedict Cumberbatch Jonny Lee MillerWhen word got out that Elementary — CBS’ Sherlock drama — would feature a female Watson (Lucy Liu) opposite Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes, many of the iconic sleuth’s fans got their knickers in a knot.

However, Benedict Cumberbatch, who currently portrays the detective on PBS’ Emmy-nominated Sherlock, was not one of them. In fact, he’s remained altogether mum about the controversial gender switch… at least until now.

“If I were the [producer], I’d be frightened of the dynamic of male friendship that you’d lose,” he confesses to TVLine, “because that is obviously the bedrock of the books as well. [Now] there might be sexual tension between Joan [Watson] and Sherlock, which is [a different dynamic than you'd have] between the two men. So, that’s a new thing to explore.”

RELATED | Elementary Boss: Playing Up Sherlock/Watson Sexual Tension is ‘Completely Off the Table’

And not necessarily a bad thing to explore. Cumberbatch — who is friends with Miller and even appeared opposite him in the UK stage production of Frankenstein — believes the world is big enough for multiple interpretations of Sherlock. (And, having seen the jolly good pilot, I’m inclined to agree.) “I wish them luck, I really do,” the actor insists. “I think it will be great. It will be a different spin on it, because obviously, theirs is modern-day as well, so it needs to be different from ours, and I think the more differences, the better, to be honest.

“I don’t see why they shouldn’t co-exist with us,” he adds, “I don’t think they’ll steal our audience. I think people who are Holmes fans who think they do a good job of it will have a treat in watching ours and the films. So I wish them good luck!”

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197 Comments
  1. me says:

    lovely man

  2. Amron says:

    So, it was a very polite way to say “Do as you wish, we’re better, anyway”

    • re says:

      Exactly what I thought and I love him for that. BBC’s Sherlock is the best version! This will suck.

      • Red Raven says:

        And the same was said with Sherlock when they told people that they will be transposing Sherlock Holmes to modern times. Please hold your judgement before the series ever started. (Although I share the same sentiment as you.) You’ll never know what will happen. There is no need to bash the show dear. Many people will be mad.

        • researchgrrrl says:

          There does come a point where too many variables have been changed, though. The BBC’s Sherlock changed only the time period. CBS’s Elementary has changed the time period, moved the setting to the States, swapped Watson’s gender, and rewrote the backstory for both Holmes and Watson (Holmes went so out of control that he has been in rehab; Holmes’ father is somehow pulling strings for him; and Watson is not a soldier and is a disgraced doctor being paid to live with Sherlock) are the big ones off the top of my head. Change one of those things, and you have an interesting take in a long tradition of Sherlock pastiche. Change that many details that are each so significant, and ‘frightened’ is possibly the politest thing you can be if you’re still trying to tell the story of Holmes and Watson and their adventures together.

          Because Moffat and Gatiss turned down having their version adapted by CBS, what we have with Elementary is a nakedly calculated effort to cash in on the popularity of the recent films and the BBC series, combined with a desperate attempt at not being sued by the producers of the BBC series for plagiarizing the original elements in the series. To avoid that lawsuit, almost every recognizable element save for the names ‘Holmes’ and ‘Watson’ has been removed or altered into unrecognizability. Elementary’s showrunners would have done better to finish filing off the remaining serial numbers the way Fox’s House did and sell the series on its own merits. Potential viewing audiences would have been far more receptive or at least less dubious.

          • Claudia says:

            You’ve said everything here that I’ve been saying, only with far greater eloquence! Brava!

          • Linda says:

            Excellent points. Of course they wanted to draw viewers using the recognizable names of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. I will tune in and try to suppress my instinct to compare the characters with what I expect from the books (and the outstanding BBC Sherlock). If it’s good on its own merits I will watch, but it won’t make me love BBC Sherlock any less. As Benedict says, there is room.

          • Linda says:

            I should add that I hope it IS good. There is always room for quality.

          • Red Raven says:

            Oh how spot on this comment is. I love you whoever you are.

          • Charley says:

            I must admit it does seem very likely that they are cashing in on the movie’s and series’ success and that is why they have used the names Sherlock on Watson, to publicise more than anything. This show wouldn’t of got half as much spotlight if it didn’t have their names. I get the feeling that this show would of gone down better if the makers and actors would just stop pretending they have based this off the books, because going by the trailer all they have in fact done is take the name Holmes & Watson. Johnny says he has based the character of the books, but the trailer made me think he picked up the wrong book by accident. This is what is annoying me most really about the show, the fact the cast and crew seem to be in denial of this.

            The trailer shows us that all they have done is took the names of the characters for publicity with no intention of actually making it anything like Sherlock Holmes. Yet they continue to talk a load of well rubbish really. Granted I know the trailer is only 4 minutes but considering trailers are supposed to draw us in I think it is fair to base our arguments on it.

            I’m still willing to give it a watch because we could be wrong, but I doubt it.

          • Bonnie says:

            That is the main point that is maybe at the heart of the reaction to “Elementary”. Its not that a t.v. show is being made and everyone there is to do their job, etc. But all the talk about it being different than “Sherlock” as if out of nowhere they decided to do a Sherlock Holmes t.v. show and this is how they invisioned it from the beginning is Not how it was. They DID want to remake the show that we know as “Sherlock” and were told no.

          • Linda says:

            I expect they will also keep his ability to deduce all sorts of things from his observations, and perhaps his experiments.

          • Claire says:

            Well said. The same can almost be said of Robert D Jr’s interpretation. I enjoyed Jude Law as Watson, the settings were lovely, but the movos were trying to be a period action too hard. When Ieliminated the fact that it was THE Sherlock Holmes I was meant to be seeing, i could enjoy the movies much better, as the Scruffy Holmes they chose to portray I simply could not reconcile with the original.

          • researchgrrrl says:

            @Claire, I do wish the set up would allow me to reply to you rather than my own comment. I think the reason I cut the RDJ version a bit more slack was because a) it was developed without even knowing that Moffatt and Gatiss had decided to go for a modern version of the stories, and instead because mainstream studios are slowly (and belatedly) starting to notice that neo-Victoriana and steampunk visuals have a lot of appeal and b) making Sherlock brawny and living in his body as much as he does his mind was the only crucial change. Jude Law’s Watson is still a former soldier, still a respected medical doctor, and there as Sherlock’s flatmate and friend rather than having his companionship paid for by Sherlock’s father. Oh, and he’s also still a chap. The movies are set in essentially the original time period and setting, albeit skewing toward that neo-Victoriana/steampunk feel. So, a sweaty, scruffy Holmes at least still has the right context, including his interactions with and reactions from Watson, in which to operate and I’m only expected to suspend that one significant element of disbelief. I can do that without any problem and enjoy it about as much as I would any other earnest piece of silly fanfic.

            For me, successful pastiche works sort of along the lines of scientific research: change one independent variable (the time period, Sherlock’s investment in the physical world), and you can explore how everything else is affected as a result. Change all the variables CBS’s Elementary has changed while still claiming to be based in ACD canon and you have a lot of your potential audience going ‘…are you kidding me?’ if they’re being polite that day. All I can do is point again to Fox’s House: House and Wilson were based Holmes and Watson and many of their qualities mapped directly on to the originals, but the creators never tried to convince us we were watching the adventures of Holmes and Watson. They made sure to pay tribute to their series’ inspiration over the years, but otherwise went about creating their own fully-realised universe.

            Anyway. All that to say I found the recent movie adaptations easy to watch in a way I expect I’ll have trouble doing with Elementary. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of enjoying it, but the ‘…are you kidding me?’ is strong with this one. Also, I had the pleasure of watching both versions of Frankenstein featuring JLM and Ben. I enjoyed their respective monsters fairly equally, but Ben’s Victor blew JLM’s out of the water. Ben did what even Ken Branagh tried but couldn’t quite do: he made Victor a sympathetic character. I’ve never come across another performer who managed that, and that ability to make even Victor a sympathetic character very much shows in Ben’s sociopathic Sherlock. We can see why John and Lestrade like him. JLM did not demonstrate anything near so interesting or compelling as Victor. That’s also shaping my apprehension about his attempt at Sherlock.

      • Jack says:

        Yes, I’ve never seen it, but this will suck! Cause I’m an idiot and I make snap judgements before I actually have evidence! Yeah, Internet!

        • Larry David says:

          seems like you’re mad that everyone thinks this will suck. because it will suck.

        • Temis says:

          Hee Hee, well the real story here is, the CBS audience doesn’t know or care what’s on the BBC. CBS is taking public domain character and shaping it to the tastes of their audience, which they do supremely well, as evidenced by their continuing success in an industry that is rapidly going down the tubes. all the other networks are struggling in the ratings, but CBS is a ratings generating machine. Their Sherlock will be a big hit, and the fans here will cry bitterly about it, but it won’t make the slightest difference to CBS. I won’t be watching the show, but I’m not CBSs audience so why would I? They don’t make shows for me, or for the people in this thread, and they do very well with that approach.

        • Jim From I.T. says:

          Eloquently put Anderson.

          Mycroft start a war before you got home did he? All we where doing was having a friendly little discussion. Then you come along acting like someone killed your Dinosaur.

          Well, I believe congratulations are in order. As you single handily lowered the IQ of the entire comment section. So why don’t you go away and stop inflicting your opinions on the world.

          – SH

          P.S. Your wife is having an affair. Best call Sally round.

          Laterz.

          • ILoveYourComment says:

            Wanted to say that I love your comment. It brought a huge smile to my fae seeing all the references to BBC’s Sherlock. Now I am gonna go watch Reichenbach and have all these feelings…

      • liddad says:

        I think the BBC’s will stay the best as they have an hour and a half for each episode, and much more time spent on the production and writing of each individual episode, so that the small number of episodes that there are is still as (If not more) satisfying because it’s like we got 6 feature-length films.

      • jules says:

        100% agree! Steven Moffatt’s SHERLOCK is the BEST, Guy Ricthie’s SHERLOCK… hmm… not bad, CBS’s SHERLOCK will suck! CBS and US television must stop copy people’s idea and start to be creative. Honestly, I have a big sympathy to Miller. He is a good actor, I really like him as much as I like BC, but playing in something is not really original? And Watson is female? I don’t think so. Isn’t Sherlock Holmes is about masculinity and bromance?

        • tehimas says:

          I am totally agree with you

          • sherlock fan says:

            This is what benedict said:
            I hate to blow our own trumpet, but we did actually start it. We did the pilot waaay before they wanted to do the film. And in fact, it’s rumored that the Weinsteins and other people that had to do with Warner had already heard about the property, the idea that we were doing a modern adaptation of it, and thought, “Ah, we haven’t had Sherlock Holmes in a long time as a movie franchise,” and it popped up. You know, we were a bit sour about it at the beginning, we were kind of, “Oh. Really. REALLY? We’re just getting off the ground with this idea.” And then we saw it and went “Aw, it’s great. We can both exist at the same time.”
            And I just think that elementary is just a rip off sherlock bbc. i mean come on even the title card is a copy. i bet they just thought ‘oh yeah hav u seen that british show which is modern day sherlock holmes? lets do a copy but in america!!!’

    • Artem says:

      Indeed

  3. Templar says:

    IMO Miller reads as more of a serial killer than ace detective. I’ll give it a try but I’m not optimistic. BC is a class act and good for him taking the high road.

  4. Maja says:

    Joan WATSON… and else, I think honestly he does feel a bit weird about it, especially because a friend of his plays Holmes. But overall I agree that I don’t see why they shouldn’t try and do their version!

  5. Goku says:

    Am I the only one who thinks there is also sexual tension between Sherlock and Watson? ;>

    • minkoz says:

      Bless you for this comment.

    • LauraMc. says:

      you are most definitely not alone.

    • Keren says:

      Haha! No, I think that they are just a good bromance

    • billyandme says:

      Not alone at all!

    • Shannon says:

      Nope! I was going to post the same thing!

    • NoChance says:

      No, you’re not alone BUT we know that it’s always going to be subtext and will never turn into “will they/won’t they/when will they”. With “Elementary” I’m almost 100% certain that CBS will draw in the shippers by keeping up the UST for as long as possible.

    • A Rosenfeld says:

      I don’t think there is any sexual tension between S&W in BBC’s Sherlock. Quite the contrary. Sherlock is obviously uncomfortable with personal intimacy and Watson has a liking for the ladies. I frankly am tired of people being incapable of accepting two men’s love and devotion for each other as just that. Sex does not always have to enter the picture between two individuals. Frodo and Samwise is another good example.
      I am a straight woman with many male and female friends whom I love and care very deeply for, but I have no interest in having sex with them!

      • Linda says:

        Thank you! It’s sad our culture has been so sexualized that a lot of people are incapable of seeing any affection between two people without thinking it means they want to sleep together.

      • Kathy says:

        Thank you for expressing my feelings exactly!!! I, too, am a little weary of “slashing.”

      • Brandy says:

        See, this is how I see House/Wilson. No UST at all. It was great just as it was, one of the great bromances.

        John and Sherlock? Not so much. I’ve never been a fan of any slash pairing anywhere, but this one practically jumps off the screen at me.

      • Emily says:

        It’s partly a fantasy thing. I, personally being a slash shipper, can attest to the fact that I do realize that the Sherlock x John romance shall (most likely) never be, but I still do it and bask in all of it’s adorableness. It just makes me warm and fuzzy thinking about it. I wish it would happen but it probably won’t (although there are subtle hints in the show that could give one the impression of there being a bit more than a bromance, lol XD).

        And we aren’t idiots, for christ’s sake, we don’t think that if you are “close” to someone in any way, shape, or form that it means you want to f*ck them, to put it bluntly :/. I, at least, am not that ignorant, considering I ALSO HAVE FRIENDS WHOM I DON’T WANT TO F*CK ( -_-#)

        *coughs* Sorry if I sounded a bit angry/vicious there, just is a bit annoying when someone takes you for an idiot ( -_-‘)

      • Renee says:

        THANK YOU.

      • Moni says:

        I totally agree! Sherlock does NOT want to waste/clutter his energy on romance. He has his senses focused on the work- which without his mind would rot, as he so emphatically stated.

    • Gilda says:

      If the showrunners went down that road I would die from happiness. You’re not the only one.

    • Holland says:

      I don’t remember who said this but, the fact that they both need each other but not necessarily want each other is part of appeal to both of them. Who said anything about soul mates needing to be romantically involved?

      • Bobbi says:

        If the actual characters of Holmes and Watson were written in the books as gay then fine. But Holmes doesn’t have time for anything like that, one way or the other and Watson is straight.
        Sherlock and John in the t.v. do need each other. Both of their lives were changed when they met each other. The show does use that as what some from the outside might be thinking. But its not so and i have yet to see John Watson, who is always trying to find a date give any impression he would be interested in Sherlock other than a friend. They have great chemistry. These are wonderful actors who just happen to work together perfectly and chemistry is not the same as wanting to have a sexual relationship.
        But anyone has a right to think what they do about them – it is still a fantasy.

    • Mikael says:

      There definitely is in the Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law Sherlock & Watson.

  6. Kara says:

    I love this guy, so classy. Can’t wait for season three of Sherlock. Still on the fence about Elementary.

  7. Jennifer says:

    It worked on Hawaii 5-0 with Kono. Although as Watson I don’t know how she’s going to keep her hands off Jonny Lee Miller, I know I couldn’t!

  8. sovietkitsch says:

    I’m a BBC Sherlock fan but I loathe the overtly proud and somewhat obnoxious attitude of some BBC Sherlock fans about Elementary. It’s ridiculous. So what if CBS is hopping on the Sherlock Holmes bandwagon? Countless adaptations have been done. Some fans think BBC had the only rights to do a modern retelling. The show hasn’t even premiered yet and it has been met with comments from lamenting on Lucy Liu’s casting to Johnny’s scarf copying from Benedict’s Sherlock(?). And the reviews I’ve heard of Elementary’s pilot episode screening in Comic Con were great, so I think I’ll give it a shot.

    • Brooke says:

      Agreed. I have read so many different Sherlock Holmes adaptations over the years, and they’re all fun and entertaining. Whenever I hear about a new one I look forward to getting it from the library. If there can be dozens of Sherlock Holmes books written by different authors over the years, there can definitely be two shows with different spins on it. As long as it’s well written and enjoyable, I’m all for it.

    • Temis says:

      Yeah I’ve been seeing pro CBS backlash because of the obnoxious and prejudiced fans who rant about a show that’s yet to even air. However, it doesn’t matter what any of us say or think about this, because the CBS audience is not the same group of people who comment on websites like this. CBS knows their audience and they’re making a show for their audience, not for any of us.

    • Charley says:

      I think the problem that most are having it not the fact they are making the show, because they are clearly free to do so. It is the fact that they only seem to have taken the names Sherlock and Watson for publicity. The trailer and press interviews show us that the characters barely resemble those in the books. Yet the cast and crew are still denying this fact, saying they have gone back to the books.
      Although just to add, in this case I think it is fairly obvious they are just trying to pull in profit from the movie and BBC series. This being said I still believe that Elementry has the potential to be a good show, just that it is also going to be a terrible interpretation of the books at the same time (i.e. it will barely resemble them). This is what is seems to be making most people mad (me included). But this being said, as someone pointed out above it will still probably do well. I will certainly give it a go.

      Just a general question though, am I the only one who thinks Johnny’s acting in the trailer is terrible, like he is a bit bored and didn’t but any effort in. But not in a good Sherlock way, but rather in a terrible acting way? Which is strange because he was fantastic in Frankenstein.

      • Mandy says:

        TBH, I think he’s good in general in the trailer, but not in the way as Sherlock Holmes, and no, he is not GREAT in Frankenstein, Miller is not as solid on stage comparing with genuinely seasoned stage actors, he’s much better on TV and in films.

      • Bobbi says:

        It seems to me, with just watching the previews, that Jonny is playing Sherlock as a hyper person. There’s a moment where he almost seems “wild-eyed”. Maybe it’s because he is off the drugs (there is barely mention of the cocaine in the books from what i’ve heard from people) and coping with that. But maybe that might just be in the pilot, and he kind of calms down.
        USA Today had an article on the CBS shows and the producer said – “Our Sherlock has emerged with a tiny kernel of self-doubt where one never existed..I don’t see him as a sociopath. I see him as someone who’s driven to do the right thing.” ..o..k…

    • hamza says:

      oh come on darling, tell me youre someone who wouldnt fight for a phenomenal cause?

  9. Lisa says:

    I haven’t seen Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, and every time he opens his mouth, I am less inclined to ever watch it. Maybe it’s something that is lost in translation, but he always seems to be looking down his nose at everyone else. I _am_ looking forward to seeing Elementary this fall, however.

    • Suds says:

      Ridiculous accusation. Benedict has never said a bad word about anyone unjustingly.

    • me says:

      Your loss

    • tmort03 says:

      You’re really missing out! If you’re a Holmes fan, you are doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t try the fantastic BBC version and at least give it a shot.

      Not sure why you think Cumberbatch is “looking down his nose” at everyone else – from various reports from people who work with him (actors, producers, directors, etc.), he is a truly kind and generous actor. Being that he is a friend of JLM and they worked together very closely for a National Theatre production in 2011, I believe he is sincere about the well wishes for the CBS version.

      Even though I’m a HUGE fan of the BBC version and of Cumberbatch, I’m going to give this version a try. It’s not like I’ll be out anything but some time if I dislike it!

    • me says:

      Did you miss the part where he said he wishes them good luck and thinks the show is going to be good? How is that “looking down his nose at everyone else”?

    • giraffe says:

      “but he always seems to be looking down his nose at everyone else”… really? Since when?

    • Saint Alicia says:

      Agreed, everything out of his mouth is wrapped in condescension. God forbid TV is deprived of another “male friendship,” there’s a dearth of those these days. And don’t you know a male-female friendship could never stack up to the “bedrock” of a ~bromance? Oh but excuse me, there’s absolutely nothing romantic between the BBC’s Holmes and Watson; Moffat shouting “no homo” in every interview should’ve put that to rest.
      Though why is Bandicoot Cumbersnatch even weighing in on this in the first place? Am I missing the relevance of an actor from a different show (and remake in it’s own right) providing his input/blessing? He must be the reincarnation of Conan Doyle, otherwise who cares what he thinks. And Elementary won’t steal BBC viewers because it’s automatically positioned to have a separate, bigger audience just by virtue of being an American production on CBS.
      BC should stick to complaining about Downton Abbey’s large cross-over appeal compared to Sherlock’s “cult status”; he needn’t move on to Elementary.

      • Linda says:

        He weighs in on it because everyone asks him about it. Benedict has an educated Brit accent and a natural British reserve. That is not condescension. I agree that US fans should give Elementary a chance and it’s unfortunate they are bashing it without seeing it, but that is not Benedict’s fault or anything he has encouraged. You are doing exactly the same thing in reverse.

        • Saint Alicia says:

          “Benedict has an educated Brit accent…” The hell does that have to do with anything? Especially a PRINT interview?? I swear…

          • Linda says:

            Since you said “everything out of his mouth” I assumed you had read/seen other interviews. I apologize for my assumption if that’s not the case. BTW, he didn’t complain about Downton’s appeal. He and a friend from Downton were teasing each other and his comments were taken out of context and misrepresented. The media loves to over-dramatize and create feuds where they don’t exist so they can sell papers/TV ads. It is hard to determine attitude (condescension, etc) from written, not to mention edited, versions of interviews, so give the guy a break. Plus, you need to take into account the differences between American and British ways of expression.

          • hamza says:

            well ofcourse the british accent is intimidating! numbnuts!

      • conductor_of_light says:

        I must politely insist that your opinion of Benedict is severely misinformed. There is a media trap that surrounds Benedict; misuse of quotes, leaving out explanations or context specifically for the controversy it could stir, such as the Downtown Abbey ‘complaints,’ which was actual a tease between friend. I think you’ll find if you look more into his full interviews you’ll see his a severely humble, very generous man.

      • Erika says:

        Because Elementary has been taking every chance to cause buzz by utilizing the popularity of the BBC’s Sherlock, including hiring Miller, who was Cumberbatch’s co-star on the stage production Frankenstein, in which they shared two main roles and swapped every night in 2011, and the press has been asking Cumberbatch the question since CBS announced its plan. I even suspect this so-call new interview with Cumberbatch was done when he’s in NYC to promote Sherlock S2 in this May, in other words, not a NEW interview at all. I’m not against Elementary, but I don’t like what CBS has done to generate buzz for it. If I didn’t already know, I’d thought that it’s Cumberbatch to star as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary. If you don’t like to see so many Elementary news getting Cumberbatch included, go ask CBS to stop using him to publicize Elementary. Thank you very much.

    • Templar says:

      Watch Cumberbatch as Hugh Laurie’s son in Fortysomething. Nothing arrogant about him. He’s the real deal and a fine example of a Brit actor.

    • Elatus says:

      See the show, and THAN comment. My view to the both side of discussion.
      If you don’t want to see BBC Sherlock, Lisa, then don’t, but the reason is somehow… ridiculous?
      Benedict is in very awkward position here, between his good breed, friendship with JLM and producers of his show. Saying that he sound proud is the last thing I would say about it…

  10. JW says:

    Bets on how fast are they going to try to get “Joan” to Holmes bed. Only reason to change it.

  11. “I don’t think they’ll steal our audience,” – he’s so right :) because BBC Sherlock’s is absolutely unique and its fans are adamantly loyal and truly addicted to this really good show

  12. Bow says:

    I have to laugh at the CBS production team posting on here. They wont be laughing when the ratings slip.

  13. J says:

    Maybe we want to see a different dynamic, and to see something new isn’t something you should be ‘frightened’ of.

  14. sk says:

    Cumberbatch is very gracious….class act. While I feel that CBS should be ashamed of the way it brought Elementary to the screen, Cumberbatch is right in that the BBC’s Sherlock has nothing to fear from Elementary. I also believe that the sexual tension of Elementary will greatly alter the dynamics of the narrative (which forecloses some and opens up other directions for narrative exploration–for better or worse shall be seen)….and I really do not like that they’ve basically turned Dr. Watson into Holmes’ NA watchdog….sorry but that’s just lame.

  15. Babygirl says:

    Benedict is far from being a snob or looking down his nose. You apparently do not know anything about him. Of course he has said something he does dislike immensley is mediocrity – which is apparent because it’s something he doesn’t get involved with.
    As said, if you know what the people who work with him say then you would Not be saying what you did. He’s a generous person and so intelligent and they just can’t praise him enough. He was brought up speaking “correct” English and surrounded by Acting parents and people who spoke well and tho they were not rich actors – he went to good schools with help from his grandmother. Knowlege is important to him and he cares very much for the work he does.
    Anyone on here who hasn’t seen “Sherlock” there are ways to find it to check it out.

    Actually, i just see Sherlock and John as friends – Moffat and Gatiss and Ben also see them as one of the great friendships (and that’s all) of all time. People can see what they want, but have never seen anything but that.

  16. HcdP says:

    When I first heard about Elementary, I thought it was going to just be a copy cat version of the BBC’s Sherlock. Now, however, having heard more of the basic premise, (besides it being a modern update) I’m curious about the direction they want to take this.

    Though, I have to agree, I am a little apprehensive about a female Watson. There are so many ways it can be done right and be absolutely fantastic. But it can go wrong much more easily. If the whole cast and crew are able to keep that solid friendship between the two, especially with Waston being a woman, and transform it into something different, because a friendship between men and women is different (added sexual tension or not), I think the show can work. I just don’t want to see their relationship being all about the ‘will they, won’t they?’

  17. Mare says:

    I tried the BBC’s Sherlock for two seasons and I honestly don’t understand the fuss. I can’t stand their Sherlock. He is irredeemably obnoxious. The only one I like is Watson. So I’m really looking forward to a version of Holmes that doesn’t make me hate the lead. And I’m honestly annoyed by all the “superior” BBC Sherlock fans looking down on this show they haven’t even SEEN yet. Guess what, not everyone likes your precious show and it doesn’t mean we have no taste. So how about you all stop bashing this show and non-Sherlock fans and stop it with your condescension? This version may or may not be great but yours isn’t the precious perfection you all think it is either.

    • Red Raven says:

      Every fandoms have fans like that. It’s just hard for them to swallow another Sherlock Holmes story after being fed with Guy Ritchie’s and BBC’s version.

      It’s okay if don’t like the show. Even Jeremy Brett’s Watson David Burke doesn’t think highly of BBC Sherlock because he thinks theirs is better(which I slightly agree on). But I really think BBC Sherlock done well enough.

      The original Sherlock Holmes isn’t likable at all. Even some of his friends loathe his attitude. The only thing fans love in him is his charisma, intellect and the way he solves things. So if you’re trying to find a not obnoxious Sherlock Holmes then I think you’re wasting your time. Plus, judging from the trailer, CBS’s Sherlock Holmes is not likable either.

      • Paul says:

        My favorite comment. Holmes has become a bit domesticated over the many decades of adaptation. The original version was polite but not likeable.

        Now that time has passed and I’ve seen several episodes of Elementary it seems to me that Doyle’s creation is like Shakespeare – there’s room enough for many versions. Miller is doing a great job and the writers have gone out of their way to squelch any romance. I’m surprised i like Lucy Liu in the role, I think it only works because she’s not the faithful sidekick but has her own issues. I’d say Benedict was spot on when he suggested they would have to walk a tightrope because that is what they are managing to do so far.

    • You know, I don’t like BBC’s version as much, either, and it’s because I CAN’T STAND him. He’s absolutely superior, he treats people badly, and his intelligence isn’t all that impressive. And I’ve never grown attached to Watson. Also, it’s a double episode in the British pace, which makes it suuuupppppeeer sloooowww and it makes it very tiring to watch. I still haven’t watched last season’s finale because I don’t have the patience for it. And I’m not American. I’m Brazilian.

      I’ve read every single Sherlock Holmes book by the age of 11. I wanted to love it like most everyone does. I really do love Guy Ritichie’s version! But I never got into the show. I know they’re going to change EVERYTHING in Elementary, but I’m not judging just yet. I was a HUGE fan of the Rizzoli & Isles books, and I possibly love the show more than the books now. And they changed everything but their names, just about.

      • Brandy says:

        You’ve read the books and you think BBC’s Sherlock is too unlikeable? I get uncomfortable during the books because Holmes treats Watson so badly. He’s a total asshole in canon; at least he BBC version is an asshole who’s interesting to watch.

        • I just don’t agree with you. I think he’s an arrogant snot in the show. In the books, his brilliancy shows through. In the show, he seems like a conceited kid.

          • conductor_of_light says:

            Well, consider the age of the characters you’re discussing. He seems like a conceited kid because he /is/ one, in a way. In most of the books, John and Sherlock have been together for some time, and they’re both over 40. Sherlock is in his early 30s in this version and John is about 38, and the series starts when they’ve only just meet one another. Their chemistry is automatic, but Sherlock hasn’t had a companion for most, if not all of his adult life–he’s still /learning/ how to interact with people in a way that isn’t only a means to an end. Part of the subtle wonder of this show is watching how John’s presence as Sherlock’s one and only friend changes the detective.

          • Bonnie says:

            As the comment said – the show starts out with them meeting for the first time, in their 30’s. That’s one of the things Moffat wanted to do – to show them at the beginning and then show what happens when Watson comes into the picture. Rem. Lestrad (close..) saying Sherlock was a great man and someday he might be a good one. Even at the end of the first show when Watson counters with his own “because you’re an idiot” and Sherlock smiles.
            There’s a scene in the first season where his friend from college says “We all hated him”..you didn’t notice the look on his face? the way he looked down – it’s just a split second – but that comment hurt him. Benedict is a master of having a look convey what is not said out loud.
            The humor in it is wonderful, the performances are great and for the people who do love the show think we see more to Sherlock than just the surface..we know he is a good man too.

          • I’m sorry, but I disagree. I don’t think the show is funny, I think she show’s slow and unappealing, I DO get what they tried to do, but I don’t think in any way they achieved the mastery or brilliancy of the books. I like the Guy Ritchie version much, much more! I truly, really hate Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, I think Robert Downey Jr.’s a million times better — and I’d never been a fan of his before.

            I used to adore the books growing up. I wanted to be a detective just like Sherlock Holmes. I am extremely bummed at the British version.

      • Linda says:

        Most of the episodes start out slow and build in pace, IMO. I tend to watch most TV while doing something else. I started watching Sherlock that way and didn’t get into it at first. Then I realized it was one of those shows that you have to pay close attention to. When I did that I absolutely fell in love with the show. I have watched all the episodes at least two or three times and there is so much more to see each time. I almost never watch a TV show or movie more than once, but Sherlock keeps delivering.

        • B.B. says:

          I think not catching the humor means thinking it’s suppose to be funny like a comedy. It has WIT which is diffierent than just being “funny”. Its in the way they interact with each other.
          I like RDJ but to me, he is RDJ being RDJ with a british accent.

  18. Indi says:

    Love the bbc version, it’s beyond my favorite. I mean I dare you to watch it and not think its brilliant, however I also love guy ritichie’s movie version with rdj ad Jude law. Do you I think they should have turned John into a girl , no , but I’ll certainly not judge till I’ve seen it. I just wish the US didn’t try to marginalize and remake every popular Brit show.

  19. Crossover!! “Sherlocks of Two Worlds”

  20. Amanda says:

    Whatever. People are mad about Watson being a girl because then they can’t pretend that Holmes and Watson are gay together during Elementary. By this point, I’m sick of Steven Moffat and I hope Lucy Liu plays everyone’s favorite white male characters. Lord knows there are plenty of them.

  21. gerard says:

    but when they make a teen Sherlock Holmes that hunts vampires and is going to sing all the time, that s when i stop watching,ha ha. Lets just wait and see.

  22. Bobbiel says:

    Of course not everyone is going to like “Sherlock” but the people who do love it, love it to make up for the ones that don’t.
    Sherlock Holmes has always been a pain – but in a way that’s the fun of him..there’s a lot of dry humor in that .. tho just thought if I didn’t like the character the first time I watched it..why watch 2 whole seasons of someone you don’t like, tho you did like Watson, so did you turn down the t.v. when “Sherlock” was on.
    Even tho you don’t like him, you are seeing one of the greatest actors you are ever going to see. When they were doing the voice over for “Study in Pink” Moffat or Gatiss were talking and watching a scene being shot and they thought where is Benedict, they just saw Sherlock..where did sweet, affable Benedict go..
    We just love the show and we’re not saying Jonny isn’t good or that it won’t be written well, etc. We have seen the previews to see how, at least, it will play out to some extent.
    Possibly if “Sherlock” was more well known in America. It doesn’t get much publicity and even tho it just got 13 Emmy nominations. Being on PBS is Not like being on the main networks. And the fact CBS went to the BBC to re-do Sherlock and they said no.
    It’s not the Downy version they went after.
    Sometimes when America re-does a show from Britain – the show has already gone off the air so maybe that’s some of the feeling.
    So for those who don’t like Sherlock – then hope you do really enjoy ‘Elementary” – simple as that. And am sure both can be liked. Moffat & Gatiss just love pretty much anything that has Sherlock attached to it, so when they got to do their t.v. show – it was a labor of Love. They talked about doing it years before they actually got around to it and it was a dream for them to do and were not sure how it was going to go but it turned out o.k. for them.

    • Red Raven says:

      Plus, they deemed every plausible Sherlock Holmes before them Canon. (Guy Ritchie’s not included as it came the same time as them.)

    • liddad says:

      As a Scotsman, I’m asking you to please spell “Downey” with the E, as without the E, in Scotland it’s an extremely offensive term for a person with Downs syndrome.

  23. Michelle says:

    There’s no reason you can’t be a fan of both shows. Elementary can take the edge off the wait for more BBC Sherlock. And this is hardly Benedict “breaking his silence.” he’s been asked several times about Elementary and has said good things every time. And he’s right: the dynamic will be different, but different does not equal bad.

  24. LickyDisco says:

    The only thing that would have made this brief article supurb, dear Michael, is if you had audio to it so we BC fans could have gone all swoony over his lovely voice! :) *sigh* He’s so dreamy…

  25. Ewa says:

    Well, we’ll see in about two seasons (if it stays on that long, obviously) – even if they avoid the sexual tension during the first season, they will start singing a different tune once they start running out of better ideas and by the third season we’ll have the “will they,won’t they” in full swing

  26. Julie says:

    One problem is falling into the usual CBS Procedural category. After a while, as they say they won’t be taking from the actual stories, will be interesting to see where they go.

  27. Jack says:

    BBC Sherlock fanatics are hilarious. It’s not even that they don’t want to share the character (as if, you know, your precious Moffat made him up out of thin air, pffft), but I think it’s more the case of them wanting to be special. “Oooh, look at me, I love this show from overseas, and you haven’t even heard of it! Oooh, look how special and cool I am!” LMAO.

    • Larry David says:

      seems like you’re mad that everyone thinks this will suck. because it will suck!

    • liddad says:

      Actually, I’m from the UK and everyone here loves it the same way as the US fans. And it’s not a small show over here. Around 10 million people in the UK watched season 2 live. That’s a sixth of the population. This show isn’t just good, it’s great. THAT’S why people are obsessed with it.
      Elementary may not be bad, but due to the extremely high standard set by Moffat and Gatiss’ interpretations, it’s going to be almost impossible to beat.

      • Jane says:

        Three years ago I started to get bored of american looooonnnggg series. Too much episodes, too much seasons… too much changing characters (from evil to good to indetermined). It sucks. So I was looking for something different and found Wire in the Blood, Being Human, Misfits, The Tudors, and so on. Great series, few episodes per season and straight to the point and a Spanish friend told me about the BBC’s Sherlock and nearly forced me to watch it… he told me it was a MUST to me… I believed him and I thank God he told me of this serie. My first impression was “WTH” is this??? but did not leave. I watched the long first episode and love it. I love this Sherlock because he made me feel exactly the same I felt when I read the books. This undetermined sense of love and hate, admiration and anger towards Sherlock Holmes.
        Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman did a great job with such iconic characters.

        I could give Elementary a chance but I know it will be a long season of 20-23 episodes and that repeles me and maybe if the show make it and gets another season then maybe the writers will finally permit Watson to f*ck Sherlock Holmes… I believe that is a not so hidden desire for people who has read the books… well, a desire from modern people who wants to see sex in everything.

        But you people can give Elementary a chance. I have no doubt it will be a good show. But I stay with this one of the BBC.

  28. Julie says:

    Feel maybe there was a bit of sarcasm with the “voice” comment. Nothing wrong with thinking someone has a great voice. Benedict has done a lot of audio books and voice overs over the years because people have wanted that voice representing them. Want to joke about them too?

  29. Bobbie says:

    Didn’t you read that Moffat & Gatiss know all about the Doyle stories and the movies that have been made. They would be the last people who would say they were doing something “new” – they even say Sherlock in Victorian times Was current, and also the Rathbone movies were done in current times.
    I love “Sherlock” but never have i felt superior because i want others to see it. Don’t think its different than anything someone thinks is good and they enjoy wanting others to see it, or read it, etc. Then its up to the other person to like it or not – no big deal.

  30. I dunno I like mysteries and the BBC Sherlock is 3 movies a year. I don’t mind CBS giving it a try and I have to reserve judgment until I actually see what they have come up with. I tend to trust CBS more than the like of ABC and NBC when it comes to dramas.

    • And outside of his love for Glee lol I tend to trust when Ausiello says a show is good.

    • Linda says:

      It’s not even 3 episodes a year. It’s closer to 3 episodes every 18 months. The next series will start filming in January 2013. After that the intervals may get even longer since both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are in increasing demand with high profile movie roles coming out in the next year (The Hobbit, Star Trek 2). Both have said they want to continue doing Sherlock but it may be harder and harder to coordinate their schedules. One of the things I like about British actors is they tend to mix media throughout their careers, doing TV, film, theater, and radio. American actors tend to stay mostly in one category, though this has been changing.

      Hopefully Elementary will be good enough to tide us over :-).

  31. AT says:

    I don’t see the problem in enjoying both. I don’t know why people are getting so upset over it. Seriously, it’s just silly.

  32. jellygirl says:

    “jolly good pilot”? i must have missed something because i caught the pilot at comic-con and i have to say, i wasn’t impressed (and it has nothing to do with watson being female). i was actually pretty bored during the preview and only perked up once the panel/Q&A started. maybe it was due to Con fatigue (my friend was literally falling asleep) or maybe i just needed closed captions? i couldn’t help comparing it to BBC’s sherlock and elementary just isn’t as funny or clever.

  33. Temis says:

    CBS knows exactly what they’re doing, making Watson female. If this were the CW, then two male leas might work, but CBS’s audience is too conservative that. You know what I mean. CBS is going to have another brig hit show on their hands.

  34. alison@yahoo.com says:

    The British version of Sherlock is peerless (and part of that is the fact that they’re not churning out 20 episodes a year, they’re really almost mini-movies).

    That said, I love Johnny Miller (eli stone was underrated) and I would love to see him in a show that was worthy of his abilities. But the addition of Lucy Liu as Watson substantially lowers my interest level. She’s just not very interesting/talented and I can’t see what she’s bringing to the table besides breasts. Also to because of the very nature of US series TV, I have to wonder how consistent the quality level of the writing will be. I’ll probably watch the pilot, but at this point, it’s not a must-see.

    • Linda says:

      I like Eli Stone a lot, which is one reason I’m looking forward to Elementary. I do like Lucy Liu too. I’m a huge fan of Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch. I first noticed him in a tiny, and somewhat unsympathetic, role in “The Other Boleyn Girl.” His face showed so much that in a few lines I wanted to know more about his character and was disappointed that was the last he showed up in the movie. I didn’t know who he was, but I though ‘this is an actor to watch for in the future.’

  35. bobbie says:

    It’s the actors. Sherlock has Benedict Cumberbatch, who is just awesome. The Brit version of Prime Suspect had Helen Mirren. You just can’t throw an adequate actor into a show and expect to match a show that has superb actors. Helen Mirren really carried Prime Suspect. Elementary has Lucy Liu, so that’s very encouraging.

  36. Line says:

    I’m a fan of BBC’s Sherlock and I don’t resent the fact that CBS wanted to make their own version of Sherlock Holmes (these characters and stories are certainly not the sole property of BBC), and I don’t even doubt the fact that the first episodes, maybe even the first season, will be quite good, even though I’m a little bit more skeptical in the long term.

    What I do resent, however, is the fact that Elementary is almost a contigency plan after they had been refused the rights to simply re-do Sherlock… It seems so opportunistic. I think I just don’t understand why it’s such a trend in the US to do remakes of successful foreign shows (or movies) when they are easily accessible in the country otherwise, and in this case already in english, so they can’t even blame the language barrier.

    • monoi says:

      I was replying this post.

      It’s like the US movie of Millenium. Same movie ! Maybe with more rythm but some scenes were almost exactly the same ! What’s the point ? Too often americans try to appropriate european movies or ideas to pretend they can do better

      • No, they buy the rights and make the movie in English with actors people have actually heard of here. Some of us watch the originals with subtitles but Hollywood can almost always throw a bigger budget and bigger name actors at good material. Why gripe about it? The people who own the rights to those movies sold them and lined their pockets with the cash. You don’t have to watch the American version if you don’t want to and I am sure we can start listing foreign movies that were remade here that are actually better.

        • Line says:

          So bigger name actors are always better and foreign actors are just good enough for other countries? And if Hollywood can do their own version of a movie or show, or whatever, then it’s just logical to do it because they have a bigger budget? Sorry but I still don’t understand. I think it’s a shame you sometimes close yourselves to styles that are different from the Hollywood one.
          And of course the people who sell those rights make a lot of money, but you can see that in this case, Sherlock’s creators must have thought the same, because they refused to sell their concept.

          • Moni says:

            I’m in the US and am so glad Moffat and Gatiss refused to sell their spin of Sherlock to Hollywood. We will give Elementary a chance here- different strokes for different folks- but personally my heart is already smitten with the British version. They were the first to latch on to the ‘Modern’ Sherlock and they have done a fantastic job! Please, please, please- keep up the good work!

  37. Jay says:

    I love the BBC version of Sherlock as well as the movies and after watching the first preview of Elementary, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. But after more footage came out, I sorta changed my mind. Miller brings a slightly different voice to Sherlock which is good because we’d all get tired of the same adaptation of Sherlock done the same over and over again and some sort of variety is needed and I think it’s a bit different with Joan Watson and the America setting but still you can’t really judge it right now until the first few episodes because you still don’t know whether Elementary will be a rare gem or just another show that lasts a year then disappears

  38. Alice says:

    I think that he is right about not feeling like Elementary is going to steal Sherlock’s audience. Sherlock stays mostly true to the plots of the original stories, changing things here and there to make it fit in with modern times. Elementary takes a completely different spin on things, for example making Watson a girl, which may be interesting to watch; however, I think that people like me, who have read the Sherlock Holmes stories numerous times and who are absolutely in love with them, will perfer Sherlock. That and I have a huge crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. :-)

    • Sue says:

      Who doesn’t have a huge crush on Benedict? lol

    • “Sherlock stays mostly true to the plots of the original stories, changing things here and there to make it fit in with modern times.” Mmmmmmm I know what you mean but no, that credential goes more to Jeremy Brett’s TV series. Part of the fun of the Sherlock BBC is the changes that manifested. For example – the tease about “Rache” and the police assuming it was an unfinished word “Rachel” in the books, whereas the reverse delightfully takes place in Sherlock BBC. Part of the charm of Sherlock BBC is the close attention to canon. Do I anticipate Elementary will do this? Absolutely not. They’re not Sherlockians. But I do hope the product is good on its own merit.

      • I mean to say – Moffat and Gatiss paid close attention to canon and tweaked it. It’s fresh and fun because they explicitly DID NOT give a play-by-play of the books. In fact, not a single episode has gone exactly like a single one of the stories. They are all interwoven in a very modern Easter Egg fashion for us hardcore fans who KNOW the stories already forward to back. In its essence, Sherlock BBC is a fantastic mindblowingly good fan creation. Elementary writers I believe will not even open the books. But I still remain optimistic for Elementary.

  39. monoi says:

    Because americans are egocentric idiots

  40. Sue says:

    Watson being paid to work with Holmes is what bugs me about Elementary. It can’t help but give their relationship a different dynamic. And BBC Sherlock is absolutely brilliant; I find it hard to believe that Elementary will even come close to being as good.

  41. Hey, just a question. I’m a fan of BBC and I think there’s room for more Holmes lore in all mediums. Sherlock Holmes is a character of archetypal proportions; I feel it would be just as ridiculous to say there’s not enough room for another god in the Greek pantheon to say that there isn’t enough room for CBS’ Elementary. I will watch it when convenient (no TV).

    BUT here’s my question: why does Watson, along with the gender change, have to be dishonorably discharged? Honor, loyalty, and virtue are things intrinsic to Watson. Loyalty ultimately wins out, every time, but doing the honorable thing is a close second choice when loyalty does not enter the picture. I hope the reason is exceptionally good for the character’s loss of her credentials, which seems a ridiculous reason for changing her professional orientation – why not a hostile workplace? That’s certainly common enough, particularly in the culture of medicine, which is still patriarchal and can be (at times) antagonistic towards women and non-white medical professionals.

    I hope that these elements of her identity are something to do with the loss of her credentials – in a world where women (especially non-white and immigrant women) are struggling to mediate between work and family, I’d hate to see this potential for a great character study become a predictable end-result like:

    “Lose your job because you acted out of compassion when A Man would have had the ‘common sense’ to get the job done without letting his feelings getting in the way?* No problem – have babies with the next unstable person you work for, that’s all you’re worth anyway.”

    I don’t anticipate that Elementary will actually comment on these social challenges, but if the Role of the Woman doesn’t become the same old thing that it always is (James Bond esque) I will be intrigued.

    *A rather common theme in many medical / political / workplace dramas of the day, I believe ER set it in motion maybe, with Nurse Jackie trying to challenge it recently.

  42. Janet says:

    I’ve seen the “Elementary” pilot, and I am a huge fan of the BBC “Sherlock.” They are quite different. And as I am fond of saying, “Any dose of Sherlock Holmes is better than no dose of Sherlock Holmes.”

  43. Brandy says:

    I’m a huge BBC Sherlock fan as well as a John/Sherlock shipper. I’m pretty excited for Elementary, and I think that if they can do a badass female Watson with no/minimal UST it will be awesome. People said Starbuck could never be a woman, too.

    • molly says:

      Yes, and they said they didn’t do that to create a Starbuck/Apollo romance too. How long did that last, again?

  44. Mybenediction says:

    I nearly blew my top when I heard about this. Then I thought “fair enough, we don’t own the books, let them have a go…” then they announced the female Watson. Oh dear logic, what? That is a line that should never be crossed. I think Johnny will make a good Sherlock, I saw him opposite Benny in Frankenstein and he was brilliant, not quote as brilliant as Benny, but he’s a class actor. However taking the friendship between the two men is just the most awful mistake. It is, to put it frankly, fan fiction. Not that im putting down fan fic, i love it, i write it but thats where it should remain. Why not just make Watson a talking hedgehog? The whole arch of Sherlock Holmes is the friendship of two men. So sadly because of that I will not be watching it. It is a step too far. I find that a great shame as I would have liked to have seen Johnny given the chance to explore that friendship and if you were lucky enough to see Frankenstein you will know he could have played it beautifully. Sad. But bless Benedict, tactful as always, such a gent.

  45. MrsCumberbatch says:

    Everything that I know about Elementary makes me cringe. There are too many changes. The characters are Sherlock Holmes and John/Joan Watson in name only. Sherlock would never say, “Sometimes I hate it when I’m right.”

  46. April says:

    Just because there hasn’t been a female Watson doesn’t mean there there can’t or should never be a female Watson. And if they do hook-up, who cares? It’s TV and most people do like when the characters get together on TV. And why are people who watch BBC’s Sherlock act like no one is aloud to like Elementary if they like Sherlock? I hardly think watching and liking Elementary will take anything away from Sherlock.

  47. Molly says:

    This show is going to tank as Lucy Liu cannot act. Recast the part!

  48. Renee says:

    What a nice man. I love Sherlock and I’m looking forward to Elementary.

  49. vincentdante says:

    I guess no one reading this article recalls the brilliant “They Might Be Giants” where George C Scott believes he is Sherlock Holmes and his female psychiatrist is Dr. Watson. (As I recall, there was even an NBC pilot years ago based on the movie.)

  50. Stacey says:

    Sorry. “Jolly good pilot”? Unless they’ve made drastic changes in the past month, we’ve seen two very different pilots. It was bad as a cop drama and a Sherlock Holmes adaptation. Jonny Lee Miller was the only passable part.

    So far, the part they’ve written for Joan Watson is ghastly. And that’s without comparing it to a Holmes-Watson relationship. I don’t even want to get into that.

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