Friday, September 28, 2012

Because it's Friday and you deserve it. . . . .

For a different view from the New Yorker

June 15, 2012
Posted by Michael Sragow
If you click on the special features of the just-released DVD of “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows,” you’ll find a short tribute to something called “Holmesavision.” It turns out to be the name given to the director Guy Ritchie’s method of turning every quasi-Holmesian deduction or confrontation into an action sequence. Using variable speeds and quick cutting to illustrate Holmes’s turns of mind twist by twist—usually before the Master commits himself to an action or solution, but sometimes long afterward—Ritchie makes sure he won’t leave behind the slowest member of the audience while pretending that he’s honoring his hero’s greased-lightning illuminations.
These sequences quickly become annoying and repetitive. Instead of bringing you inside Holmes’s racing brain and clicking synapses, they simply make his mental feints as easy to follow as the words in a sing-along. The payoff in Ritchie’s first Sherlock Holmes movie was supposed to be the adrenaline rush of seeing Holmes execute a fight strategy or a mental trap exactly as he envisioned it. The payoff in “Game of Shadows” is meant to be the fun of seeing fate and a wily adversary toss grit into Holmes’s intellectual cogs, and match his every calculation.
But even if you buy into Ritchie’s substitution of kinetic thrills for cumulative mystery and suspense, the film has a been-there, thought-that feel to it. Robert Downey, Jr., doesn’t completely lose his verve and dash as Holmes, and Jude Law never overdraws on his air of put-upon gallantry as Dr. Watson, but the series has romped prematurely into camp. It was easier to take Downey’s Holmes as a daredevil in the first film—in this one, he comes perilously close to being an eternal imp. It’s a shame, because Downey, as he shows even in the boisterous “The Avengers,” has a gift for balancing knowing patter with big emotions like self-sacrifice. I’ve often thought he’d be a great Sydney Carton in a new “A Tale of Two Cities.”
The most worthy item on the “Game of Shadows” disc may be an advertisement for the second season of “Sherlock,” which came out on DVD two weeks ago. The BBC series, a string of three ninety-minute films per season, achieves in modern dress what the Ritchie film attempts in fancy Edwardian costume. It makes Sherlock Holmes exciting and accessible by finding contemporary analogies to Arthur Conan Doyle’s conundrums.
The series employs just as many flashy tricks as Ritchie’s movie, but here they work for a reason: they mesh with the narrative instead of sticking out from it. The filmmakers are offhand with their virtuosity, whether they’re printing text messages on the screen as Sherlock reads them, or chalking in his observations on top of a man’s suit, or replicating the combination of imagined details and facts that he sees while he visualizes a crime scene (to the extent of recreating studio sets in open landscapes). They’re simply keeping us up to speed with Sherlock (barely), not explaining everything away for us. In this series’ canny update of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (it involves chemical mind control and an espionage agency), the Master tests the theory that will assuage his own fears and doubts by retreating into a memory plane dubbed “The Mind Palace.” In a way, half the series is set in Holmes’s mind palace.
“Brainy is the new sexy” says this series’ Irene Adler (Lara Pulver). It’s an on-the-nose line that plays exactly right—both because Irene is here a dominatrix, always manipulating everyone, and because Benedict Cumberbatch’s sublimely elusive Sherlock shakes it off. Cumberbatch first won wide attention by playing a rotter in “Atonement” with pitiless intelligence and intensity. After the first season of “Sherlock,” he was impressive in alternating turns as the title character and the monster in Danny Boyle’s stage “Frankenstein.” His mad doctor was spookily cerebral, his monster magnificently primal (and heartbreaking and lyrical, too).
He’s perfect for the Sherlock that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have created, with equal cunning and affection. Cumberbatch sometimes plays the hero as a villain, but mostly for effect. When he denies that he’s a psychopath and tells reporters that he’s instead a “highly functioning sociopath,” he presents the press with an image they can lock onto, not an advertisement for himself. What limits the phenomenally talented Downey from plumbing depths as Sherlock is that everything in Ritchie’s showy production is extroverted and theatrical. Even in our much more public era, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock keeps key aspects of his personality private—except from his partner Watson, and from Irene Adler and, sadly, the arch-villain Moriarty. For the other half of the series takes place in what we’d call “the Heart Palace” of Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson. We see the crimes from Sherlock’s perspective, but we see Sherlock from Watson’s. Freeman’s Watson (like the original, a veteran of a war in Afghanistan) persuasively embodies Watson’s own appetite for risk-taking. He creates an intelligent, sometimes puckish, and often questioning foil to Cumberbatch’s brilliant brand of cheek. Most important, he communicates his empathy for a man who really does act, sometimes, like a sociopath.
In the DVD extras for the first season of “Sherlock,” we learn that creators Moffatt and Gattis consider the best prior adaptations of Conan Doyle to be the Hollywood movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. You can see how right they are on the “Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection,” containing the fourteen Sherlock Holmes features that starred Rathbone and defined the Great Detective for generations.
In 1939, Rathbone and Bruce starred for Twentieth Century Fox in a solid “Hound of the Baskervilles,” and an even better “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” They’re at full throttle in the latter—a breathless tale of Professor Moriarty’s attempt to exploit the restlessness of Holmes’s intelligence. The arch-villain Moriarty (George Zucco) sends the sleuth on a wild-albatross chase while the evil genius himself schemes to make off with the crown jewels. Rathbone seizes the chance to celebrate and satirize—simultaneously—Holmes’s peripatetic brilliance. Bruce’s Watson never makes the Ed McMahon-like error of applauding Holmes’s cleverness too loudly; he’s more like a genteel Sancho Panza, suspicious of his pal’s fantastic rationality. The result is everything a civilized thriller should be: witty, playful, and exciting. And Ida Lupino brings a hint of sexuality into Holmes’s hermetic universe. She’s refreshingly fervid—you can feel the heart of a dame beating within the damsel in distress.
After their stint at Fox, Rathbone and Bruce did a dozen quickies for Universal, starting in 1942. The set contains beautiful restorations of all twelve. Set in the nineteen-forties instead of the nineteenth century, they resemble lively, literate Saturday-matinée serials—but they were the best inspiration of all to the makers of “Sherlock,” because they brought Homes and Watson into the Second World War era with confidence and brio.
What “Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon” shares with the credited Arthur Conan Doyle source story, “The Adventure of the Dancing Men,” is a code in which the figures of dancing men in different positions stand for the letters of the alphabet. “Secret Weapon” surrounds it with an espionage tale about a Swiss scientist (William Post, Jr.) who invents a sophisticated bombsight and escapes the Nazis en route to London—only to fall prey to Moriarty (Lionel Atwill). There are entertaining bursts of deduction, along with a nod to Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” and a climax wherein Holmes shrewdly comes up with the slowest, cruellest way for Moriarty to finish him off—and Moriarty takes him up on it.
“The Woman in Green” offers more traditional sleuthing shenanigans in the series’ modern but still fog-shrouded London (actually the backlot at Universal). This time, Rathbone’s Holmes and Bruce’s Watson crack the mystery of why the corpses of several young women are found with one finger amputated. Is it the work of a compulsive serial killer? Or just another dastardly scheme by Moriarty? High points are the florid banter of the title villainess (a hypnotist played by Hillary Brooke) and a classic ploy involving the bust of Caesar at 221-B Baker Street.
The main reason the Rathbone-Bruce movies endure is the way that they capture the tinge of romance that Holmes so wisely accused Watson of injecting in his stories. Rathbone was born to wear Holmes’s cape and deerstalker cap, to smoke his old brier-root pipe, and to rattle off his ratiocinations with merry hubris. His perfect wedge of a profile slices through the London fog, and he uses his imposing brow to signal one idea while his glinting eyes intimate another. He and Bruce develop a rapport that is sometimes as vaudevillian, but also as close, as Hope and Crosby’s. At their best, they make you laugh and cheer.
Photograph: BBC and Hartswood Films Limited.
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Although it hasn't reached the mid-west yet. . . .

'Britishisms' Creeping into American English

British people have long bemoaned the gradual encroachment ofAmericanisms into everyday speech, via Hollywood films and sitcoms. Now, "Britishisms" are crossing the pond the other way, thanks to the growing online popularity of British media such asHarry Potter, Downton Abbey and The Daily Mail.
For example, BBC News reports that "ginger" as a descriptor of a red-haired, freckly person has shot up in usage in the United States since 1998. That's the year the first Harry Potter book, with its Weasley family of gingers, hit store shelves. The trend shows up inGoogle ngram searches, which track the frequency of words and phrases appearing in print.
The Britishism invasion also includes "cheeky," "twee," "chat-up," "sell-by date" and "the long game," as well as "do the washing up," "keen on," "bit" (as in "the best bit"), "to book" (e.g. a flight), "called X" (instead of "named X") and "to move house."
A few of these now sound so familiar to American ears that their recent Limey origins might come as a surprise. [Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?]
While some of these British terms have gained ground because they sound pleasantly posh to American ears, Jesse Sheidlower, American editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary, says others simply fill a gap where there is no equivalent in American English. "One-off," as in something which is done, or made, or which happens only once, and "go missing," instead of the vaguer "disappear," are two examples.
According to Sheidlower, the small but noticeable increase in the American usage of traditionally British terms doesn't bother Americans nearly as much as Americanisms bother many Brits.
"In the U.K., the use of Americanisms is seen as a sign that culture is going to hell," he told BBC News. "But Americans think all British people are posh, so — aside from things that are fairly pretentious — no-one would mind."
This laissez-faire linguistic attitude hasn't always been the American way. Early in U.S. history, when the nation was striving to distinguish itself from its former landlords, the dictionary maker Noah Webster set about establishing a distinctly American form of English. Webster's legacy includes the lack of "u" in words like "color" and the "-er" ending in words like "center" — spelling variants he viewed as superior to their British counterparts (colour and centre).
Some of the economical spellings Webster adopted, such as "public" instead of the British "publick," have since spread back to England. Clearly, in the continuously evolving languages of these transatlantic allies, there is give and take.
Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover or Life's Little Mysteries @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shades of RDJ

 I like the use of the tall building (looks a little like Big Ben) and street light to give it that London under-ground look.
I like Jude Law and all, but she is better looking.

Trivia question of the dayweekmonthyear for today,. . (Boy, it has been a while)

Easy one here for ya.
What is the Sherlockian connection in the new movie. . .

It's not necessarily Elementary after all. . .

Whether you plan on giving it a chance or not, the new Sherlock Holmes TV show 'Elementary' starts in a couple of days.
And hopefully it will be good enough to foster more interest in Sherlock Holmes and Doyle.
I am not feeling one hundred percent about the way the new 'Sherlock' is going, so another horse in the stable is welcome in my opinion.
The only downside I can think of is that it may be so bad it turns people away all together.
I don't see that happening.
I'm gonna give it a chance and am looking forward to the first episode.
See ya Thursday.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hans Sloane

Hans Sloane

Thoughts on 3GAR. . .

'It was worth a wound–it was worth many wounds–to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.'

What a great line.

The Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn meet Friday the 21st to discuss this case.

Here are a few talking points I found;

South African war

London Phone books of 1902

Little Ryder St., Edgware Road

Tyburn Tree

Syracusan coins

Hans Sloane



Newgate Calendar


The story is not a great deal unlike REDH and is a fun read. And is not the only other time a hidden pit or room is used in the canon.

Harpooners reading for Sept. . . .

The Adventure of the Three Garridebs

Friday, September 14, 2012

I did not know this one existed. . . . !

Pursuit of the House-Boat

Pursuit of the House-Boat (sometimes called In Pursuit of the House-Boat or The Pursuit of the House-Boat) is an 1897 novel by John Kendrick Bangs, and the second one to feature his Associated Shades take on the afterlife.
After the House-Boat was hijacked by Captain Kidd at the end of A House-Boat on the Styx, the various members of its club decided that in order to track it down, a detective would have to be called in. So they hired Sherlock Holmes, who, at the time of the book's publication, had indeed been declared dead by his creator.

Because it's Friday and you deserve it. . . .

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Reviews are in. . . . .

BWW Reviews: SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE is a Fun Tangled Web of Danger and Intrigue

To kick off their 2012-2013 season,A.D. Playersis presentingSteven Dietz’s Edgar award winning play SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE. The play itself is an adaptation of American actorWilliam Gillette’s 1899 play, which borrows Irene Adler from SirArthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” and Professor James Moriarty from “The Adventure of the Final Problem.” Irene Adler is an opera singer and a superficial villainess in her own right, tempting Sherlock Holmes’ typically nonexistent romantic feelings. Professor James Moriarty is the malevolent architect of most of England’s iniquitous scum, which earns him Sherlock’s admiration for being a completely reserved and ultimately clever man.
Borrowing from the plot of “The Adventure of the Final Problem,”Steven Dietzopens the show with the announcement of Sherlock Holmes’ death, leaving Dr. Watson, his friend and chronicler, to relate the story of the play to the audience through a series of flashbacks. The plot remains straightforward and lacks who-dun-it aspects; instead, it focuses on exploring Holmes’ infatuation with Irene Adler, which begins from hearing her singing voice and grows more intense after seeing her face. This fascination gets Holmes and Watson wrapped up in murderous plot of intrigue and jealousy in which Holmes prioritizes keeping Irene Adler safe and alive above all else.
Christy Watkins’ direction of SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE is appropriately atmospheric and heavy, while highlighting the jovial nature of the lighthearted jokes present inSteven Dietz’s writing. Under Christy Watkins’ direction the show always moves in forward motion, but does drag at times in the first act. However, she masterfully fascinates the audience in the second act, allowing the climatic moments of the show to be among the most interesting and entertaining. While I may have been moved to yawns during the first act, the second act kept me poised onThe Edgeof my seat, biting at my nails.
As Sherlock Holmes,Chip Simmonsportrays a Holmes that is extremely intelligent and unintentionally humorous, which reminded me ofJim Parsons’ portrayals of Dr. Sheldon Cooper (CBS’sBig Bang Theory) and Elwood P.  Dowd (Roundabout Theatre’s HARVEY).Chip Simmonsadds a certain sentimentality to his Holmes as well, allowing him to be more relatable to the audience than other actors’ incarnations. Moreover, he is consummately likeable as his intelligence is something he takes great pride in but rarely boasts about.
Blake Weir’s Dr. Watson is fantastically loyal and brilliantly realized. Alternating between narrator and character in the plot, he breaks the fourth wall and jumps back into the show’s action with ease and finesse.
Irene Adler, played by Katharine Hatcher, is striking and fascinating. Like a good portrayal of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, the audience has a hard time deciphering whether she is good or bad. Katharine Hatcher does an excellent job captivating and entertaining the audience through the convulsions of her character, including her romantic feelings for Sherlock Holmes.
Professor Moriarty portrayed byRic Hodginat the performance I attended is a formulaic but interesting villain. The plot twists and turns around this character’s ability to manipulate, andRic Hodginkeeps the audience attending to the plot as he delivers each line or subtle action.
The rest of the cast, consisting of Craig Griffin as The King of Bohemia,Marty Blairas James Larrabee,Leslie Reeseas Madge Larrabee, andBrad Zimmermanas Sid Prince and others do respectable jobs with their roles as well. Each of these actors appropriately defers to the leads when needed, adding nice artistic flourishes in the form of well crafted caricatures to Christy Watkins production.

Scenic Design by Mark A. Lewis is functional and versatile while maintaining an excellent double duty of keeping the industrial revolution front and center. The industrial feel is a grand addition to the moody, atmospheric elements and lighting designed by Andrew Vance. I was particularly drawn to the small touches, such as making revolving parts of the stage look like large cogwheels. Another element used to great effect was that the set design and light design worked together to make curtains sheer or opaque depending on how they were lit. Likewise, the lighting effects that were used to convey the waterfall were impressive as well.
Donna SouthernSchmidt has provided a fantastic costume design for the show as well. She has created some gorgeous and mesmerizing pieces for the cast to wear. The only complaint I have with costuming is the inclusion of steampunk elements, as it is not supported by the dialogue or action. Also, as not every character utilizes steampunk elements in the costuming, I spent time during the first act wondering whyBlake Weirwas wearing modern looking leather pants until more characters, such asRic Hodgin’s Professor Moriarty, were introduced.
A.D. Players’ production of SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE is a fun theatrical experience. As to be expected from the troupe, it is a show your whole family can enjoy together and will keep you gently tangled in the plot’s dangerous web. While Holmes’ purists may balk at Dietz’s script, I feel he is reverent with the lore and changes some things up just to keep the audience consistently surprised and interested in the play.
SHERLOCK HOMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE runs at theA.D. Players’ Grace Stage until October 7, 2012. For more information and tickets please visit call (713) 526 – 2721.
Photos by Sarah Cooksey.

Read more: Credit where credit is due. . .

Monday, September 10, 2012

It ain't gonna be pretty, and probably not worth the paper it will be print on. . .

The 50 Shades Of Grey Effect: Jane Eyre, Pride And Prejudice And Sherlock Holmes To Be Republished With 'Explosive Sex Scenes'

PA/Huffington Post  |  Posted:  Updated: 19/07/2012 13:09

A publisher of adult fiction is giving literary classics such as Jane Eyre and Pride And Prejudice an erotic makeover.
The company said that it was "100% convinced" that there was a market for the racy versions of the 19th century novels by authors Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen and that the spicing up of the much-loved books will introduce the classics to "a new generation of readers".
Other titles to be published under the Clandestine Classics collection include Austen'sNorthanger Abbey and Arthur Conan Doyle's stories featuring Sherlock Holmes.
The announcement comes following the phenomenal success of EL James's "mummy porn" title Fifty Shades Of Grey, which is said to be the fastest-selling book of the year.
Some original fans of Jane Eyre might be unhappy to discover that the female protagonist has "explosive sex with Mr Rochester" in the publisher's erotic edition.
In Wuthering Heights, heroine Catherine Earnshaw "enjoys bondage sessions" with Heathcliff while sleuth Sherlock Holmes has a sexual relationship with his sidekick Dr Watson in the new e-book.
Claire Siemaszkiewicz, founder of Total-E-Bound Publishing, which is releasing the titles from 30 July in digital format, said:
"We're not rewriting the classics. We're keeping the original prose and the author's voice. We're not changing any of that.
"But we want to enhance the novels by adding the 'missing' scenes for readers to enjoy.
"People are going to either love it or hate it. But we're 100% convinced that there's a market there.
"We'll be bringing the classics to a new generation of readers as well as to people who love the classics but would like to see what we have done with them."
She added: "I've often wondered whether the Bronte sisters, if they were alive today, would have gone down the erotic romance route. There's a lot of underlying sexual tension in their stories.
"Charlotte Bronte was a bold, forward-thinking lady for her time. There's so much sexual tension and eroticism there."
The adult scenes will be penned by some of the 250 authors on the publisher's books who write erotic romance.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wired, on a positive note.

It’s Elementary: Why a Female Watson Isn’t a Bad Idea for Latest Holmes Series

The truth is, I was all set on Sherlocks. Spoiled, really. I had the slick fights and brisk dialog of the Guy Ritchie films and the cunning, rarefied world of the BBC’s Sherlock series. Other Holmeses need not apply, would have been my attitude if you’d asked me.

But then CBS announced that it had cast Lucy Liu as Watson in the new Holmes show Elementary. I was … conflicted. Not to get all specific, but as an Asian female, I feel guilty about harboring any intolerance toward an Asian female actor—especially this talented, extra-famous one, the Lucy Liu of Lucy Lius. But then there was the fact that Watson would not only be female but that the series would be set in modern-day New York. Purists could be forgiven for asking, as Steven Moffat, showrunner of the equally contemporary BBC show, did, whether Elementary’s protagonist would be Sherlock Holmes “in any sense other than he’s called Sherlock Holmes.”
Then again, it’s also a little insane for any one creator to dictate what counts as canon. Arthur Conan Doyle‘s most famous character has been mucked with for more than 100 years. Isn’t Sherlock one of the earliest sources for fanfic? Without painting myself into a corner by arguing what does and does not qualify as a Sherlock Holmes story (House, M.D.? That cartoon mouse movie?), the one thing that has to ring true no matter the setting is Holmes’ relationship with Watson, the most beautiful bromance in history. “They’re soul mates,” says Jules Coomber, cofounder of the exhaustive (and spoiler-customizable) fan site Sherlockology. “Even when you know whodunit, it’s the friendship between Watson and Holmes that makes you reread.”
It wasn’t the female Watson that most worried me—though I did wonder whether that might introduce a confusing sexual dynamic. (Depending on which version you subscribe to, that relationship already has a confusing sexual dynamic.) When I put the “will they or won’t they” question to Rob DohertyElementary’s writer and executive producer, he responded with a satisfyingly straightforward “They won’t.” Thank God. But I’d understand the impulse to go the other way. Watson ushered in the era of the sidekick as reader proxy; i.e., he’s us. So if you have a crush on Holmes—easy enough to imagine with Jonny Lee Miller in the role—you want Watson to act on it.
No, what really made me nervous about the casting of Liu was my own baggage. An Asian female Watson will make the whole story seem simultaneously closer and farther away. I’d almost rather she be a Holmes groupie if the alternative is some stereotyped striver or a Watson who knows Jeet Kune Do. Terrifyingly, the phrase “Tiger Watson” has been floating behind my eyes.
But I don’t think it will be a problem. Doherty’s résumé is full of gutsy genre women in charge—he worked on Star Trek: VoyagerDark AngelRingerTru Calling, and Medium. Besides, one Dr. Joan Watson won’t dilute the Holmes brand. “Sherlock can take it,” Doherty says. “And a female Watson won’t change the spirit of the character. It’s got to be a show about them figuring out intricate mysteries but also arguing about whose turn it is to pick up groceries.”
As with the devotees of any cult property, we Sherlockians can never be completely happy. No Watson ever lives up to the one in our heads. Yet sometimes, somehow, retelling Holmes actually works out.Elementary has a fantastic time slot: Thursdays at 10 pm. And if the ratings for Sherlock are any indication, most Americans haven’t encountered a modernized Holmes. So, despite my loyalty to those previous Holmeses, I want to give Jonny Lee Miller a chance. He was brilliant in Hackers.

Reading for Sept.

1887 - FIVE
1888 - SIGN
1896 - VEIL
1902 - ILLU
1903 - CREE

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Foyle's War - Season 8 - Production has begun.

Production on series 8 commenced late August 2012, and is expected to end December 2012. Filming for the series has moved to Ireland, which will be used as a post-war setting for London.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And just a little bit more. . .

Benedict Cumberbatch 'doesn't feel threatened' by the American Sherlock show

Benedict Cumberbatch has a history of making controversial (to some people) statements and then taking them back.  He's twice made comments about the UK show 'Downtown Abbey', but then taken them back and said he was misquoted.  Well, it's happened once again, but this time he's said something about 'Elementary', the new CBS show starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and his partner Watson.
“I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see,” Cumberbatch says in the interview. “I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.”
He continued: “It’s very odd. I did say [to Miller], ‘Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.’ I think Jonny was like, ‘Mate, I’ve got the f–king mountain to climb here, you’ve got nothing to fear.’ I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.”
Now, it seems that Cumberbatch had every right to say what he did.  After all, he is in an already existing, popular show about Sherlock Holmes, and instead of airing this show in the US, CBS has decided to make their own version and air it.  Granted, he shouldn't have been as snarky about being 'cynical' over why they've casted Jonny Lee Miller as the lead, considering that he supposedly considers Miller his friend, but it's unfair to ask him to be completely happy about the situation.
Now, it seems that Cumberbatch is once again regretting his words.  After the interview, many outlets picked up on the story and wrote on it, considering a ‘fight’ between the leads of the two shows.  The rumors had gotten so persistent that Cumberbatch has ended up issuing a statement to THR clarifying his words.
“I am both bemused and upset at this misquote. I never said that Johnny took the job for the paycheck nor did I ask him not to do it. What I said is I would have preferred not to be in the situation where we will again be compared because we are friends. I know for a fact his motivations were to do with the quality of the script and the challenges of this exceptional role.  It is baffling because I have only been supportive of an incredibly talented actor who I am proud to call a friend taking a job I know he is going to enjoy immensely and be wonderful in…”
Do you think that’s the end of it?  It does seem that Cumberbatch is not happy about the new show being on air, and is upset that his friend decided to take a role on the television show which will be challenging his in ratings, but is it fair to say anything about it?

An early review. . . . .

CBS’s Elementary: it’s Elementary, but it’s not Sherlock Holmes

I wanted to like CBS' "Elementary," really I did. But, it’s pure and utter tripe. It has the framework of the Sherlock Holmes novels, but the acting and speedball pacing of a high-energy sugar addict. "Elementary"’s lead might be called Sherlock, but he is no Sherlock Holmes.

Because of the kickbutt Sherlock Holmes TV derivatives, like MonkPsychCastle and The Mentalist, and the recent Sherlock Holmes re-imaginings from Guy Ritchie and Michael Robert Johnson’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s Sherlock (2010), I assumed CBS’s version would equally amaze me. After all, it’s a century-old story about a brilliant British detective and a loyal best friend; how can you destroy a proven formula? Well … it’s Elementary, my dear readers.
Elementary’s framework is smart, the actors are good, and the production values are excellent, but the writing, the directing and the characterizations are bad. Correction, they’re not bad — they’re just trying too hard. In creating their own series, CBS produced an aimless, unplanned show that has Sherlock’s skeleton, his actions, and his hobbies, but not his heart. The previous reconstructions worked because the directors/writers’ re-boot included a focus for Doyle’s century-old detective. They knew how to re-imagine him; they connected with him; and they created scripts with tightly drawn plot arcs. CBS’s Elementary has none of that. It feels like the writing staff quickly sped through the novels, gathered the bare essentials and brainstormed ways to make their Sherlock seem cool and new

CBSs Elementary: its Elementary, but it’s not Sherlock Holmes [cbs elementary keyart 150x150] (IMAGE)
The Bad
Elementary’s Sherlock Holmes has all the quirks of Sherlock Holmes, but he doesn’t feel like Sherlock. Yes, he is British. Yes, he is observant. Yes, he has the same hobbies. However, his hobbies seemingly exist for the cool factor. And, his observation skills are practically omniscient. I enjoyed Monk(USA), Psych (USA), The Mentalist (CBS), Castle (ABC), Sherlock (BBC),Sherlock Holmes (film) and the original Sherlock because the leads took time to survey the land before stating their theories. But, in Elementary, Sherlock walks into a room and can immediately discern what’s wrong, even when watching events he has no familiarity with.
In fact, my main problem with Elementary surrounds how Holmes is written. Doyle’s Holmes is an admitted hermit who doesn’t suffer fools lightly. For all his brilliance, he’s slightly broken. All of the recent shows/films have done an excellent job portraying that. However, this Sherlock acts like a dick to people, not because he’s focused on the task; not because lives will be lost; not because he can’t stand idiots; but because he’s … Sherlock Holmes. And, that’s my problem: this Sherlock lacks focus. None of his actions appear to have a reason save to show how “cool,” “smart” or “Sherlock-y” he is.
Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock is a big baby on meth candy. He seems too artificially hyper, too chipper, and too child-like. Doyle’s Sherlock used silent spaces to see the un-seeable. But, Miller’s Sherlock Holmes lacks quiet spots, preferring to act like an immature twat who prattles off thoughts at hyper-speed.
I mostly attribute that to pacing. Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock needs to slow the eff down. I don’t get the energy Sherlock typically feels when he encounters a new “game.” Instead I think he just needs a case of Ritalin. The script and director seem afraid the audience will leave if not continuously entertained by Miller or the music. As a result, moments that could’ve lasted longer are interrupted by peppier music or by Miller’s character bouncing awkwardly. Miller and Liu have a nice casual chemistry. But, I sense the writers want to get to the Watson-Sherlock glue we all know and love as soon as possible, but they shouldn’t. These people just met. Give it time.
The Good
Lucy Liu’s Joan Watson remains the show’s bright spot. It’s the first time I’ve watched a Sherlock derivative and consistently thought “wow, that’s great, but when does Watson return?” Everything about the Watson character is well-paced, well-written and well-acted. At its core, the Sherlock Holmes novellas are gothic mystery stories. As the series progressed, Doyle incorporated that darkness into his lead character. While Elementary’s Sherlock is a one-dimensional cartoon who lacks self-awareness, the writers seemingly incorporated that haunting self-flagellation, self-doubt, and underlying darkness into the Joan character. It’s amazing watching her. When Joan is alone in Sherlock’s house, I see the gothic elements immediately, particularly within her silence. I feel the writers spent more time re-imagining her character than Sherlock himself. I might’ve doubted Liu’s addition at first, but the Joan Watson character is a joy to watch in her watchfulness. Honestly, I can’t say enough about this character and how they reworked her, but I’m looking forward to future episodes.
I also have to high five the casting director, Mark Saks, for bringing on Aidan Quinn as Captain Tobias Gregson. Aidan rocks whatever he does, and he does a similar job here. My only complaint — which I share with other Sherlock-type procedurals — is the overt reliance of the police officials on their consultants. In Elementary, the police seem incurious almost to the point of carelessness where they barely bother about finding the most basic items like cellphones.
Other things I enjoyed included the musical score, the set, and the cinematography. While we didn’t require it in the quieter moments, the musical score is exactly what I hoped for. The set for Sherlock’s house is amazing. And, I loved what the costume designer did for Joan Watson (Sherlock, not so much).
Last Thoughts
Elementary has many elements that I enjoy, but the main character shouldn’t be the show’s weakest link. Here, I won’t blame Johnny Lee Miller, but I will blame the directing and writing. It’s tough writing a show about a character everyone knows and loves. However, CBS already has a modern-day Sherlock, called The Mentalist, and it does an excellent job. If Elementary‘s producers slow the character down and spend more time on pacing, Elementary can work as well. And, yes, I probably will continue to watch the show for a couple episodes. It doesn’t hurt that Johnny Lee Miller is a hot Brit with adorably huge eyes. However, throughout the show the characters talk about “trying too hard” while stating “[the case is] too simple. It’s too fast. Something’s off”. Yes. My thoughts exactly.