The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SIXTY EIGHT: ELEMENTARY- GOOD-BYE, OLD FRIEND…
“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”
I said good-bye to one of my most favorite shows on TV, the CBS show, Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. For seven seasons they have kept me coming back week after week. And, I thought the show was so good and entertaining, I bought the seasons on box-set to keep me company during the summers.
But it didn’t start off that way.
I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since the first time I was introduced to the consulting detective in a play that was filmed for HBO’s Standing Room Only in which Frank Langella starred. I had never seen a real play before (minus some ‘elementary’ school presentations that I was a part of). I’m not sure how people or the critics felt about it, but I loved it. It caused me to journey to the school’s library and seek out the stories of Sherlock. After finding a few and finding that they were a bit out of my reading experience at the time, I decided it was worth the toil I knew I was going to undergo. I trudged into them and found them very hard to read. Not only were they words too big for me too read, but there were also words that were purely English. I had discovered a land I wanted to live in but couldn’t understand the language.
But I pressed on and on… and on. Eventually, I got it. And it helped to read them out loud (when no one was around, I assure you). And thanks to PBS (old episodes of Monty Python, Benny Hill, and older versions of Sherlock Holmes on film), I started to swim more comfortably through the stories.
After that, the stories of Sherlock… and Watson, thanks tohad a home inside my mind.
As I became older, the stories started to open up again on a different level. Some of the things I had missed plot-wise made more sense to me. Time and experience was the reason for that.
I developed other loves when it came to films and books, but Sherlock was always there. And, I suppose, always will be.
He spoke to me. Even with his flaws with drugs and allowing people in, I wanted to be as smart as him. I wanted to think of the things he did and to never be surprised. I wanted to look at a puzzle or problem and figure it out instantly.
Of course, it’s never that easy to figure out some puzzles that life brings you and dumps on your head but I felt there was hope to do so, thanks to Sherlock.
Now, I enjoyed the early films of Sherlock Holmes that starred Basil Rathbone and some radio plays I had heard (I love those) and thanks to Guy Ritchie, Sherlock was updated with Robert Downey Jr. These films are slick and try to get into the detective’s mind on how he sees things, on the way that most incidents will occur and plans for each part of it. I find them enjoyable and super fun.
Then there was the British TV show, Sherlock, where Sherlock and Watson are in the modern-day. Some of the original stories by Doyle are modernized in their telling. I absolutely love the series (as short as they are) and can watch Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman all day playing the duo.
Sherlock was my favorite rendition.
Even after watching Elementary for the first time.
But… since I love Sherlock Holmes so much, I wanted to give this new show a try. I had my doubts, though. Firstly, I only watched one show on CBS (The Big Bang Theory) and didn’t think most of the shows were for me. And second, I wasn’t sure that an American version could be any good. I had heard that Jonny Lee Miller was going to be English but going to be surrounded by American actors. And John Watson was going to be Joan Watson and given to Lucy Liu.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved them both. Miller from Hackers (I still absolutely love this film, dated as it might be) and Lui from Charlie’s Angels (for me, the most stunning and attractive in the film). Both smart and talented. But I was unsure of the match and the vision.
I was doubting the show’s Sherlockness.
I started to watch and I gave it my attention.
And… I enjoyed it. It surprised me. I really enjoyed it.
I kept coming back every week. And kept enjoying it.
I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t watching and imagining being friends with the characters (or trying to be friends with this version of Sherlock). I found myself wanting to their friends.
The show had me.
It gave me a new show to love. The last show that I loved as much was The X-Files. And if you know me, that’s super-high praise. I wanted to live in this world. I wanted to know and live with the characters. I found myself thinking about what this interpretation of Sherlock would do in a particular situation. Or what would Lucy Liu’s version of Watson say to me in another situation?
I wanted to live in their brownstone, wake-up when they did, eat when they did, and go on cases with them and help.
Though I didn’t watch it when it came on (I get up early for work), I would record each episode with the DVR and watch it the next day or on the weekend. There was one day in particular during winter, it had snowed (with ice under the snow on the roads) and they closed work for the day. I was so excited to heat up some soup, get under the blanket on the couch, and watch last night’s episode. It thrilled me.
This is how this show affected me. I loved it. I LOVE IT.
But like all good things, they don’t last.
This past summer, I found out that the seventh season would be the last. It was a punch to the gut (and the head and groin, all the painful regions of the body). I was hoping for ten seasons but I suppose not enough people felt the way I did.
And last night (as of this writing) it was gone. Finished. Ferdig.
And a part of my heart went with it.
Yes, I own the box sets. I can watch them anytime I want. I can relive the entire span of their adventures. But I’ll never be able to look forward to a new one.
Oh sure. Maybe in a few years, they might decide to come back and make a limited eighth season (that happens more and more), but I don’t think they will.
But I still have the good feelings it gave me when I watched, how it pulled me in helped me forget life for a while.
So, thank you Elementary, the entire cast and crew, you gave me a place to hide for a while. And you gave Sherlock and Watson the respect they deserved.
I think old Sir Doyle would have been happy and touched that his characters are still going strong and thought of (and taking care of) so wonderfully.
The kid that discovered Sherlock on HBO so long ago, thank you, too.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
January 31st, 2020
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.