comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Cautiously Optimistic

American Sherlock Holmes Show Figures Out How to Get Us to Pay Attention To It: Lucy Liu as Watson


Okay, we admit it. We haven’t been following Elementary, the upcoming American television adaptation of the life of Sherlock Holmes, that may or may not be ripped directly from the BBC’s smash hit Sherlock. Look, it’s just that, treatment of its female characters notwithstanding (and for most anything but a Sherlock Holmes story, that wouldn’t be a ‘notwithstanding’ I’d readily accept), Sherlock is very good television. And while there are lots of good stories out there that use the Holmes/Watson/mysteries dynamic for great story telling (House is one long running one), we weren’t sure the world needed two shows that directly reference the original source material. Market saturation, and all that.

But then Elementary had to go and reveal that it’s plans for the traditional Smart bro! Loyal bro! They solve crime! Sherlockian dynamic would, in fact, not be about two bros at all.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

For the first time, Holmes’ famed sidekick, Watson, will be played by a woman with Lucy Liu nabbing the part, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Described as a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City, Dexter killer Jonny Lee Miller has been tapped to star in the project.

Yes, Joan Watson, although my first assumption was for Jane. Yes, Jonny Lee Miller was in Hackers.

So, now the adaptation is interesting to me. Everybody likes a good story about a friendship, and I’m content to let Sherlock stories be just that. If BBC Sherlock would add one recurring but minor female character (other than the adorable but ultimately utterly passive-for-plot-purposes Mrs. Hudson) who does not either despise Holmes because of he’s better at her job, earning his, and it is implied, the audience’s, derision; or moon pathetically over him despite his uncaring abuses, earning his, and it is implied, the audience’s derision… I’d be happy. (Disclaimer: I haven’t actually watched Season Two with it’s appearance of Irene Adler, so I can’t honestly speak to that.) That’s the place of secondary characters in a Sherlock Holmes story: harmless orbiting satellites who tidally affect the central relationship but never actually change it. And if the only roles writers can come up with for secondary female characters in that situation is harpy (Sgt. Sally Donovan, Sherlock), infatuated fan (Molly Hooper, Sherlock), or sometimes-effective detective who still needs to often be saved who will be killed as soon as we don’t need her any more and it might convince the audience that the stakes have been upped (Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes/Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), I’d frankly rather they left them out entirely so I can watch my lovely British intellectuals verbally sniping at each other without rolling my eyes right out of my head. (While I found A Game of Shadows to be frightfully boring, I thought Noomi Rapace‘s Simza was actually pretty cool, so, not a bad job there if the aspects of her that I liked were intentionally created.)

Now, if Watson is a woman, that’s potentially very interesting. Well, boring if they decide to just make it an immediate love interest story a la Bones (oh hai, other show that uses the Smart/Socially Awkward Friend! Loyal Friend! They solve crime! dynamic), because that gets really tired after a season or two. But if this is a show that features an honest-to-god platonic relationship of equals between a man and a woman, roommates, no less, well. I’m just saying, I’ve been rewatching The X-Files lately and truly enjoying the Mulder/Scully dynamic. Alright, Elementary. You’ve gotten my attention. But that’s all, so far.

TAGS: |


  • http://roseeclipse.livejournal.com/ Rose Jones

    Do not want.

  • http://iteari.livejournal.com/ Alison

    I wished they could have cast someone besides a white dude for Sherlock Holmes though. Like, how about Gina Torres? Viola Davis? Melissa McCarthy? Oh, how about Gabourey Sidibe, she should get her snark on with this role!

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    You just know they’re gonna over-sex the crap out of Lucy Liu >.<

  • Anonymous

    >Now, if Watson is a woman, that’s potentially very interesting. Well, boring if
    they decide >to just make it an immediate love interest story a la Bones (oh hai,
    other show that uses >the Smart/Socially Awkward Friend! Loyal Friend! They solve
    crime! dynamic), because >that gets really tired after a season or two.

    I am not sure why you think that anything but this will occur. Maybe if they made one of them gay it wouldn’t immediately turn into this, but other than that, I have to imagine this is exactly why they made Watson a lady, for the ‘will they/won’t they’ sexual tension. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but this IS regular TV.

  • http://twitter.com/MaximusJacobus Maximus Jacobus

    This sounds like it will be a train wreck. It is a shame because most of Liu’s recent work hasn’t been all that great. It feels like the show is trying to come out the gate with a gimmick. I would have rather kept Watson a man but killed him off. It would allow for some sincere character growth between Liu’s newly made character and Holmes rather than basing it off some bond that most people recognize on a name level.

  • Terence Ng

    It’s a good thing that I love Lucy Liu.

  • Francesca M

    Instead of them just being friends they’re going to dive head first into, ‘will-they-won’t-they’ they might not intend too. But It Will Happen.

    Still. Do. Not. Want.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y5D25Y2JD5HU6UVYWHW4TNA654 Snaz

    Susana, if you were unsettled by the treatment of female characters in Sherlock season one (I was) then you don’t want to go anywhere near Irene Adler and season two. The horror. 

    I’m crossing my fingers that Elementary might win where Sherlock has failed in this department. 

  • Anonymous

    was exactly why they “turned” the character into a woman, to have the element of romantic / sexual tension, that dont explore between House and Wilson for example, or more interesting “sexual” tension between Sherlock and Watson on the BBC (yes I am shipper S / W  in Sherlock).
    and no, it does not have my interest.

  • http://spk4thetrees.livejournal.com/ Lilly

    If they dive right into the will-they-won’t-they, then it won’t really be Sherlock Holmes at all.

  • Sabrina

    Ugh, how about they also cast a woman as Sherlock? A lady team solving crimes and being awesome? I’d watch that! Bonus points if you also cast a woc for Sherlock!
    But no, you had to go for the generic McDudebro type. :C

  • http://twitter.com/A_DEPUTY Al

    Yea I’m not too keen on this. It seems Watson was cast to be a woman, to turn the Holmes/Watson bromance into a romance. (Sigh) I’ll reserve judgement until I actually see anything but I at least hope she’s gay

  • Anonymous

    Sheesh, people keep forgetting Sherlock Holmes is as interested in sex as a table would be. If they create any kind of “will they or won’t they” around the characters, I’ll find the writers and slap them.

    Lara Pulver as Irene Adler was FANTASTIC in the BBC version, and while I hate when they femme-fatale her and have memorised A Scandal in Bohemia to support my claims, Pulver was truly brilliant, unexpected, provided incredible gravitas and I loved every second of that episode. 

    I’m not happy with either casting and will probably not be watching the US version. While I appreciate them trying to mix things up and including a female character other than the ones we already know, I never saw any weakness in Molly nor Mrs. Watson. Sure, Molly was infatuated with Sherlock, but was ultimately the only person he realized he could trust with his last great stunt, where he actually admitted he needed help! Yes, it could have been another manipulation, but if you watch the episode carefully, you can see he actually showed weakness, a great step in humanising him. 
    And let’s not forget that kickass scene where he coldly and ruthlessly beat the crap out of the investigator, plus throwing him repeatedly out of the window, for hurting Mrs. Hudson; whom he’d also trusted with a vital piece of evidence and stated there wouldn’t be 221b Baker St without her. No, these characters don’t strike me as weak or passive, they are vital to the story, they are proof that no matter how brilliant, Sherlock still needs human contact and perspective aside from Watson and is ready to kill for any of them.

    …Ok, I got carried away. I didn’t mean to sound preachy, honest! I’m just a big fan of the novels and am so thrilled that the BBC version has adapted them so stunningly well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/macabri Mac Beauvais

    The above point about Sherlock Holmes being as interested in sex as a table is right on. I’m personally not seeing a romantic Sherlock, and it’s not in keeping with the character if they do go that direction.

    I’m not sold on Elementary and don’t envision myself watching it unless I start hearing that it’s spectacular.

  • http://www.facebook.com/natasha.hedeker Natasha Hedeker

    Watch season 2 of Sherlock. Like many before have said Do. Not. Want. 
    In season 2 Mrs. Hudson is more than “passive for plot”. She is the glue of Baker street and helps Holmes despite dire consequences.
    Molly is more than just a fangirl.
    We see Donovan as sympathetic and not just a harpy.

    Season one was about setting the stage – two is about development and how people are not always as clear cut as Sherlock Holmes or the audience makes them out to be.

    Also Sherlock’s Irene Adler – Epic Win. No explanation necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/natasha.hedeker Natasha Hedeker

    I feel that Sherlock could never truly be “romantic” however, Adler and Sherlock are both fragmented people and they recognize each other and are drawn to that. Moffat clearly states that Adler is gay so even the fact that their personalities resonate so strongly and so passionately is a testament to that. Throughout the series Sherlock is seen as developing a greater sense on how to show others he cares. Don’t get me wrong it is still Sherlock, but I do not find it so bad if these two characters are drawn to each other. 

    And at least the show recognizes that Sherlock is primarily a mental being and not like certain other adaptations where they happily throw in a different romantic partner every film (I personally call this Indiana Jones Syndrome). 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    I normally want ladies to be in my shows, but for some reason, this idea just isn’t working for me. It’s just not. Maybe if they took the Monk route–you know like how Natalie and Monk never got romantically involved, she obviously cared for him, but in a purely platonic way. But then again, Monk’s personality wasn’t exactly ideal for a romantic relationship, but then, Sherlock Holmes could be just as insane.

  • Victoria Eden

    Even though Sherlock won’t be interested in a sexual relationship, they could still portray a female Watson as a slobbering fool who harbors secret feelings for Sherlock. That would be just as bad.

  • http://twitter.com/AitoChecksIn Aito Simpson Steele

    The NBC show Life with Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi wasn’t great but the way the two were able to play off each other as partners with basically zero sexual tension and the way that Shahi was able to seem real despite being Hollywood normal looking (i.e. prettier than the rest of us) was great. If they can mirror that relationship Elementary could work out great.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The show still sounds like a terrible idea, sort of like how they remade Death At A Funeral a freakin’ year after it came out, switched out some of the white dudes, but still included Peter Dinklage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    Thank you for mentioning House. I saw one article that said Sherlock was the only modern adaption of Sherlock Holmes and I wanted to rip out my hair. 

  • SusanHey

    I don’t like the thought of a romantic subtext. It seems too cliche, personally. And, if Sherlock wasn’t just plain awesome-sauce, then this would interest me. But, it would appear that Elementary is just trying to ride off of Sherlock’s coattails, but, then threw in Lucy Liu as Watson to appear different!

  • Anonymous

    They didn’t with Southland. It’s possible to be attractive and not oversexed (see also Dani Reese in Life, and Dana Scully in X-Files) and it kind of sucks to assume that ahead of time.

  • Alexander K.

    I’m not at all concerned about a female Watson. It could be handled quite well.

    I don’t, however, like Lucy Lui’s as an actor, so I’m not expecting much.

  • Anonymous

    Where is any evidence of that other than your own assumptions? I’m curious.

  • Anonymous

    The idea is not terrible… I find Lucy Liu’s acting, unfortunately, is. 

  • Anonymous

    When I first watched the BBC series I hoped hoped hoped that Moriarty would be a woman. I had even decided that Mycroft’s aide was her in disguise. Nope. Maybe the secondary strong female character you were looking for in Elementary could be Moriarty.

    I’m not feeling Lucy Liu, though. Watson is an “everyman,” the character we are supposed to relate to and feel for. He’s an open book. That’s why Martin Freeman is perfect in the BBC series and ditto Robert Sean Leonard as Wilson in House. The characters I’ve seen Lucy play are usually mysterious, guarded and unemotional, so I just can’t see myself relating to her one bit. Now if she was going to play Holmes, I might buy it.

  • Anonymous

    Eep. As has been said. Do not want. If they were both women, I could totally get behind that.

    And I liked Sgt Donovan… she didn’t seem like a harpy to me, but more like what a reasonable modern person’s reaction to Sherlock Holmes would be, as opposed to fawning over him like so many people do.
    Much as I love Holmes, if I met him in the street I would totally think he was crazy.

  • http://www.wulfmojo.com Wulfy

     I’m completely with you on this. I actually love how Sherlock dealt with both Sherlock-Adler and Sherlock-Watson as incredibly epic intense relationships that were categorically not sexual/romantic, yet still very moving. How often do you see that on television, let alone done well?

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    I guess so.  But having so little faith in TV these days, my assumptions are that Lucy Liu was cast for sex appeal rather than gender equality.  I hope I’m wrong.

  • Victoria Eden

    That Sherlock wouldn’t be interested in a sexual relationship or that a female Watson could be portrayed as lovesick? Both are just my own assumptions and perceptions. Sherlock has always seemed asexual to me (there was some innuendo thrown in the Robert Downey Jr version) but I am not a hardcore Sherlock fan, so I could very easily be wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-McAndrew/1528059238 Edward McAndrew

     But we get plenty of that in the BBC Sherlock.
    Even if they’re two guys who are pretty straight, the fans enjoy enough of their ‘will they/won’t they’ sexual tension without making one of them a girl.

  • Anonymous

     What? Season One of Life was amazing (and yes, the Charlie-Dani relationship was a large part of that). Season Two was full of terrible mistakes, but I’d put the first season up against any of the greats.

  • Anonymous

    Except for the fact that Elementary’s Watson never went to war, and has lost her license due to a malpractice suit, and she’s there as Holmes’s “sober buddy”. When it was a man in that role, I rolled my eyes at the character assassination but wasn’t angry. Now that it’s a woman in that role, I am pissed.

  • Francesca M

    YES EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING WOULD HAPPEN.

  • Anonymous

    Lucy Liu is a great actress, just because she’s also attractive does not make the whole of her character. Seriously, watch her on Southland, she’s fantastic.

    I find it really…well, sad…that we’re judging the worth of female character for merely being attractive. I don’t get it. Scully’s hot. Reese’s is hot. Aeryn Sun was hot. And their characterization wasn’t any weaker for it.

  • Anonymous

    But lovesick? Since when has Watson ever been characterized that way? Since when has any recent male-female partner shows ever characterize the female character this way, even with overt UST aims (Scully, Brennan, Beckett — can you characterize ANY of them as lovesick?) 

    The only lovesick character I’ve seen in adapted Sherlock mythos lately is, well, Molly. In Sherlock.

  • Victoria Eden

    That was a bit of a hyperbole, but the chance of them introducing any romance between Sherlock and Watson increases exponentially with a female Watson. Even on Doctor Who, Martha fell in love with the Doctor (who wouldn’t?) and more or less cited that as a reason for her leaving. The male/female will they/won’t they partnerships are such a trope, I just don’t know if a TV show can have that dynamic without taking it there. My hopes aren’t high all around, but I’ll give it a shot when it airs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502621339 Jasmine Zerbe-Moore

    Agreed about Donovan.  Holmes has something wrong with him (lots of people think it’s Asperger’s, but who knows).  He’s rude, he’s not even a policeman, he’s constantly on about her sexual life, and his general manner is off-putting even when he’s not being rude on purpose.  How would you like it if someone who didn’t work for your company kept coming in and doing your job and being rude to you and then getting all the credit?
    Speaking of how weird he is, I love the moments where he notices it, like when he’s shouting that a woman’s miscarriage was ages ago, and she should be over it, then abruptly notices that he’s said something wrong.  He can’t help it, but that doesn’t really make him any easier to deal with.

  • Anonymous

    …I can’t even begin to touch upon on all the vaguely racist assumptions going on in this comment.

  • Victoria Eden

    Hell, even on Dexter, *SPOILERS* Deb is now in love with Dexter. Her brother. And she is definitely lovesick. *END SPOILERS*

  • Anonymous


    Look, it’s just that, treatment of its female characters notwithstanding (and for most anything but a Sherlock Holmes story, that wouldn’t be a ‘notwithstanding’ I’d readily accept), Sherlock is very good television.” 

    Why would you accept this for a Sherlock Holmes story? Especially since the actual stories were quite progressive in their frequent, positive showcase of the New Woman, and it’s frequent thematic insistence  that Homes’ sexist assumptions about women were wrong. I think we should never except mishandled female charters for anything, especially a Sherlock Holmes story.

  • Allison Cole

    While I’m always happy to find another superfan of the original novels on the internets, (a lot of people only have the countless adaptations to go on) I cannot disagree  with you more on the show’s treatment of Irene. Irene Adler is a brilliant, independent, amazingly realized woman in the original story, and every single thing that Moffat and Company did to her amounted to throwing her under the bus. You rightfully hate it when they femme-fatale her, but that is ALL they do to her, so what’s to like? Oh, wait they also have her work for Moriarty, because screw the idea of her being an independent agent; all of her significant plot contributions are actually just his, and she should fall in love with Sherlock too, even though she never does in the original story, other way round actually, if even that, because I don’t know, she was too boring when she was emotionally aloof I guess; also, she loses in the end, because all of her sensitive lady emotions get in the way of her brilliance, which wasn’t even hers, because, as I said, Moriarty was telling her what to do. She needs to rescued in the end, because she’s just not smart enough, which is the antithesis of the original story, which I’m sure you know. Also, did I mention she’s a lesbian who goes straight for Sherlock, because I don’t know, edgy?  In conclusion, this SH fan could not have been more offended. It’s such a shame, considering that I totally agree with you about season one, which did do a stunning job adapting a series that so often suffers from uneven adaptations. I love Cumberbatch as Sherlock, but I’m not watching anymore. Sorry this is so long, I’m NOT angry at you, I’m angry at Moffat.   

  • Allison Cole

    Really, no explanation necessary? Because I think an explanation is really, really necessary.  

  • Anonymous

    Must.. disagree….too….tired…posts link to article that I wrote when I had more energy….please…read..

    http://www.sparksummit.com/2012/02/09/sherlock-goes-sexist-arthur-conan-doyle-is-very-disapointed/ 

  • Adam Whitley

    watch lucky number slevin to see how easily relatable she can be

  • Adam Whitley

    well looks like I’ll have to watch this now since I have to watch everything that she’s in  , hell I even watched both charlie’s angels movies….

  • Lina

    BBC’s Sherlock‘s “treatment of its female characters notwithstanding”? What about its blatant racism? 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, I’ll check it out. Like I said, I didn’t relate to her characters in the things I’ve seen, but that’s not everything she’s ever done. I’ve seen some clips of her in Southland that hint at more, so maybe she has a wider acting range than I’m giving her credit for.

  • http://www.writing4rent.com/ JaneR

    And now I will be forced to watcvh that show. And how they will (no doubt) turn it into a loveyu/dovey train wreck before season’s over :/

    Yes, I have no faith in TV nowadays

  • Anonymous

    Never be sorry! Where would our fandoms be without long ranty discussions?!

    You could be totally right, it just didn’t look that way to me. Agreed on the rescuing, it didn’t make much sense character-wise, but rather seemed like something to make fans laugh after Mycroft told Watson that “it would have taken Sherlock to fool him” where Irene’s fake death(s) was concerned. So far, Irene had done a pretty damn good job of rescuing herself. I liked the portrayal because she wasn’t just a sexy lady who gave Sherlock a magical unique boner, but a woman who knew what she wanted, what she had and what she could do. She loved the games as much as Sherlock, yet found herself a little bit over her head when they started sending killers after her. That *could* make her connection to Moriarty kind of reasonable…I mean, if you have in your power information that could, say, topple an empire, and seeked some kind of profit or needed protection, sooner or later you’re bound to meet him. His knowledge of Sherlock was another bonus.

    As for her attraction to Sherlock, it struck me as his brilliance turning her on. Maybe she wasn’t meant to be labeled only as a lesbian, but queer or something broader. Other than playing with his disregard for sex was obviously fun for her (and also majorly piqued her curiosity), maybe it was his mind that was so sexy to her, that completely baffling man. A challenge. And he appreciated and recognised her as being another.Again, speculating :)

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    Yeah, precisely. When I heard it was a woman in the role I was actually quite interested. In fact that’s one of the only things they could have done to make me interested. And then I read the whole career change thing. I don’t think being a man is vital to Watson’s character…but I do think being an army medic is. There is no way they can convince me that they didn’t change the gender and then immediately decide to remove her from a role that was now a-typical to her gender. Oh an she’s been fired for incompetence…so she’s seemingly not even a competent surgeon. The whole thing pisses me off so much, though it might be aggravated by all the sexism in the discussion surrounding this thing. 

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    I have been waiting for a ‘together they solve crime’ type programme with two ladies forever. I can’t quite picture any of your suggestions in the titular role, but most of them I haven’t seen in a lot of things. Actually I could imagine Lui herself as Holmes- her screen presence is powerful enough to carry it off (though have no doubt she has the acting chops to pull off Watson, and it’ll certainly be a nice change from a lot of the roles I’ve seen her in). And since I’ve gone completely off the map here, I’m going to horribly typecast Freema Agyeman as a loyal doctor who makes smart but obvious comments.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    Don’t get your hopes up too much. They appear to have already changed Watson’t character from an army medic to a surgeon who was fired for incompetence. :(

  • Welch Lucy

    I’m willing to give this show a chance, although certainly the timing of it’s appearance has put a bit of a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. However, I would recommend watching season 2 of Sherlock. I really enjoyed Irene Adler and didn’t feel uncomfortable with the adaptation of her character (although the end of the episode was silly and a little be frustrating), but the biggest surprise of the series for me was Molly in the final episode – not in it a lot, but when she was there I really loved the writing of the character, and it felt like she had graduated beyond being a ditz with a crush and into being a character in her own right.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    This is nothing to do with her actual looks.  I’m just afraid they’ll parade her around in hot pants and not give her a serious role or something like that.  I really like Lucy Liu, that’s why I’m really skeptical about all of this.

  • Anonymous

    I genuinely don’t get this. Even if this show is executed on the most basic Boy/Girl UST level like Bones, or Castle, or House, none of those female characters are paraded around “just for their looks”

    It sounds like concern trolling, to be honest.

  • Anonymous

    I think holding her responsible for the fact that Hollywood is a little racist and don’t cast non-white people in “everyman” roles is kind of effed.

  • Anonymous

    Well there is Rizzoli & Isles. And if you disregard how Rizzoli is being rescued by men in every second episode, it’s a lot about two women solving crimes.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    This here: 
    http://www.themarysue.com/how-not-to-talk-about-adding-a-female-character-to-your-story-told-by-ragefaces/  is what I’m afraid of.

    “Well, I made her a girl ’cause there are too many men in this story.”
    Yay!

    “I had to have a nice, sexy girl, but you know that’s really how it started”
    Nay!

    I really hope that they didn’t change a traditionally male character for the sake of sex appeal.

    There are plenty of TV shows that have awesome female characters, but plenty that don’t.  Ms. Boa Vista of the CSI persuasion comes to mind >.<

    Other than that, I'm all up for a female Watson.  I'd be interested to see what they do with it.

  • Anonymous

    Genuine question: do you think being a man is essential to Watson as a character? To his purpose in a story, to his capacity for friendship and investigation and adventure?

    Because that’s what you’re implying here.

    And I ask, again, even for shows where the UST is part of the selling point “I just needed a hot sexy girl” is a fair way to describe Scully, to describe Brennen, to describe Beckett, to describe Aeryn Sun? To describe, fuck it, Buffy?

    I’m curious.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Not at all.  And it saddens me that you think this way of me and the others that are skeptical about this.  I’d rather Watson be male than cheap eye-candy female.  If they stay true to Watson’s character in Lucy Liu, I’ll be perfectly happy.  Stop implying that everyone here is sexist.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not calling you sexist. I think you’re saying fairly sexist things (no one in this thread, after all, is quesitoning Johnny Lee Miller being attractive and how that affects his ability to portray Holmes) but I don’t think you’re realizing just HOW sexist you’re coming off.

    I think saying because a woman is attractive, that must be all she is, ignores pretty much, well, every classic Male/Female UST investigative show out there. And I find it unfortunate. Name me one show with two main leads, one male, one female, where the female character is ONLY THERE to be attractive, and maybe we can have a discussion.

    I think the assumption that they won’t stay true to Watson’s character because he’s now a girl is, well. Still pretty fucked up. And yes, kind of sexist. Doesn’t make you sexist. You’re just saying a factually sexist thing.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Exactly!  It’s sexist.  And I don’t want it to be sexist.  But Hollywood is sexist. 
     I think a female Watson is too good to be true and there has to be a catch.  I feel a platonic working relationship between a male and female lead character in a TV show is too good to be true.  I’m sorry if my little faith in the entertainment industry offends you, but it’s just how I feel.  Excuse me for being skeptical =P

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s sexist for a woman to be attractive in a role. I don’t think it’s sexist for a woman to be attractive, in a role, and have sexual tension with a man.

    I think the assumption that it makes her character weaker for it is a sexist assumption. Especially when past examples like Aeryn, Beckett, Brennan, Dani Reese, Dana Scully, etc., show it’s perfectly possible to craft compelling, comprehensive characters from attractive women with sexual tension with their male partners. 

    (I think casting a woman in a male’s part is in fact NOT sexist, the kryptonite of sexism, if you will.)

    I think the skepticism is over the top, to be honest. And the constant harping on the point that “OH N SHE’LL BE ATTRACTIVE” has shades of a) slut shaming, and b) concern trolling.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    Looked it up. thanks for the recommendation! 

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    You’re waaaaaaaay over analyzing things here.  =P

  • Anonymous

    Because freaking out about the destruction of a character over literally NOTHING but a casting announcement is not over analyzing things?

  • Anonymous

    Even on Doctor Who, Martha fell in love with the Doctor (who wouldn’t?) and more or less cited that as a reason for her leaving.
    Do you honestly see that with Watson? And Holmes? I’ve cited a number of popular m/f pairs on TV, and none of those characters could ever be described as lovesick. Why the jump to assumptions now? Hell, in the subtext in Sherlock fandom, is Watson himself ever characterized as lovesick?

    I just don’t know if a TV show can have that dynamic without taking it there. 

    Again, I’m not arguing that they might not (let’s face it, they will) play up the UST dynamic. But examples we’ve got, Mulder/Scully, Beckett/Castle, Bones/Booth, can ANY of those female characters be characterized as lovesick?

  • http://twitter.com/CRCampbell42 Caitlin Campbell

    I don’t know what it is, but I really wish everyone would just stop talking about this. The whole idea of an American Sherlock (never mind that it’s already been done with House and Bones, but I guess those don’t count) makes me a little sick inside. Wrap the flag around the outlines Doyle created, fine, but to directly rip from the Moff’s great idea? Gross gross gross, stop this instant.

  • Victoria Eden

    I have never seen X Files or Castle so I can’t speak to those relationships, but with Booth/Bones I would argue that yes, both Booth and Bones have displayed some lovesick tendencies. Mainly in that time between Rebecca/hot lawyer/Cam and Hannah. They basically ran away from each other when Booth went back to Iraq and Brennan went off with Daisy. Mainly it was Booth doing the pining (until he comes home engaged) but it is still there.

     I’m not saying that Watson IS or has ever been lovesick or even that
    Liu’s incarnation WILL be. It was a comment more on the general state of
    TV than any specific canon.

  • Allison Cole

    I see how you could look at it that way, but to me, there were just SO many other ways that they could have expanded on the foundation laid by “Scandal” without going in such a different direction that really amounted to character assassination from my point of view, in as much as everything they did to Irene went in the exact opposite direction of everything about that character from the original story that made her such a fantastic proto-feminist. I understand that some people didn’t have any problems with it, including  some  fans of the original stories (like you), but I did. I just can’t get behind the series anymore. That being said, it doesn’t detract from the amazing things the series got right in season one, particularly in terms of maintaining the spirit of Doyle’s original characters and mysteries, so it’s a shame it chose to go in such a different direction with Irene, who is a really important character to me. Ah well, at least we can agree that this American adaptation doesn’t look in the least bit promising.

  • http://twitter.com/IsolaValentine Natalie ‘DSQ’ B.

     Pardon? What racism?

  • Lina
  • Frodo Baggins

    Unless they make Holmes female too, this is bad news.

  • http://twitter.com/IsolaValentine Natalie ‘DSQ’ B.

     As much as I want to admit it I kinda see where you are comming from, but I’ll have to watch it myself before judging.

  • http://iteari.livejournal.com/ Alison

     I’m actually down with that casting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cal-Hawks/509071265 Cal Hawks

     There used to be a few in the 80s… Female empowerment seems to have faltered in the media for some reason though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cal-Hawks/509071265 Cal Hawks

    I’m still skeptical of them doing this show… But at least they’ve chosen quality actors. If the writers are as good, we may have an interesting show on our hands.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    It’s because of the backlash. We got a period of feminist revolution in the 70s and 80s and in the 80 and 90s we saw the results of that reflected in media. Then by the late 90s  we’re in backlash. Society sort of pushes back against the change. Depictions of women become less common and more sexist. Now I think we’ve reached the crux of that and feminism is pushing back again, and we’re starting to see that reflected in out media (Brave, The Hunger Games, Korra). SO maybe I’ll get my wish soon. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cal-Hawks/509071265 Cal Hawks

     I hope so too.

  • Anonymous

    I’m happy if there is a non Moffat version out there since I frankly think that with the utter disdain he writes women his writings shouldn’t be on the air at all. However, why not go all the way and cast Sherlock as a woman too? Watson is predictable, because that’s mostly a spouse for Sherlock – but when was the last time we saw a female pompous genious that isn’t in the wrong or a minor character? And why not turn the subtextual relationship into text as well, then we’d not onlysidestep the possibility of a copycat, but create something even more interesting.

  • Anonymous

    I actually like the idea of a female watson (better with a female Holmes too, but I’ll take what I can get I guess) but my issue is that it doesn’t feel like it was an innovative idea, like ‘oh let’s shake it up, why does he have to be male?” but more like, ‘hmm, how can we show that we’re blatantly copying BBC Sherlock, oh I know, lets change a gender’. If this felt like an original interpretation I’d be impressed, but its got gimmick written all over it. And I like Lucy Liu, she’s played some really great characters in her career, but I admit that it seems pretty sad that they’ve decided to make an iconic character female, but still have restrained her to a sidekick position. I know sometimes Watson is an equal partner, but lets face it, Sherlock Holmes is always the star. And there’s always the risk of placing a strong female character in a role and making her less strong and more annoying. It does happen. I will always like to see a good female character but sometimes they really try too hard, and I just can’t relate. If they manage to stay away from will they/won’t they, and make it purely platonic friendship I’d be happy, but I admit I’m still not thrilled about the show simply because i don’t like the idea of remakes following so closely on the heels of original ideas. America already has a Holmes/Watson dynamic (see: House/Watson) and several shows that use the Holmes method of investigation (see: Psych, The mentalist, and Monk to name a few…) and I really don’t think it needs another at this point, especially one just trying to grab onto another shows recent success. 

    There, rant over. Nice to have a place to discuss, my flatmate got bored listening to my opinions on this :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000223717627 Kayleigh Kuykendall

     TO all those who keep overreacting and calling everyone who enjoys the original Sexist, ya’ll need to calm down!  Just because the character of Watson (originally male btw) is being played by a girl is not why people are worried. (I would truthfully love to see a female Sherlock Watson duo!) Its the fact that a female Watson is being thrown in for the sex(whether actual sex or just simple tension) because Americans are so damn scarred of simple subtext(I am american btw).  If this new character was literally Watson with boobs, I would have no problem but its the fact that EVERYTHING is different.  The back story.  THe emotions.  The simple beginning that tied Watson to Sherlock(the man cured Watson’s pyshcological limp and Watson was like “ok I’ll stay.”  So where’s her limp?)  Its just too different for my tastes and really poor decision to make Sherlock like every other goddamn show on the air and have somebody in love with somebody else as the main chunk.   I mean srsly, how many shows do we know of on air today that are simply about two best friends for life doing their thing and caring for each other?  None.  It just feels like they’re trying to cheapen the amazing work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which is quite sad.  Even Moffat (producer for Sherlock BBC) is disappointed in the show and that man took his work very seriously(he read and analyzed almost every Sherlock series book before making each episode.) and by doing so, got an AMAZING show.  
    And for those of you who hated the BBC Sherlock must not be fans of the original Sherlock books because they followed them to a fucking T. :)

    And its not over analyzing when a concerned fan feels worried for one of their favorite characters reputation.  Just imagine if someone fucked with your fav character of all time, because you’d be pissed too.  

    Truthfully, this just feels like a giant fanfiction you’d find someone on Fanfiction.net, which is probably where they got it from knowing how nothing is truly original these days. 

  • Guest

    The second episode of the first series has rather blatant racism. The original Holmes stories were racist, but nothing like that.

  • http://twitter.com/IsolaValentine Natalie B.

    Actually since having written this comment I have educated my self on the original stories and the BBC TV show and The Blind Baker is very problematic however Arthur Conan Doyle’s books are much much worse.

    They are great books but amount of prejudice is very dispiriting Sign of the Four especially.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Taunton/1540966496 Eric Taunton

    Hi Lucy! Please contact me! e.taunton@comcast.net

  • http://twitter.com/MangoHeed Isolavalentine

    I think the books were much much more racist. I mean have you read sign of four?!