Determined to prove that its modern-day Sherlock Holmes drama is not just an Americanized copycat of the BBC’s Sherlock—but rather a total reinvention that just so happens to star Benedict Cumberbatch’s alternate from Frankenstein, and which was dreamed up only after the network failed to get the rights to the British show, in that ineffable, uncanny mystery of happenstance and coincidence that is the creative process—CBS’ Elementary has gone a completely different direction by casting Lucy Liu as Watson. Liu, who is an Asian-American woman and therefore this is all original, will play a disgraced former surgeon and sobriety sponsor to Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes, who finds himself ousted from Scotland Yard and sent to rehab in New York. This gender-reversal will allow the two to have a sexual tension that, unlike other modern iterations of Sherlock Holmes, is not all wink-wink homoerotic, so it is different. Also, we repeat, the show is set in New York, so therefore it is very different and not at all like the BBC’s Sherlock—a point which the producers hope they have made very clear by now, otherwise they will have to resort to adding a talking dog or helpful ghost.
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