I'm not going to lie to you folks. When I first heard about Elementary I though, "how dare they! They can't make Watson a woman!" Being a hard core BBC Sherlock fan it just didn't feel right, especially since BBC Sherlock had just hit super stardom at this point. Besides that I'm against studios making the same concepts simultaneously (ie. the 50 vampire movies that have come out around Twilight) All I could think was that they'd grow the relationship, that I have loved so dearly, between Sherlock and Watson into a romantic one.
Part of the reason I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters so much is that they are platonic. In a world submerged in the 'if there's a relationship, it has to be sexual' mindset, it's a breathe of fresh air. I didn't have sit through another bout of dating drama with a character! Great Scott! What a relief! Any who, until Natalie Dormer (previous post on her) came on Elementary I avoided watching the series. If you don't know, I adore Natalie. Having now seen both shows Sherlock shows I'd like to dig a little deeper into John and Joan Watson.
John Watson - BBC Sherlock
"We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants."
1. Sexual Orientation - I know this has become a running joke inside and outside of the show, but it is something that needs to be addressed. In the original stories, sexuality isn't ever discussed in the fashion it is on the series. Of course we all know John marries Mary, but the homosexual jokes are completely new. In my opinion it's also beating a dead horse by the time you hit season three. It was funny the first time, now it's just ridiculous.
2. Blogger - Upgrade! They've upgraded John to a blog, a brilliant choice. I really love that they kept this in the show because it gives Watson more of a purpose. It also allows us to play into the idea that a Sherlock type person could actually be alive today. Now just have to stumble across that blog...
3. War Veteran - Sticking to the original, but with a slight update, was a smart choice. Having John be a Afghanistan vet makes it relatable to today's veterans, while also sticking to the original text well enough. For those of you who have seen season three, there was also a nice kick back to his army days.
4. Intense Relationship - Anyone who is anyone knows that Sherlock and John's relationship is intense. Apart from Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade they really don't communicate with many others. And let's face it, Sherlock doesn't really like many people. Making the relationship all the more intense. Though Sherlock and Watson are close in the books, I don't think it is ever portrayed as this strongly as this. Neither really have an active social life outside of each other in the series.
5. Moral Support
- We all know that Sherlock doesn't really listen to anyone. Watson is more of a sounding board. If I remember this correctly, Sherlock even says the skull could take over for Watson. I think this is definitely an overstatement, but it is true to some degree. Watson doesn't do much sleuthing in this series, it's still really all down to Sherlock's brilliant mind palace. Watson is an observer as much as we are.
Joan Watson - Elementary
"My name is Joan Watson. I've been hired by your father to be your sober companion."
1. Unsexualized - Against all my fears, Joan has not been sexualized in any offensive ways. Sure, they mention once in a while her going on a date, but she hasn't been turned into the sinner or saint. She's actually a really wonderful reflection of an average dating woman today. The amount of times Hollywood has played the woman as the 'easy' chick is intolerable. I'm so glad they've given Joan some dignity.
2. Recent Writer - Joan has only recently started to dive into the writing world. I really wish they had introduced this earlier. Even if they had done it as a Vlog or another format, it would have added some more depth to Joan's character. However, the show still does a good job of making us feel like we're in Joan's shoes. Us regular folk have to have someone to relate to!
3. Surgeon - I understand why they made her a surgeon, but they could have made Joan a military surgeon as well. Just having her be the hospital surgeon doesn't give her enough of a background. In the original text, part of why Watson even goes along with Sherlock is because he misses the excitement of the old days. If Joan didn't have those thrilling military experiences it kind of looses that context. The sober companion angle was an interesting introduction. They could have easily introduced her in a similar way to the books, but they chose not to. My logic behind this is because at first Sherlock doesn't want her around, but needs her. Gradually, this builds to him wanting her around, but not necessarily needing her.
4. Gradual Relationship - The relationship between Sherlock and Joan is a gradual build rather than a leap. It was actually really enjoyable to watch it build and flower as it has. The best bit, it's still platonic! My worst fears haven't been realized! Sherlock actually appears to have some outside friends and colleagues in this series, as well as Joan. This social life provides for an easier ebb and flow between them. Sure, Sherlock snoops Joan sometimes, and Joan gets teased by her friends for spending too much time with him, but it's not unhealthy.
5. Conversational (even if sometimes forced)
- Part of Joan's sober companion job was to get Sherlock into the real world and out of his shell. By getting him to open up and talk to her it made her a vital part of his life. Though he may not have liked it at first, I believe we all know that he now enjoys it. Joan is in no way a bystander in this series. She is at first, but Sherlock slowly starts to teach her deduction, pick pocketing, and memorization among other things. She's learning from him, she may or may not be as good as him, but she's definitely making a solid go of it!
originally posted at Your Friend Elle