The name is Watson, Joan Watson. Lucy Liu is set to play Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick in CBS’ drama pilot Elementary, whose tweaks to Arthur Connan Doyle’s classic include switching Watson’s gender to female. The project, written by Robert Doherty, is set in present day and stars Jonny Lee Miller as eccentric Brit Sherlock Holmes, a former consultant to Scotland Yard whose addiction problems led him to a rehab center in New York City. Just out of rehab, Holmes now lives in Brooklyn with “sober companion” Joan Watson (Liu), a former surgeon who lost her license after a patient died, while consulting for the NYPD. Michael Cuesta is directing the pilot, produced by CBS TV Studios and Timberman/Beverly. Ally McBeal alumna Liu, who had 2 pilots vying for her, is recurring on the current season of the TNT cop drama Southland and will next be seen in the feature Man With The Iron Fists.
Okay, I’m extremely conflicted here and I needed to make a post to explain my feelings.
Pro: female co-lead in a potentially huge TV series (not even going to go into the whole race issue right now, it’s obviously relevant but not what I’m focused on for this).
Con: sex-swapping an originally male co-lead character in order to potentially (probably, knowing CBS) initiate a romantic relationship between said co-lead character and the leading character.
I get that Sherlock/John is popular. I get that people beyond us “shippers” see it. I get that it’s a beautifully romantic story between the two characters even without explicit romance. Explicit romance doesn’t need to exist for there to be genuine affection and adoration between two characters.
This is apparently something that CBS (and the majority of the industry at large) isn’t getting. And probably won’t get. At least for a very long time.
Because changing Watson’s sex to female for the sole purpose of furthering a potentially romantic relationship between her and Sherlock is painful. Not to mention ridiculous and extremely self-serving for the heteronormative executives in control of what the media presents to the public to be consumed. They already have enough of this everywhere else. Fucking learn to step off once in a while, you pricks.
In conclusion, I’m not leveling judgment at the show just yet, but if this is where they’re headed with it (which is frighteningly likely), I’m downright disgusted.
So much for progress.
This accurately sums up my feelings. I hope they don’t go this way, but it’s fucking CBS.
I am MORE than happy to be proven wrong in this case.