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Featured TV on DVD Review: Elementary: Season Two

August 25th, 2014

Elementary: Season Two - Buy from Amazon

I previously reviewed this show, which should make this review of Elementary much easier. There's no real need to get into the setup of the show, while I only really need to say if the show is better or worse than the first season.

The Show

Elementary, just like nearly every other TV show right now, is a police procedural. It's "hook" is that it is a modern adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story. I put "hook" in quotation marks, because there is a BBC show that is exactly the same, Sherlock. House, M.D. is also a modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Johnny Lee Miller stars as Sherlock Holmes, while Lucy Liu is the gender-twisted casting of Joan Watson. At the beginning, Watson is Sherlock Holmes' sober companion. By the second season, they are full partners helping Captain Thomas Gregson and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill).

For most of the first season, the show was the your typical case of the week procedural, but the biggest recurring element is Irene Adler, the only love of Sherlock Holmes' life. She was kidnapped and killed, or so he thought. It turns out, her real name was Jamie Moriarty, a criminal mastermind. He's still in love with her, despite her evil acts. She is not absent from this season, but the focus this season is spread out somewhat. In one thread, Detective Marcus Bell is shot and Sherlock Holmes was to blame. The fallout of this extends over several episodes. We also meet a couple of people from Holmes' life. In the season premiere, we meet Gareth Lestrade, a successful detective at Scotland Yard. However, Holmes was the brains behind his success and their relationship suffered as a result. He returns later for a couple of episodes. The last major thread involves Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes' brother. The pair had a fallling out when Sherlock had sex with Mycroft's fiancée, which Sherlock did because he thought the fiancée was after Mycroft's money, nothing more. He returns a few times in the season, but the exact reasons are spoilers.

So the real question is still there. Is this season better or worse that the first season? Yes and no. The show still has the same strengths as it did the first season. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu still have great chemistry together and this is the biggest asset the show has. The writing is usually really good. Several episodes are excellent. There are some mysteries that are less intriguing, either because they weren't interesting or too predictable or there was a surprise twist that didn't make sense. Additionally, the show still lacks a hook to truly set it apart from other police procedurals.

The Extras

The first disc has an eight-minute featurette on filming in London, which is where the season premiere takes place. Disc two has a deleted scene for one episode, The Marchioness. Disc five has two featurettes. Under the Looking Glass is an 8-minute look at the writing process of some of the episodes this season. Skill Sets is a 7-minute look at some of the skills Joan Watson has learned from Sherlock Holmes, as well as the skills Holmes have that they took from the books. Disc six has a deleted scene for The Man with the Twisted Lip. There is also an audio commentary track for Paint It Black. Second Chapter is a 20-minute retrospective of the second season. Art in the Blood is a nine-minute look at Mycroft Holmes. The Life of Clyde is a four-minute faux-featurette on Clyde, the pet turtle. Finally, there is a three-minute featurette.

The Verdict

As with the first season, there are a number of reasons to watch Elementary. However, the direct competition is too intense. If you like the genre and you haven't seen it yet, then it is worth checking out. If you are a fan, there are enough extras on the Season Two DVD to be worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Aidan Quinn, Rhys Ifans, Lucy Alexis Liu, Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Pertwee, Natalie Dormer