Elementary got off to a solid start last week, and if it holds up tonight, a renewal shouldn’t be too far away. Which is fine — the show is a stylish, if kind of boring, procedural. It took some flak for its resemblance to the BBC series Sherlock, but after even just the pilot, the shows seem different enough that no one has to worry about his or her preferred Holmes being infringed upon. But there is one major red flag, one that’s been bugging us since this summer: Why is Elementary so opposed to having its Sherlock and Watson be a romantic couple?
“For me, it’s completely off the table,” showrunner Rob Doherty said back in July. “I don’t look at it so much through a romantic prism. I really do feel like what I see is this really interesting and quirky friendship that’s forming,” he said more recently. “As far as how do we keep it from getting there, my very simple plan is to not write that. It’s just not what we’re looking to do.”
Why not? What’s wrong with characters falling for each other? Or at least falling into bed with each other? Especially Holmes and Watson! Of course they should get together. Most Holmes and Watsons should get together:
Don’t you want them to just smooch already? Weren’t you sort of rooting for House and Wilson to ride off into the sunset together on House? Wasn’t it nice when Bones and Booth finally hooked up on Bones and when Castle and Beckett finally kissed on Castle? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Benson and Stabler should have gotten together on SVU. Tony and Ziva should just get together already on NCIS. Same goes for Kensi and Deeks on NCIS:LA. Any couple who maybe can get together on TV just should! Because, ugh, life is short,
“Should we be so lucky as to go into season six, seven, eight, or nine, maybe [a Holmes/Watson romance] starts to look attractive,” Doherty told TV Guide, and that’s why finally breaking long-gestating romantic tension gets a bad rap: because shows wait until season seven to pair characters off, after the better material has been burned through. It’s not that consummation leads to bad episodes — bad episodes lead to consummation. (Also, real talk: No one casts Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu to play brooding urbanites who never kiss. Come on.)
Plenty of procedurals have wonky geniuses at their centers. Plenty are gory. Plenty focus on crime-solvers with their own sad, personal baggage. But none of these shows, not the high-end versions like Sherlock or the less imaginative versions like CSI: New York, went for coupledom from the get-go. So, if Elementary is going to distinguish itself in any meaningful capacity this season, let’s get Sherlock and Joan together right now. Let’s not drag this out over several seasons and wait for 900 “Fuck yeah” Tumblrs to emerge or the heaps of fan fiction and the YouTube tribute videos. C’mon, guys. Just … kiss.