Elementary Quips

I just started watching the fifth season of Elementary on Netflix that was made available yesterday. It’s a crime procedural series I’ve been watching faithfully since I first joined Netflix a while back. Jonny Lee Miller plays a modern day Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Liu a female Watson. It works surprisingly well. In fact, I like the series better than the other modern day version with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Is it me or are there considerably less crime procedural series nowadays? A few years back we were swimming in them. CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and all their spin-off series. It was too much and we got tired of it in the end, craving new ideas.

Today, I actually miss them back again.

All these adventure series are fine and all, but sometimes I just want to sit back and relax with a crime procedural series where each episode is more or less self-contained. Elementary fits this bill quite nicely.

However, after watching the first three episodes of the fifth season, I’ve noticed a few interesting things about the series.

First, a bit of a rant. What the hell is up with Lucy Liu wearing TIES!? Cut that out! Ties, like suspenders, never look good on a woman. No, really! Let the men wear these things in peace. It’s not like you girls don’t have a ton of other options.

It’s hard not to notice how often Lucy Liu changes her wardrobe. Typically 4-5-6 times an episode. I’ve seen a lot of other series where the protagonists wear their suit the entire episode. I have a feeling it’s quite deliberate; they are turning Lucy Liu into some kind of a fashion show.

It has a silver lining in that it gets rid of that awful tie.

Sometimes it feels like the writers of the show relies a little bit too much on their style. For example, try to pay attention to whenever Sherlock Holmes starts accusing a person of a crime. The person typically denies everything to begin with, but at some point later during the conversation, he or she might throw the “say you’re right” card to follow a hypothetical line in the hope of undermining Sherlock’s arguments.

This dialog trick pops up alarmingly often.

But I must say I really love this show. All of the characters are quite likable and I also like how Holmes and Watson often get into discussions at home that has nothing to do with the case they’re working on.

TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 4)

Read more “TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 4)”

This is the fourth and final part in a blog series about what shows I’ve watched and what I thought of them. Just a few remarks for each of them. The text will be with only minor spoilers, so it should be relatively safe to read this in case you’re curious about shows you haven’t seen before.

TV Season Boxes

Don’t miss out on TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 3) with my opinions about Fringe, Heroes, House M.D., Jericho, Lie to Me, and Lost.

TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 3)

Read more “TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 3)”

This is the third part (of four) in a blog series about what shows I’ve watched and what I thought of them. Just a few remarks for each of them. The text will be with only minor spoilers, so it should be relatively safe to read this in case you’re curious about shows you haven’t seen before.

TV Season Boxes

Don’t miss out on Part 2 with my opinions about CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, The Dead Zone, Dexter, Dollhouse, and Firefly.

TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 2)

Read more “TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 2)”

This is the second part (of four) in a blog series about what shows I’ve watched and what I thought of them. Just a few remarks for each of them. The text will be with only minor spoilers, so it should be relatively safe to read this in case you’re curious about shows you haven’t seen before.

TV Season Boxes

Don’t miss out on Part 1 with an introduction as well as opinions about 24, The 4400, Alias, Battlestar Galactica (2003), The Closer, and Criminal Minds.

TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 1)

Read more “TV Shows: Thoughts & Opinions (Part 1)”

One of my favorite pastimes is to watch TV shows from one end to another. That’s the great thing that this millennium brought with it – season boxes with several discs, making it possible to watch the shows continuously without the fear of missing an episode.

TV Season Boxes

In the beginning I went crazy and watched maybe four of six episodes one weekend and then another batch again after a few days. Later I learned to save the better TV shows, especially as I started having trouble finding the good ones.

I even have a movie night each week where I watch selected shows together with my family. It’s a tradition we’ve had ever since the first season of Lost was released, and throughout the years we’ve been through a lot of shows. I always buy the cakes for the 9 o’clock coffee.

So, I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts about what shows I’ve watched and what I thought of them. Just a few remarks for each of them. The text will be with only minor spoilers, so it should be relatively safe to read this in case you’re curious about shows you haven’t seen before.

There will be four blog posts about the season-based TV shows (listed alphabetically):

Click a link to immediately jump to the section about that particular TV show.

I’ve discarded a lot of shows to get down to these four parts. Some of them were skipped because I’ve seen too little of them to comment on them, while others have been skipped because of being too old – I wanted the series to be about relatively modern shows. I have seen all the Star Trek spin-off shows too, but I thought that perhaps they should have their very own blog series at a later time. Star Trek has a special place in my geeky heart and thus deserves a special treatment.

So, without further ado, let’s start with…

Associations: Fringe vs Shogun

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I’m watching Fringe these days, a TV show that started in 2008 and is now in the middle of its third season. Currently I’m almost finished with the second season. The show is somewhat inspired by the old X-Files show. A special unit is pursuing and unraveling supernatural accidents or crime scenes. Usually the episodes are more or less isolated, but sometimes they also return to a main storyline that slowly unfolds and intrigues. Just like X-Files.

I must admit that I wasn’t completely won over by the show in the first season. Walter Bishop is a bit too eccentric and they repeat too many of his odd habits. In the second season there are too many episodes where he dominates completely, leaving the other protagonists as mere bystanders. Nevertheless the show is still starting to grow on me as the episodes in the second half of the second season got better. Especially the episode with a younger Walter Bishop was magnificent.

Sam Weiss

In the second season, Nina Sharp suggests Olivia Dunham visits Sam Weiss, a bowling alley owner that also helped Nina regain use of her new cybernetic prosthetic arm. Olivia goes to him but finds his advice oblique and frustrating, although often helpful.

Almost immediately as soon as Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) appeared on the screen, he reminded me of Father Martin Alvito (Damien Thomas) in the old Shogun TV mini-series from 1980.

Sam Weiss (Fringe) and Father Alvito (Shogun)
Sam Weiss in Fringe and Father Alvito in Shogun.

The resemblance is almost uncanny. Not just because the two actors look so much like each other, but also in the way they act. Both Sam Weiss and Father Alvito have this stoic way about them.