You'll notice that I used AND instead of VERSUS in my subject line because unlike what seems like most of the rest of the Sherlock Holmes-loving world, I like them both.
Shocking, I know. Blasphemy! I, a woman of thirty-six years and reasonable intelligence, can actually like two shows about the same character who have completely different approaches AT THE SAME TIME!
My sarcasm, it is showing. Mostly because I'm more than a little irritated that someone actually blocked me on Facebook over this shit (a while ago, actually, this rant has been building for that time - I figured I should get it out before it boiled over). For that, I think they are an asshat. They were also an LJ friend and guess what? I blocked them from this journal. Because I can be online petty too.
For the record, it took me a few episodes to get into the groove of "Elementary." I wasn't sure about having Joan instead of John (for probably a lot of the same misogynistic reasons as those who absolutely refuse to watch it, even if I didn't want to admit it) and was even less sure about Jonny Lee Miller's ability to play Sherlock. Guess what? He pulls it off. He is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's not TRYING to be. Miller is is own version of the character.
I started to compare them, but there is no comparison - they might as well be playing completely different roles. Well, what do you know? They ARE playing two different roles, neither one doing a "better" job at it than the other. They each capture Sherlock Holmes in the modern world, they simply approach it very differently. And I like them both.
Did you hear that? I. Like. Them. BOTH!
It bears repeating, because I don't feel like I should be forced to choose here. There is no "side," no "right" or "wrong." They're both good in their own way. They each have strengths and weaknesses, neither of which do I wish to discuss at length, mostly because I've seen "Elementary" more recently and so right now I like it more. When "Sherlock" comes back, I'll probably like it more for while I have it. It's a matter of changing gears, not fucking RELIGIONS.
Also for the record, I don't give a flying fuck about CBS "not being true to the character" by moving him to New York and giving him an amazing woman partner. Nor do I give a flying fuck about those who say that CBS "just wanted to cash in on the popularity of BBC's "Sherlock." Um, yeah - that's what TV networks do. And sorry boys and girls (I would say men and woman, but the people in this "debate" have shown themselves to be little more than silly children), but neither concept is anymore "true" to Conan Doyle's work than Robert Downey Jr.'s version is.
Fact: John and Sherlock may be your slash OTP, but in the original, Victorian-era canon, they were friends and Watson was married. To a woman.
Fact: in the BBC's "Sherlock," both John AND Sherlock have shown attraction to women. That's not to say that they can't also love each other romantically (hello, bisexual poly woman here), but they are not shown as sexual towards each other. If anything, Sherlock is shown as being more asexual, with the exception of Irene Adler. There have been a lot of jokes about John and Watson getting or being together in "Sherlock" canon, but as others have pointed out far more eloquently than I, "bromances" and "winks to the camera" do not equal gay inclusion.
So sorry slashers, it's not homophobia to turn Watson into a woman for a new TV show. For "Sherlock" fan fiction, I can see the argument because writers are changing the canon gender of a character because they don't like the idea of two cis-men together.
For an entirely new show, no, though I do see where you're arguing from. Your argument is flawed, but I see it.
Fact: the backlash of misogyny and racism against Lucy Liu since "Elementary" came out has been disgusting in the extreme, especially since she is made of total awesome in the role. Martin Freeman can kiss her beautiful ass, as well. Don't fucking tell me he was joking. It was unfunny, m'kay?
To be honest, all of this bullshit (along with the mods of horror at the most popular "Sherlock" LJ site) have kind of turned me off "Sherlock." I'm not saying I won't watch it (though it's now rather in the category of "liking a problematic thing"), but I'm avoiding the fandom even more ardently since I got blocked on Facebook for telling someone I felt they were missing out* to summarily dismiss "Elementary," because they were "completely opposed to Watson being a woman."
Why? There is no answer to that question that I've seen so far that isn't rooted in misogyny. Somewhere. Yes, Watson was canonically male. But canonically, both Holmes and Watson lived over 100 years ago, so canon is pretty much out the window the moment writers take a modern take on it.
Vaginas are icky, I guess. And heaven forbid a vagina come anywhere near beloved characters that have been redone and remade so many times I think that only "The Three Musketeers" have them beat for variety of productions.
Finally, to be perfectly clear, I'm not saying that anyone has to watch or like either show. However, I am saying that it's possible to enjoy both without it being some epic battle over who is more awesome. And I also think it's wrong to judge something without having watched a single fucking episode. Now, there are those who say that one can judge something by its previews ("Battleship," anyone?), but when most of the negative press has more to do with casting decisions than actual acting critiques, I start to smell a misogynistic, racist rat.
*The person argued that I wasn't respecting their judgment by saying they were missing out. They're right. I wasn't. And I'm not apologizing for it, especially since they blocked me on Facebook over it because they didn't like my telling them (fairly nicely, I thought) that they were full of shit.