Sherlock and Watson, more than friends?

This fall we get a third adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes. To go along with Benedict Cumberbatch’s tone perfect modern day Sherlock and Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr.’s over the top movies comes Elementary, staring  Jonny Lee Miller as the famous sleuth and Lucy Liu as his faithful companion, Watson. It will take place in a modern day New York, with Miller’s Sherlock favoring the bottle over the needle.  The modern day setting, already done to perfection in the BBC’s Sherlock, the switch to alcoholism and a relocation across the water may all end up being interesting changes.

But what interests me most is the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson.  It is great to see a woman of color given this classic role. My only real concern was how the relationship between Holmes and Watson would be affected by the change.  In some ways a female Watson can bring new and exciting dynamics into the strange, symbiotic partnership. Further, it can and hopefully will explore a platonic relationship between two members of the opposite sex. Too often we see these kinds of pairings drawn to exploring some kind of romantic interest between such characters.  Yet, Sherlock Holmes is the antithesis of this.  He is an almost asexual character, and is thus all the more interesting as an exploration of a true partnership between a man and a woman that has no basis in attraction or sexuality, and all to do with capability, trust, and teamwork.

I don’t see how the series can match up against the current BBC version (and nothing will top the Granada series with Jeremy Brett for strict adaptations). But the BBC version only has a few episodes per year, extended mini-movies though they may be, so there is a place for another Sherlock. I’m not convinced this is it, but I might give it a chance just to see a unique, complex, non-romantic relationship between a man and a woman on television.  And thus, I am happy to hear Lucy Liu explain to Access Hollywood that she does not see a romantic future for Holmes and Watson on Elementary.

Access Hollywood chatted with the stars of the drama at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego on Thursday, where they talked about the possible sparks between their characters.

“There’s definitely going to be a chemistry between them,” Lucy explained. “But, I don’t know if they’ll ever really connect in that way.”

Since the co-stars have only shot one episode of the show, the actress admitted their future is uncertain.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen right away,” she said of any potential romance.

Let’s hope it doesn’t happen at all.

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