frayadjacent: Joan Watson wearing a beanie, holding her hand up -- probably to stop Sherlock from talking! (Elementary: Watson hand up)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
I've been enjoying Elementary, especially the last few episodes, which gave more attention to Joan and a likeable one-off character.  But is anybody else realizing we're damn near the S2 finale and it kind of feels like the season never picked up?  I mean, there have been a lot of fun character interactions this season, a few moments of important growth for Joan and Sherlock, and a few interesting plot threads that have been mostly left to dangle.  But it doesn't feel like a coherent season.  Like, if someone were to ask me what this season was about, I don't know what I'd say.

And it was an easy question to answer for S1.  Character-wise, S1 was about Joan and Sherlock meeting and developing trust and friendship.  It was about Sherlock's recovery and Joan's career change.  It was about both of them connecting with each other and, through their relationship, to other people as well (Marcus, Alfredo, Ms. Hudson, etc).  Plot wise, it was mostly one-offs, but the Moriarty plot was in the background for over half the season, and when you consider how it connects to Sherlock's recovery, it was there all along.

This season, I don't know.  I keep waiting for it to really pick up, and a couple of weeks ago I was a little surprised to realize that we're closing in on the season finale and it hasn't.  Not that I haven't liked watching it, not that Joan and Sherlock don't charm me every episode, but it's starting to wear a bit thin.  I want my slow burn just a little less slow, please.

Maybe this is normal for this kind of show?  I never really watched ER or Law and Order or other shows that seem close in genre to Elementary

Date: 17/04/2014 12:06 am (UTC)
naushika: (Elementary - J/S - oxygennn)
From: [personal profile] naushika
That's pretty much the status quo for procedurals, sadly. I watched Law and Order (all flavors) for many years, and they were all like that the whole way through, with just the occasional longer story arc. I never quite got the satisfaction I wanted out of those kinds of shows. I generally don't watch procedurals now, I prefer shows where the story has weight from episode to episode. I only watch Elementary because I like the characters so much, haha.

Date: 17/04/2014 02:01 am (UTC)
ghost_lingering: Morgan checks Garcia's apartment to make sure it's safe (baby girl)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
Yeah, I agree, mostly. This season certainly lacks the driving character and plot arcs of last season. (That is to say, Moriarty for plot arc and the addiction/career change/friendship for the emotional/character arcs for Sherlock & Joan.)

I do think that there is a character arc this season for Sherlock that is about him figuring out how, exactly, he wants to connect with the people around him and live in the world. This makes sense, to me, since last season he was too busy dealing with his addiction and his feelings about losing Irene to really take stock of his life and how it has changed -- how he has changed. So I do really appreciate watching Sherlock figure out the sort of man he wants to be and navigating the day to day of living with his addiction; he's past the immediate crisis of becoming sober, but there is still the process of maintaining his sobriety. And being at this new place in his life is leading him to rethink how he has conducted human interactions in the past, not just on a personal level, but a professional one. And I am finding all of that really interesting and well done. But it's also on it's own; Joan doesn't have a character arc that I can discern this season and we don't have the driving mystery of the first season (who killed Irene? who is Moriarty?). I'm still enjoying the show, but it's definitely a different feel from last season.

The only other procedural that I've been fannish about was Criminal Minds which ... sort of had the character arcs going on in the background? For example, there was a drug addiction plotline on CM as well and I think that characters only explicitly mentioned it was happening three times. It was there and it was present, but if you weren't paying attention you very well might miss it. Elementary definitely forefronts the characters and their relationships more and in that sense it doesn't really remind me of what I'm used to in procedurals.

Date: 17/04/2014 02:17 am (UTC)
next_to_normal: Jennifer Lawrence sad face; text: :( (JLaw sad)
From: [personal profile] next_to_normal
Yeah, I've noticed that, too. Not that I don't enjoy it, but more and more I've found myself only half paying attention to the episode... and not really missing much.

I'm not usually one for procedurals anyway, but Elementary seemed to have that extra ~oomph. But yeah, "starting to wear a bit thin" is a good way to describe it.

Date: 17/04/2014 04:52 am (UTC)
ghanimasun: (elementary)
From: [personal profile] ghanimasun
I've only watched about half of season 2 of Elementary sort of for this reason. There was not really any development and it got sort of boring. It's sort of disappointing though because I wanted to like it more than I seem to this season.

Date: 23/04/2014 04:12 am (UTC)
ghanimasun: (sherlock holmes)
From: [personal profile] ghanimasun
Glad to hear it gets better somewhat. At this point I'm just gonna wait till the season ends and binge on it, but I'm looking forward to it more now!

Date: 23/04/2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
amindamazed: breathe deep and let go of things (Default)
From: [personal profile] amindamazed
I agree - s2 seems at a loss to know what to do with itself. There are scattered episodes and scenes dealing with Sherlock making amends, overlapping with a set of him invested in not being 'nice', and a third group of season-hijacking blips with Mycroft, Lestrade, and Moriarty.

Watson doesn't seem to have an arc at all. Two separate episodes months apart about guilt, one with a subplot about having a life outside of the brownstone, and one with her staking claim to building her expertise, none of which had any connection with the others.

I wonder if there's network pressure to be episodic rather than serial. (it seems clear that the CBS promotion department wants the show to be The Wacky Adventures of That Crazy Sherlock when they can't play up some dark romance angle.) I much prefer serial and have been almost as disappointed by the lack of season-long narrative structure as I am by their squandering Watson as a fully developed lead. The slow, deep build of character and context was what I fell in love with originally, and I've missed that in the confusion of s2.

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