This is the question I asked myself recently when deciding if I wanted to watch the most recent Sherlock Holmes interpretation, the television series, Elementary. Being a big fan of BBC's Sherlock first, I felt like many Sherlock fans felt, that we didn't need another modern day Sherlock Holmes, we already have Steven Moffat's brilliant mind and Benedict Cumberbatch's brilliant depiction. I was on the hunt for new (to me) TV shows to get into, when the regular TV season had ended and I was down to only two airing shows for the Summer, so I decided to give Elementary a shot. Long story short; the answer is yes. And here's why.
The reasons I've come to love the character of Sherlock (namely, as depicted in BBC's Sherlock, but to a lesser extent, the movies starring Robert Downey Jr.) are present in Elementary, as well. He is brilliant; I love to watch how his clever, clever mind makes his observations and connections. He's anti-social; Sherlock's viewers have gone so far as to suggest Sherlock has Aspergers. I wouldn't go that far. Like nerds who are happier to spend their days consumed by World of Warcraft than go out and meet girls, Sherlock has found something that challenges his mind and evokes his passions. I find him akin to Sookie of True Blood. She can read minds. Without choice. It's hard for her to get to know people because she learns too much about them just by being near them. Sherlock can just look at a person and know things about them that they might not want to share. Sherlock chooses the people to share his life with very carefully. As it is pointed out in Elementary, it is as if he has extremely heightened senses. He needs to choose what he is exposed to, lest he be overwhelmed with details that he deems useless.
We love him, in all his forms, because he is very smart with an odd personality and lifestyle. He's fascinating to us mere mortals who could never come close to solving the mysteries he solves in minutes, and live ordinary lives surrounded by ordinary people. That's what TV, movies, and books are for- to escape our reality, into one much more interesting.
The clues and cases of Elementary did not impress my feeble brain as much as Sherlock's. Although, to Elementary's credit, they are working with weekly 40-minute episodes. Their cases have to be wrapped up more quickly than Sherlock's 2-hour long episodes (three in a season). Some of the cases' conclusions in Elementary seemed a bit too obvious, even I made that connection. Whereas Sherlock kept me confused, but intrigued the entire time. (I once figured out a clue moments before Sherlock did. I've never felt smarter.)
However, the difficulty of the cases is not the only point to judge our Sherlocks by. I quickly found myself falling for Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock, just as I have fallen for Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. British, eccentric, with rare moments of affection. I didn't find that Elementary borrowed too much from Sherlock. All three of our Sherlocks share the same personality traits that I mentioned, of course, but Jonny Lee Miller takes Sherlock in a different direction. (He also has the most adorable/hilarious Grumpy Cat Resting Face.)
I now find myself just as excited for a second season of Elementary as I am for the third season of Sherlock. More eccentricities, more mysteries. And don't feel left out, RDJ. Your time as Sherlock may have passed, but you'll still get the occasional re-watches out of me.