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On CBS’ Elementary, Johnny Lee Miller plays a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. The English actor’s interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth is hyperkinetic. Holmes is indelicate. He jitters. When observing some liar or crime scene, he’s prone to biting his bottom lip—presumably, an outward manifestation of all of those synapses firing off in his big ol’ genius brain. Although none of these character quirks are particularly unexpected or novel they work. Miller is mesmerizing. His performance is the one thing that distinguishes this new series from other crime dramas. But shouldn’t the show’s connection to Conan Doyle’s stories be what sets it apart? This updated Holmes lives in Manhattan. His female Dr. Watson, Joan (Lucy Liu), isn’t a flatmate but a sober companion—like the Holmes of Conan Doyle’s stories, he struggles with drug addiction. He’s recently left rehab, living in an apartment owned by a father whom he resents, and consults for the NYPD. Holmes also seems to be fond of wearing clothes that are too small for him (but he looks very cute in his child-sized sweaters, so it’s hard to find fault in that). For CBS, bringing the character into the modern age, in part, means making him less refined. He isn’t a gentleman detective; he’s a scruffy, eccentric hipster detective.


Directors and writers aren’t the only one with viewpoints on filmmaking, so we’re starting at the beginning and the bottom as two production assistants give us their stories and share their insights into starting out in Hollywood. Plus, Fat Guy Kevin Carr joins us to play Good News/Bad News and deliver his own TED Talk. Download This Episode

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