By familiar, I don't mean that it looks like a carbon-copy of the BBC modern day Sherlock Holmes drama Sherlock. The good news is that this looks and feels quite different from the currently airing series. The bad news is that everything about this feels like a concerted effort to water-down the original and make it 'more palpable' to alleged audience sensibilities. The tinkering seems primarily intended to make Johnny Lee Miller's Holmes more 'sympathetic'. This Holmes actually gives a damn about the dastardly doings that villains do, rather than treating the 'great game' as just that. He lashes out at suspects and expresses regret at having to witness violence. And of course, because Watson is now played by a woman, Lucy Lu is seen looking away at the gore, because all women are inherently squeamish. The core difference between the two shows appears to be an attempt to make Jonny Lee Miller's Holmes less cold, clinical, and stand off-ish than Benedict Cumberbatch. In short, CBS is trying for a more 'relatable' Sherlock Holmes.
Of course, it's doubtful that the higher-pitched and far-less imposing Miller will inspire the same kind of lecherous feelings as Cumberbatch's tall, deep-voiced, and imposing detective brings about in heterosexual female/homosexual male fans. Why the creators felt the need to soften its lead character is a bit of a mystery in itself. I don't know of too many viewers who were turned off by Hugh Laurie's cold, clinical, and often painfully unsympathetic star turn in what sure to be the best American variation of Sherlock Holmes ever, House MD. In fact, the 'quirky but overall decent' detective paired with a female 'caretaker' whom he shares a prickly but supportive relationship with makes this seem less like CBS is remaking Sherlock and more like CBS is remaking Tony Shaloub's Monk. Will I sample this? Probably, if only because CBS promises more than three episodes a year.