Hey there, well I recall a year back (think it was a yea back) you and I well had this argument with me acting as a real tosser about your preferences. An well, I do wanna bring my apologize for it, and at the same time share my thoughts on both series. I will say that both series have their strong and weak points, and both series can be enjoyed on different levels.
I will agree that in Sherlock it would be nice if we get more development for Watson and show him more as a real person, and showing that he's equally smart as Sherlock (something they did in the movies which I thought was awesome), and it's def nice that Elementary shows that how Watson is smart and almost Sherlocks equal. However on the other hand, where Elementary falls short it's on it's crime stories, because they aren't that hard to solve and don't present much of a challenge, and at times it's almost like playing a game of Clue. Where with Sherlock, I actually love how insane and borderline complex the crimes are, since it's almost playing an old school detective game where you need to assert the clues and think over everything perfectly (even though sometimes it can go bonkers. But hey, so did the books). But Elementary actually peaks on character development and interaction between the two companions as they grow closer as friends and comrades, something Sherlock does lack in several places.
I will also add that, it's nice that Elementary adds more personality to Holmes, 'cause in both the books and the BBC's Sherlock it would be nice to see some more development out of him (though I will say that having be a recovering drug addict and going to America, a place which is like drug heaven next to Amesterdam is kinda ironic). But at the same time what kinda irks me is this whole 'sexual' aspect of Sherlock in Elementary. An this kinda bugs me with American TV in general, and maybe you can explain. What is their fear with having a character be asexual, since that's who Holmes is. In the books he's this dandy man (but that's 'cause of the era it was written), but he's still asexual. He doesn't care for love, no romances or women, to him the case is what's most important. An yet here we have him boning hot chicks, is this like some sort of law in AMerican television that the can't have characters who are asexual s. I've seen this in many shows like House, Numbers, Dexter and it just drives me nuts.
Which brings me to my issue with Moriarty in Elementary, is that the whole 'romance' aspect feels almost sexist in a way, and it's not 'cause we can't have two smart people be in love. It's 'cause, it just feels really tacked on and because they both are good looking. Frankly, you could have easily removed that aspect, kept she's this woman who wants to destroy Holmes because he threatens her organization, and that would have been perfect. Even when she uses this 'romance' against him, it still feels tacked on.
An actually, this is kinda my issue with the show is that, it kinda feels like a crime drama, with the Holmes mask on it. I mean, you have some fun dialogue, some good interaction between the two, even development an etc. But remove that mask, and it becomes a rather boring and cliched TV series, with the Sherlock Holmes brand on it. There is a TV series called "The Mentalist", I don't know if you ever seen it. But that kinda felt more like Sherlock Holmes to me than Elementary does.
So yeah, as I said while both shows have good things, they also have minuses with 'em but they are both fun. I will still stick with Sherlock, but hey I was wrong to judge Elementary so quickly thinking it was just an American knock off, 'cause it turned out to be fun. AN I will say, that both actors in Elementary do have some nice charisma and looks like they always had fun on set (though with Lucy Liu I swear she was only taken to get the guys in, because of how attractive she is, or 'cause her carrier has ended ages ago and she'll do anything for a paycheck.), and well I also really loved the Season 3 of Sherlock, and really hoping they'll bring back Moriarty, 'cause I really loved him and think they can do some more with him ('cause that was my gripe with the book is that he was barely used. Oh sure, he was 'mentioned', but we barely knew anything about it aside from the last book).
I'm gonna call ya out on this. I watched the first and second ep of Elementary and found it more Sherlock light, or close to Hipster type of Sherlock. I did like they gave Watson more of a charterer and personality, but I'd say the gender change was rather pointless (since you could have given him just as much character just by keeping him male. An well throwing someone as attractive Lucy Liu there just creates this feeling that she's gonna be a love interest at some point), not helped by having Moriarty be a woman. Since all it does is create this pointless 'romance' subplot between Moriarty and Holmes (which actually comes off kinda sexist when you think about, since the only reason she even goes after Holmes is 'cause she finds the hots for him, in some shape or form. Let's toss out the idea of her having a criminal empire and Sherlock being in her way, or hell having the BBC idea that he was just bored as saw Sherlock as the perfect challenge), and just throwing Watson into the mix. I'll also say the crimes are kinda easy to figure out (Specially since it's aimed at the American audience, I ain't surprised, since least 75% of American viewers need things spelled out for 'em.) I will admit, I find their take on SHerlock interesting, since unlike the BBC version, he isn't a high functioning psychopath but..mm..I guess more ADD or something along those lines. Though, it was head scratching that they decided to leave the "he's a drug addict" which was in the books, but I don't know, that was just kinda..mmm...awkward in a way. I mean, in the books it made sense since he used heroine when he was bored an needed to shut down his brain. I guess what it comes down too, is that Elementary has some interesting stuff, but all in all I'd be hard pressed to say it's better than BBC's Sherlock, since at times Elementary feels like Dr.House solving crimes, while at other times it feels like every other American crime show (CSI, Numbers, Monk an etc). I mean, it's def worth a watch, but I'm still gonna say that BBC Sherlock is least several pages ahead of Elementary.