An excess of sentiment was the problem with last night's episode of Elementary, in which Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) seemed to spend more time advising the NYPD police captain on his love life than exercising those famous powers of deduction. Needless to say, Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch would never bother himself with marriage counselling, but with months still to go till series three, we must make do.
Any opportunity to crow over a US show that's inferior to its UK equivalent is not to be missed – it's so often the other way round, after all – but as an American-made show with a British expat protagonist, Elementary is also an interesting take on cultural difference. If Dr Watson were writing up his case notes he'd call it "A Study in Yank".
While the UK Sherlock is still a self-described sociopath who performs devastating character demolitions as soon as shake hands, the US Sherlock shows worrying sings of "character growth". In this episode, when Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) became frustrated by her slow sleuthing progress, Sherlock was not only sensitive enough to notice, but humble enough to make her a gift of his unsolved cases, saying she might succeed where he has failed. True, US Sherlock buttons his shirt all the way up to the top, mumbles to himself occasionally and drinks Tibetan tea instead of cop-favourite coffee, but in Britain that would hardly qualify as eccentric, would it?