In a blast of awesome news Lucy Liu was cast as Watson in the until now ill-advised reimagining of Sherlock Holmes set in modern New York.

Before she signed on it basically sounded like BBC’s ridiculously popular and homofabulous Sherlock? And also Fox’s once ridiculously popular and not nearly as homofabulous House M.D.

But now she’s there and people who were having feelings are having much more intense and often negative feelings.

See Watson is Holmes’ muscle. He’s his right hand man. He’s the bad ass soldier and practical one to Sherlock’s pill popping asshole who can’t communicate with the world without pissing it off. He’s a peacemaker.

And for some people apparently that means he CANNOT be a woman. Even though you know, all of this:

Red headed Watson.

Hyper competent Watson.

Watson is secretly Sherlock.

Watson is secretly a Time Lord.

Watson is half a Watson--and nearly murdered by Sherlock.

The HORROR. A competent lady sidekick to a wacky dude? What will happen next?!

“But it is Sherlock Holmes. YOU CAN’T.”

Yes you can. Dude fights dinosaurs in comics and travels through time and was twice played by a ruggedly handsome Robert Downey Jr. in a steampunk in everything but name adaptation. If you can do all that then Watson can be a woman.

“If they turned Irene Adler into a man you’d be pissed.”

If this means Sherlock is going to be seduced by a man in a bustier I’m all for it.

“But I want Sherlock and Watson to be dudes and bang.”

Um…it is an American show? On CBS? That was an unrealistic dream long before Liu entered the picture.

“But she’s ASIAN.”

If that is your problem you’re clearly racist and we should not be talking to each other lest your stupidity catches.

“But this means Tang will leave Southland and she’s been one of the best parts of this fantastic season!”

That is a valid concern. You may proceed with being upset by the potential offing of Tang.

Remember how she beat that dude down? And also ripped into a gross documentary crew? Yeah she's basically the best.

Source [TVLine]

  • I’m in the camp of the people who are annoyed – not because I doubt a woman’s strength, but because I’m one of those nerds who is a slave to authenticity. In fact, many of the images you provided depict relationships that wouldn’t have existed sans the Sherlock stories – but here’s the thing:

    I would say it’s anti-feminist to put a woman in that Watson role.  Not only are we perpetuating the notion that a woman must be level-headed and practical to allow a man all manner of freedom, but we are implying that a woman couldn’t be as smart as Sherlock. Because while Watson is many things, he’s not as intelligent as Holmes.

    The best thing about Irene Adler as a character is that she outsmarts Holmes – one of the few to ever do so. Better by far to have this representation of woman in the Holmes oeuvre, one that’s already provided, than to create a dour, rule-abiding, sounding board – but now, with breasts.

    I know I keep harkening back to them, but the reason Laurie R. King’s books works so well, is because Mary doesn’t replace Watson. She’s a genius to match Holmes’s own abilities. That to me is far more interesting and a better take on the old story.

    I don’t hold the text to be sacred – for example, making Sherlock openly gay in the recent Cumberbatch Freeman adventures works, it speaks to a true thematic element in the books. To the same end, I didn’t even mind in the first Guy Ritchie version elevating Irene Adler to the role in Holmes’s life that they placed her in. Some things just make sense for the screen. I’d argue that the casting of a lady Watson doesn’t.

    To close, I present you with this – what if there had never been a Doctor Wilson on House, no team of interns? What if, instead, we had had only Cuddy. THE SHOW WOULD HAVE BEEN TWO SEASONS LONG BECAUSE HOUSE WOULD’VE DRIVEN INTO HER BASICALLY IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BECOME A SHOW ENTIRELY ABOUT SEXUAL TENSION AND NOT ABOUT MEDICINE!

    • It worked in shows like Monk, clearly based on Sherlock Holmes, with the Watson character female, and platonic and not at all a dumbed down character. Also, the Remington Steele example above, where not only is the Watson female, but the Watson is also Holmes, meaning she was the brains of the operation as well. 
      (Also, since when is Cumberbatch’s Sherlock openly gay? The writers tease it, but the character is pretty solidly asexual.)

      • Monk is a great example – yes, Sherona and then…the other one – both were perfect Watsons – But both were hired to be Monk’s actual caretakers and handholders – I’m not saying it can’t work, I’m saying I wish we wouldn’t continue to put women in these sorts of roles.

        I also think you should go back and watch Sherlock – because you’ve missed some critical info.

  • JSG1982

     A couple things: I have no idea what you’re talking about when you refer to BBC’s Sherlock as “homofabulous.” For the record, I wouldn’t have a problem if he was, but I didn’t interpret it that way. I think he’s asexual more than anything else. In the six good to outstanding episodes thus far, the only person of either gender that Sherlock has shown even the slightest romantic interest in is Irene Adler, and who can blame him? She’s great.

    Second, I love the casting of Lucy Liu. I’ve always been a big fan going back to Ally McBeal, and I’m not getting the complaints. First, there’s the authenticity thing. Well, I understand that and can relate to it on some level (it does annoy me when the actors in comic book movies or movies adapted from novels look nothing like how they did or were described in their original portrayal), but let’s think about this for a second. This new Sherlock Holmes show is set in modern-day New York City. So we’ve already drastically changed both the location and the era from the original. “Authenticity” just went out the window.

    Moving, on there’s Rebecca’s “anti-feminist” argument, which makes even less sense. Watson is very valuable to Sherlock’s investigations, and I’ve never viewed him as a liability. Sure, he isn’t as perceptive as Sherlock, but very few (Adler and Moriarty and that’s about it) are. There’s no shame in it, and there’s zero evidence that the writers are saying that a woman can’t be as smart as a brilliant man as Sherlock. Just because they didn’t choose to cast a women in the Sherlock Homes role, that doesn’t mean that they don’t think it can’t be done. It’s just a narrative choice. And for all we know, this new version of Watson may prove to be Sherlock’s intellectual equal or very close to it. We should probably wait to see the show before passing judgment. Doing so now strikes me as looking for something to be offended by that just isn’t there.

    Overall, I think this is an inspired choice, and my already high interest has gone up.

    • To defend myself – and I promise to keep it brief – I wasn’t very clear. I think by assigning a woman to play ‘the logical dependable but necessary strong arm’ you perpetuate the idea of women in television as humorless nags. That’s all. I never meant to imply that it was anti-feminist because Watson wasn’t important.

  • niamhermore

    I’m slightly annoyed but only because I saw the headline LIU CAST IN US SHERLOCK and got all excited that they’d have her as Holmes. :(

  • Maka556

    God, I hate this.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  Lucy Liu should never have been tapped to play Watson.


    WuTang, baby.  PO3 Tang leaves, and I get very sad.  She IS pretty much the best.

    Also, the show’s probably going to get canceled within a season.  Well produced adaptations of successful British series with exceptionally talented casts don’t last very long in Hollywood.  Just look at Prime Suspect.  (RIP, Prime Suspect :()