I thought it was well done in terms of having to fit into a US one-hour time slot with commercials as opposed to having 90 minutes of commercial free BBC time to play more beats. On the other hand, BBC time can also be self-indulgent create a lot of filler, such as The Blind Banker and Hounds of Baskerville.
I also thought in some ways it was pulling as much from House's Holmesian side as much as Moff's.
I almost wondered if the choice to let JLM use his own accent and give him a British back-story, complete with accent and vernacular, even though I get the impression his father at least is American, was a deliberate desire NOT to have another British actor playing American, although JLM HAS played perfectly believable Americans, it's doubtful he'd want to have his "American" compared with Hugh Laurie.
I think however that going scruffy instead of smooth was a House thing as was some of the abusiveness in his deductions where he seemed to be using his genius to intentionally hurt people a la House, as opposed to just doing it because he can and being smug about it, which is how Benedict Cumberbatch tends to play it.
I like Joan's back-story in terms of giving her just enough angst, although in 2012, there's no reason a woman couldn't have been in the Military and have a nice Watsonian war-wound as well. However again, MAYBE they needed to separate themselves from Moff's "reimagining" and this is one way to do it.
Let's talk about DRUGS. BFF Jen and I have been having a bit of back and forth over whether BCC Sherlock is an actual drug addict. I've made it clear that I think the "drugs bust" scene, and the scenes where Mycroft, John, Mrs. Hudson are all terrified that Sherlock will return to drugs are pretty clear indicators. He is not JUST a casual user, but someone's who has behaved destructively and addictively and everyone who cares about him knows it. This is still a far cry from ACD's active cocaine addict.
I'm amused that of all the recent allusions and adaptations (Not counting Robert Downey Jr, who was clearly playing a drug addict, which much have amused him no end) that House MD, despite equivocating on the "addict" vs "Pain" issue, at the very least showed us a man abusing drugs as much as Holmes did. I think that Elementary is trying to do something similar to BBC by saying "I"m done with drugs." So it's on the table, but off at the same time. (I still think Moff's writing and BC's acting are telling is it may be off the table, but there's a stash somewhere nearby.)
I do love Aidan Quinn so having him in place as the Lestrade character is fine.
Could live without the Hispanic cop---as long as he's not only played one-note. I hope they let him do more than just being a hostile Anderson type. (ETA: Apolgies to anyone who was offended by the "Brown Face" comment. I kind of knew what I meant and was thinking of criticisms of a certain Doctor Who episode involving "yellow face." Clearly I suck. But as of the pilot, I'm still not impressed with the character.)I don't know if you watch Castle, but the Hispanic cop on that show is Javier Esposito and this Hispanic cop was also a Javier according to IMDB, so come on writers, a little more creativity, PLEASE?
As for that plot....hmmmm. That was VERY CBS procedural figured out in the last 15 minutes BS. I find the idea of someone having NO CLUE they were being dosed with steroisd very unlikely. There are other well-known side-effects besides the roid rage. (Perhaps the "prunes" that House demonstrated to us in "Sports Medicine?") Plus the guy being enough of an eeeeeevil genius to manipulate the guy into killing the wife AND getting the wife to get exactly the kind of plastic surgery that would make the guy want to kill her? I don't think so. Especially when he was played by the actor who plays Owen, Alicia's gay brother on the Good Wife. Again, thank you IMDB so I didn't spend the whole show going, "Who is that guy?"
I realize this was just the Pilot and there room for both improvement and deterioration. I think it's going to come down a lot less to the writing, and more to the personality stuff and whether JLM can keep his Sherlock from going very one note and that might come down to the JLM/LL chemistry. I also wonder where the Elementary/BBC Sherlock brou-ha-ha will go and if both sides will just implode in their own crazy.
Note to anonymous Tumblrite...pointing out he repetition of the name Javier is not "hate." Trust me honey, when I post "hate," you know about it.