Elementary

TV review by Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Elementary Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Smart Sherlock drama is a great choice for mature teens.

CBS Drama 2012

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 16 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Surprisingly thoughtful take on the classic, but watch with your young teen!

This is a remarkably well-written and thoughtful take on the classic Sherlock story. I love that Watson is not only female and Asian, but also that she and Sherlock remain just friends, which is rare for male/female partnerships on TV. Despite Sherlock's peculiarities and rough edges, the characters really grow and change over time as a result of their friendship. You should watch with your younger teen because there is some brief violence and sometimes sexual references, as well as some pretty twisted crimes that may bear discussion after. The second season has some increased sexual references that seem unnecessary, but so far our mature 13 yr old has been ok with it. We always talk afterwards about the motivations of all the characters, good and bad choices, and the difficult choices that have to be made sometimes.
age 16+

Disappointing after Sherlock

I watched a few of this with my nearly 14 year old. I began to be bothered by the way that the female lead presents, as overly scantily and tightly clad, etc. I then became increasingly disappointed with references to and 'tasters' of, prostitution, the sex industry, bondage, threesomes, emotionless sexual connection and so on. I felt as the show developed that these became more extreme. I was glad that I took time to watch a few more on my own, and will definitely not be exposing my child to more of the series at this age.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much sex

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Bones Poster Image

    Bones

    Grisly murders and a fab female role model in forensic show.

    age 15+
  • Monk Poster Image

    Monk

    Witty crime drama too highbrow for most kids.

    age 14+
  • The X-Files Poster Image

    The X-Files

    Brilliant sci-fi drama for brave teens and up.

    age 13+

Character Strengths

Find more tv shows that help kids build character.

  • Child cross country skiing
    Perseverance
    See all
  • Teenage boy with a basketball
    Self-control
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a book
    Book Characters
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate