I watched an episode of "Elementary" and here is what I see. Some writers in a room pitching a show and they say that they can just take from other popular shows that have taken from other popular shows to reduce the risk for a pilot and guarantee that mice will be attracted to their advertising bait.
We will mix House, Monk, and a pinch of Bones.Fantastic!
We get an English actor under long term contract to play the drug addicted jerk and make everybody else expendable to cut costs if it is a big hit and they try to blackmail some of our profit. Add the defective detective angle ( switching compulsions ) to make the character more likable. We sneak the forensic pathology bit in later with a lady doctor that is the assistant / romantic interest. Then add some stupid tidbits about steganography or other mathy stuff from Wikipedia to make it like Numbers too ( KGB and disappearing ink?,SRSLY? ) . Perhaps if they had used encryption in Skype silence packets it would have been at least a bit more entertaining.It is kind of odd how often scantily clad prostitutes and pole dancers are needed to explain a police mystery story. If I didn't know better, I would suspect that it is was done on purpose, but I am sure that if you look at police logs you will see that every time a traffic citation is issued they have to send a detective to interview local call girls to see what information they have on the crime.
What really surprises me is that they went short on special effects. I wonder if the forensics lab musical montage with swiped fade in and out and pipettor closeup has lost its ability to charm the rodents.
I suspect creative writers and studio programmers are about as complex as a 3 part Markov process. Which puts them 1 part up on politicians.
I was thinking about the general lack of creative plot and came up with one that would work, but like all gainful exploits of technology it would be everywhere implemented as quick as rabbits populated Australia. The problem is that it would require retrofitting the entire worldwide communications infrastructure to stop it. I will just keep that one under my white wizard hat. I have been the victim of exposed exploits and all too often they come from the people who are charged with investigating them. I suppose it is best that real exploits are left out though I suspect that many a criminal is an avid crime drama enthusiast and has a working knowledge of two person game theory as well as the prisoner's dilemma.