Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What I Did Over My Winter Vacation

To most people the holidays are a time for family bonding, maybe a trip somewhere warm, an excuse to eat lots of food, and most importantly a week or so of pure relaxation. Well, in the Rosenberg household relaxation means a time to binge watch television. Yes, I got to see lots of family at the various holiday and new years events filled with endless amounts of desserts. And yes, I even got to go down to the Sunshine State to catch some rays. But, a rather embarrassingly large portion of my winter break was committed to watching three and a half seasons of Bones. Beware of minor spoilers after the cut.

Three and a half seasons? Sixty-eight episodes? That would be correct. I had not even intended to have a television marathon, let alone with Bones. My Mom bought the DVDs and we decided to watch the pilot as a family (because that’s what we do). To be honest, I didn’t even think the pilot was that great. The basis of forensic anthropology was unlike anything else I was watching on TV (in a good way), but in the pilot episode it was clear the show had not found its voice yet. Despite the fact that the pilot wasn’t super impressive I decided to try out a second episode, and then a third, and then a fourth. Before I knew it, I was hooked.

In case you don’t already know, Bones is about a forensic anthropologist who teams up with the FBI to solve murderers. The television show is based on the life and works of Kathy Reichs, a best selling author and forensic anthropologist. The idea that this line of work, the study of skeletons and bones, can actually lead to the discovery of how a murderer went down is fascinating. Although sometimes there is so much “techno-speak” that I have no clue what the squints are talking about, it really doesn’t bother me because the characters and their relationships are what make Bones a winning television show.

Emily Deschanel’s portrayal of the unbelievably naïve Temperance Brennan (aka Bones) when it comes to all things pop culture related makes for hilarious dialogue. I mean really, who doesn’t know Scully and Mulder? I didn’t watch X-Files and even I know the dynamic crime-fighting duo. However Brennan’s unique beauty and immense IQ make up for her lack of social skills. Not to mention that she can totally kick ass and pull off holding a gun without looking like she doesn’t have a clue. Gotta love a show with some good girl power.

When Brennan isn’t wasting away the hours in the lab at the Jeffersonian, she is teaming up with the adorably handsome Special Agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz, or as I like to call him Angel. Now I have to say, as a huge Buffy fan I had a little trouble at first envisioning Boreanaz as anyone but the mysterious vampire who stole Buffy’s heart. However, after several episodes (let alone sixty-eight) Booth’s weird sock choices, self-confident manner, and large heart won me over.

Now, what happens when you take a beautiful, socially awkward forensic anthropologist and partner her up with a handsome, somewhat cocky yet loveable FBI agent? Sexual tension. That’s what happens. And it happens in immense quantities in the best possible way. Deschanel and Boreanaz’s chemistry is undeniable in each and every one of their scenes together Whether they are bickering in the car about the use of psychology versus scientific fact or taking shots in Booth’s office after hours, Bones and Booth clearly have more than a professional relationship beneath the surface. Not to mention the occasional exchange of a long, meaningful stare, or their wonderfully awkward sex conversations. Purely platonic relationship my ass. But I gotta say, any show that can keep the tension up for three and a half seasons without ruining the integrity of the show or pissing off the audience too much gets a thumbs up from me.

What else do I love? Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and his conspiracy theories along with his ridiculous love for all things gross: bugs, dirt, even animal crap. The team would not be complete without Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) and his ability to be even more socially awkward than Brennan. Speaking of social awkwardness, Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) brings exactly the opposite to the team. She is pretty, smart, and normal and makes for one of the best TV best friends out there, bringing Brennan back to earth when she gets too caught up in her world of skeletons and bones. Dr. Camille Saroyan brings a similar quality to the forensics lab using her people skills to go between “the man” (whoever that may be, whether it’s lawyers, bosses, etc.) and the squints in the lab. While I did harbor a little hate for her at first due to a certain relationship with an out of bounds agent, at this point I definitely don’t think the team would function without her.

And my favorite latest addition to the show is Dr. Lance Sweets (Freeks and Geeks alum John Francis Daley). As the psychiatrist of partners Booth and Bones, Sweets’ character gets to divulge into the psychology of their relationship while they constantly try to keep him out of the loop. Some of the best moments between the three of them are the ones when Booth and Bones completely ignore Sweets as he attempts to get them talking about their feelings. Even though everyone rips on him for looking so young (constantly driving him to list his credentials) as well as repeatedly insisting that his techniques of psychology are not crucial, Sweets has definitely proven himself. He understands the relationships of the characters and has proven to be pretty useful throughout the investigative work in the FBI. As Angela would say, he really is quite good.

Despite the fact that Bones is one of those shows that follows a formulaic format, (Booth finds some bones where they shouldn’t be, him and Brennan work together to solve the case, tension ensues, etc.) the character relationships and interesting story lines the writers have explored throughout the several past seasons have proven to hold my attention thus far. I am pretty confident that the writers can continue to write compelling stories while delving into the character’s backgrounds and relationships in a way that will keep the audience just as entertained as the past few seasons. There are always more skeletons hidden in the closets of the characters. Personally, I can’t wait to find out the stories hidden in those bones.

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