Every week I tune into Bones, FOX’s fossil-refic version of C.S.I and I cannot figure out why.
At first I thought it was the esteemed Mr. Boreanaz– once of Angel-fame, now the poster-boy for the best shoulders on television, but even he seems to have me at a loss when I watch this show.
The plotlines are your run-of-the-mill forensic-y types. Some poor soul has been beaten, burned or something-ed to death and our resident forensic anthropologist, Emily Deschanel a.k.a Dr. Temperance Brennan puts the pieces of their skeleton back together to determine the cause of their jigsaw death. Along the way she’s been paired up with Mr. Shoulders and together they go at it…..the mystery-solving that is. There was no subtext in that sentence, don’t even try to imagine it because it’d probably spoil the show’s incessant attempt at keeping things ridiculously bland.
Now I love investigating skeletons as much as the next weirdo, but Bones’ plots remain painfully bare, months after its premiere.
This week’s episode, ironically enough, dealt with Dr. Brennan’s inability to engage with a jury, on a level that would emotionally allow them to take her work and expertise seriously. It was remarkable that a show could mirror its own struggle with its waning audience so well. She fractured and fibula-ed the jury to death, but no one knew what the hell she was talking about. Neither did I.
Brennan is notorious for her scientific outlook. Her facts are her life, thus making her another lab rat in the sea of white coats on television. That’s not a problem. What is, however, is when that white coat never gets so much as even a stain on it.
What connects a viewer to a show is the ability of the story to emotionally draw one into the life of a character. Somewhere within the hours of good television we view, we manage to float through that TV screen and experience a character’s strife, anger and painful existence with them. With Bones, we hit the TV screen, ricochet off our couch and land in a pre-made grave outside the window, waiting to be dug up and examined.
The writers have hinted at Brennan’s rough upbringingÃ¢â‚¬”her parents’ mysterious disappearance, but they do nothing more than suggest, which rots me to the core. This week I saw a flash in Brennan’s eyes when her parents were brought up. There was a chance to delve into a history that could three-dimension-alize a show that desperately needs some meat. But again, like weeks past and undeniably weeks forward, it was brushed off and they optioned for a wide shot of a high-rise and black-screened me.
I’m sick of being skeleton-ed of the week. I need an arc, with juicy narrative and gut emotion. Add a little romance and steak sauce and we’ll have ourselves a meaty barbecue.