Bones: O.C. Meets The Closer; Distant Cousin of CSI

The TV Executive “recipe for success” is this: Take a look at the latest hit shows and create as many different variants, spin-offs, and hybrids of them as you possibly can. It’s a lot like the grunge movement, but with a lot less flannel. Fox Television’s “Bones” is one of those hopefuls, trying to jump into the police investigative crime scene genre.

David Boreananananananaaz plays Special Agent Seeley Booth. If you couldn’t guess from his “Special Agent” title or the name “Seeley Booth” that he’s super macho and has more street experience in his pinky-toe than all of us combined, that’s ok because the writing makes it even more painfully obvious. His macho ass is matched up with Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan, a mousey-looking lab rat genius who does not get out much and can understand bones more than other people. Oh and by the way, as the writers throw out there for no reason because it really does nothing for the story or plot, she’s got inner issues because she lost her parents when she was young. In fact, much of the characters’ facets and personalities were carelessly and pointlessly thrown out to the audience in a very cursory way, instead of letting the characters unfold, and told plainly, rather than giving the audience credit for being able to figure some things out on their own. I found this annoying, at best.

The dynamic between Special Agent Seeley Badass and Dr. Temperance Brennan is very good overall, if you aren’t counting the Anakin-Obi Wan scenes. Dr. Brennan wants to experience more investigative crime outside of the lab, and is teamed up with Special Agent Badass. In one particular scene, the two must inform a family whose daughter went missing a couple of years ago, that their daughter’s bones have been found and clearly identified. As the parents ask questions, Dr. Brennan is trying to give the scientific answers, but is repeatedly cut off and interrupted by Special Agent Badass, because, as he must repeatedly tell the audience over and over again, he’s the more experienced field guy and the lab people should stay in the lab where they belong. However, Special Agent Badass isn’t the only dialogue culprit in the show: Dr. Brennan’s character is even worse, repeatedly telling the audience that she doesn’t get out much, can get along better with bones than with people but can be a very strong woman when she isn’t giving everyone a sob story.

I have a feeling that the producers may have been rushed for time, because the dialogue between characters was worse than watching soccer. Lines were exchanged without a pause or breath in-between, giving very little room for the audience to really let sink in what was happening with the plot. This may be because the story was not original or creative in the least: Senator has affair with girl, Senator’s aide kills girl to save the Senator’s rep and his own job. Somehow, I had hoped for a little more, but the story followed just as plainly as that fragmented sentence. Voice inflections were not far off from a society of prozac-induced nerds.

But the very worst part, I mean the absolute worst, was the bones montage ala-the O.C. where Dr. Brennan is working hard to assemble the bone fragments of a skull as you would a puzzle, while a cheesy pop song played in the background. In fact, the entire soundtrack was bad. The music did not convey a sense of urgency or mystery – it conveyed your every-day Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan love story and seemed completely out of place. At one point, I couldn’t tell if I had accidentally turned on “Summerland”; that’s how out of place this song was. I believe that the story was attempting some semblance of depth, but the soundtrack completely blew it.

In the very end, Dr. Brennan solves the crime and rushes off to apprehend the criminal, and Special Agent Badass shows up right behind her. Because she is a lab rat and does not have as much experience as Special Agent Badass (as the dialogue has to tell us again and again every sixty seconds), she says that she does not understand why the aide would kill the girl. Special Agent Badass, in all his machismo and experience tells us easily, “It’s simple: To save his own job.” That ruined it for me. It’s elementary, my dear Watson, just a little too elementary.

For all my criticism, the show really wasn’t all that terrible. It wasn’t great, but didn’t completely turn me off either. Bones has left room for improvement, and if they can fix the dialogue and the MTV soundtrack, I may watch it again.

The Blue Grade: C


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