Saturday, March 6, 2010

My new favorite show, with a surprisingly feminist bint!

Oh man guys! I got a promotion and have pretty much lost the will to live! And the will to update this thing on a regular basis! Woo! Seriously, I have very little free time anymore, and when I do, I just want to lie comatose on the couch watching my new super-favorite show, which is the topic of today's post.


Really, who would have thought that Fox would keep a great show on the air for more than a season? Sure as heck not me. Their track record for canceling shows well before their time speaks for itself, as well as their penchant for letting shows go on way too long, because they make lots of money (cough cough, X-Files, cough). Thankfully, that is not the case with Bones, which is currently in the middle of its fifth season. This show is pretty awesome, you guys, and the nerd in me is so happy to have taken the time to watch a few episodes and get hooked.

Premise: Special Agent Seeley Booth (the ever smolderingly and hysteric-inducing David Boreanaz) with the FBI partners up with premier forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperence Brennen (Emily Deschanel, sister of Zooey, and probably the better actress - I'm sorry, but did you see "Tin Man"? EW) of the Jeffersonian Institute to solve homicides where the remains are degraded beyond recognition. That means usually a skeleton, possibly with some chunks of wormy meat hanging off of it. And they aren't shy about the gooey, goopy, buggy, rotting stuff. It's all there for you to see, in its drippy and totally gross glory. And rats. They have rats. Squee!

Let me do a rundown of why this show kicks most other shows' asses.

1.) Nerd Science! Granted, a lot of the tests done are a.) very expensive, b.) would probably take longer than shown, and c.) require brains more brilliant than usually found, ergo, the tests you see on the show are less likely to actually be used in most homicide cases. A scene from one episode illustrates the point: Doctor Saroyan (Cam) has just taken over as head of the department, and Booth asks why she took the job. She picks up a shiny, steel pair of bone cutters and says, "This probably costs $2,000. Back at the coroners, I used a pair of bolt cutters."

So yes, fancy, high dollar science, and for the record, the hologram cube is pretty out there. But! The forensic anthropologist who's books and life inspired the show is a consultant on the show, and she says she tries to keep the science "honest." I can dig that. You have to admit that it's way more believable and probably accurate than CSI, where they get crystal clear images from grainy parking garage footage reflected in an oil spill at an angle. And you know what? It's really nice to watch a show where the language isn't dumbed down for the general populace, and I feel smarter after watching it. Unlike "Cougar Town," a guilty pleasure that will be the subject of a future post.

Plus, watching Hodgins get super-excited about bugs, minerals, and pollen is so adorable.

2.) David Boreanaz.

Look, I'm only human. You put Boreanaz in a suit with stripey rainbow socks, a "Cocky" belt buckle, and that grin, I'm really not going to be able to keep composure. This show really allows him to come into his own, moreso than Joss Whedon's dark and tormented Angel (whom we teenage girls and gay boys know and love to the ends of the Earth), and certainly much better than that piece of crap "horror" movie, Valentine (I wish I could find a screencap of that for you, it's SO BAD). His character is so manly and balls to the walls brave (there's a scene where he's being tortured and acts like it ain't no thang), but is uncomfortable with Dr. Brennan's blunt conversations about sex and private parts. ("You mean 'anus?'" "Why do you like that word so much?!") He acts as Brennan's interpreter to the outside world, as well as her censure when she starts to get too honest and frank, but despite her faults he takes care of her and is there when she needs a friend. And he gets all gushy around babies. What's not to like?

Fun fact: he's a co-producer with Emily Deschanel, and he's directed a few episodes. Brains and that body? Too good to be true.

3.) The Brennan/Booth dynamic. They are so much fun to watch; they compliment each other by being near complete opposites. Brennan is a scientist, detached and objective (usually), an atheist, with a know-it-all complex. Booth is gut and passion, a soldier, a man's man, and a Catholic. She challenges his machismo and gut intuitions, he reminds her to be human around other people. Their conversations are two classic arguments clashing: the rational, unemotional scientific reasoning and the status quo. They bicker and fight, but surprisingly, they tend to come to an understanding. A great example is during an investigation in a fetish hotel where guests participate in "pony play": individuals dress as horses or riders and pair up to have sex and play out the fantasy. Brennan challenges Booth's discomfort with the idea, saying that everyone plays a role and objectifies themselves to a certain degree when it comes to entertaining sexual partners, this is just how these particular people have chosen to express themselves. Booth explains that he doesn't understand why they go through all the effort of the charade for bad sex, it being bad sex because it isn't with people they have a strong emotional connection with, people they love, which is the best sex. Brennan accepts his reasoning, and they come to an understanding. This show is full of warm fuzzy moments!

There's a genuine affection, and not just between them, but between the entire team. Whether they're dating each other or not, they still care and protect one another. There are several damp eye moments, especially in "The Pain in the Heart" and "The Aliens in the Spaceship, and I get a wee bit giddy when Booth lovingly refers to the lab team as his "squints."

(From left to right: Back end of a cow, Cher, Wonder Woman, a squint, Catwoman, Captain of the Titanic)

4.) Feminism! With a capital "EFF." Brennan, nicknamed "Bones" because of her expertise in skeletons, is at the top of her field, a best-selling author, a black belt, a crack shot, and socially awkward. She's brilliant, and she kicks ass (occasionally, literally. It is really fun to watch someone attack her thinking she's a wet noodle and then getting their arm broken), but her faults lie in personal relationships and trying to navigate being an overly honest, critical scientist trying to stay objective and having feelings and emotional connections to her friends and family. There's a depth, and the character grows as the series goes along, learning how to be more of a visceral human than a "cold fish" scientist from her relationships with Booth and the forensic team.

And did I mention the two other ladies on the show are also great, strong female characters, as well as hotties?

Angela is a free spirit, loving and giving, but not against having sex in the storeroom or getting blackout drunk and married in Fiji. She's Brennan's best friend, the love of Hodgin's life, and the daughter of one of the bearded guys from ZZ Top.

Cam (Dr. Saroyan) is the politician, the head of the department, and after the initial clash of wills when she took over, Cam has proven to be tactful and supportive, as well as a brilliant cop and doctor. She's the boss, but she's also like a mom to the team, calling Dr. Addy "Zackaroni" because he eats mac and cheese every day for lunch, and rolling her eyes and sighing when Hodgins uses her personal blender to puree maggots to test for trace evidence. She loves her team and her work, which causes her personal life to suffer and complicates things with the daughter of a murdered ex she decides to take in (having no children of her own, and glad of it, jumping straight into parenting a teenager isn't a pretty sight), but all these faults and strengths make her, just as with the other female characters, well-rounded and personable. Did I mention she's really hot?

Ladies with stomachs of steel.

Oh man. I love this show. It's insanely addictive. Yes, I know, murders like these don't happen with the kind of frequency as the show portrays, but you know what? I don't give two craps, this show keeps me engaged and interested, and makes me laugh out loud at least once an episode. It's not even just the quirky, crazy murders, it's the character development, the story arcs, the banter, OH THE BANTER IT IS SO GOOD. Go forth, and rent from the Netflix. Enjoy.

Phalanges! Phalanges!

1 comment:

  1. My aunt and cousin turned my mom onto this show. She got me watching it too. I love it!