Unlike other shows that have a weak season around the third year, or have several slacking seasons after being on for so long, Bones has always been consistently entertaining.
Bones is a comedy/drama on FOX about the best Forensic Anthropologist and an excellent FBI agent working together to solve murder cases that have little to no evidence. Based on the novels by Kathy Reichs, Bones stars Temperance Brennan as a scientist working out of the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington D.C. In the series, Temperance is younger, and her personality differs than in the books. The author has said that Temperance is more like her in the books, they are definitely separate characters, but you can sort of view Bones on TV as a prequel. She said something to the effect when they were going into season five, not knowing it would go well into the eighth season, and just recently got picked up for a season nine!
I was living with a friend a few years ago during the airing of season five. I watched a couple of episodes because she had it on, but I had no idea what was happening, or how the structure of the show was setup to include the different characters and careers involved in the cases. It made me laugh, and my roommate loved it, so I decided to watch it from the beginning on Netflix. The first season was good, but the show really found its footing in season 2. I was, once again, addicted. Not just any addiction though, it was not like one of the many shows I love, but one of my all-time favorites. A new staple in my TV diet.
I watched the first four seasons, and caught up on season 5 almost in time for the finale. That summer my roommate and I re-watched the entire series again in anticipation for the sixth season premiere. Most evenings when we were home you could find us settled in the living room enjoying four or five episodes at a time with our favorite take-out.
Since then I moved out, and I’m now onto a second apartment, and we still get together to watch premieres and finales and celebrate our love of Bones. Season seven didn’t start until halfway through the regular TV year, and it was only a half-season (due to Emily Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy which mirrored her on-screen character storyline). I wasn’t able to watch the last part because of scheduling, and then before I knew it season eight had already started!
This last Christmas I took off my usual holiday time and got caught up on season seven and eight, and I was extremely glad to see that season eight was even better. Bones continues to grow with age as actors and characters get more familiar with their persona’s and the writing continues to find intriguing new story lines. Just when you thought there were no more potential match-making possibilities, they pair up Cam (the head of the Jeffersonian team) and one of the Squinterns! It may seem desperate on some shows at this stage in the game, but on Bones they do it in a way that is somehow incredibly romantic (despite always being surround by dead bodies) and effortlessly natural.
Under the Microscope
Over the years the stories told on Bones range from ironic comedy to tragic misfortune. Murders erupting from fits of jealous rage to planned out cold-blood, and even serial killer story arcs that span years! The Gravedigger story line started in the middle of season two and lasted until the middle of season six when the Gravedigger was assassinated by the next villain! These arcs don’t happen in every episode, because that would get old fast. Instead they happen once or twice a season to keep the mystery alive, while more clues are compiled until they have enough to catch the killer.
Meanwhile the team has plenty to do with other random murders while juggling their personal life conflicts; like dating, remaining professional in the work environment, taking care of family, starting a family, adopting a teenage daughter, casual sex, and even scary father-in-laws.
While the stories drive the series, it’s the writing and portrayal of the characters that make Bones a fantastic show. They make it complicated, but they also make it human. They give names and faces back to the victims who were murdered and left hidden from the world. The dynamic between the programmatic scientists and the sensitive optimists gives the show the range of emotion that other shows lack (if they ever have it at all). By explaining the system of logic and rationality, it forces the other personalities to say out loud, “some things aren’t rational.” And it’s true. While most murders happen because of simple jealousy, it shows that most people aren’t rational in the heat of the moment. Our emotions get the best of us, and can drive us to do things that aren’t logical like purger our self to help a friend, or risking our life to save someone we love.
The Funny Bone
Temperance is quite literal when she speaks, so when she finally gets a joke she has to break it down to explain why it was humorous. Most of the time that can kill a joke, but when Tempe does it, you laugh at her for being such a dork. It doesn’t go unnoticed though, as Agent Booth often points out; the center of comedy comes from their unorthodox relationship.
She’s the brains and he’s the heart. While he might also seem like the brawn, Dr. Brennan is a skilled martial artist. Her self-defense skills often come in handy when she mistakenly insults people, though she’s usually just pointing out an objective fact like “it might be easier to breathe if you weren’t morbidly obese.”
The best moments are when they bicker. It shows the side of their relationship that is common in most people’s lives. The little debates and ongoing discussions that friends have which represents the minutia of differentiating opinions and choices we make in what we say and how we act.
Dr. Sweets said it best; they are two completely different personalities that should not get along, but for some reason, Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth work great together. If you are looking for a great new series to sink into, I HIGHLY recommend Bones. I’m currently re-watching all of it again for the fourth (or fifth) time. With seven seasons on Netflix, and the current eighth on Hulu, you will have weeks of great couch time and you will still want more.