Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hey look, Angel's solving crimes again!

The good thing about being a totally lazy person is that it leaves me with a lot of time to watch TV series that I was too stupid to watch and enjoy when they first came out. The husband and I have recently fallen under the spell of two very different shows: "How I Met Your Mother" and "Bones." I'll save my love of Neil Patrick Harris for later because right now I want to talk about how nerdiliciously fun and creepy "Bones" is.

I'm not a big fan of procedural shows like "CSI" and "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: Mount Vernon" or whatever other iterations are out there, but to me, "Bones" has something a little different to offer, especially for those of us who like to see our fellow brainy chicks shine. It's even better when those chickies are based on actual people.

I like the fact that "Bones" is about smart people doing smart things and using their squishy frontal lobes to parse problems that would make the rest of us mortals just scratch our heads and shrug. In this aspect, it's like "West Wing" but in a morgue and with less walking through corridors.

I also like Emily Deschanel's portrayal of Bones. She's amusingly spacy in that way you imagine Einstein would have been, getting up from his kitchenette and stuffing a jelly donut in his pocket because he's distracted by big ideas. I like that the character is a social maladjust who really only functions within the set framework she has created for herself. Deschanel pulls this off without making Brennan seem creepy or off-putting. She's all Spock-ish in her cool rationalism but Deschanel does well at hinting that more lies beneath the surface.

Seeing David Boreanaz in this series has been hugely fun, too, although early on I kept thinking, "How come Angel can walk in the daylight? And what's up with him smiling? And wow, he's still using the same amount of hair gel!" I was never a fan of Boreanaz on "Buffy," but I grew to love him in "Angel" and it's great to see that he's still got loads of charisma to spare. The husband and I are still in the first season of "Bones" but I can tell just from episode to episode how Boreanez's performance is improving. It's great to watch and his chemistry with Deschanel makes him seem even dreamier. (Here's a random question for "Bones" watchers: what's up with Booth sometimes wearing high-top sneakers and sometimes not? I'm intrigued.)

People have been telling me for ages to check out this show and I tried several times to get into it, but it never clicked until the DVDs came home to roost. I'm enjoying it thoroughly...and I'm learning valuable lessons in the process. Among them: never watch "Bones" while eating dinner; David Boreanaz's forehead will never cease to enthrall me; my husband is always right about TV shows; Adam Baldwin eventually appears in every single one of my favorite shows; and oh yes, I don't ever want to be a crime scene investigator. Valuable life lessons indeed.


Nancy said...

The high tops come and go but he always has great socks and later belt buckles. I think it's a cute way of incorporating the whimsy of the character into his FBI persona.

Bones only gets better as the seasons go on.

Liz said...

Ah, thank you. I was, for some reason, obsessively confused about the shoes. I'm going to let it go now and not worry.

Glad to know it gets even better!

NancyRoo said...

Mmmm. David Boreanaz. He is my all-time longest-running biggest tv crush.
As for Booth sometimes wearing funky shoes, I think it's supposed to cue you into the "wacky" part of his FBI character. He also wears funny socks and belt buckles. His own small rebellions against his straight as an arrow profession.

Brigid Keely said...

The show's ok, but there's so much awesomeness about forensic science, and then the show goes and uses fake technology that solves crimes for them. It's like MovieOS, only 3-D magical reproductions of crime scenes. TV people! Stop putting crap like that in forensics shows! IT IS NOT NEEDED.

AIM said...

yay! now do how i met your mother, a show with which i am similarly becoming obsessed.

that ted mosby. swoontastic.

Anna said...

As fabulous as the first season was, the show actually gets miles better in the second season and stays strong through the third.

And yes, Angel is still using the same amount of hair gel. I'm starting to think he was born that way.

I never noticed the high-top sneakers before. Now I need to go back and watch some s1 to look for them. The previous commenter is right about the socks and belt buckles though; he has some great ones, and they become a plot point in the second season. :)

Alison said...

I love, love, love Bones. In season two, Stephen Fry pops up as Booth's therapist, and that's pretty fun :).

Shan said...

I was with Bones since the beginning, and blog about it from time to time. Sadly, I watch many of the procedurals, but Bones is definitely at the top of that heap for the reasons you cite. Yes, there's science and squicky images and a crime of the week -- but the show is first and foremost about the characters. Pick any of them (with the bizarre exception of the "new" Law and Order lineup) and there are characters I don't care for, or actually hate. But with Bones, I really like each and every single one and find their stories and personalities a great reason to tune in. Hodgins is probably my favorite, but Booth and Bones are a Dave and Maddie for a new generation -- they're terrific as characters and actors together.

You'll enjoy the show as it progresses, and everyone thus far is right, it does get even better.

HIMYM is another that I started at the beginning, like Bones, for the Buffy-connection. But it's developed into a true ensemble and they consistently feature amusing and smart storytelling devices to bring the funny.


Anonymous said...

As someone in a related field to forensic anthropology, how they've dealt with the science on the show is worse than laughable, it's really like science fiction.

We were expecting it to be somewhat goofy, so a bunch of us got together out on assignment to watch the first episode.

1) Bones puts together a fragmented skull in a's a stretch, but okay.
2) The skull fits together perfectly. Hate to break it to you, but bone bends and distorts before it snaps, like green wood. The skull would have looked like a Dali clock at the end, despite all Bones' puzzle-solving abilities.
3) And then she puts all the clues together and a hologram tells her how the crime was commited?! At this point we all break apart laughing. Can it teleport people? Maybe bring them back from the dead?
4) The idea of a forensic anthropologist carrying a gun is just lunacy. I prefer the nerds in the basement of Crossing Jordan, at least they rarely see the outside of a lab. That's better realism...

Sorry for the rant. It clearly wasn't nerdy enough for me...
Some stretches of the truth I could have taken, but Bones just seems to be even more egregious than CSI or House.

delilahboyd said...

According to the episode in which Stephen Fry (the FBI psychologist who had to treat Booth after he shot at an ice cream truck), Booth's non-FBI-approved belt buckle was his way of asserting his independence and bucking authority. The shoes must be part of this character dynamic.

I'd never even noticed the belt buckle until it was featured in that episode.

JB said...

Both shows are ridiculously fantastic. It was sooooo hard for me at the end of this season to choose which show I wanted to watch, because Fox moved Bones to Mondays in the same time slot as when HIMYM and Big Bang Theory aired on CBS. NPH is my hero. It'd be awesome if there was some weird cross-over where Barney was involved in a mysterious death that was being looked into by Bones and Booth. Barney and Booth would totally have a weird getting-along relationship, until Barney would hit on Bones.

Kathe said...

To the couple commentors who had to rain on the Bones parade by stating the obvious about the way the show handles forensic anthropology, etc., - lighten up! It is after all a TV show and why do we watch TV? To escape reality! Can you imagine how successful this show would be if we actually had to pain-stakingly watch as Brennan and Booth solved crimes the way the actual FBI and a group like the Jeffersonian folks do? Seriously, that would be mind numbing TV. So just enjoy it for what it is and if you want reality - I suggest actually reading Kathy Reichs' books that inspired the show - wonderful mystery and detailed forensics without putting anyone to sleep!

Btw - LOVE this show, how I missed Angel until Bones came along and HIMYM is just too funny for words - glad you got on the band wagon Liz!

SFG said...

Curious: anyone ever met a woman like Bones in real life?

Camera Obscura said...

The first half of the first season was rocky; way too "We've got UST here, rly!" And you could see Boreanaz (whom I love, I'm not h8in') struggle a bit to find the character and the chemistry. Once they quit trying the sell a new series and just get down to the crime solving, it settled down.

Season 2 is BRILLIANT. Pardon my capslock.

Dollars to donuts Brennan is Aspie.

LG said...

Bones is GREAT... until the end of this most recent season. The season finale this year was awful. Everyone I've talked to agrees. :(

Sorry, I hope that doesn't ruin your enjoyment of previous seasons! They are quite good... but I think the strike seriously hurt this season.