April 4, 2009

Boothier and Bonesier

I am fully convinced that Bones is the coolest show on broadcast television. It's a crime drama, which is good for ratings. It is part-CSI: ("the squints") and part-Law and Order, and those parts work in equal harmony. It embraces the constant sexual tension between the male lade, David Boreanaz, and the titular character, played by the beautiful and talented Emily Deschanel*.

Why do some families get all the talent?

*It's like a modern day X-Files in that regard. Even the promos for the show recognize that the as-yet-unfulfilled sexual tension between them is at the heart of the show. One spot claimed that new episodes would be even more "Boothier and Bonesier." Could they possibly have found a more akwardly goofy word in the English language than "Bonesier"?

All these things, alongside snappy writing and good acting, make the show successful. They don't make it cool, though. What makes the show cool is the fact that the writers seem hyper-aware (at least for the writers of a Fox crime drama) of the diversity of the world around them.

I have always thought this about Bones, since one of the motifs in the show deals with Bones, the hyper-rational anthropologist, becoming more and more like her partner, Booth, the irrational, hunch-following type. The writers of the show recognize both the value of scientific rationality and the need for emotional connections, as well as the paradox that those two worldviews often inhabit the same individual.

Recently, though, Bones has cemented its status as the coolest show on broadcast television with one of the only lesbian relationships on broadcast television. Grey's Anatomy and a few other shows have flirted with lesbianism, but few have what it takes to keep a lesbian relationship going. I'm not saying that Bones is one of those few, but it has the potential to be.

Even more recently, the writers of the show gave a nod to hipsters everywhere. All sorts of shows are borrowing music from indie bands, but rarely do those shows actually reference said bands. In an episode from a couple of weeks ago*, Bones's Muslim assistant** makes a "break-up" CD for the bisexual lab worker, Angela. The first song on the CD? "Hope There's Someone," by Mr. Antony and the Johnsons (the lab assistant actually says "Mr." in his cute accent, later explaining that "Mazzy Star" is a band, not a person). Of course, the one song from the CD we actually hear is José González's cover of the Knife's "Heartbeats." Small steps, people, small steps.

*I'm behind on my DVR watching. So sue me.
**The writers are doing an experiment in which they change Bones's assistant every episode. Some people come back, but each assistant has his/her own quirk. This is after her first assistant was brainwashed into being an apprentice for a ritualistic cannibal serial killer. The experiment, at least in my opinion, is not working.

I have some larger and more complex theories about the show, but I'll save those for another day and "Another World."


  1. I love Hope There's Someone. I will not go off to teach with this song in my head. Interesting.

    Also, I've not watched this Bones show, but perhaps I should?

  2. now! I will now go of to teach...

    Ugh. Forget it.

  3. Having a bad spelling day, Amanda? Perhaps you shouldn't be in charge of pronouncing words for the spelling bee...