Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"It's a natural bodily function! You're a scientist!": Bones

I'm starting to think maybe Brennan and Booth should just sleep together.

I know, I know. When you end up a will-they/won't-they storyline with the two characters doin' it, it often leads to the chemistry the two have dissipating because all of the mystery has gone out of the relationship. But if you extend the period of time that the two are forced to NOT have sex, it just become unrealistic that they wouldn't have noticed their chemistry before. This is why episodes in Bones' third season are full of scenes where the audience is clubbed gently over the head with the knowledge that BRENNAN AND BOOTH ARE AFRAID TO ADMIT HOW IN LOVE THEY ARE. Or something.

For the first two seasons, this dance of chemistry was fairly enjoyable (indeed, it was pretty much all that kept the show afloat during the early days of season one, when it felt as if the show didn't know what it wanted to be). Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz definitely have chemistry together, and the show also gave them the sort of characters who could be believably prickly with each other. In the first two seasons, it was also fairly good about throwing believable obstacles in their way -- oh, he has a kid; oh, she's falling in love.

But now that we've hit season three, it's starting to become unbelievable that these two wouldn't even notice that they have this terrific spark to them (when Angela told them their arguing was kind of hot, I rolled my eyes). While I love Sam Weir (oh, fine, John Francis Daley), the new psychiatrist the two are visiting feels increasingly like a way for the show to have its cake and eat it too. It's as if the show really just wanted an audience surrogate to chuckle and say, "Those two crazy kids! When are they going to get together!?"

The episode centered around the death of an organic farmer who championed environmental causes. In his death, it was revealed that he wasn't REALLY that much of an environmentalist, choosing to do a "do as I say, not as I do" sort of thing. Now, I may be completely pulling this out of thin air, but hasn't this sort of hypocrisy already been a plot point in something very recently? Why is this the new storyline du jour? The brief furor over Al Gore preaching the ills of fossil fuel consumption and the dangers of climate change while living in a ginormous house and flying around in jets died down in the summer of 2006, when episodes of LAST season were being written. Was it revealed that the leaders of Greenpeace spend all of their time devouring baby pandas or something? Did I just miss this? Because I have no idea why environmentalists who don't practice what they preach is so popular right now.

Actually, I think I do. It's the same principle as every show trotting out a corrupt pastor -- there's nothing more we love to see than those who abuse their power get what's coming to them. There's a weirdly religious aspect to environmentalism, even that which is steeped completely in science, simply because of how insignificant we are in the face of the natural forces of the Earth. Therefore, the proponents of taking care of our planet almost have that allure to them of the preacher (and, indeed, a lot of pieces on An Inconvenient Truth called Gore messianic). There's something about as humans that likes to see these people tripped up, so I guess that's where all of this is coming from.

It still didn't change my feelings about the mystery, which was often rote. Fortunately, I don't turn to Bones for the mysteries; I come to see the character work. Unfortunately, that feels more and more forced this season, as the writers keep Brennan and Booth apart, making them feel more and more like emotional adolescents. I know that Moonlighting fell apart after David and Maddie got together (not because of it), but there was another show around the same time that proved you could have a central couple get together and break up in an endless cycle and keep it fun. It was called Cheers, and you may have heard of it. Here's hoping the Bones writers can figure out a way to ape this format or, at the very least, a way to more believably keep their two central characters apart.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Was this Sam Weir's first episode? Drat! I guess I'll see if I can catch it online.

I'm loyal to those Freaks & Geeks kids forever.