Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bones Article in the Chigago Tribune

I respect that the world is made up of a variety of tastes but I must say that I'm not sure this writer and I are watching the same show.

Warning: There is flash of a spoiler for The Pain in the Heart but it has zero to do with plot and everything to do with gratuitous David Boreanaz sexiness.

Please give us a line and tell us what you think about the author's take on our beloved Bones.

'Bones' doesn't dig deep, but it's addictive for some

Skeleton2shgot025rlyv2 Some people are utterly devoted to "Bones," which has its season finale 7 p.m. Monday on WFLD-Ch. 32. I don't quite get it. Sure, the show is likable and plucky, but it is also, in the main, overwhelmingly average.

Still, the show’s season finale, which revolved around the ongoing “Gormogon” serial-killer plot, held my interest, and I don’t mind having spent 43 minutes of my life watching it. If there’s one thing that “Bones” has figured out, it’s that serial killers + explosions + partial nudity is a winning TV formula.

[A couple mild spoilers for the finale appear below. Nothing major, I promise.]

Don’t worry that this junior “CSI” is turning in to “Nip/Tuck” – the “naked” moment occurs when Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) barges in on FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) as he lounges in his bathtub at home. The most revealing thing about this mildly comedic scene is that Brennan discovers Booth likes to loll in his bath wearing a beer-dispensing helmet.

“Bones” often goes for that mildly comedic tone, but I find the show’s dialogue relatively pedestrian, for the most part. If you’re among those “Bones” fans who thinks that Deschanel and Boreanaz (pictured above) enjoy sizzling chemistry on screen, you no doubt find that their scenes together zing and swing.

On the other hand, if you don’t find the thespian skills of Boreanaz or Deschanel particularly memorable, you might find their scenes a little too self-conciously “jokey.” These actors are competent at best, and though she’s gotten better over the show’s three seasons and her physical awkwardness is less pronounced, Deschanel can still seem strangely vacant at times.

Of the “squints” or scientists working in Brennan’s high-tech forensic lab, T.J. Thyne, who plays Jack Hodgins, is the most compelling. He’s able to give this conspiracy-theorist and entomologist some welcome layers of depth, which come in handy during Monday’s episode, during which life is made decidedly tricky for Hodgins.

But newer addition Lance Sweets, a very young psychological expert, is a prototypical “Bones” character – he has little depth but lots of “funny” lines. Sweets (even his name is cringe-inducingly obvious) is a by-the-numbers “comic relief” guy and as such, this character has an off-putting, one-note sameness.

However I must admit that actor John Francis Daley (“Freaks and Geeks”) does as much as possible with this limited role.

All things considered, I find “Bones” a little lightweight for my tastes (which don’t favor dead-body procedurals, it must be noted).

But I’m sure many of my criticisms of “Bones” – that it is repetitive, self-consciously jokey and a little too pleased with itself – could be made about “Psych,” which is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures.

If “Bones” lightens your Monday each week, I don’t begrudge you that. To each his or her own.


ADDhole said...

Please. Show me any show on television that would meet his criteria for entertainment. I'm not looking for a grad school cinematography course production.

Give me campy and give me death - just the way I like Bones.

L said...

I do see the comparison to Psych, which I also watch non-guiltily. Bones certainly has (at least in this past season) fallen into a "formula" for many of its episodes, which usually involves some partially forced comedic scenes either between Bones and Booth or Cam and the squints (especially in the cold open). Some "awkward" moments are come across pretty manufactured, such as the "kiss" in the Christmas episode. But that's ok. Bones still works, and the chemistry between Booth and Tempe is undeniable.

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