There are lots of spoilers in this Q&A conference call transcript with Hart Hanson and Emily Deschanel, of course, but a few spoiler-free moments of fun as well:
Q: How do you sort of gauge where to sort of throw in the levity moments when you have a grisly mutilated body and the focus of the case that week?
H. Hanson: Well, we are getting better at knowing what works and what doesn’t work. With the advantage Bones has is that most of the time the remains that Booth and Brennan are standing over – they’re very, very gross but not usually a recognizable human being. You have a bit more luxury with their asides and the humor than you would if it was a recognizable – oh look at that; someone’s mother lying there. That’s a huge reason it works is that – and we actually make the bodies hideous enough that it’s almost funny. It goes over toward the macabre or the grotesque. Then certainly Emily can tell you we cut to what works. They shoot more—David and Emily snap around more than what eventually hits the screen. We just put in the best parts we think, and the parts that work we think, and there’s tons of debate about it in every single episode.