Thursday, May 06, 2010

Nothing like a little validation...

A lot of friends, family members, and general TV snobs give me shit for loving and often advocating for the TV show Bones, but thanks to this very well-written Atlantic Wire article, I feel that my admiration for the show has been validated... and articulated far better than any efforts I've ever made to get people to embrace the show. (In touching upon some highlights I also have to admit another reason I have love for The Atlantic Wire - they've referenced me in some of their Lost coverage - even more validation!).

This paragraph especially stood out:

And it's also possibly the best show ever about the adult lives of nerds. The team of scientists who work with Booth (the token adult popular kid) and Brennan are successful, well-dressed, attractive, and brilliant, even if they still make Star Wars jokes, wear elf ears to holiday parties, and obsess over conspiracy theories. And unlike the leads on shows like The Big Bang Theory, they're also (with one notable exception) resolutely functional—enabled rather than crippled by the collective experience of their past social awkwardness and academic devotion.

It's really interesting to compare Bones' "geek" depiction to a show that seems so different in its treatment of the same - The Big Bang Theory (which I recently began watching infrequently, and do appreciate its charm, even though I don't think it's anything especially brilliant). The nerds on Bones are people I could hang with. I have to add that (on a completely superficial level), the female characters (except for, ironically, Emily Deschanel's Dr. Brennan) dress really well. I've spotted some Madewell duds on Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) and that is one of my favorite stores. I could probably wax poetic about the glories of Madewell as much as I could wax poetic about my love for Bones.

The article also touches upon the excellent acting in the show, which I think is so often ignored by critics and perhaps even some viewers:

As they've navigated the attraction, fear, and friction that lead to their first real kiss, a dénouement that took 100 episodes to reach, David Boreanaz has revealed skills even Joss Whedon couldn't pull out of him over two entire series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). Emily Deschanel has done work that ought to make casting directors reconsider their preference for her hipster sister as a romantic female lead.

The acting really is top-notch. It's worth mentioning that TJ Thyne excels as the misanthropic but easily-lovable Dr. Jack Hodgins. I mean, talk about an attractive nerd right there... (Seriously, he makes those boys on The Big Bang Theory look even more dorky).

Finally, I would recommend the show to anyone who's into science. Yes, that sounds vague, but it's true (again, I'll defer to the above-referenced article for more compelling examples). Actually, I'd even suggest that science junkies check out the books the series is based on, by author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs. Less of the humor and quirks than the TV version, and the characters are almost entirely different (Temperance Brennan is the same in name and profession only), but personally, I enjoy the books for the cases and as I said, the science.

Okay. There you have it: my weekly "OMG I LOVE BONES, GO WATCH IT" post.


bookshop said...

Ahh, hi! I don't know you at all, I don't read your blog regularly, but I'm here via Hart Hanson retweeting you, and I just have to say how much I agree with this post. Bones is the only series I have followed as an adult since episode one, week by week, without ever losing interest in and only growing to love more, instead of what usually happens with most series by season 5--where you're gritting your teeth and enjoying it more for what once was than for what currently is.

I've been talking about this show to anyone who would listen since at least early S2, when every episode was just so satisfying and surprising and fun and quirky and unlike anything else on tv. And now at the end of 5 seasons, it's still every one of those things. It's such a remarkable show and I feel so sorry for anyone who dismisses it out of hand because it doesn't look like what they think quality television ought to look like. Bones has all the ingredients of the best shows television has ever produced: endearing characters, a loyal cast and crew, a loyal and devoted fan following, excellent writing, and arcs that arise naturally from characterization (most of the time--it's not perfect on this front but what show is), instead of superimposing plot twists onto the show just to keep things interesting.

I love Bones and I have great faith in it to never let me down, which is something I can't say about any other show on television.

Erin said...

I'm another "found you through a Hart Hanson tweet"-er! I agree with you whole heartedly, especially on your comparisons with The Big Bang Theory. I haven't ever really gotten into the show (I only recently started watching because of Wil Wheaton's guest appearances) but each time I watch it I find that I am a little offended by their treatment of geeks and nerds. There are moments when it feels more like the show is making fun of science people and geeks and really playing up the stereotype (and I have a friend who is quite a lot like Sheldon). I see more growth in the Bones characters, particularly Temperance Brennan who, as she has worked with Booth, has become more well rounded and more human as the show has gone on.

Anonymous said...

I share your love of Bones. You, and the Atlantic article, make some great points! Keep it up!

Jori said...

Excellent article. It is important to recognize that Bones is a really good show that has achieved true tv greatness. Thanks for pointing this article out to me, I too feel validated =)