Posted by: hellonhairylegs | July 16, 2008

Television: Bones

Bones is a television show loosely based on the life of Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist. It is similar to other forensic shows but it contains a few key differences, such as being worth the time to watch.

It has a few faults, the two leads are heterosexual, conventionally attractive and white. Yet the main character; Dr Temperance Brennan is a strong and intelligent woman who happens to be an atheist. Of course she is rescued entirely too much by her trusty partner, Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz). If you tried to cut the sexual tension between the two, your knife would break.

Despite the embarrassingly simplistic episode names the writing is fairly decent decent. It usually takes about twenty minutes before I figure out the twist, putting Bones fifteen minutes ahead of CSI or NCIS. The characters have some depth, just enough that it makes you happy to see them happy but not enough depth to detract from the crime solving.

The strengths and weaknesses of the show are aptly displayed in the second season episode The Girl in the Gator. The victim is a teenage girl who was seen (and filmed) in the company of a porn producer. He and a conservative Christian preacher are both the bad guys, which made me squee. However the team proved that the woman was raped by analysing her bruising, which feeds into the myth that there must forensic proof and bruising for it to be rape. That caused the squeeing to stop abruptly.

The good guys do catch the bad guys, so don’t be afraid of an unhappy ending. Bittersweet is the worst it gets. Of course, it there were true happy endings then Dr Brennan would run away with Cam to a lesbian separatist commune where the words “particulate” and “compartmentalise” are never spoken.

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Responses

  1. I love Bones, it is one of my favorite shows. It is great to see women portrayed as smart and together without being horrible.

  2. I want Dr. Brennan to run off with Angela. They would be way cuter together.

    I like the way that Dr. Brennan never really has to apologize for being unlike the traditional feminine norms. She just is who she is and that is what it is.

  3. I like how she is the atheist and he is the believer, which seems to be a neat reversal of the set of norms which suggest that men are more rational and women are more spiritual.

  4. Explain me somethin. Why is beeing heterosexual a flaw, why is beeing white a flaw, and why is beeing attractive a flaw?? I dont get it.

  5. Yep, and she is the analytical sciencey one and he is emotional/ intuitive. Pretty cool.

  6. It isn’t a flaw, it is that those groups (the dominant ones in society) are overrepresented in our media. They are also more likely to be the main characters with minorities in the supporting roles. Only a fraction of the population is white, heterosexual and attractive, yet those people have the vast majority of leading roles.

  7. I also love Angela’s unapologetic sexual history, and that there’s no judgment on her.

  8. No kidding. When I was little, I remember an older family member watching the original “Andromeda Strain” movie. I didn’t understand much of it, so all I remembered was one character, who must have had a sense of humor given how hard my family member laughed at some of her jokes.

    Years later she’s all I remember of that movie, but I also realize I’ve never seen anything like her in a movie since. She was a non-glammed woman who looks pretty much like the other woman scientists I know, meaning a real woman, not a barbie doll. And she was a hard-core, serious scientist. And funny. Did I mention the part where I haven’t seen anything like her in a movie in all the years since?

  9. Helen,
    I totally remeber the same thing. And when some cable channel did a remake of Andromeda Strain the reason I couldn’t watch was because they’d replaced her with a barbie doll character. Totally ruined the whole thing.


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