This catch-up is my first full viewing of the first season of Bones. I will try to keep the posts that follow within the realms of a kind of catch-up/retrospective mould rather than an outright review. Feel free to comment on these posts whether you have seen this first season and a fan of the show or, like me, new to the world of Bones.

Have we met before?

bones_s1ep1So back to 2005 we go; US TV police procedural shows like CSI are at their zenith. While other shows have since made their UK terrestrial TV channel debuts, Bonesrecently reported as renewed for its ninth season – still remains on cable-only channels. It’s a TV show that could have passed me by without ever flirting for my attention. Admittedly I have recently grown a little weary of police procedure shows produced in the US. So what made me pick another such series for a catch-up/retrospective rather than re-watching Twin Peaks? Fairly simple really. Much has been made of the well-worked and developed characterisations in Bones. This alone gave me an itch I just had to scratch.

Like Scully and Mulder

-Bones-Season-1-Pilot-HQ-Episode-Still-Behind-The-Scenes-bones-7756243-500-326Pilot episodes are produced to sell the idea of a new TV series. By pairing a female Doctor with a male FBI agent who seem to be at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum does seem like a nod to a previous TV show duality. Like The X-Files before it, this is also the focus for the pilot episode of Bones. Dr Brennan(Emily Deschanel) and Special Agent Seeley Booth(David Boreanaz) is a fair mouthful and this is certainly reflected in the script. Upon their first meeting both Bones(Dr Brennan) and Agent Booth have much to say for themselves. The wordy script has a number of playful moments that the two engage in. If I had watched this pilot back in 2005 I know full well that my attention would have strayed. There’d have been little chance that I would have stuck around for the second episode of Bones. That’s not to say this is a bad piece of TV but with the flux of other police procedure shows of that time I can’t imagine this pilot would make me want to return for a second bite.  Hart Hanson obviously had plenty of time to over-write the script. Again that isn’t to say this is bad TV.

Emily King’s thoughts

EmcouldbebetterYou’d think with me being such a huge Angel and Buffy fan that I would have jumped on this show the moment it started airing in the UK, but as David has observed it’s been on subscription only channels. Anyway, I’m watching it now. For a crime procedural, I’m finding it pretty cool to not have fleshy bodies on view, that so far they’re mixing several sciences in order to get to the bottom of what happened to the victim. My main concern is whether Bones is going to be one of those female

characters where her “negative” attributes, like being independent, forthright and not keen on interpersonal relations will be seen as weaknesses that need to be addressed as the series progresses. After all, she’s a Sherlock Holmes-like figure and Booth is her Watson. No one is ever too desperate to reform Holmes’s ways, but Dr Brennan is a woman and there’s a habit in fictional texts to try and slowly weed negative characteristics out of female protagonists in the name of character development. Even though such characteristics would be acceptable (often seen as positive) in male protagonists.


I don’t know what that means

This pilot episode seems all about setting the tone for the rest of the season. Even at this early stage Dr Brennan’s idiosyncrasies are pronounced. She deals with situations in a more direct and challenging manner than Booth. As an ex-sniper Booth is more accustomed to working alone and when he is removed from the case that the pair had been working on, it is Bones that pushes forward to confront the suspect while shooting him in the process. This is a clear indicator that Dr Brennan is happy to get her hands dirty and do what it takes to solve a case.

Culturally Booth seems to have a handle on modern culture while Dr Brennan shows some of her ignorance in this first episode;

Booth: What’s it going to take?
Brennan: Full participation in the case.
Booth: Fine.
Brennan: Not just lab work. Everything.
Booth: What? You want me to spit in my hand? We’re Scully and Mulder.
Brennan: I don’t know what that means.

The pairing of Special Agent Booth and Dr Brennan does make for interesting viewing. Introductions for a number of other characters are also made too. But if there’s anything to take from this pilot episode of Bones it’s the relative coldness of character that both Booth and Brennan show each other…that and how similar the huskiness of Emily Deschanel’s vocals are to her sister Zooey Deschanel.