Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day One Hundred and Twenty-two - BONES: Season 1, Episode 13, "Oh, Temperance... is there no one you won't goad into taking a swing at you?"

It's been a few weeks since I subjected myself to my ongoing cathartic purge of BONES, so I decided to wind down after a night of gaming with friends to a single episode of the eponymous series.

I think that I'm firmly in the "hostile" zone when it comes to BONES, and I also think that it has less and less to do with my own past hangups with the series and more to do with just how "meh" it is.

For one thing, there's a lot of "tell" in this episode and not enough "show." Granted, in typical BONES-ian fashion, the Jeffersonian crew spend a lot of time kvetching over the remains of a young woman in hopes of finding who killed her and why, but there are several instances of Temperance monologuing to her friends and colleagues instead of demonstrating.

Take, for instance, the bonding quips between Bones and Booth: they center around a book that Temperance has read off screen in an effort to develop a better rapport with her partner. It's a good idea for the character, since she's a rationalist who has to read, learn, and build her knowledge-base instead of just observing and mimicry like the rest of us, but the very least they could have done was show her actually READING said book, not just obliquely reference it several times over the course of the hour.

Then there's the kidnapping confession Tempy gives to Angela concerning her time in the wilds of Central America. It's a bare minimum scene which is supposed to deepen the audiences' empathy with her, but instead of intercutting some flashback sequences, it's just a simple conversation in an office with little to no real emotional impact. Emily Deschanel works it as much as she can with tremors and strain in her voice, but it's pretty much a wasted effort.

At least, for me.

I think what really irks me about this episode, and the show overall, are the dozens of times (seems like, anyway) that they write in moments for Brennan to taunt some lowlife jerk into laying a hand on her so she has the excuse to lay on some minor beatdown. Yes, she is being technically assaulted, but a hand on one's arm... especially when she's pushing their buttons... it just feels like cheating to insert some quick action and drama into the scene.

And I find that lazy as hell.

BONES isn't a great procedural. I really don't understand how it has lasted as long as it has considering how boring it can be. Sure, the production value is pretty decent (if you forget how cheesy the mist hologram looks), but the character arcs are typically slow and understated and the crimes-of-the-week are lacking.

Maybe I'm just done with procedurals as a whole, since all I care about are gags, gimmicks, and shippage, but still... I feel like they could do better.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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