Romance Amidst the Horror

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 8:08 a.m.

I don’t like horror movies or movies that have a blood bath of killing, but there’s one TV show vaguely in that genre that I’ve watched week after week for the last six years. It’s a show that has more than its share of icky and gory carcasses, and there’s both romance and humour to be had while hanging around those carcasses. That show is Fox’s Bones, which is on every Thursday at 9:00.

The show is very loosely based on Kathy Reichs, a real-life forensic anthropologist who has written many best selling murder mysteries. I am a fan of that genre, but not one of Reichs’ style, which probably puts me in a minority. Reichs produces Bones and I really like the TV show a lot better than her books.

The plot revolves around a brilliant but socially inept forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her F.B.I. partner, Sealey Booth (David Boreanz, formerly the star of the show, Angel) who solve murder mysteries together. Booth is a former U.S. Ranger and sniper. He is warm-hearted and relies on hunches to solve mysteries while Brennan (Bones) is a firm believer in scientific method and logic to solve mysteries. Bones just doesn’t get people. The two spar constantly and the spark between them is reminiscent of the 80’s romantic comedy Moonlighting which spent two years with the tease of whether the characters (played by Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis) would ever become a couple. The two years in which they did become a couple was seen to lead to the cancellation of the show. Obviously, the writers of Bones have spent the last six years doing everything possible to avoid the “Moonlighting curse.”

Bones also relies heavily on the ensemble cast who support the two main players. Brennan’s best friend is Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), the team’s forensic artist and computer whiz, who tries to teach Bones how to behave like a normal person and has her own romance with Dr. Jack Hodgins (T. J. Thyne). Apparently, the Moonlighting curse has not applied to them because, after an on-again-off-again relationship, Hodgins and Angela were “allowed” to marry and now Angela is pregnant.

They are the more off beat couple on the show as Hodgins, who comes from a ridiculously wealthy family, is mad for conspiracy theories and Angela is a warm, high spirited artist type who doesn’t exactly fit in with the squints or scientists. There is also a series of graduate students, each with eccentricities that adds comic relief to the mysteries that are solved each week.

This is the key to why Bones differs from the Law & Order and CSI series on television. There is more focus on characters and the development of their own lives interwoven with the mysteries makes the show feel more like a movie rather than an episodic TV murder mystery. This is why I think that I’m able to stand all the blood, guts and gore; there’s humour and character development from week to week. The characters have changed and grown from the first year to this, their sixth season.

Will Bones and Booth ever get together? I think that they will when the show has a series finale. Meanwhile the writers will do everything that they can to stretch out that romantic tension for as long as they can to keep Bones going into as many seasons as they can manage.



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