It’s been a while since I posted. I threw something up on Friday (the thing about Thomas Newman) and then I threw something up on Monday, but that was a different kind of throw up entirely. The kind that comes with being sick. I spent eight germ-free months in Santa Fe. Now I’m back in L.A. “Welcome back,” says the city. “Here’s your allotment of germs. We’ve been saving them for you.” So that’s why I haven’t been posting.
Oh, and then there’s Bones.
No one who knows me doubts my rabid fannishness over Buffy and Angel. But good things must come to an end and the casts of those two television giants scattered to the four winds in 2005. Charisma Carpenter lost her baby fat and did a year in Neptune. SMG skipped through a series of horror flicks. Alyson Hannigan has been everywhere.
David Boreanaz landed Bones.
A year ago, I reluctantly checked out “The Girl In Suite 2103,” an episode from the show’s second season. I was watching it because my friend, Bertila Damas, had a guest-starring role. I thought the show was awkward and weird. I had gotten so used to Boreanaz and his vampiric glower that it seemed weird to have him bouncing about in broad daylight. I dismissed it and went about my life. Now, a year later, I’m completely hooked.
Yeah, so instead of writing, I’ve been sipping Theraflu and watching Bones. The show is based on the books and career of Kathy Reichs, and it’s premise is that, blah, blah, blah. Let me just distill it down for you. Ten things about Bones:
- Emily Deschanel. Caleb and Mary Jo’s kids have made good. As Reich’s brainy protagonist, Temperance Brennan, she’s got a marvelous, studied gaze, a jaw that could cut glass and a tiny mouth that somehow wraps around some of the most awkward lines imaginable. She brings a statuesque appeal to the show that takes some getting used to. I’m used to it. I don’t want it to stop.
- David Boreanaz. Who knew he had such an irrepressible demeanor? Boreanaz spent eight years shrouded in Angel’s redemptive gloom. Here he wears a suit, dons sunglasses and clowns about with Deschanel. It’s a nice change.
- The Bones. Man, those things are everywhere. It’s a new week and guess what? Another set of bones come clattering down onto the hood of the Bonesmobile. There are mummies in mazes, skeletons in storm drains, skulls tumbling off overpasses… You name it. And because the show is about bones, it’s pretty lucky. And it provides us with great lines like, “Booth, why am I here? There’s skin on this body.”
- The Lab. The Jeffersonian Institute is an obvious body double for the Smithsonian, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the rhyming of the names is where the similarity ends. The lab in which these cats do their bone work is a cross between the bridge on the Enterprise, the throne room on Naboo and the boxing arena at MGM Grand. It’s a glittering center ring of activity and…well, decaying bones.
- The Science. “Hey, Angela. We have a fragment of a lower mandible the size of a gnat. Can you reconstruct a face from that?” Once scene later, Angela (the appealing Michaela Conlin) shows everyone a rotating holographic construction that’s not only a perfect replica of the victim but also specifies the clothes he was wearing, the food he just ate and the music he was listening to the day before his murder. This, in no way, contributes to the CSI Effect.
- The Chemistry. And no, I’m not talking about the test tube variety, although there’s plenty of that. I’m talking about the relationships between the actors. Thought the Hodgins-Montenegro relationship feels a bit on the forced side, the show takes a page from The X-Files‘ book and pits Booth and Brennan against one another in a series of potential shark-jumpage moments that, thankfully, don’t quite materialize. It’s called sexual tension, and it only works if it doesn’t flower.
- Hodgins Ex Machina. Dr. Jack Hodgins, as played by T.J. Thyne, is a dirt specialist. Only don’t call it dirt. When all is lost, he can scrape the particulate matter off a femur, disappear into his lab for three seconds and come back and say, “The powder is actually pollen, from the tree known as arborius bogusisimus, which can be found only in remote parts of Africa, the highlands of Malaysia and the southeast corner of 18th Street and Argyle Terrace NW.”
- Billy Gibbons. Yes, that Billy Gibbons. When the crew is quarantined in the lab over Christmas, Angela Pearly-Gates Montenegro warns people that her dad, who is paying her a visit, is rather famous. I was expecting some stunt casting at that point, but Billy Gibbons? The iconic guitarist of ZZ Top? I really want to know how that idea came about. Because it’s perfect. He’s even wearing the same cap that he was wearing when he shopped the Amoeba mezzanine that one time that I never blogged about.
- The Realism. I love how Temperance Brennan, bone maestro extraordinaire, always manages to find herself kicking down doors with Seely Booth, gun in hand, and getting herself into dangerous scrapes. It’s the language of television. It’s how TV Land works. In reality, CSI techs never solve crimes. Detectives do. But we’re gonna go along with it, because, hey, Emily with a gun.
- The Bones. Oh, did I mention them already? Alright, well here we go again. They’re star of the show. I’d love to hang out with the prop guys at this place. Sometimes they’re wet and gloppy (the bones, not the prop guys.) Sometimes they’re dessicated and covered in dirt (sorry Hodgins.) Sometimes they’re made of silver. They’re always fun to look at. And if the show is to be believed, you can tell anything from a pile of bones. Worth mentioning twice.
- Bonus Item: That short bit in the eleventh episode of Season Two, “Judas On A Pole,” when they drop a segment of The Kate Bush song, “Running Up That Hill,” as covered by Placebo. I tend to be critical of popular music in television, but sometimes it works. And it certainly does here. I haven’t been able to find a clip of the sequence, but here’s a nice video of the tune: (YouTube)