Posted on: January 19th, 2010 A Bone to Pick with BONES

BoneshahaitsanotherhamletreferenceBones is making me angry, so I feel the need to discuss a very important issue in the purview of geek television: should lead characters enter into romantic relationships?

In case you don’t know, Bones is a forensic procedural show on Fox, based on the life of Kathy Reichs, an anthropologist and fiction writer. Bones, whose actual name is Temperance Brennan, is played quite aptly by the lovely Emily Deschanel, and she is nicknamed Bones because she studies well… bones. Studying bones helps her solve crime. She is partnered up with Seeley Booth, an ex-sniper FBI agent, played by David Boreanaz (of Whedonverse fame), in a role in which he mercifully smiles a lot and never broods. He cracks wise, she never gets the joke because she is socially awkward, and it makes for a wonderfully funny buddy type crime show.

If you saw Bones last week, you’d know that it was a cute homage to The X-Files entitled ‘The X in the File’, and it featured an impressive cameo by Dean Haglund of Lone Gunmen fame. Bones has visited the nerd world in many other episodes; there was a cringe worthy product placement of Avatar recently, as well as investigations at fantasy conventions and video game competitions. The lab geeks, or squints as they’re called, often pepper their incomprehensible jargon with pop culture references that fly over the heads of normal people. It’s amusing.

However, the ode to The X-Files last week really takes the cake. Bones and Booth have been doing the Mulder and Scully, will they, won’t they, sexual tension thing for five years now, and it is driving me mad. MAD!

Remember Scully’s little alternative reality foray in which she was married to Mulder? I don’t. I’ve repressed the whole series for my personal sanity. Regardless, last season Booth was in a coma where he dreamed he and Bones were married. He was also wearing a bowling shirt, so we all knew it had to be a dream, right? Still, I yelled at the screen. When Booth came out of the coma, he was going to tell Bones he loved her, but then there was this weird storyline about how he was wearing normal socks, and this made him doubt his love for her, so he dropped the subject, and they went on solving crime.

So, to bone or not to bone? That is the question. Some of the twitterati have been telling me that romantic relationships ruin shows. Others sit with baited breath, waiting for sexual innuendo and sidelong glances.

mulderscullyI know in the case of The X-Files, there was heated debate on the subject. As a 14 year old, I wanted Mulder to myself, so I was anti-Scully, but still the whole sexual tension thing made me insane. The thing is, looking back, I can see how this worked for The X-Files. The X-Files had a lot of substance to draw in audiences. It could stand on its monster of the week/conspiracy theory quagmire formula, and it didn’t need to rely on mushy stuff to keep its fans.

Another great example is Doctor Who. You really wouldn’t want the Doctor and his companion making googly eyes at each other during Cybermen invasions. The Doctor/Companion relationship is unique and interesting and never has to descend into the realm of simply knocking boots. And was it just me, or was it icky whenever any character in Star Trek: The Next Generation hooked up with fellow crew members?

That being said, I don’t buy into the whole idea that romances between leads will necessarily ruin shows. There is evidence from Bones itself: Angela and Hodgins’ relationship sustained me during the dreary season three. Their break up was unfortunate and this whole Wendel love triangle thing is strange, but entertaining. Cam and Booth were once an item, and they broke up, and are still happily working together.

So many lessons can be learned from Torchwood. Jack and Ianto kissed at the end of season one. This did not ruin the show. They did not make it into a Jack and Ianto soap opera. The few times their relationship did get mentioned, it was usually in the name of much needed comedy relief. Owen and Gwen banged on a regular basis throughout series one. Rhys’s relationship with Gwen provided much needed character development for her and her relationship with Torchwood and with Jack.

Outside of the realm of sci-fi, what about House? Those characters are frakking all the time; House and Cuddy, 13 and Foreman, Chase and Cameron. Really, there’s only so many times audiences can be interested in hearing a lupus diagnosis just in the nick of time. Relationships add valuable dynamics to the show.

Speaking of frakking: Battlestar Galactica. Enough said.

bonesWhat about Booth and Bones? Well, it’s been 5 years of odd forensic stories, and I’m starting to lose interest. Oh look, we’ve found some bones. Let’s look at the bones under a microscope. Oh snap we’ve found the killer. I personally need a little more depth than that to keep watching.

I think there is an expiration date on sexual tension. After four to five years, it starts to go stale and become boring. Do it, or move on.

Bones and Booth have charisma, and their characters compliment each other. He’s street smart and dashing, and she’s brainy and awkward. They don’t have to stay together forever, I just need some making out to keep me going. Please.

What do you think? What about other famous non-couples in the world of geek television?

Bones airs on Thursday nights on Fox. This week lab is going into a forced lock-down. Will Booth and Bones have sexy ‘we’re stuck in the lab for days’ scenes? We shall see.

Filed under: News, Review, Television

2 Responses to “A Bone to Pick with BONES”

  1. Ryan Ferrier Says:
    January 19th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    This is par for the course for Smallville as well; first Clark and Lana, now Clark and Lois. While the “hunt” is entertaining, after a while I end up yelling “enough already, kiss her!” at the tv.

  2. Metallicat79 Says:
    January 19th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I agree with you for the most part, I think the problem that is happening with Bones, was the sudden shift in focus and the change in feel. Where X-Files succeeded was it maintained that sexual tension, but the episodes were never focused around that and rather their task at hand. Bones has chosen to ignore all the wit and characters that made the show interesting to me and focus soley on Bones and Booth, while throwing in some half assed catch-a-killer story, there is no mysterious back story to really hold the interest of loyal fans. Perhaps if they had not ended the whole Gormagon story as shitty as they did and kept it going for at least another season then it would not be entirely bador dissaponting. In other words, I too and drawing tired of the focus on sexual tension between Bones and Booth, I have found better things to watch.

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