I had intended for today's column to actually be a three-fer, with the "Nip/Tuck" review, the "My So-Called Life" DVD preview, and also a few words about tonight's Halloween episode of "Bones." But I only have so much space in the paper, and went on longer than planned about McNamara/Troy in LA, so I'm going to take advantage of the unlimited space of this blog and write a bit about "Bones" after the jump.
Now, I never really warmed to "Bones" when it first debuted. I liked David Boreanaz displaying his light comedy chops as Booth, but Brennan seemed less a character to me than a collection of anti-social tics designed to approximate Dr. House. (Plus, on a more nitpicky level, I never bought into the notion that a woman this clueless about and uninterested in human behavior would either want to or be capable of writing a series of best-selling mystery novels.) Given how many TV shows I watch in a given week, I don't usually make time for crime procedurals, and on the rare occasions when I do, it's usually "NCIS," which makes me all nostalgic for the light dramas of my '80s youth.
But people I know like Dan Fienberg kept insisting that "Bones" had become a lot of fun. So when the show added John Francis Daley from "Freaks and Geeks" to the cast last week as a young shrink counseling Booth and Brennan about their (professional) relationship, I decided to give it another shot -- and I'm glad I did.
In the long period of time that I've been away, it would seem that the writers have played to Boreanaz's lighter side more and more, and he and Emily Deschanel have developed a nice comic rapport. Last week's therapy scenes were genuinely funny (and even kinda sweet when Booth thought Brennan wouldn't want to know him under different circumstances), and tonight's show has a lot of good scenes of them sparking off each other. The pictured Halloween costumes are a nice touch (I've always had a weakness for Halloween episodes, especially on dramas), but even better is a scene where the duo are interviewing a fundamentalist preacher. Bones the empiricist seems genuinely interested in how the guy justifies parts of his belief system, but naturally asks about it in the bluntest way possible, and Booth has to explain to the guy that this is just her being curious.
The mysteries are still limited by the nature of the format -- given X number of suspects in a 41-minute episode, odds are the killer's identity will be obvious well before the heroes figure it out -- but I like these characters and I was entertained watching them work. Since I'm not interested in any of the reality show options in this hour, I might have to work "Bones" into semi-regular rotation.