Monday, March 22, 2010

There is a new blog logo. Discuss.

New week means a new blog logo. This theme shouldn't be too tough to figure out, but it's been sitting in my reserve pile for so long that I wanted to use it already, particularly since "Castle" begins an entertaining two-parter with Dana Delany tonight.

(I should also say that the thing about "Bones" that qualifies it for the theme has always been one of the things that's bugged me most about the show, as I simply don't believe it would be true of the character.)

As a reminder, this post features links to, and explanations for, all the previous logos.

41 comments:

Shan said...

Novelists as TV characters.

LP said...

Writers who solve crimes?

Anthony Strand said...

More specifically, they're all novelists who solve crimes or work as detectives.

What a weird thing to show up four times on TV.

Linda said...

Characters who are writers who like to solve crime

Chris said...

TV detectives!

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) from Murder She Wrote
Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) from Bored to Death
Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) from Bones
Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) from Castle

R.A. Porter said...

@Anthony Strand, not that unusual. Writers love to write about writers.

Ingrid said...

Writers who are into solving mysteries, of course.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, as I just added to the post itself, Brennan's novel-writing career has always struck a really false note on that show to me. Even though it's supposed to be a tip of the hat to Kathy Reichs, I don't believe that the character Hart Hanson and company created would have the ability for or interest in writing a series of best-selling mystery novels. They'd require far more understanding of ordinary human behavior and emotion than Brennan has.

Michael G. said...

Or, people who have no business trying to solve crimes.

Brennan is the weak link, as she is a scientist first and foremost. She's the prettiest though (sorry AL fans), so I'll count it.

belinda said...

Nathan Fillion's ALWAYS the prettiest.

Bobman said...

So glad you said that about Brennan on Bones, Alan. That always bugged me - she spends the majority of the show being confused by the most basic of human emotions, and supposedly her fictional books sell by the millions? Buh? They should have established that she had a co-writer or something, and that Brennan jsut did the science while someone else did the fiction. I could buy that.

Eldritch said...

"Brennan i... She's the prettiest though (sorry AL fans), so I'll count it."

Prettier than Nathan Filion? I don't think so!

Eldritch

annie said...

a blog logo after my own heart! Although I haven't watched Bones seriously since the writers strike.

Definitely looking forward to the 2nd season of Bored to Death, though.

LJ said...

The NCIS watcher in me laments the absence of McGee.

Michael G. said...

belinda said...
Nathan Fillion's ALWAYS the prettiest.


Oops, forgot about Nathan Fillion. Even as a heterosexual male, I'm willing to concede the point.

floretbroccoli said...

LJ -- At least three of the characters pictured wrote novels first, then solved crimes. McGee is the opposite.

I don't watch Bones, so can't say about that one.

Maura said...

I've also found it unbelievable that Brennan could, or would want to, write detective novels. But there are a few things about her I find hard to believe.

Eldritch said: Prettier than Nathan Filion? I don't think so!

Heh. He is just about the prettiest person on television.

Gareth Wilson said...

Brennan is easier to understand if you assume they're really bad novels.

Matt said...

I could definitely see Brennan writing one of those extremely formulaic, schematic crime novels. It's not as if the average JD Robb or Sandra Brown novel is rich with complex characters.

As Strand said, how bizarre is it that this an aspect of 4 different TV shows, 3 of which are still on the air!

Allison said...

I actually got one, right away.

They'd require far more understanding of ordinary human behavior and emotion than Brennan has.

Exactly. Since her oddness (uniqueness?) is one of the most endearing and interesting elements of the show, tryng to pass her off as an mystery author sticks out like a sore thumb.


And if Brennan heard that expression, she'd probably question it for 15 minutes.

DJ Doena said...

Not cops who help solve crimes and write novels.

Christy said...

"We're just too pretty to die," says Sgt. Malcolm Reynolds (a.k.a. Captain Tightpants) in the pilot for Firefly.

Not so much mysteries, but science fiction is full of concept novels without character development. Neither Asimov nor Clarke ever wrote a character I cared about.

Karen said...

I, too, have always found it implausible that Brennan could create well-rounded characters in novels but I figured she was more of a Patricia Cornwell than a P.D. James.

And there is no question that Nathan Fillion is the prettiest person in that logo--and possibly on television.

Toby O'B said...

Two other obscure novelists who solve crimes would be Maxwell Beckett played by Edward Woodward in "Over My Dead Body". and Glynis Granville (Glynis Johns) in 'Glynis'.

jerieblack said...

Best-selling authors who are well-connected with law enforcement?

Allison said...

I just remembered the odd case of the mystery writer Anne Perry who was convicted when she was young, for the murder of her best friend's mother . They based "Heavenly Creatures" on that story.

I never read her books but they tended to be historical and Victorian. When I first saw the movie, I would have sworn she grew up to be Ruth Rendell.

Anyway, it was so easy I got it but that was fun.

Tori said...

Wow, this is the first time I've known all four people. I feel proud.

Michaelangelo McCullar said...

Thank you, Alan. That's always bugged the bleep out of me about Bones. She's basically got Asperger's but she can write best-selling novels? Non-fiction books I'd buy, but a novelist? There's just no way.

Joan said...

I don't watch Bones (ducking), but I do have a comment to make about whether or not an Aspie could be a best-selling novelist.

Recall Jack Nicholson's character in As Good As It Gets? He wasn't an Aspie, he was an obsessive compulsive, but he also definitely had socialization problems. And yet he (supposedly) cranked out romance novels...

Successful series writers develop a formula (or two or three) and then stick with it. Mystery writers don't need to do a whole lot of characterization, anyway. And one thing Aspies are really really good at is observing, studying, and learning -- many Aspies learn socialization cues by rote until they become familiar, like "See how she's drawing her eyebrows down and together, see how her mouth is straight and tight? How do you think she feels right now?" They may not instinctively know how to 'read' facial expressions or body language, but that doesn't mean that they can't learn it.

Obviously, I have too much time on my hands, but IMO the idea of the character is valid -- can't speak to how well the character is actually written & portrayed, though.

And Nathan Fillion is definitely the prettiest. I enjoy Castle tremendously.

LoopyChew said...

I didn't recognize Schwartzman and didn't know about Bored to Death, so my mental image database jumped to Steve (Jack Davenport) in Coupling and thought to myself, "I know that canonically he's a writer, but when did he start solving crimes?"

He could've easily passed as Steve Coogan to me, too, but I don't think he's ever been a novelist on a TV series.

CAPTCHA: "fonzymor." A CAPTCHA after my own heart. Aaaaayyyyyy!

Margaret said...

Despite seeing it every week, I always enjoy the clip in Castle's credit sequence when he says, "I really am ruggedly handsome!"

Yes, indeed, Nathan. One of TV's prettiest guys.

medrawt said...

Joan -

Brennan - who I don't think of as an Asperger's character even though the showrunner has basically said she is - is written very inconsistently, but one of the frustrating things for me about her character is that, in mid-30s, she seems to have done little or none of the kind of consciously learned socialization you're talking about. (And in other episodes she has, but...whatever.)

While the "writers like to write about writers" thing is ture, and leads you down this road fairly quickly, it is amusing that such a specific concept has been reworked so many times.

Caravelle said...

"Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) from Castle"

Oooooh ! And me who was trying to figure out how Captain Reynolds fit into the lineup...

JustJoan said...

I believe we should be calling it a blogo, yes?

Sam Garret said...

Regarding Bones as an author: I could easily picture her being quite successful as a novelist. Katherine Reichs makes the claim that she has the highest of standards in the science elements of her novels, and Bones is based more on her than Reichs' Tempe Brennan character.

Isaac Asimov would be a similar example - couldn't write a characterisation worth a damn, but the science and ideas were often good enough to let it slide. Some people suspect him of aspieness, also.

ps said...

Aspies are really really good at is observing, studying, and learning -- many Aspies learn socialization cues by rote until they become familiar

I think that's how the show started. Bones is, after all, an anthropologist. But I have to agree with the other commenter that she hasn't really done enough studying to be convincing. She often doesn't completely get the motives of the killers and other suspects that I would think are important in writing a detective novel. Also, the main thing that bugs me is how disparaging she is of some of these social/psychological norms. I just don't think she is that interested in the psychology of why people do things to write a bestselling crime novel.

Still, the show is adorable, and I often completely forget that Bones is a writer!

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know who the two middle people were and I got it! Thanks for making me feel smart Alan.

Kate said...

When you're writing a best selling fiction book, getting the observations and facts right is less important than getting the feelings right so that the reader can connect with the characters in the book. I agree with everyone who said that it's unlikely that Temperance Brennan would be a best selling author. Have a number of criminology textbooks to her credit, yes. But not a best selling author.

Also, she's very judgmental with people who don't believe what she believes and that doesn't translate well into best seller books.

Alan, I thought the Castle episode was very well done, exciting and well written and acted. I was hoping that you would write a couple of paragraphs about it at least since most of the shows you write about lately I either don't get on my TV or don't watch.

Anonymous said...

A different view of Bones:

I actually find Brennan being a writer quite plausible. The show has suggested over the years that her writing is where she explores emotion she may not allow herself to feel in the "real world." She is also not as pop culture illiterate as she seems on the surface. She clearly has an affection for old movies (a movie made her want to be an anthropologist -- not her parent's disappearance) and music (Cyndi Lauper, "Hot Blooded"). She just is written as someone who doesn't know who the hell Britney Spears is. I work with people in academia just like her.

I agree with her hatred of psychology, but I love the show brought on someone who hated anthropology just as much (for laughs), and then another character who basically told Brennan off for her short-sighted behaviour (for character development).

p.s. Hart Hanson mentioned an episode coming up will explore a bit how she became a writer. Maybe he'll tackle this issue.

Andrew said...

"I don't believe that the character Hart Hanson and company created would have the ability for or interest in writing a series of best-selling mystery novels. They'd require far more understanding of ordinary human behavior and emotion than Brennan has."

Is someone watching Bones in secret? tehe

But yeah, definitely agree, her mystery novels are supposed to be spellbinding yet the character is supposed to be Data reincarnate. Doesn't fly.

And PULLEEESSSEE, let's just all admit we all watch that terrible show only because Emily Deschanel is super sexy....or least I do, I'll admit it.

gajaitin1@fastmail said...

I watch it because Hodgins is super sexy.

I can't believe you all find Bones-as-novelist to be so unrealistic, and yet no one has mentioned how unrealistic the entire premise of Castle is.