Allow me to tell you a little bit about my summer.
It was comprised mainly of this:
a lot of this:
and a little bit of this.
Why am I telling you this? Because, during all of that, I was also doing a lot of this:
I was coming off a very disappointing 13-episode season of Bones. Ah, yes. I have finally come round to the point.
Two things you should know: One, there is nothing, I repeat, nothing, the show runners could do that would make me stop watching Bones (barring one of the main characters being killed off). Two, I love Bones. Therefore, I am willing to put up with a lot of crap.
That being said, I have five things Bones needs to do this season if they want to continue topping my list of favorite shows.
1. The music and transitions need to be less jaunty and peppy, more expressive and impactful.
Yes, I notice these things. (I did not go to music school for naught, despite what I tell myself while looking at my bank account). Season 5 started using music that is bouncy and snappy, making the viewer feel as if everything happening in the scene is one big joke and the punch line just moments away. Somebody compose some new music for this show, please.
2. Bones and Booth need more screen time together.
Remember Seasons 1 through 4 when Booth and Brennan carried the show, worked on the cases, solved the crimes—all the while bantering and chatting about anything and everything? That’s what we need. We are spending too much time with Sweets and Booth, too much time with Cam, and too much time with Hodgela. Don’t get me wrong: I love, love, love, all of them. But now we are getting two-minute clips of each of these characters in their own stories, and none of them overlap, creating a disjointed and choppy feel to the whole show. I also understand that last season was an exception (filming six episodes while eight months pregnant is not a task I envy—kudos to Emily Deschanel). However, instead of solving the case with Brennan, Booth is off with Sweets while she stays in the lab. When the two stars do have scenes together, they are usually separate from the rest of the group and the plot. The entire cast and show feels disconnected.
3. The cases need to be serious and meaningful.
Why did almost every episode last season center on a ridiculous case with ridiculous victims, suspects, and murderers? With the ridiculous music and ridiculous casting, the characters turned into caricatures and the situations into cliches. I would like to care about the murder victims this season. I would like to care about the murderer. And I would like to discover that the murder actually intended to kill his victim.
4. Stop treating everything and everyone like a joke.
The scene where Booth overreacts about a cappuccino machine comes to mind. It was not funny. Then there was the hot dog comepetition when Brennan decides to put herself in Booth’s shoes. That was forced. Then there was the scene where Brennan, at nine months pregnant, decides to march through a rioting group of violent convicts—I am pretty sure the writers wanted us to laugh. It seems like the writers came up with ridiculous ideas and said, “That would be funny—we should have Booth say that and we should have Hodgins do this,” regardless of how out-of-character that might be. Bones is better than that. I want the dramedy back, not the buffoonery.
5. Finally, Bones needs to go back to what it does best: clever, witty, sexy banter between Brennan and Booth.
What happened to the hilarious and sexually-charged conversations of Seasons 2 and 3? Remember when Booth and Brennan stood over a body arguing about Santa Claus? Instead, we have conversations about baptism or post-pregnant body images that lack wit and humor, are a trifle forced, and have none of the solid Deschanel-Boreanaz chemistry.
All that being said, I do have to note that a lot of the usual Bones hallmarks are casualties to logistics. Emily’s pregnancy shortened the season to only 13 episodes and the showrunners still had to juggle background stories, character development, and procedural requirements in a limited time frame. No easy feat.
After tonight’s episode, I have gained a little hope that some of my wishes will be granted. From what Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan have said, this season is supposedly much darker in tone, with a touching 9/11-themed episode and another told entirely from the victim’s point of view. And now that Emily is no longer pregnant, she will be able to take on a heavier workload and have a more screentime with Booth and the rest of the squints. These are all good things and I look forward to the rest of the season.
Also, can I just say?
The kiss scene. Involving the washer and dryer. You know what I’m talking about.