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Bones Review: A Swing and A Miss

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The World Series is over and, finally, our regularly scheduled programming is returning. Hooray! (Sorry, baseball fans, but unless my team's playing, I'm less than engaged. Blame it on my girl-ness if you need to.) 

So Bones is back. And that's about as exciting an intro as I can muster. To be quite honest, I'm feeling sort of ranty about tonight's episode.

"The Method to the Madness" was no grand slam. Or even a home run. I'm not even sure it was a ground double. Dare I say it, I think we're seeing a lot of strikes in Bones Season 8.

Bones, Sweets Shirtless

Bones is the kind of show I stick with because I want to see Booth and Brennan. Hodgins and Angela are next in order of importance to me. Then Cam. Finally, Sweets brings up the rear. The revolving door of interns are also important to me, but since Mr. Nigel Murray is no more, the top spot goes to Wendell.

I'm downright annoyed by Fisher. And while I do love Sweets (more than some of the TV Fanatics who read this column each week), I'm growing angry with the focus on him so far.

The emphasis this season has been the reverse of my preferred order of characters and it's starting to irritate me. And yes, I realize it's not all about me, but I suspect I'm not alone in the way I'm feeling about this season.

To center this little rant of mine on this episode, I don't for one second buy mopey Sweets. (Nor do I buy Booth telling him to get a new girlfriend after only breaking up with Daisy two weeks prior, for whatever it's worth.) Living in his office? Pining away like his heart was broken? Not even bothering to try to find a place to live? All of that was rather idiotic and I'm irritated that it took up so much of the episode. That this story line with Sweets has taken up so much of this season.

The case this week bordered on ridiculous. The artisan marketplace felt like a way to promote an agenda much like the previous episode. I don't want my television shows, grounded in fiction, to become political statements. Not even Scandal tackles political and social issues head on like this and it's a show about politics.

Figuring out the whodunit of the applesauce-entrepreneur-turned-prostitute who, as it turns out, died by accident was both tired and tiring and gave too much screen time to Fisher and his macabre ways. Oh, look! He's channeling Jack the Ripper to read the bones! And he's made giddy by discussion of human sacrifices! Really?

This show used to keep me on the edge of my seat. Now it barely keeps my interest for an hour.

These characters, Booth and Bones, who, if they were real people, definitely deserve to be happy, are the heart of the show and they've been relegated to supporting cast members in a show about them. So if this is a series about them, where are the stories about Booth and Bones?

Booth and Bones' interactions center on discussions of parenting and the cost of applesauce or the end-of-episode sexual innuendo. They have nothing else to do. I've said it before, but it's as if the writers decided that if Booth and Bones are happy they can't also be interesting.

Give me Gormogon or the Gravedigger! Is an over-arching story line for this season about Sweets' love life or lack thereof really the best the writers can do?

Where is the drama? Where is the intrigue?

I can tell you one thing's for sure. It's not in what we've seen of season 8. Hopefully, Pelant's return will help save this season and return this show to its former glory.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Or is Bones a shadow of itself these days?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (170 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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I love Bones and I love Booth and Brennan as a couple but last night's episode was garbage. If the show is supposed to be about Booth and Brennan as main characters why are they devoting so much time to the character of Sweets. I really dislike Sweets -- he's such a stupid character who is always meddling in Booth and Brennan's personal life and if this were real his unprofessionalism would have his licence taken away. He give bad advice especially to Booth. I've had enough with these Sweets centered episodes. HH and Bones writers let's get back to the Bones we love with Booth and Brennan and better cases being highlighted.

Deann

If you need to see how the main couple in a TV series can be handled properly, you only need look to Castle. Beckett and Castle are in an intimate relationship in season 4, and they ACT LIKE THEY ARE IN LOVE. They touch each other, they smile, they whisper things to each other, they look at one another with affection and passion. Booth and Bones haven't acted like they're in love at all, they've not shared any touching moments, they don't look at each other tenderly, they barely speak kindly to one another (they argue a lot, though) and I haven't seen them flirt with one another since season 3. I hate to say it but I think this show is done. I think it has outlived its characters and is now going downhill in quality pretty fast. Though I would miss Hodgins and Angela, who actually have a believable relationship, I think Bones should shut things down now, before the show becomes a parody of itself.

Sue ann

"Jasper777
November 6th, 2012 1:49 PM
My comment is posted in full at GMMR" @Jasper777 For those of us who don't understand abbreviations, but would like to read your comments in full, please advise. What is GMMR?

Deann

Though I liked this episode, mainly because of the interactions with Sweets, whom I adore, I totally understand where the reviewer was coming from, and I agree that the show isn't what it used to be. It was a tightly written show the first 3-4 seasons, but I think that the past 3 seasons have been increasingly lame with regards to the Brennan/Booth relationship, which I believe the producers totally screwed up by waiting too long to bring them together, and then not showing them having intimate relations or developing their relationship sexually at all, just suddenly having Brennan get pregnant out of nowhere. They have had little or no chemistry since season 5, and it is painfully obvious now that they are parents and can barely seem to get along like people who've been friends for a long time. Loved the dancing at the end.

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I agree totally with your review, on All points.

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My comment is posted in full at GMMR

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I think this show was put on because of the election I bet their rating were way down so the put a Ho Hum show o n I think next week will be back to normal good B&B stuff thought there was some funny part to the show and trying to figure out how she was killed they were due back last night and so they just threw something togeather for last night.Someone said hext week is going to be a good one so we will see!!:-)

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(Part two:)
You cannot drag out lightning in a bottle and end it with zero thunder. Talk, romance, intimacy had to be thought out- scenes with how this hotly shipped couple told their friends needed to be written and shown. Nobody in TV land viewing let alone real life would put up with six years of dragging out a fantastic romantic dance with a smile and just make up the rest. The Monsters, us fans that you, Mr. Hansen and Company created demand more storylines for the leads in the show because they never got the payoff. IMO-you were so freaking scared of the Moonlighting curse that you avoided the moment that if done right, could've have been the moment most talked about for the show. In a sad way, it is now tied forever to the Season of Hannah (who I liked and had chemistry with Booth) which is hotly debated on line to this day. Introduction of more characters- such as Booth Mom, and yet a new Squintern and Cam's love interest, and story lines about Sweets in any form are naturally going to be met with great resistance by the "monster fans" that you now rebuke on line Mr. Hansen. I quite frankly think you should have thicker skin. You cannot possible think that everything and every character you create is 'gold'. You’re a show runner, you have suffered fans telling you to stuff new shows, so what- you wrote a smash hit with Booth and Brennan as the lead characters. So much so that your "monster fans" hate seeing in-depth stories about the love life action of Sweets. It will be the same with Cam. Fans love and accept Hodgela- run with that. What is wrong with having developed some great characters that people want more stories about??? Why are those fans just a bunch of "bitching" people in your eyes? You, Mr. Hansen and Stephen Nathan- and yes DB and ED, created characters so loved and followed and 'shipped that fans cannot get enough of them. Griping, granted when done in moderation, is a compliment of sorts. But don't mistake complaints from many, many in the fandom to be the blame of a few twitter followers of yours. You flatter yourself and come off as arrogant. Accept the fact that fans may not like every one of the characters. After eight seasons of people getting to know and follow these characters, your fans may actually want them kept in character- see them as the couple you now portray them to be. Your "monster fans" are people who want your lead characters to have the majority of the story line- they are not TIRED of them. Not in the least. And lastly Mr. HH , but your big boy pants on when in the social media. If people express their opinion about not liking a character then consider the fact it most likely, unless expressly stated, is NOT a personal attack. If it is, than by all means do what you feel you have to. Or better yet ask a few questions, like "what isn't working with Sweets?" Interact, after all nobody twisted your arm to get you to join social media did they?? YOU created the characters that the fans LOVE, ADORE and WANT MORE of. Perhaps it's not so bad to look at the balance of storylines vs. who makes up your fan base for Bones- that is about as neutral of a statement that can be made.

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Definitely a shadow. Aside for the grossness if the remains, not memorable at all.

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Your review is SPOT ON. Thank you for stating the obvious and standing by your convictions as to what this show used to be and where it has evolved now.
I cannot add much to the review without repeating alot of it. While I think the murder plot was pretty good, it is worth pointing out, again, that the episodes are avoiding the endless amount of plot lines that could be written about Booth and Brennen. The "buck" stops with Hart Hansen and Stephen Nathan. To a degree, it applies to anyone whose name appear in the credits with "executive producer" as a title. If you have creative say so then some hard questions are being leveled at you from longtime fans.
Dear Hart Hansen and Stephen Nathan- why do you hate the monsters you created?
Facts can't be avoided. Dear HH and SN- YOU created the fans that you are making snide comments about on social media. You especially Hart Hansen cannot stand to be criticized about a character that you write. If you think about it you ought to hate most of the Bones fans, because most of us didn't bite off on 'The Finder'. No, really you two, stop and think about WTF you are doing. The term 'fans' comes from the word fanatical. For eight years/seasons you both have garnered the fan base (what there is left of it) by stringing them along with a two characters who oozed chemistry when put in the same scene. Even You- HH and David Boreanaz love to tell the story of how Emily nailed the script reading with David, ok, it was obvious that these two could be lightning in a bottle/jar on screen.
When you create two characters who for years were hands down the most 'shipped characters on TV for YEARS, then you have to come up big when you get them together and want to continue the series. If you spent six/seven years getting them together you have to let the fans see the why's and hows. Yep it goes back to the giant let down in season six. Brennan tells Angela with a smile that she finally did the deed with Booth. OMG- that was the best any of you could do with that scene? Glossing over the whole triumphant get together of your two main characters left the fans wanting more. Demanding more of the when, where, why and how’s of the couple aspect. I never, NEVER saw a comment left after the debacle that was the ending of season six, that demanded we see Booth screw/have sex with/F___/ have comfort sex with Brennan or whatever you want to call it that you guys think happened. I don't see anyone disputing the fact that with ED's pregnancy, you had to get them together and a baby had to be introduced. HOWEVER: (see part two)

Bones Season 8 Episode 5 Quotes

Booth: You're a psychologist. Who would do something like this?
Sweets: You want me to figure that out right now?

Hodgins: What kind of freak feels nostalgic over human sacrifices?
Fisher: I'm gonna go ahead and plead the fifth on that.

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