Ever go to a family party and see a five or six year old do something only because they were explicitly told not to? Ever have a girlfriend do something specifically because she knows it irritates you? Ever watch the Fox Network and just scream yourself hoarse at the television because they’re taking one of your favorite programs and dragging it through the mud just because they fucking know you’re too emotionally invested to stop watching even though you’d really like to abandon ship with your middle finger in the air and a shit-eating grin which overtly says ’you can’t control me’? I have. And probably will again tonight.

Because Fox is ruining Bones. They’ve taken the best weekly who-done-it since Murder She Wrote and turned it into some stupid, soapy gimmick-filled isn’t-that-convenient shanty not even fit for MTV or Fuse Network shelter. Jessica Fletcher never asked Nikki Sixx to help her find clues. She didn’t have any visions of Stewie Griffin, and she sure as hell didn’t turn the other way as one of her coworkers ate people. Bones is floating away in a river of novelty, stooping to bland, contrived star power in an attempt to improve upon its good-not-great Nielson Ratings, and this article is my best stab at convincing Fox President Kevin Reilly to back off and let the show bloom in its uniqueness. Step away from Dr. Hodgins and his particulates, Kevin Reilly. Step away.

During its first, second and third seasons, Bones was the thinking man’s CSI. The chemistry was so great between Booth and Brennan. Zach and Hodgins were bonding over all kinds of wacky, explosive experiments. Cam was really coming into her own as a refreshing counterbalance in the lab to Angela’s flightiness. The writing was spot-on, the mysteries were multi-layered and difficult to solve. The special effects on the dead bodies were getting more intricate and life-like. And then we found out Dr. Zach Addy was eating people’s faces. Yes, that’s right for those of you not regularly tuning in; one of the main characters turned out to be a cannibal’s apprentice. Jump the Shark moment number one. Then Angela left Hodgins after a seemingly out-of-nowhere break-up conversation, a bizarre mesh of graduate students with unusual personalities began taking shits in the lab and Booth started having ghost visions, which is not the same as Grey’s Anatomy’s ghostmance. Two Shark. Three Shark. Four Sharks, Blue Shark. Now, instead of being called in to solve murders, people get killed off on transAtlantic flights Bones and Booth are on. They get killed at funerals they attend and in the Jeffersonian Institute itself. And if that’s not enough, tonight’s episode features Motley Crue. So, we got that going for us, which is off-putting and unnecessary. Here a shark. There a shark. Everywhere a shark, shark.

And I haven’t even started on the marketing! Ha. Remember how I told you Dr. Zach Addy was eating people’s faces off as some surreptitious, crime-fighter by day, cannibal by night? Well, he’s back solving cases on tonight’s episode. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. He’s just in the commercial for tonight’s episode. So, I guess he gets out of jail. Sure would have been sweet if I would have just watched the finale and gotten pleasantly surprised he’s out of jail. But here’s the funny part about this illogical marketing. The ads aren’t even geared toward Zach’s return. He’s just shown in the background of a few scenes. It’s not like there’s crazy headlines roving across the screen saying, “Why is Zach back in the lab?” I guess he’s just in the ads because the P.R. people didn’t realize that was a big deal or found one of the program’s main characters and his return to be less important than Mick Mars and the Crue.

Hopefully all will be redeemed tonight. Remember when during Baltar’s trial Lee stands up and makes that impassioned speech which pretty much calls bullshit on the direction Battlestar and its characters were going? Bones needs that speech tonight. But I don’t think it’s coming. I think next year we’ll see Britney Spears and Tonya Harding as suspects in a fictional celebrity murder, Ron Weasley as the grieving brother-in-law of a Jeffersonian employee who fell off the Sears’ Tower. Maybe Barack Obama as a zealous FBI agent who doesn’t think Bones should get to examine some remains.

The minute a show loses track of its heart and begins using kooky plot devices and mystery guest stars, it begins dying a little inside. Here’s to hoping a u-turn is made before the show itself becomes the last autopsy Brennan performs.

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