“Bones” can be brittle

Bones - FOX

There isn’t a lot of originality on television anymore. All of the tiny sparks of creativity have been snuffed out, put on hiatus or are in limbo until March, and, though I’ve avoided the apparent heroin that is “Lost,” addicts tell me this is its last season.

Another blow for the imaginative.

Even though I write these TV reviews, I don’t actually have any channels on my television, which is a relic from 2000. I’m big on Hulu and the generosity of networks who post their shows online after they air — not to mention the kindness of friends who let me crash on their couches for an hour once a week.

While on Hulu and waiting for my pathetic internet connection to load last week’s episode of “Bones,” I started reading the comment section. One viewer stated that the biggest issue with the brilliance that is “Bones” is the appalling lack of continuity in the emotional development of the characters.

For a moment, I sat in silence, fury coursing through my veins. How dare they insult my beautiful “Bones?”

Didn’t Angela and Hodgins have a relationship that still affects their current interactions? Isn’t Brennan still getting over familial issues?
Isn’t Booth quite possibly in love with Brennan?

But then, as the absurdity of my anger fully dawned on my emotional self, I started to think over my history of “Bones” watching.
Despite these emotionally charged issues, I had to conclude that this particular commentator was correct. If there is one flaw with “Bones,” it is, in fact, the writers’ emphasis on story arcs and neglect of emotional arcs.

While sure, Angela and Hodgins may or may not still be in love and Brennan still isn’t all warm and fuzzy, “Bones” throws characters’ issues under a harsh spotlight one week and then shelves them the next.
Characters interact one way one episode, then act like nothing ever happened the next. Angela thought she was pregnant two weeks ago, Hodgins proclaimed his love for her, and then… nothing. She thanked him, and the next week those events had all but slipped into the Smithsonian’s vault.

Humans like to repress unpleasant things and avoid situations that may bring them a great deal of pain. In that way, the lack of continuity in the relations between characters is realistic. Things are addressed in real life and then pushed aside as we pretend everything is fine.
But “Bones” is a television show, and a show that relies much more heavily on what we know of its characters than the cases they take on. Pulling out the emotions of these people only when it serves a plotline is not enough.

There needs to be some kind of build–up behind their actions, a season or series–long conflict that, while perhaps not in the forefront every week, is still glimpsed at as they move through their fictional lives.
“Bones” is wonderful. It is witty and real — but that doesn’t make it flawless, and hopefully the writers will resolve some of these issues. Otherwise, I’m going to go completely insane from all of the unfinished business — or engage in an Internet war with my favorite new Hulu friend and foe.