I enjoy mysteries. I read Sherlock Holmes novels as a kid. I read pulp detective novels and Agatha Christie novels as a teen. As a grown up I’ve found myself drawn to the current trend of forensic detective TV series, like CSI on CBS. After missing the boat early on, I’ve picked up the first season of Bones, and have given it a watch.
The show focuses on Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel), a woman with a doctorate in Forensic Anthropology who works at the Jeffersonian Institution (not-the-Smithsonian). She’s also a novelist, and probably on-spectrum (and it doesn’t help her mental state that she was knocked around the foster kid system for a while). She’s partnered with FBI Special Agent Seely Booth, an ex-marine sniper (played by David Boreanaz), a more intuitive kind of guy. Togeather–wait for it–they fight crime!
Internet meme’s aside, this is a good show. The forensic anthropologist take on the genre is one that’s a nice twist on the standard Forensic Cop Show formula, which has been iterated upon ever since Quincy M.E. and refined by the CSI Franchise. The acting is excellent, the writing is generally good, and I can kind of keep track of the technobabble (though I’m taking a Medical Terminology class, so that effects things some).
This doesn’t mean the show’s flawless. One of the things I hated about Quincy is that in the show, the police treated forensic evidence and the scientific method with slightly less respect and validity than the Amazing Randi would treat tarot card readings and using a ouija board. While the FBI treats forensic anthropology with a little more respect than that, there’s this constantly running trend on the show of conflict between cops and the “squints”. Ultimately the squints are always vindicated, that’s one running trend that I would be happy to see die in popular culture.
All of that said, Bones (at least its first season) is a solid forensic detective show, and a good pick for someone who is looking for a show of that type that doesn’t involve Jerry Bruckheimer.