let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,
let's get the seven lines.
bookshop

This post is a (FAILED) test of Semagic's cross-posting ability. and an excuse to talk about Bones

putting this first cause I think it's most important:

BONES. :DDDDDDDD
I finally caught up on the last half-season of Bones - I think I watched 15 eps in 2 days, at work, which was awesome.

I love Bones. <3333333 Thoughts on the last half-season follow!

Stuff that is problematic, because I can't honestly talk about how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show without acknowledging the STUFF IT FAILS AT:

  • Its sadly hilarious and endearing attempts to objectively explore subcultures while hilariously stereotyping them. It's endearing because you can tell it's really trying, but still sometimes you are just like OH BONES, NO a;sk;l.

  • SEE THE JAPANESE EP. JUST. EVERYTHING ABOUT THE JAPANESE EP WAS SO HORRIBLY MISGUIDED, LOL. Where to begin (spoilers follow for Ep 4x22, The Girl in the Mask):
      a) stoic cops following the way of the lone samurai, hints of the yakuza, the geisha girl, the exotic masseuse, the anime hair - the only stereotype i think they missed was the kabuki swordsman, but they used up their sword quota for the season in YET ANOTHER HORRIBLY MISGUIDED SUBCULTURE EP so what can you do

      b) show, if you really need to explain for your audience that "anime" is "Japanese animation," then you're sadly underestimating your audience, which makes the WHOLE FACT OF YOU TAKING ALL THIS OPPORTUNITY TO "OBJECTIVELY PRESENT" SUBCULTURES just that much MORE exploitative. is that even a word. whatever. you fail.

      c) oh my god, show, just because you take two seconds to say "we really should respect the androgene's insistence on not defining their sexuality" while spending the whole ep gleefully trying to define their sexuality does not make it okay. There are two things that really kept this from offending me, and even then it came close: a) the fact that Angela so confidently declares Dr. Tanaka to be of one gender at the end, when the actor is played by another gender, which (sigh, however unsubtly) upends the characters' need for definition and makes the joke on them;

      d) the fact that they made a point of not showing Bones in the same room as the others when they were conspiring about Tanaka's gender, because Bones of all the other characters makes no effort to define Tanaka. Sweets, oh, Sweets, is like a little boy being carried away by peer pressure. Actually, he's like that about everything, but it was disappointing here.
      It's important to note d) especially because the show undermine's Bones rationale again and again (anatsuno, I still remember you ranting about this). Even though she always displays an insistence in respecting other cultures and taking them on their own assumptions rather than westernizing judgments of them, the show itself is constantly making her the brunt of her own rationality. So eps like this one, the Death Metal ep, the Fan Con ep, and notably, like the Pony Roleplaying ep from S3 (I'm still smarting from that one), that balance a host of negative judgments against Bones' objectiveness, always feel doubly unsatisfying from a critical standpoint. They not only undermine the show's attempt to objectively portray other cultures, subcultures and non-traditional lifestyles, but they also undermine her as well.

      But I always find myself at least grateful that the show tried, whether or not I should. I'm glad to hear Stephen Fry frankly discussing cult rock, I'm glad to hear Sweets talking about visual kei. (Plus, I mean, come on, Satanic death cults and self-harm glorification notwithstanding, they put Sweets in metal rock facepaint, god, this show. I forgive all things in this show, I really do.


  • Bones, I love you, but you seriously need to stop hindering your characterization at the expense of harping on about your whole reason/emotion thing. Brennan's not going to suddenly take a less objective view of Haitian voodoo culture in S4 than she did in the New Orleans ep in S2, people, come on, people. Little things like that make all the difference in a show that is so totally based around its marvelous characterizations. Don't make me facepalm any more than I already am over your cultural issues. (Those I can at least blame as a result of your being aired on Fox.)

  • Tangent to the above: I really, really, really hope that the only reason they wrote Hodgins sniping at Dr. Vaziri in the mascot ep (because he was a Muslim) was so they could deliberately frame it the way it happened: Vaziri retorting with a litany of all-white-male bombers, and Jack's face taking on a look of complete horror as he realized he'd literally been standing in the same lab where (the big spoiler of S3) happened, and he hadn't even thought about what that meant in a larger context, until just that moment.

    Because otherwise, if they did it just to make Hodgins the convenient misanthrope voice (it would have worked much better coming from the other intern, what'sisface - too bad they can't throw all the interns together like House did; poor Mr. Nigel Murray and Clark Edison wouldn't last two minutes together, haha) then it was basically T.J saving that moment on the sole power of his fabulous acting, and saving the writers from committing atrocious OOC-ness.

  • Really? Really? There were no other girls in the internships? Freaking Daisy was the best you could do? That's disappointing.

  • I have a whole ongoing argument with myself about Bones herself. Something I've found frustrating all season, though I think it got much much better in the second half than the first half, was Bones's habit of being staunchly didactic and overly-literal. It used to be a character trait that was obvious but not inherently comedic; especially earlier on this year I felt like they've been playing her literal side almost totally for laughs. Especially since both her and Zach's characters seem pretty obviously intended to portray people with moderate social cognitive disabilities (witness Zach's entire character arc; witness Bones going to Sweets to try to get help for reading body language, which is a major characteristic of people who suffer from Asperger's), it seems beyond cruel to laugh at it.

    I also feel like Bones has been evolving backwards because of that literal quality being played for laughs. At the beginning of S4 I was kind of surprised at the jokes she wasn't getting, the body language she wasn't reading; I feel like since they've lost Zack they've subtly written her character to be more rigid, and



    That said, oh how I love it.

    STUFF I LOVED:

  • I love how even though this season mostly seemed to be largely undefined in terms of ongoing plot, there were all these over-arching themes and moments that kept ringing through - like when Booth's first hallucination told him that it was "all about the team" in reference to the hockey COTW, but was really speaking to the larger theme of the squints and how they've all been gradually evolving and changing since the horror of last season. ( D: D: D: )

    - There was also the moment when Bones told him that (I think it was in that same ep, at the end? But I don't remember) everyone changes; everyone evolves.

  • I loved how cyclical everything seemed to be this season:
      - Zach more or less passing the torch of his role to a number of interns trying and failing to fill his shoes in quite the same way;
      Gordon passing the torch to Sweets <3;
      - Hodgins giving that RIDICULOUS speech at the wake, ahaha, about not letting life pass by and living for love, and then basically turning around and giving more or less the exact same speech to Angela in the final moments of the season, oh Jack, you secret optimist, ahaha that made me so happy;
      - Bones' search for her family coming to some sort of resolution with her father's admonishment that he'll never leave her (<333333 oh Ryan O'Neal), followed by the introduction of more immediate family themes: Booth and his brother, Cam and Michelle (*huge* hearts for this, I normally hate 'random orphan and/or unexpected family member is taken in by main character' tropes, Luke Danes, I am looking at you, but whatever, I loved it <333333), and Sweets' search for a 'new' family in Bones and Booth. OH SWEETS.
      - that the sudden and inexplicable randomness of Hodgins/Angela's breakup (which was hilariously supposed to be a "rational" decision) was followed by the completely illogical (and yet infinitely more rational) suggestion that they could get back together just as spontaneously and randomly. THAT SORT OF DEFINES THE SPASTIC APPROACH TO LOGIC AND RATIONALITY THAT THIS SHOW SEEMS TO TAKE IN GENERAL. ALMOST AS IF HODGINS AND ANGELA ARE REALLY "THE SHOW'S WRITERS / SCIENCE AND REASON." I LOVE IT.

  • ANGELA AND HODGINS. I mean, as brief and truncated and not-really-dealt-with as the Angela/Angela's girlfriend thing was, I was so glad they dealt with it, because I always knew Angela was bisexual. (Something to add to the dislike-pile: Angela suddenly ceasing to be bisexual after her breakup, like, suddenly she went celibate and all she could think of was sex with men. SERIOUSLY? Okay, that really annoyed me, but we'll let the show have it because obviously she really just wants Hodgins because she's still in love with him, okay? Okay. Which brings me back to:)

  • ANGELA AND HODGINS. <333333333333333333 I mean, really, every time Jack looked at her I wanted to cry; I thought they were going to ruin it forever when they slept together, but I think their going back to that same museum bed where they started, awwww, was a gesture to the timelessness of what they have, and I loved that little touch.

  • SWEETS. SWEETS IS AMAZING. I BASICALLY THINK HE CAN DO NO WRONG AND WANT TO HUG HIM. IF IT WASN'T ENOUGH THAT WE GOT 'POSSIBLY SERIAL KILLER' LAST SEASON, THIS SEASON WE GOT 'SECRET COMICS GEEK, CULT ROCK FANATIC, UNDERCOVER METAL SCENE FACE-PAINT-WEARER, TOTALLY THING-FOR-BOOTH-HAVING (seriously, i'm half-convinced at this point, and I think it's huge and I think he's repressing), TRAUMATIC CHILDHOOD THAT *LITERALLY SCARRED HIM*-HURT-COMFORT!SWEETS. seriously, Sweets is like walking fan-service, I cannot get over him. I hated him for a short time in S3 but that quickly quickly faded to love, and my love has only grown,and NOW I LOVE HIM SO MUCH MORE. And i LOVED that he was basically speaking for the fans to Bones and Booth in the last ep, ahaha, I half-expected him to shout JUST SNOG ALREADY.

    *spoilers for the last ep*

  • DUDE. am i the only one who thinks that if bones didn't figure out that Booth was her true love last season when he JUMPED IN FRONT OF A BULLET FOR HER AND THEN DIED, that it's kind of ridiculous that a LOL BRAIN TUMOR will bring her closer now? LOL. But that said, I do think that the care they're taking to develop Booth/Brennan's romantic relationship, and to show her slowly coming out of denial, is one of the nicest things I've ever seen on tv. It's almost like she's unrepressing, which is fabulous.

    And that also brings me back to the thing I love most about this show, which is just: the love of the writers for these characters, and the love of the characters for each other. There is so much love for the characters as individuals, and for the characters interacting with each other. There's no tension or anger or disloyalty or disunity here. When they're judging the interns they're not just judging who can be the best, most cutthroat anthropologist king of the lab, they're basically trying to figure out who they're going to adopt into the family. Every time Jack tried to interact with the interns this season you got a clear image of how much he was missing Zack, because he will always be family. <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 In a way the whole Sweets subarc was a little redundant to me because, hello, he's already got his family. The squints are family. A family that pretty soon Booth's brother, and Michelle, and maybe even Mr. Nigel Murray will be joining. (and maybe A TEST TUBE BABY AHAHA <3).

    I love their family. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT GROW. <3
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