In the past decade, network television has been bombarded by crime shows attempting to make their mark on viewers. All of these programs—CSI, Lie to Me, Numb3rs, Law & Order—have the same general set up of a male lead with a hot-head who is complemented by his team of FBI agents. As a loyal viewer and fan of Bones, I often wonder what makes it stay afloat with so many shows out there like it. Could it be that Bones isn’t like any of the other crime shows? Through its crimes and unsolved murders, Bones helps its viewers make sense of the disastrous world around them. The world we live in is full of danger and unsolved crime, but after watching Dr. Brennan, her team of “squints” and Agent Booth solve even the most bizarre murders, the viewer has hope that nothing in the world is unsolvable. Not only does the show itself present something that comforts its viewers, but the dynamic of the characters, although they have personalities everywhere on the spectrum, works to create wonderful, humorous and addictive television.
Bones, like every other show on television, is not without its critics. Nguyen, the author of an article, published in the Michigan University daily newspaper, entitled “Fox Crime Drama Bones Wallows in Formulaic Mediocrity, claims that Bones, “follows the basic recipe already overdone by the CSI franchise: an emotional distant antagonistically hotheaded and intellectually brilliant protagonist, a cool-headed tough guy hiding a soft spot for his victims and a widely varied cast of off-beat supporting characters.” But the problem with this is that Dr. Brennan, the protagonist, isn’t hotheaded, or a guy, which would suggest that Bones actually doesn’t follow that recipe. Another argument made against Bones is that it “plays too many of its cards too soon” (Nguyen). However, I would argue that a catchy pilot and background information on the characters are vital when trying to draw in a loyal audience. Finally, Nguyen also says that while the actors portray their roles very well, and it is clear that the “slight chemistry between Deschanel [Dr. Brennan] and Boreanaz [Agent Booth] doesn’t seem to be headed for any successful route,” which he obviously thinks is an old, worn-out scenario. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and as we have seen in the most recent season, Booth has accepted his feelings for Brennan and, in the early episodes of season five, has been trying to tell her how he feels.
In the real world, many crimes remain unsolved, but in Bones every murder is solved and the killer is brought to justice. As Letizia, the author of a TV review entitled “Bones”, asserts, “fans root not just for crimes to be solved, but for [Booth and Brennan], working in tandem, to solve them.” The viewer begins to trust these two characters and think of them as real people they have let into their lives. Another difference, pointed out by Letizia, that Bones offers is
Where an episode of CSI leaves one with the feeling...