Bones: Why I Watch it Religiously

I tend to avoid conversations about TV shows. Not because I don’t watch TV, but because when I do watch TV, I am most likely watching an episode from one of the 12 seasons of Bones. Yes, that’s right, the amazing Dr. Brennan and FBI Special Agent Booth crime fighting duo. My obsession, (which is honestly what it is), comes from my need for a TV show that combines just the right amount of drama, learning, and romance to be pleasant but not overpowering. In addition, I like it when I don’t need to watch every episode in order in an attempt to keep up with the plot. So, I watch Bones, and I have been for about four years.

But, there was this six-ish month period recently when Netflix removed the show from their library and I only owned one season. I tried to watch other shows. I scoured Netflix for something decent, Amazon Prime also couldn’t offer me anything with the balance of things I require. In this time, I felt a bit lost. I would quote the show and refer to knowledge I picked up, from the show, to my friends and family. In this very dark time, I realized just what makes the show so fantastic in my estimation, and why other shows fell short.

Season 6 Promotional Image
  1. Real scientific knowledge.

Bones is based on the life of Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist, writer and academic. The cases in her stories are based on cases she came across during her tenure. Nothing is simply figured out, or deduced from inductive reasoning, rather, the team uses clues and science in order to ascertain what occured. The forensics are well within real possibility and the legal aspects are also very accurate. The show details the process that forensic anthropologists take in order to determine what can be learned from decomposed remains. While Bones is a genius, and therefore some information is gathered from her knowledge, there are episodes where she misses clues or they come back to a body and find more clues. The inclusion of human error further lends to the realisticness of the information presented.

2. Character development in “real time.”

Each season has upwards of 12 episodes over each of the 12 seasons for a total of 246 episodes. The show spans approximately 10 years as the team develops. The relationships between the characters develop at a realistic rate. There are no quick marriages or seemingly hastened “love.” In fact, over the years the main couples: Angela and Hodgins, Cam and Erastu, as well as Sweets and Daisy, have break-ups and other events happen between the time they initially get together and the time they get back together. There are no fairy tail romances here!

In addition to the romantic entanglements, there is the growth of character that Bones undergoes. While she is an extremely confident and intelligent woman in the first few seasons, (and remains this way through the show), when she leaves for the Machapitchu Islands with Daisy, she understands that she is leaving Booth. When they come back, she is a much tamer version of her previous self. In fact, she came to the realization that she does love Booth while she was gone and is disappointed that Booth is with Hannah, whom he met in Iraq over over the same time period. She admits to Booth that she is still in love with him and this underlying message is continually referred to between the two of them over the next season or so. By the time of Intern Vincent Nigel Murray’s death by Brodski, both Booth and Brennan are ready for the relationship into which they enter over an emotionally charged sexual encounter. Which we then learn leaves Brennan pregnant.

3. Real-Life Level Drama

Perhaps the most important aspect for the show for me is the realistic level of drama. Okay, so we don’t all face serial killers, but if you were in this type of professional position, serial killers might be very real for you. For myself, the drama created by relationship issues, ridiculous suspects, and both political and social commentary is all well within a realistic amount. There has never been a point in the series where I thought, “My gawsh this is dramatic.” or “Why would anyone want to get involved in this amount of fake drama.” While I did become invested in the interpersonal relationships, it is never a mean/rude/revengeful type of situation. There is never truly negative behaviour. The most negative situation the series presents is when Hodgins becomes paralyzed and wonders if a life in a wheelchair is worth living. Of course, becoming paralyzed would cause anyone to become negative and is, again, another instance of the realistic nature of the series.

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Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt

Lifestyle turned content marketing and thought leadership writer. I specialize in tech writing and content writing. Find me at: schmidtwrites.com