As I mentioned about this time last week, Bones was returning with two new episodes this week at 8:00 PM on Thursday as opposed to its usual...well, one. In fact, Fox is so excited that it's not even all that clear which episode is airing at 9:00 PM! In fact, according to one account, Emily Deschanel, Bones herself, isn't quite sure which episode is airing after "Double Trouble in the Panhandle"! It could be "The Hero in the Hold," which means the Gravedigger is back, or it could be the hockey-themed "The Fire in the Ice," with guest star Luc Robitaille! While the episode set to be aired at 9:00 has yet to be determined (as of this writing, though it's looking like it's hockey night), here are some things that can be guaranteed by the new episodes of Bones:
1. No time warps. I'm watching LOST while writing this and almost completely...um, lost. Already. "When am I?"
2. No horrible singers in bikinis.
3. No Supreme Court Justices flubbing their lines. (You can, however, see Bones Season 3 line flubs here.)
But in the spirit of "Double Trouble," in which Dr. Brennan (Deschanel) and Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) go undercover as a couple in the circus, here are some double-themed reasons to watch Bones this year:
1. Two words: Bones and Booth. Pick your poison -- two extremely compatible platonic partners or the couple that doesn't want to admit they're a couple yet. They are the best crime-fighting duo on TV. It's not that often that two nerds can come together, mix dark and silly humor with serious drama, and succeed in being one of the most entertaining non-couples (or couples) to watch. They make it all look so easy - acting, a relationship, a partnership, everything. Yes, it's a fictional story, but man, is it a good one.
2. As I previously alluded, this is both a very funny and very dramatic show. It's better than other procedurals because, frankly, these characters don't take themselves that seriously. Here's a typical day at the fictional Jeffersonian from Season 2: An alligator has been shot. It is shipped to the Jeffersonian lab. A human foot is found inside. Later on, Dr. Hodgins (TJ Thyne) has coffee while leaning on the gator. I wish I had a picture of this, but what's even better is that while the team are all working to uncover what happened to the human victim, Hodgins mentions getting caught in a "pornado." One of the best words ever used on television, let alone "Bones." The tragedy comes when the victim's father kills the man suspected of her murder when he realizes that he has no one left in his life. That would have been quite a downer if not for the pornado.
3. Stark contrasts: While this doesn't happen often, Bones will, from time to time, venture out of the dim, blue-gray lab and do something insane like go undercover at the circus. The stills alone that are coming out of "Double Trouble in the Panhandle" are some of the most vibrant pictures of a TV show since "Pushing Daisies," and it's such a treat for the eyes. (To say nothing of Emily and David in those outfits.)
4. Field work plus lab work: One of the story advantages of Bones having such a rare occupation is that when someplace in the world needs Bones' services, she will have to go there, along with Booth. She has gone to Washington state, California, London, Florida and more over the course of the show, and I really hope there will be more and more on-location shooting. Meanwhile, the team gets all the evidence shipped to the lab so we still get to see the experiments and gadgets. The possibilities are endless, and the ensemble just makes the show. And anything that makes Booth feel out of his element is always really great. (Although, it will be fun to see Boreanaz, a hockey fan and player, completely in his element in "The Fire in the Ice.")
Bones is in no way typical but is not sickeningly quirky or trendy. It's a show that's a bit off the beaten path and features a family of original, accessible characters with good stories behind them, with blood and guts and comedy and drama. You will not be disappointed.
Bones airs on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM on Fox.
*NPR had a story recently that totally reminded me of Bones and featured a word that needs to be on the show, even more than a follow-up mention of pornado - "snarge." It's another word for "bird goo." Actually, it's the official word for "bird goo." At the real-life Jeffersonian, the Smithsonian (and I definitely didn't mean to sound as if I'd just discovered it), there is an entire department devoted to feather identification. They made the airwaves because of the investigation into Flight 1549. How badly do I want to hear Tamara Taylor say, "Any word on the snarge?" and/or "There's human DNA in the snarge"? So. Badly.
*Eric Millegan, a member of the Bones family who will always get a mention in these articles, can be seen vlogging for the NBA! In episode 8, he's talking about the Orlando Magic and the hot set of arms I fell for during the Olympics, those of Dwight Howard. Rowr! Plus Eric's team, the Portland Trailblazers, had won a game right before he recorded. I like hearing sports fans talk about their teams, especially since the NY Giants let me down a couple of weeks ago. (At least the Cardinals beat the Eagles, who beat the Giants, and now the guys who beat the Giants are going to the Super Bowl. How chivalrous!)
*On an unrelated note, I was in Brooklyn to watch the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. BAM was giving out free tickets, and since they were so hospitable and didn't make us wait outside in the freezing cold, I wanted to give them a plug too. Thanks for the late birthday present, BAM!