Bones Theory

May I Have a Side Order of Reality with my Fantasy, Please?

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Sweets:  Does it seem that your partnership provides a surrogate relationship making it more difficult to form other bonds?

Brennan:  A surrogate relationship wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing because then I could avoid the sting of rejection, which, however fleeting, is still uncomfortable.

Booth:  Right. Okay, look, I’m sorry. You know what, if Mark and Jason don’t know how lucky they are they don’t deserve you in the first place.

Brennan:  Well…relationships are temporary.

Booth:  That’s not true Bones. You’re wrong. Okay. There is someone for everyone. Someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. Alright? You just have to be open enough to see it…That’s all.

Have you ever asked yourself how much reality you want to see (or think you should see) in the television shows you watch? I’m not talking about the never-ending stream of “reality shows” we’ve been inundated with since Survivor abandoned twenty people and a camera crew on an island in Malaysia ten years ago. I’m talking about the process of developing characters on fictional television shows in a (somewhat) realistic fashion and placing them in (somewhat) realistic situations.

We all know that watching primetime television requires a certain suspension of reality. It is television after all. In real life, DNA samples take weeks to process, murderers are rarely ever caught in the span of a couple of days, workplace romances aren’t quite so prevalent or complicated, and forensic technology just isn’t as advanced as it is on CSI. But no matter how much television shows may stretch our concept of reality when it comes to the how and why, they all (well, most of them) feature human characters, with human flaws, who interact in human situations, and ultimately, have the opportunity to grow in very human ways (a.k.a. character growth). And it’s our ability to relate to the humanity of these characters – to understand what they think, feel, and do, that makes them real.

How a show handles character growth can be a vital part of its success (or failure). Obviously, some shows do it better than others. House M.D. is about a brilliant doctor with an addiction to painkillers who was mean simply for the sake of being mean. He was a jerk to his patients, a jerk to his staff, and a jerk to the woman he loved (but couldn’t have). And he continued this way season after season until his life spun so far out of control that he was forced to make a change. He was still a jerk post-change, but at least he was beginning to use his evil powers for good, albeit in some very unorthodox ways. At the end of last season, after suffering crushing personal and professional losses, he reached his breaking point. He was literally a step away from turning his back on all the progress he’d made when (in a completely unexpected twist) he won the woman of his dreams. He’s still a jerk sometimes, but now we’re seeing him actually begin to conquer the insecurities that made him mean and cynical in the first place. There’s a depth to his character now that was missing in previous seasons. This is the kind of sustained character development that is crucial to creating a truly compelling TV show.   

In all fairness, sometimes characters are designed to be static, and that works on certain shows. The characters on The Simpsons, for instance, don’t age and they don’t change (at least not significantly). After 20 years, Maggie is still sucking on her pacifier, Lisa is still a genius, Marge still has big hair, Homer is still the stereotypical dumb guy who likes to drink beer and hates to work, and Bart is still Bart. And that’s fine. It works for them. But as a general rule, most successful shows feature dynamic characters with the ability to grow in real ways in response to outside stimulus.

Part of what makes Bones such an extraordinary show is how well it handles both character and relational growth. Despite what some critics say about timing and speed, no one can argue with the fact that Booth and Brennan’s relationship has developed in a very compelling fashion. Oftentimes their character development contributes to their relationship development and vice versa. As a result, many of us are as invested in the relationship as we are in the characters themselves. And yet, Booth and Brennan aren’t the only well-rounded characters. Each of the six main characters (plus Zack) has experienced some sort of personal character growth, including (but not limited to):

  • Cam adopts Michele (The Doctor in the Den, The Plain in the Prodigy, The Goop on the Girl, The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle) 
  • Angela struggles to see the “humanity” in her job at the Jeffersonian (A Boy in a Bush)
  • Hodgins must face fears and insecurities caused by being buried alive by the Gravedigger (Aliens in a Spaceship, The Hero in the Hold, The Boy with the Answer)
  • Booth comes to terms with the death of Howard Epps (The Girl in the Gator)
  •  Sweets learns the value in living life to the fullest (The Bones on the Blue Line)
  • Brennan admits that she wants to believe love can last forever (The Cinderella in the Cardboard)
  • Zack learns how to be “presentable” in order to win a job at the Jeffersonian (Judas on a Pole

The tricky thing about character growth, though, is that it’s not always easy. Sometimes in order to see our beloved characters grow, we have to first see them suffer. And this, I think, is where some people start to question the value of “real” character development. Real life is painful enough, where’s the fun in watching our favorite characters suffer too? Why can’t we skip all the pain and suffering and go straight to the happily ever after part? These are legitimate questions, but, as I found out every time I took a math or science class in school – the harder the journey, the more rewarding the outcome. I can handle the ongoing pain and suffering because I fully expect Booth and Brennan to eventually get their happy ending (barring any unforeseen circumstances such as Bones being cancelled unexpectedly).

So what, exactly, is the purpose for all this pain and suffering, anyway? Personally, I think it’s all a part of Hart Hanson’s end game. And I think it’s obvious from the level of pain we’re seeing from Brennan this season that he has a greater goal than just bringing Booth and Brennan together in a romantic relationship.  We’ve discussed extensively here on Bones Theory how much the respective childhoods of our beloved main characters influenced who they are as adults. Brennan’s abandonment by her family resulted in her viewing the world through twin lenses of reason and logic and unable to believe in love or lasting relationships. Booth’s abusive, alcoholic father left him longing for love and a family and created in him a sometimes unhealthy desire to protect the people he loves (Brennan and Jared, for example) no matter the circumstances. There’s no question that both are deeply scarred individuals whose lives have been profoundly impacted by those scars.

While it’s nice to believe that love is all Booth and Brennan need to conquer their respective demons, that’s rarely the way things work in real life (at least not if you want your relationship to last past the end credits). The reality is that what these two people need more than love is healing – from the inside out. So why hope for just a romantic relationship when what we could see is a real, honest to goodness, journey to healing for both of them that culminates in their ability to find forever…together? The problem, of course, is that healing (much like character growth) is never a completely painless process. In fact, sometimes it’s downright excruciating because before true healing can begin, layer upon scarred layer of misperception and hurt must be painstakingly peeled away to reveal the very essence of a person – the one thing he (or she) was trying so hard to protect in the first place.  

As much as I love white knight Booth, I believe there are some things he’s just not meant to save Brennan from; things she has to learn how to save herself from before they can ever hope to make 30, or 40, or 50 years work. Metaphorically speaking, Brennan was abandoned by Booth when he came back from Afghanistan “with” Hannah despite the fact that Brennan abandoned him first (or as Sophia7470 pointed out “she shoved him away”). That Brennan (perhaps sub-consciously) believes this is illustrated very clearly in her conversation with Booth at the end of The Couple in the Cave. Brennan may have come to terms with the initial cause of her abandonment issues when she made peace with her father, but she still hasn’t addressed the seemingly indelible marks that event left on her world view. And until she does, nothing is going to change.

Furthermore, as much as we may want (or even expect) him to, Booth can’t conquer Brennan’s fear of abandonment for her any more than she can absolve him of his need to protect her. Each of them has to seek healing on his (or her) own terms and without the crutch the other person has become. Booth’s devotion to and support of Brennan in previous seasons certainly started her on the road to healing. But at what point does that same devotion and support start to prevent healing instead? Would either Booth or Brennan have ever had the chance to heal completely, cushioned as they were in their pre-season six partnership/surrogate relationship? I believe the answer is no. 

And so here we are, watching in excruciating detail as Brennan is stripped bare bit by agonizing bit. We know it has to happen, or she will never be truly whole, but oh how it hurts! And for the first time, Booth will be unable to protect her or save her because, this time, he is the source of her pain. The day he realizes that very ironic truth in its entirety is the day I believe his own journey to healing will begin. And then I think we’ll finally see an utterly mind-blowing, too incredible for words, happily ever after, that will make every tear-inducing moment that came before completely worthwhile.

So how do we keep from drowning in all of this horrible angst and despair in the meantime? Well, that’s what Cam and the squinterns, Bunsen Jude the Science Dude, Jersey Shore lingo, and the occasional Hannah-less “back to Bones basics” episodes are for (because too much reality is never a good thing).

So how do you take your TV? Seasoned with a good dose of reality or heavily sweetened with fantasy? Are you willing to put up with the pain if the end result is too good for words or do you think enough is enough and Booth and Brennan should just skip straight to the good stuff? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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26 thoughts on “May I Have a Side Order of Reality with my Fantasy, Please?

  1. Thanks for giving House the character development props it so well deserves AND I thank you from the bottom of my black heart for injecting some much needed reality into all of this madness.

  2. i agree with your argument. But when i watch Bones i want see More Fantasy than reality there.And i think they can deal w/ their demons being together too and helping each other.

  3. Amen to that. Quick resolutions may make for happiness short term but ultimately don’t have the power to satisfy like the slow-burn character development we’ve seen for five years on Bones. The technical stuff and the cases may sometimes be forgettable, but Booth and Brennan’s baby steps toward healing, and hopefully each other, are definitely not (although I agree that for sanity’s sake it’s good to sprinke in the often hilarious fluff in between.) All in all, reality+fluff is a winning combination that makes Bones so unique and keeps me coming back for more; woulnd’t have it any other way, even with Hannah in the mix.

  4. Thanks for this Stephanie! I don’t like my TV programs to contain all angst…for the same reasons you mentioned…but I don’t think Bones (even Season 6) qualifies as too much angst. It is a very well-rounded program that I am completely enjoying (I have never become obsessed with a TV show like I have with this one). I am along for the whole journey and can’t wait to see where they end up and ‘HOW’ they get there. Because I agree that the ‘HOW’ will be well worth the wait!

  5. Stephanie I really love your post! It gives strength to keep dealing with all the pain and suffering that season 6 brings. No matter how much I want to see them live happily-ever-after, such a happy ending doesn’t come easily. It will in fact take time, work, effort and unfortunately pain, but just like you I completely believe that they will get there and this is all part of the road there.
    Although it is somewhat nice to just see happiness or your TV screen, I am a big fan of a little realism in shows, so as much as this infuriates me I guess it works for me because otherwise it might quickly be unrealistic as you’ve mentioned. So thank you very much of reminding me of that fact, it might not make things less unnerving but at least I’ll try to tell myself that it’s the way it’s gotta be. 🙂

  6. Wow! That was so great! You put it all into perspective. It hurts watching this season but it’ll all be worth it. Sometimes you just have to take all the little things and hold onto them during the pain and angst. This was excellent. Thanks.

  7. See, for the most part I’m a total escapist with my entertainment. I don’t usually care for ‘literature’ in my books, I’d rather read fluff because however painful the middle part is, I know it’ll all be over by the end, unlike real life. I’m the same with my television shows: Make me laugh, please, make me believe something unbelievable, and if you happen to try and teach me a lesson in the process, well, I guess that’s ok, too.

    But Bones is different. Partly because it is such a good mix, and has been from the beginning, but mostly because I love these characters so much. So much. And, as I’ve said before, I love them because they are imperfect, because they struggle, and somehow that makes my struggle seem more worth it. Even more, though, their struggles invest me further every week (if that’s possible). Sure, pain and angst sucks, but I want only the best for my friends and the best requires a little pain.

    Also, if we got a quick resolution, we’d also get a quick end to the show. I’m more than willing to live, heart-crushed, with a heart-crushed Brennan, as long as it means I get more of this wonderful drug called Bones.

  8. Being rather new to this site, it’s time I said a great big THANK YOU…with hugs…for writing these insightful posts! You do a great job and I appreciate the thought and research you put into every one of these topics! Love it! OK…now…onto the subject at hand…

    Character growth in TV is a tricky business. People tune in to their favorite show to see the characters react and behave in certain ways they have become accustomed to…what made them like the show in the first place.

    Bones is walking a fine line right now with die-hard fans, but I think that the average viewer does not – nor do they want – to think that deeply about what they’re watching. My own friends and family are evidence of this. I think most of us just want to feel good at the end of the day, and if our obsession with a TV show can provide that, well, hey, we’re happy campers.

    Personally, I like a balance of angst and fluff. One without the other is boring – and static, so as long as Bones bring back the playful banter, bickering and UST in my favorite couple, I’ll be ecstatic. Will we like the “new” Brennan? Will Booth get his act together? I don’t even need B&B to get married and have babies…I just need them to get that chemistry back! After all, that’s the reason I started watching. I don’t watch for the cases and I don’t really care that much what the peripheral characters are up to.

    I am an optimist that believes we will get to see some satisfying developments in the journey, however painful the journey seems at the moment. If the writers do it right, I think we have the potential for some awesome moments ahead.

  9. Amen, sister. I LOVE your shout-out to House; it put what I (and probably many others) feel into words. I think it’s totally worth all the suffering of five and counting seasons of Bones if they end up together in an “utterly mind-blowing, too incredible for words, happily ever after, that will make every tear-inducing moment that came before completely worthwhile.” Even though I’m really feeling “it” finally happening this season, I also really felt “it” last season and we all know how that turned out.

  10. There are many people who I do think watch t.v. to truly escape from “real life.” That said, I think that Bones fans are one of a kind and want something more from their show. We find ourselves identifying with these characters. We laugh, we cry, we get angry, shout at the t.v. screen and we post blogs to connect with other fans who probably feel the same way we do. Even though I am fairly new to the world of Bones and did watch all of the seasons so quickly, I still find that I identify with the show and feel like I am truly invested in these characters. Somehow, HH and the other writers have found a formula that works with this show and I enjoy peeling the layers away piece by piece to find the many deeper meanings that every show, every line, every little piece of body language holds within. B&B and all of the main characters are so well developed and as Stephanie said “each of the six main characters (plus Zack) has experienced some sort of personal character growth.” This amazing character growth is a main reason I, and I believe most of you actually continue to tune in to Bones week after week, whether we admit it or not. It is the reason we visit fantastic sites like Bones Theory and dig deeper into what it all means. I truly believe that B&B are meant to be together but I also hold within me the fear that once they are, it will be the end of our world within Bones. I once enjoyed a show called JAG and it was very similar…except legal cases instead of forensics. They danced around the two main characters for almost ten years (one of them didn’t start on the show the first season) but once they were together, the show ended. Actually they finally got together in the series finale. I do not want that for Bones. I know that this show will not last forever but I also know that lasting for six seasons in itself is quite an achievement and after all of the “heart-crushing” moments, I feel that through all of the reality of it, we will finally get our fantasy, but that it will be as real as can be and it will be fantastic! Not to quote Stephanie again but I do love this…“we’ll finally see an utterly mind-blowing, too incredible for words, happily ever after, that will make every tear-inducing moment that came before completely worthwhile.” Nice job sis!

  11. Sorry for that…forgot my end italics…

  12. I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
    I hope that everyone who is freaking out about the past 5 episodes, and who is on the war-path because of Hart’s interview earlier this week reads this post. It’s pretty perfect. I mean, I’m not going to be thrilled if they drag out this whole B&B thing and only put them together for the very last episode, but I trust the writers and especially Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan implicitly with this show.
    Everything happens, eventually. I’m content to sit back and enjoy the ride, no matter how much it crushes my heart.

  13. I agree wholeheartedly with what you said!! You put into words,in much more detail and clarity, exactly what I have been thinking.All of this pain and angst this season is necssary for these characters to eventually get to where we all want they want to be.I enjoy both the reality and fantasy aspects. I think I like to see more reality because I find that I can then relate to it easier.All of the pain and things we don’t necessarily enjoy seeing at this moment will be worth it in the end if/when B&B finally get together.I just hope that happens because there is still that small chance that they won’t and that would be pretty heart breaking.Sometimes I do wish that the process of them reaching a happy ending would speed up, but ultimately I think that the more hurt and growing that the characters go through the better the payoff will be in the end!! And again, I just want to say how great and well written this blog is and how much I enjoy reading these discussions!! 🙂

  14. Thanks for the post! Love it. I am trying to remember that it will be worth it!! Right….It will be worth it. This will end well and we will get to see our eventually!

  15. Such a great post! I was thinking about that last night as I was working on my paper (ok, well, procrastinating on here before writing my paper), and as I went to bed.

    I’m not very escapist at all when it comes to my TV, and even books. I want it to be as real as possible, because it’s easier for me to understand the characters. The more unrealistic a situation, for me, the less I want to watch it, because I usually get bored, or worse, don’t understand it, which causes worse confusion and boredom. I guess that’s why I like shows with more compelling mysteries, and mystery books in general — I want to think about it. I get bored if I’m not thinking or learning, and boredom really isn’t good for me as a person. I like TV because it’s “dumbed down” a bit compared to real life — the facial expressions and movements are a bit more obvious, the language is usually a bit clearer than the vernacular, and the interpersonal situations are a bit simpler. This may sound converse to my “I want it as real as possible” approach, but they fit hand in hand. I don’t read or understand people well. With TV’s more simplified actions, I understand a bit more than usual (the same with books), and can sympathize more. While I like the lighter, fluffier cases, I also want grounding, so I guess I’ll go with the “I need just as much balance as fluff” approach. I dunno, I guess I’m the odd one out on this one, but that’s OK.

    • I don’t think you are the odd one out on this one . . . it feels to me that you are fundamentally agreeing. Bones has a lot of reality to it and it also fits your will of the more obvious facial language and whatnot. It sounds to me like you are wholly invested in the journey of the show.

    • I actually thought of something about the heavy reality vs “fantasy” element and its effect on the story and the journey of the story.

      The Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole movie actually illustrates this article perfectly (I’m a gigantic fan of the original book series… hence the nickname “Owl”). When the movie came out, reviewers were bothered by the fact that the owls looked so realistic (OK, they don’t just look realistic, you get hunting and pellet casting scenes, too), because owls are supposed to be cute, fluffy, and “lame”. What they were missing was the story, especially Soren the main character’s journey. The story was dark (it’s based on WWII and has Nazi owls… it’s dark), but you had to see the darkness just as much of the light to understand what the Guardians did wasn’t just fun… it was a heart-testing battle to prevent utter chaos. Isn’t this what Bones does? It is so realistic, and we go through these deep and troubled times, but without the bad times, how are we supposed to really understand the good?

      The adverse reaction to the owls’ realism rankled me for some time, but after my class watched Disney’s Pocahontas… I realized that not only is it about the journey, it’s all about perception. We have this set idea of how animals are supposed to look in movies, how forensic shows are supposed to be, and how myths are supposed to be represented (every movie Pocahontas vs the “real” story) — and we tend to prefer that perception to the truth. I guess that’s why we need the “escape” of the representation. If my neighbors weren’t being loud in the hall, I’d be saying more… but I can’t think now. *sigh*

  16. I know that I am wholly invested – for me it is like reading the Harry Potter series – especially before the series was complete. Both creators have (or had re: Rowling) an overarching vision or plan for the series and so it is satisfying to look upon it all as a whole. Sure, Bones has more inconsistencies due to the nature of television, but it has the same feel, to me. I love that there is a big picture – which generally means there is going to be the whole run of emotions because HH and SN see the whole thing. If there isn’t a full run of emotion, then I think that would indicate more shortsightedness.

    I watch Castle and while I enjoy that show, I don’t feel the big picture whereas in Lie to Me, I actually do. I don’t have any evidence to support it, since I don’t follow everything about those shows like Bones, but I feel the potentiality of a plan for Lie to Me.

    Even before I became a “re-watcher” of Bones, I quickly caught that there was something bigger going on. To bring my thoughts back around to the point: this to me equals reality, but a fiction that keeps it just on the wonderful side of fiction.

    • BTW, meant to say “fantasy” for that last word instead of “fiction”.
      *this concludes an extremely rare OCD moment of Janet*

  17. Before I read anyone else’s reply, I want to say that you just took the words right out of my mouth. I am someone who truly believes that when it comes to story-telling “the harder the journey, the more rewarding the outcome.” (There are some exceptions when it comes to just plain bad story telling and manipulation for the sake of manipulation, but I don’t think “Bones” falls into that category).

    I have tried in the past to not make too many references in my posts about another beloved show of mine, “The Office”, but since you brought up “House”, I kinda figure it’s fair game. 😉 (I’m still going to try and keep it to a minimum, so maybe someone else can back me up on this.) I can’t tell you when exactly I started to feel like Booth and Brennan reminded me of Jim and Pam, but since I came to the epiphany, I haven’t been able to stop with the comparisons. The character’s aren’t the same, that’s for sure, but their story of love and growth certainly is. Pam is somewhat a quiet and meek person who lacks self esteem and has lost all hope when it comes to fulfilling her dreams; however, she seems to blossom and come alive whenever she is around Jim who does nothing but support, protect and encourage her. Jim pined for Pam for years but Pam was engaged to someone else (is it safe to say that while Pam was engaged to Roy, Dr. Brennan was married to science and logic and reason?). Jim finally professes his love for her and kisses her. Pam (not exactly denying her love for Jim) says, “I can’t” (sound familiar?). Enter Season 3: Pam has called off her wedding, but not until after Jim has left for another branch in another state, but when that branch closes he returns to Scranton, but he doesn’t return alone and brings Karen with him.

    Ok, I realize that that sounds very similar to a lot of other sitcoms, BUT here’s my point. Starting at the beginning of Season 3, before Jim even returns to Scranton, Pam starts to undergo changes. Jim has already made his indelible mark on Pam. If it weren’t for him, she would never have even had the courage to break it off with Roy. But she’s also starting to make some other small changes. She’s growing in confidence and is taking more chances. And in nearly every episode she grows more and more until she finally has a very well earned breakthrough. By the end of the season she not only wins Jim back, she earns him back. That doesn’t mean that things weren’t painful, because believe me it was painful to watch. But that pain was so necessary. I highly doubt that if Pam had said “I can” instead of “I can’t”, we would have seen such a wonderful transformation (and Jim had to go through some growth and trauma, too). By the end of the season I wasn’t just rooting for Jim and Pam, I was rooting for Pam’s personal growth into a beautiful courageous and confident woman. It was so undeniable rewarding and interesting and despite the pain, fun to watch. In fact, on a personal note, it was inspiring.

    So, to me, this Season 6 of “Bones” is like my Season 3 of “The Office” and I am watching with so much anticipation and wonder. I can’t wait to see an already powerful Brennan morph into something even more. It’s going to be both hard and beautiful to watch at the same time.

    • OMG!! I’m so glad that you brought up Jim and Pam and The Office. I would have to say that The Office is probably my favorite show (however, Bones is definitely a very close second). I totally agree with your comparisons. I have been noticing the similar development and growth the characters on Bones are going through now since the 100th episode which definitely reminded me of the season 2 Office finale. I think part of what is helping me stick with it and get through the tougher parts of this season of Bones is the fact that the story on The Office developed so well. I’m not trying to say that Bones is going to turn out exactly the same or anything, just that on The Office there was a painful time which eventually led to much happier and better things because of that pain. Does that kind of make sense? Lol. It is somewhat different for me, personally, watching Bones because I didn’t become a fan of The Office until season 4, so I went back and watched the previous season already knowing what would happen. This time, with Bones, I am seeing the story develop as each new episode is shown. It is much more nerve racking, but I would also have to say more exciting!! I can’t wait to see how Booth and Bones and all the other characters’ stories will continue on from here! And it’s Thursday, so another new Bones is on tonight! Yay!! 🙂

      • Thanks Teresa! I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂 For some reason I seem I have a knack of starting to watch the show (in step with when individual episodes air) when seasons like this start. I actually didn’t start watching The Office until Season 3. It’s like I’m a magnet for emotional pain. However, if there’s a great fanbase (which I have come to find that both “The Office” and “Bones” have), things become a lot easier, because you have intelligent and observant people to go through it all with you and help you find rays of hope and beauty. I actually find the process good for my analytical soul.

  18. My answer to your question, “So how do you take your TV? Seasoned with a good dose of reality or heavily sweetened with fantasy?”, is both!! I’m enjoying the reality of the show right now because I’ve got the knowledge of the fantasy at the end….And real life ain’t always like that!!!! 😉

  19. Your thoughts are spot on, as usual Sarah!

    I’ve been thinking about why I’m been so unsettled/unhappy with the current storyline on Bones, and I think that I fall into the ‘heavily sweetened with fantasy’ camp. Either that or I’ve become very poor at waiting, as life gets more complicated, I want my TV to be magical. I do think that it’s because I have invested so much into the show (first time obsessive here!) that I let it get to me as it does, and that I am very appreciative of the way the show handles all the characters and the way we get to see into their lives/psyches. It has been set up so well, and the change in mood will be worth it for what it brings back to us!

  20. Like people have posted above, I’m more into fiction as escapism, that is, i don’t like scary movies or sad movies, or realistic movies or books. I find I don’t NEED to experience them. My sisters and brother are always getting on my case for not seeing movies that are “MUST SEE” (Saving Private Ryan, for example), as if I am less than human for not sharing in the suffering of others, etc. But the truth of me is that I feel too much when I watch movies like that. So I tend to avoid them (Passion of the Christ is another. I didn’t feel an urge to see it. I felt I could still understand the experience without all of that expression, basically). I flock toward books or movies that generally entertain me and make me laugh. Ironically, BONES came into my life during a time in which I was confused about my life. There was some angst, sure, and some heartfelt emotions (Graft in the Girl), but for the most part, Bones and the Bones world were sort of escapes for me. So…what to do when we need to escape from our escape world? That is sort of where I feel I am. I don’t mind a bit of reality, but I also enjoy the fantasy world of Bones. I think I want it to work out on the show so I know my hope hasn’t been mis-guided, that in general, good wins and evil doesn’t, but that when it does, good people notice and reflect and get it.

    Great post.

  21. For me, this post tracks with the one just written a few days ago asking whether or not BONES has become too character-centric.

    The fact that we’ve been able to see these characters change and grow and suffer – that’s what makes BONES, BONES. It makes it real, despite the “let’s solve this case by the end of the day, people!” occasional theatrics. The side dose of real, painful character growth is what sets BONES apart from other forensic TV shows.

    It’s why I watch BONES and don’t watch the others.

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