Thursday, April 20, 2006

Postmodernity Evident in "Bones"

"I hate pointless violence!" Bruno said, and threw away his lead pipe. He pulled an ugly bowie knife from his belt. "This is much better!"

I don't watch a great deal of television, but I'm rather fond of a program called "Bones" on Fox. The central character, Temperance Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel), is a forensic anthropologist at a museum who examines skeletal remains for clues to identity and cause of death. Needless to say, she has a working relationship with the FBI, who consults her on all sorts of difficult cases.
The cast is full of quirky characters, and Brennan is the typical out-of-touch-with-humanity genius character. She's clueless when it comes to pop-culture references (She doesn't own a tv) and sarcasm (she's very literal-minded.) Naturally(?), as a scientist, she is an atheist and naturalist, bucking the idea of even the possibility of the supernatural realm.
A couple recent episodes, however, have brought Brennan face-to-face with the supernatural. Investigating a disappearance in the desert (AZ?), a friend of the vanished individuals has a vision (not a regular occurence) that points her in the right direction to find the barely alive person. Brennan is forced to admit to herself that something beyond the realm of the strictly rational has played a part in locating the survivor.
Last night, Brennan experiences a blackout episode that is only explainable by a voodoo curse. No drugs were found in her system.
I've not read the books by Kathy Reichs, the forensic anthropologist who is the basis for the show, so I don't know if she has eventually come to a more spiritual person. Furthermore, I don't know where the writers are planning to go with this program. Will Temperance Brennan eventually become a Medium/Ghost Whisperer/crime fighter? I hope not.
I am not opposed to exploring supernatural themes on television and in movies, but it's the science and manner in which physical cues in the skeletal remains point to the solution of the crimes that intrigue me. If they have to keep interupting with a deus ex machina to bring out the final clue, then the show will cease to be great.

Listening to: "Dexter's Mood," Dexter Gordon

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