Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TV Marathons Are Probably Not Good for You

I've been watching a lot of Bones recently - in the past 1.5 weeks, I've watched the entirety of season 1 (oh Netflix, how alluring and tempting art thou!). It's an interesting show, but I really don't like the show as much as could reasonably be expected of a gal who has watched an entire season in 1.5 weeks.

Naturally, this obsession, paired with my inability to explain it, led to my analyzing what, in particular, I didn't like about the show.

Part of it might have been the Deschanel school of acting.

I told you I can't act - you're really not going to get any more out of me.
While Emily is a vastly different type of actress than her sister Zooey, she still manages to be kind of boring. It almost feels like the show's writers wrote a character who doesn't actually have to be acted, since she's supposed to be awkward and stilted, etc. Even so, however, EDeschanel is not entirely convincing.

The biggest factor for me, though, is the genre. According to Wikipedia (which, while not an authoritative source, we all use), Bones is "an American crime comedy-drama." This description is probably fairly accurate. It is not, however, what I expect from the television show. Based on the crimes and jobs involved with the show's story lines and characters, I am always expecting a mystery show. It always kind of feels, to me, like as one of the show's viewers, I am invested in trying to figure out who is perpetrating the often disgusting and gruesome crimes the show revolves around.

Except that solving the crimes is really secondary. Every episode, it seems like the "aloof" Dr. Brennan, who supposedly keeps to herself, is telling someone some intimate detail(s) about her past that make her seem more human (or would, if she were being portrayed by an actress other than Emily Deschanel). So the character development, which I should care about, but don't, is the primary concern of the show. Meanwhile, the interesting cases, which really do interest me, and which occupy much of the screen time of the show, tend to be wrapped up fairly hastily.

Yet the cases continue to attempt to out-do their predecessors, becoming increasingly gruesome and horrifying, which indicates that the cases are considered a definite draw to bring in viewers.

This confuses me. We're supposed to care about the cases, but we're supposed to care more about the (infinitely more boring) characters - to the point that we're not supposed to care that the cases are solved too quickly, without giving viewers that relieved feeling of "Oh good, the mystery has been solved & the world makes sense again." (Like, for example, that feeling derived from most episodes of Veronica Mars.)

Basically, I think I continue to watch Bones b/c I keep expecting it to live up to its' mystery-caliber potential. And I am then continually disappointed b/c the show doesn't live up to that potential. Do you watch any shows like this? & how do you stop the madness of a marathon that you're not particularly enjoying?