September 9th, 2009

good mris pic

Stuff I've been watching with my workouts

1. I have finished watching S2 of Bones, and I will keep watching, though I don't have S3 yet. The writers continue to do that thing I talked about before, where they feel the need to put their thumb on the scales to make absolutely absolutely sure that you know that they totally believe in every supernatural thing to come down the pike and do not endorse Brennan's worldview or even refrain from using cheesy ghost special effects to directly contradict it even though it always works for solving murders. It annoys me rather a lot.

This time they also bugged me with it in the other direction, bad writing of religious characters: in one of the episodes featuring a Catholic priest, Booth was jumping all over Brennan to treat every tiny detail of the Catholic church a) as if she was knowledgeable about it and b) with complete reverence. And if I'd been writing it, the priests would have been looking at Booth like, Dude, chill, God is not damaged by this woman not knowing whose picture is in that stained glass window. God can handle it. And he wasn't telling her anything. He was just acting like everybody should automatically know all of Catholic doctrine and culture just because. I ran into this a lot in school in Omaha, but those people were, y'know, pre-adolescent. Which, physically, Booth is not.

2. You could tell I was getting antsy for S4 of Criminal Minds (due out yesterday! should have shipped to me already!) because for about the last third of S2 of Bones I kept muttering, "Criminal Minds would never do this to me." I think one of the things that bothered me most is that the Bones team is very good at telling each other how they suck or where they're ignorant and not at all good at fixing it, or even trying to fix it. When you have characters like Brennan and Zack, you have people with very specialized skills and also more generalized gaps in knowledge/skill set. But everybody is always telling them how socially clueless they are and nobody is ever giving useful information to follow. "You can't say that to people!" is never followed by, "Here is how they are interpreting it that it goes awry. You will be more successful if you appeal to ______ instead." It's not hard. I should know; I spent much of my late adolescence and young adulthood dealing with hard-core geeks who needed to hear social stuff spelled out, and often taking the time to do the spelling will be rewarded in the next situation. But I suppose having characters grow as people and learn new things means that the writers have to keep track of that instead of just inserting an obligatory awkward social situation per episode, har de har. (Also, for awhile in S1 I was hoping that they had noticed that the more socially "normal" characters were not actually being kinder or more perceptive regarding their less socialized colleagues, just more conformist. Alas, that notice--if it existed--was fleeting.)

2a. Giving a character with a floppy haircut a very bad non-floppy haircut and buying him a suit that looks like he raided his older brother's closet does not lend graviatas. Seriously, what? What? Now he looks like a 12-year-old who is very uncomfortable, instead of looking like a 12-year-old who is reasonably comfortable. In what universe this is an improvement I cannot imagine.

3. Also, if you're going to set a character up as not following or even really being aware of social conventions, why do you do that? You do it so she can beat idiocy to death with her shoe in hilarious ways! At least that's why I'd do it. This show: not often enough. When Angela is defensive about weighing something like 130 or 135 pounds at 5'8", saying, "But it's all muscle," Brennan should give her the you-are-stupid look and say, "And bones and internal organs, jeez, Angela." Instead, they let the comment stand as reasonable/normal. Bah. Bah, I say! It's not like our culture is short on cultural idiocy to skewer and/or undermine. So get to it already.

4. Not on the Bones front at all: I have been watching Leverage, and I find it meta-hilarious. The show itself is mildly entertaining (I will keep Hardison and the rest of them can go do whatever), but they are so dead set that we should not feel the slightest bit guilty about watching people steal things and beat up on people that the justifications go way over the top. It's not just an evil developer trying to bulldoze a church! It's an evil developer who hires thugs to beat up a priest trying to bulldoze a church! And the priest is a personal friend of one of the team members! It's not just a corrupt politician they're going to take down, it's a corrupt politician in league with corrupt mercenaries! Who have injured veterans of the war in Iraq! I am starting to expect that the next people they go up against will be shown kicking bunny rabbits just to make sure the point is clear: these are the bad guys. Not the violent thieves, so don't you worry about that. It's the bunny-kickers all the way.

I'm just saying, I find myself able to tolerate grey areas and moral ambiguity, and I thought that that was what heist shows were all about.