Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bones: TV review

Bones examines the impact of war in a way its competitors can't

TV review: Bones may be slightly sugar-coated, but it's solid formula provides an enjoyable watch with an incredibly subtle message.

You always worry when US TV series wander overseas. So when Bones (Sky1) kicked off with Booth, one half of its surrogate Mulder and Scully power couple, on active duty in Afghanistan, my radar was twitching with a gung-ho America The Brave alert.

Instead, we got a subtle message about the implications of fighting other people’s wars.

It was so subtle that if you blinked, you might have missed it. But it’s the kind of detail that keeps Bones, now into its sixth season, a cut above your standard procedural.

Admittedly, the ruse that brought the far-flung team back from foreign adventures to the safe ground of their Washington base was skinny, to say the least.

If the hitherto blindingly competent Cam really couldn’t cope without her gang, then the past five series setting her up as a woman on top of her game must have been some kind of hallucination.

But I’ll forgive that for the continuing diversion offered by Emily Deschanel as forensic pathologist Temperance Brennan, a woman whose inability to read her fellow human beings (countered by her genius at analysing human bones) turns borderline autism into a spotlight on the absurd manners of human interaction.

It gets sugar-coated, and last night’s tale of finding a missing child could have done without its final ladle of treacle, but as formulas go, Bones is built on a persuasive one.


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