Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Bones & Squints

Fall television is right around the corner, and many of our favorite programs are returning.  Amber West and I decided to change things up this week, and we’re sharing Why It’s Worth a Watch to check out a few of the FOX hit TV shows coming back in a few weeks – House and Bones.

First up, Bones!

Based on the book series of the same name by Kathy Reichs, Bones follows forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan and FBI Special Agent Seely Booth as they solve some of the toughest cases surrounding the Washington D.C. area.  Each week’s episode begins with the discovery of human remains and showcases the unique personalities of partners Booth and Brennan as they work alongside each other and the team of expert scientists (also known as “squints”) at the Jeffersonian Institute to solve crimes.

Note – I don’t recommend watching Bones during the dinner hour.  The human remains are sometimes a bit graphic and very realistic. 

Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel, Rose Red)

In addition to being quite possibly one of the most intelligent, and one of the best forensic anthropologists in the world, Temperance “Bones” Brennan is also a bestselling author.  Saying she’s socially awkward is an understatement, she completely lacks what most of us consider common sense and she’s void of any pop culture knowledge making her jokes fail miserably with the rest of the team.  Her education clashes with her friend’s cultures and beliefs (particularly religious affiliations), but she makes an honest attempt to better understand those that she loves.  The Jeffersonian team and Booth are her family.    

FBI Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz, from Buffy and Angel)

A former Ranger Sniper, Booth’s sharp shooting skills have come in handy during his tenure with the FBI.  Of course, those same skills and his record number of kills have also haunted him over the years, especially considering his moral code, Catholic beliefs, and interpersonal relationships.  Booth struggles constantly with his past: his father was an abusive alcoholic and his brother is following the same path, minus the abusive side.  Booth focuses his life on being the best man and father he can be, and he’ll do anything to protect Brennan and her team.  Talk about a man of honor….         

Forensic Artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin, The Lincoln Lawyer)

Angela is Brennan’s best friend, daughter of ZZ Top band member Billy Gibbons, wife to Jack Hodgins, and proud mother to new-born Michael Staccato Vincent (after Nigel-Murray) Hodgins.  Her role with the team is to help with facial reconstruction, and she uses some really cool 3-D graphics programs that help generate holograms from even the smallest portion of a skeleton.  Angela is responsible for most of the social improvements seen through Brennan’s character growth season to season.    

Entomologist Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J.Thyne, How High)

Hodgins is the teams’ expert on all things spores, soil, and bugs, and he often times refers to himself as “King of the Lab“.  Hodgins is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, a fact not at all helped by his massive education.  His family has considerable wealth and is actually one of the main endowment donors supporting the Jeffersonian.  He loves Angela, while comically fearing her father (he has a huge tattoo of Angela’s face on his shoulder courtesy of a night out drinking with her dad).

Pathologist Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor, Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman)

The head of the Jeffersonian team, Cam, is Booth’s ex-girlfriend and is responsible for Booth asking Brennan to assist him on FBI cases.  She is the newly adopted mother of her deceased ex-boyfriend’s daughter, Michelle, and she struggles daily with trying to not control Michelle’s teenage years and collegiate future. 

Psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley, Freaks and Geeks and Waiting)

Introduced in Season 3 to help Booth and Brennan with their partnership, well, really the sexual tension affecting their partnership, Sweets has grown to be a favorite character on Bones.  He’s very young to have earned his Ph.D, and oftentimes encounters negative and rude comments from others about his age.  Sweets is brilliant, but not as secure with romantic relationships (he has an on again/off again love affair with one of the squints, Daisy).  Sweets is essential to the team and helps them solve many cases using his criminal profiling expertise in interrogations.     

Booth and Brennan have solved many crimes, the most dangerous and popular being the serial killers Gormogon (a cannibal) and The Grave Digger, who actually buried Brennan and Hodgins alive during season two.   Their partnership and relationship has survived brain tumors, gun-shot wounds, girlfriends and boyfriends, Booth’s return to the Army to train soldiers, and Brennan’s archeological digs around the world.

Each week, the Jeffersonian squints change.  This is explained in the storyline by Brennan’s inability to decide on an official intern replacement after Dr. Zach Addy (Eric Millegan) is taken away (I don’t want to give away any SPOILER alerts – you’ll have to watch the series).  The cast of other squints include: Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry), Colin Fisher (Joel Moore), Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd) and Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo). 

Ryan O’Neal reprises his role of Max Keenan, Brennan’s criminal father, throughout the series.  Other recurring characters include: Brennan’s brother, Russ Brennan (Loren Dean); Booth’s girlfriend, Hannah Burley (Katheryn Winnick); U.S. Prosecutor, Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher); Booth’s ex-girlfriend and mother to his son, Rebecca Stinson (Jessica Capshaw); and, Booth’s brother, Jared (Brendan Fehr). 

Bones happens to be one of the rare television programs that has me sitting in anticipation the first twenty minutes of the hour so that I can press play on the DVR and watch without commercial interruption.  I know, you’re thinking that I’m a TV addict and I feel this way about a lot of programs, but that’s not true.  Bones is an absolute favorite and therefore I must award the GTV rating.

The sexual tension between Booth and Bones; the love affair between Angela and Hodgins; the quirky relationship shared between Sweets and Daisy; the comedic oddities of each and every character; all of this is TV at its finest: yummy Gourmet Television.  Compare it to the best cut of meat, red wine, and flaming dessert available. 

Are you a Bones fan?  Without spoiling it for anyone who isn’t current with the series, do you feel the surprise announcement at the end of season six will ruin the show or take it in a new, fun direction?  Did you feel the Zach storyline jumped the shark?  Who’s your favorite Bones squint and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the hit Fox medical drama, House!  

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few more of our favorite programs returning this fall – the opposing 10pm EST/9pm CST Monday night hit series Castle & Hawaii 5-0.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Queue This Up Too!

Amber West and I are staying with Netflix on this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Courtesy of all the programs that television has to offer, we’ve got a few more series that are definitely worthy of queuing up!

Moonlight

The series begins when private investigator Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin, Hawaii 5-0) meets reporter Beth Turner (Sophia Myles, Tristan & Isolde) at the scene of a crime.  Mick immediately feels a connection with Beth – one that he doesn’t place immediately.

But, it doesn’t take him long to remember exactly where he met Beth for the first time.

Mick is a vampire, turned fifty years ago on his wedding night by his wife Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight’s Tale).   Needless to say, the couple never lived happily ever after.

 

Mick is a good vampire; he doesn’t hunt or hurt people, unlike his best friend Josef (Jason Dohring, Veronica Mars) who relishes his life as a vampire.  Instead, Mick satisfies his hunger by harvesting blood from the local morgue.

But, back to Mick and Beth.

Twenty-two years ago, Mick saved a kidnapped girl from a house fire – a fire that he started in order to kill Coraline.   As luck would have it, Beth was that little girl.

After meeting at the crime scene, Mick and Beth become instant friends, and it doesn’t take much time before Beth learns his secret.  She handles it quite well, considering, and even allows him to feed on her once to save his life.  Mick and Beth fall in love, but in addition to the fact that Mick is technically dead, Beth is dating the local assistant district attorney (Jordan Belfi, Entourage), and neither she nor Mick succumb to their urges.

The love triangle becomes a square when Beth asks Mick to help her friend; a friend that looks exactly like Coraline.

Moonlight may have only lasted one season on CBS (it’s very possible the 2007-2008 writer’s strike is to blame), but it remains a favorite and is worthy of a queue up.  I don’t want to give too much away about the individual episodes, especially since there are only sixteen to watch, but it sounds like a perfect weekend marathon, doesn’t it?

Moonlight earns a GTV rating; it has everything we want and more.  I can’t remember the last time I was so upset about a program’s cancellation.  It is highly recommended that you watch Moonlight at night – lights off, candle burning, and a glass of red wine in hand.  Keep a hand fan nearby – Mick St. John is one sexy vampire.

Oh, and don’t worry.  The show didn’t necessarily end on a cliffhanger.  Even with the premature cancellation, and a great storyline for a second season, it wraps nicely considering.

What are you waiting for?  Queue it Up!

If by chance you do not subscribe to Netflix, watch for the Moonlight daytime marathons on SyFy.

Episodes with Bite:

“Fever”
“The Ringer”
“12:04 AM”
“Fleur de Lis”
“What’s Left Behind”

Did you watch Moonlight?  Like me, are you waiting for Steve McGarrett to vamp out on Hawaii 5-0?  What show’s cancellation absolutely infuriated you?  Is it available on Netflix?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends you queue up Downton Abbey.

Come back next week for another SyFy edition as Amber and I review a few more of the network’s most popular programs – Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our August and September schedules and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #2 – This one? Or that one?

This one? Or that one?

Do you ask yourself these very questions if and when you have a free hour to watch television? 

I realize that most people don’t watch (or DVR in my case) four to ten hours of television a night — so, I am here to help you! 

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation versus CSI: Miami versus CSI:NY

My #1 – CSI: NY.  The addition of Sela Ward this season really helps make up for losing Melina Kanakaredes, and Gary Sinise is always great.  I feel the ensemble cast of NY wins against the other two CSI shows, and New York City is a wonderful supporting cast member.  I also like the NY storylines a bit more than the others CSI shows — the crimes appear to be a bit more believable.  I do hope the remainder of the 2011 season brings more of David James Elliott’s guest appearances as a FBI agent.  Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that I have a small crush on Carmine Giovinazzo (Danny Messer). 

 

My #2 – CSI: Miami.  I love the bright colors and shots of Miami throughout the episodes; however, Horatio Caine, his sunglasses, and his one-liners drive me nuts!  Honestly, if it wasn’t for Horatio, Miami may rank above NY.  I must admit though, Horatio and his sunglasses have become a staple for the show.  I love Calleigh Duquesne, and I applaud the show’s attempts at covering Emily Procter’s pregnancy since they chose not to write it into the storyline.  I can’t wait for next season when Calleigh has more scenes, and hopefully the show re-explores the Calleigh/Eric Delko relationship.  Major kudos to Miami for bringing back Adam Rodriquez’s character, Delko.  I liked Eddie Cibrian, but it just wasn’t the same. 

My #3 – the original, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  The Vegas edition has been through a lot in its 11 years on the air.  The original cast has dwindled: Grissom is off the screen even though William Peterson is still involved with the production; they killed Gary Dourdan, aka Warrick Brown, and he was probably my favorite.  The show has tried to redeem itself with the addition of Lawrence Fishburne, and that did help.  The show also brought Jorja Fox back after a brief hiatus.  But, unfortunately, the storylines too often reach far beyond the norm making it last on my list — but then again, it’s Vegas, baby!  You may now think I’m stranger than you once thought, but a part of me watches to support my fellow Red Raider: Guns’ Up – George Eads, aka Nick Stokes. 

The Law & Order franchise – Law and Order: SVU versus Law and Order: Criminal Intent versus Law and Order: LA

My #1 – Law and Order: Criminal Intent.  NBC dropped CI a few years ago, but the USA network picked it right up.  They’ve waffled a bit with characters: Chris Noth, Jeff Goldblum, Annabella Sciorra, Saffron Burrows, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Alicia Witt — all big names, but still not the originals – Vincent D’Onofrio (Goren) and Kathryn Erbe (Eames).  CI returns this May for its final season on USA.  Goren and Eames may be on my top all-time partner list along with Booth & Bones (Bones), Crockett & Tubbs (Miami Vice), and Maddie Hayes & David Addison (Moonlighting).  Goren & Eames’ partnership works, and I’m glad they’re back to close out a solid show. 

My #2 – Law and Order: SVU.  SVU has another great ensemble cast, but showcases gut-wrenching storylines.  The Special Victims Unit works assault and rape cases led by Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and her partner, Elliott Stabler (Christopher Meloni).  Benson, the product of her mother’s rape, and Stabler, the father of five children, take the cases personally and sometimes they take actions that we as viewers wish we could see more of on television (in other words, they’re not always by the book).  The main characters are joined by Tutuola (Ice-T), also not by-the-book, and Munch (Richard Belzer), who adds a small comedic touch to the otherwise dark story.  SVU loads the guest stars into each season.  So far in the 2010-2011 season, the show has featured Jeremy Irons, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Marcia Gay Harden, Debra Messing, Rose McGowen, and many more.  Warning – the writers don’t sugar-coat things.  If you don’t like watching bad things happen to children, don’t watch! 

My #3 – Law and Order: LA.  NBC rushed LA to make up for the fact they cancelled the original Law & Order without much warning after 20 years.  I shelved my frustrations, and I looked forward to the new cast led by Skeet Ulrich.  NBC aired a few episodes this fall, and then bam, it was gone.  After more than a 4 month hiatus, LA returned last night with a BANG.  Yea, they really did kill off Skeet Ulrich.  I don’t mean to ruin it for anyone, but it aired last night.  A small redemption: former Law & Order cast member Alana de la Garza (also formerly of CSI: Miami) has joined the LA cast.  Now the show is led by Terrence Howard and Alfred Molina, and I’m quite sure they can hold their own.  I’m not giving up yet, but as it stands now, LA is the low-Law and Order on my totem pole.   

Do you battle with This One or That One?  If so, who do you choose?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Tune in to Tele-Tuesday these upcoming weeks for more: Criminal Minds versus Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior; NCIS versus NCIS: Las Angeles; Archer versus Family Guy; Hawaii Five-O versus Blue Bloods; Rizzoli & Isles versus Body of Proof