Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Art of Finding

This week Amber West and I review two of Fox’s new dramas on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Alcatraz and The Finder.

Bones is a favorite in our household, which is why we felt a tad bit robbed last season when “The Finder” pilot episode aired in Bones’ timeslot.  Of course, the introduction was rather genius – the Fox network was testing the waters for the potential Bones spinoff, and briefly introduced the series by interweaving the Bones protagonists.

In the episode, Booth and Bones travel to Florida to consult with a former acquaintance of Booth’s (Walter Sherman played by Geoff Stults).  Walter is a former war veteran with the ability “to find” anything.  Along with his bar partner (Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile) and colleague (Saffron Burrows, Boston Legal), Walter takes over the case for Booth and Bones.

Despite feeling robbed, as mentioned earlier, the pilot episode showed promise.  However, airing the “backdoor pilot” did suffer one casualty – Saffron Burrows did not resume her role.  Instead, The Finder introduced two new characters this season:  Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn) and a young gypsy/criminal on probation, Willa Monday (Maddie Hasson).

Geoff Stults is adorable, for those who aren’t familiar with 7th Heaven or Happy Town.  The character of Walter Sherman is just as adorable.  Walter suffered a brain injury while in combat, and has since been tested by the FBI in order to resume his consulting work for other federal agencies.  Keeping with the Bones family lineage, Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) administered Walter’s test and “gave” him a passing score, despite the fact Walter didn’t really pass the psychological exam.

To reiterate, Walter can find anything.  He feels “finding is an art,” and once he’s hired to find something there is no firing him.  Walter becomes obsessed with whatever he is tasked to find – person or object.   He finds things using unorthodox methods and manners, whether it be lying on the tarmac pretending to be an airplane, or wearing insanely huge glasses or a hat made out of bar cherries and toothpicks.  Walter is fun; he leaves the professional side of the business to his “Ends of the Earth” partner (the bar) and a type of “handler” of sorts, Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan).

Leo is a former attorney who lost his family (wife and daughter) years earlier when a company didn’t properly recall a spoiled meat product.  He is a caretaker; Leo takes care of Walter and now he also takes care of Willow while she works through her probationary period.  He may be large and intimidating, but Leo has a soft heart and the simple joys in life bring a monstrous smile to his face.

Walter appreciates Leo, but usually has a hard time showing it.  But at the end of last week’s episode, viewers saw a different side of Walter.  Walter is usually carefree and boisterous, and uses Leo to ground himself.  But this past week, Walter shared his innermost thoughts that portrayed exactly how he feels about Leo: “Find someone you can trust.  It’ll change your life.”

Actually, the foursome is one great, big love fest (Walter, Leo, Isabel, and Willow).

Apparently, Walter and Isabel literally have a “friends with benefits” agreement that includes a special “paragraph C” for when one of the duo actually finds love elsewhere and plans to sleep with someone else.    This new development shocked us; we’re about six episodes into the season, and this was the first we could recall an actual relationship between Walter and Isabel being confirmed…not to mention the way it was written into the storyline made it seem like this has been understood from the beginning.  Who knows? Maybe we missed something early on?

As far as Willow goes, she adores Walter and Leo just the same and wants desperately to prove her worth and to find a permanent home with them, regardless of whether or not she admits it.  She also feels a tight bond with Isabel that allows her to open up and share parts of her life (her Gypsy life) that she’s never told anyone before.

The foursome of The Finder is really just one big, unrelated, dysfunctional family.

I know we’re approaching week seven this Thursday night, but I find myself bouncing back and forth between assigning The Finder with an SSTV rating or a JFTV rating. The fact that it doesn’t sit long on our DVR queue has me leaning more toward the JFTV rating, but I’m still not 100% sold; after all, my guy is usually more eager to watch than I am.  I do like Geoff Stults quite a bit too, another for the plus column under our JFTV scale.  So why not – let’s award The Finder with the JFTV rating.  We have yet another tasty chocolate bar waiting for us in the pantry for a once-a-week indulgence.  It’s not great for us, but it does satisfy us for a sixty minute interval every seven days.

The Finder does leave us wondering one thing: what happens when Walter can’t find something?  His friends appear to actually fear the day this occurs, more than likely for the psychological toll it will take on him.  But really…what will happen?

What do you think? Do you watch The Finder?  Will the Bones spinoff see the same success or be one-and-done?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on Alcatraz.   We practically had to play tug-o-war to review this one; Amber won.  Why did we fight?  Okay, we didn’t fight… but considering we’re both caught up on Alcatraz, either of us could have shared our thoughts for our WatchWed viewers.  Hardly ever do we find a show that we’re both caught up on…so what does that tell ya?

Come back next week when Amber and I flip networks and review two of NBC’s new dramas: Smash and The Firm.

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.

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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
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 – 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