Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why I'm not watching Bones this season & TOTGM

I loved Bones. It was the one show with the romantic element that truly had an internal emotional conflict between the characters. An arc that over the past four seasons the writers have been developing in a thoughtful way. Each season the intimacy built until finally the hero (Booth) confronted the heroine (Bones) with his feelings.

Still not ready to overcome her issues the next four episodes were spent with her trying to deal with his feelings and ultimately ended with her running away. For me it was a plausible option. They can’t be together so they have to be apart.

Now it’s time to bring them back together and see what happens.

I hoped for only one thing. One blessed thing. That the writers would not take the tired, overly clichéd path and bring them back together with… wait for it… another love interest. Of course it would have to be him since he declared his feelings and got rejected. Please, I begged the TV Gods, just don’t go there. It is SO done. It caused me to stop watching House last season. There is NOTHING new in that storyline because we all know what is going to happen. The viewers will hate her. Bones will be jealous. Eventually the love interest will leave. That’s it folks.

Unless the writers have the grand idea of killing off Bones and spinning a new show with Booth and the new love… there is nowhere they can go. The end has already been written – it’s just a matter of how many shows it takes to get there. And I’m so sick and tired of watching it play out over and over again in exactly the same way. I watch this show because of Booth and Bones. Let me see their growth. Let me see them work to overcome her issues. Maybe give him some new issue… whatever. Why oh why do TV writers always get this wrong?

And it occurred to me... my fascination with TV characters was really the beginning for me as a writer. Back in the 80s there was a little known show called Tales of the Gold Monkey. It was with Stephen Collins (when he was young and hot) and an Irish actress I can’t remember. I LOVED this show. It was set pre-WWII in the Pacific. He was a flyboy pilot. She was a bad lounge singer who was actually a spy. Naturally the romantic angle was played until what happened… wait for it… he got a new love interest. She was jealous. He was uncomfortable. It all went wrong… blah, blah blah.

I wanted so desperately to change it back then. I was ten or eleven watching this show thinking no, this isn’t right. He’s not supposed to be with this new LI. Can’t he see the other Irish girl is jealous? That show ended...which led me to Remington Steele, Moonlighting, Scarecrow and Mrs. King (the only show to ever get it right in my opinion) and so on….

I became a writer to "fix" television shows. To make them go my way. To have the characters do what I want. I discovered fan fiction years back with West Wing and Josh and Donna (another couple who suffered woefully at the hands of writers who kept them apart with other love interests. I think those writers- both Sorkin and post Sorkin - did it like 5 times.) All I can say is I’m so thankful FF wasn’t around when I was growing up or all my energies would have been put into that instead of writing my own stories, my own characters.

This season I’m going to DVR Bones and have a friend tell me when the “new” love is gone. Then maybe I’ll consider going back.

But my goal is to spend that hour every Thursday working on my WIP. Making my characters do what I know they should!

Am I alone? Any other TV couples that drove you crazy with the will they/won’t they?


Eileen said...

They're doing this to Castle this season, I think! Arggh! Frustrating! Last season, she got a boyfriend, now he's back with the ex-wife and there's going to be someone else for her.

I actually would be okay with it if they had them just be friends and maybe all double-date. I like the banter between the characters, but it doesn't have to be sexual.

Maureen McGowan said...

It has become such a cliche in series TV. E everyone always cites Moonlighting as proof that you kill a show if you let them get together. But I think the writers just got lazy. FNL proves it's possible to have sexual tension and conflict with a couple who are together.
Sorry about typos. On my phone waiting for a movie to start.

Eileen said...

Or maybe they don't have to get together at all! There can be great chemistry and fun with character who are friends, can't there?

Stephanie Doyle said...

Eileen!!!! No. They have to get together.

Heck I struggled for the longest time knowing that Will and Grace wouldn't ever be together.

I'm trying to avoid Castle for that very reason. I like him. Her not as much.
And I'm not seeing anything new with the relationship.

I mentioned House. After I wrote this I saw premiers for the upcoming season. Now they're together. So I watched the season finale. Last 5 minutes of the show... she dumps the other love interest and tells House it's always been him. (Which everyone knew.)

I got to avoid an entire season of angst and enjoy 5 minutes of what I knew I was going get all along.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Steph - I totally agree. It's a bad plot device because the end is visiable. As Wanda Ottewell told me - the other love interest has to be incredible. Has to be the bees knees and take that tried and true conflict someplace else for it to be plausible.

But they won't.

TV shows I wanted to fix growing up - China Beach. Oh China Beach, where they went wrong, let me count the ways...

Maureen McGowan said...

I think it's a good lesson for us, too. Also a great lesson to watch the actors' body language and expressions.

Anonymous said...

La Femme Nikita (original TV series) got it right. Any new "love interests" for either Nikita or Michael were either run off at the end of the same show or killed because they put Section 1 at risk. And the series ended in a completely mind-bending, would-never-work-in-Hollywood heartbreaker way (with a slim thread of hope)...still waiting for the big screen reunion. Are you listening Hollywood? Patrice

Stephanie Doyle said...

Patrice! La Femme Nikita! Man on man I miss that show.

Would love to pick up again on some obscure cable channel.

Yes - they absolutely got it right. They brought them together - and then showed all the issues/problems with what them being together meant.

I never felt like it was teasing. I felt like it was them on this journey and what it involved.

Ahhh... French Micheal. I miss him and his grungy hair. He was totally a boyfriend.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Uh.. that should have been man oh man... not man on man.

That's True Blood.

Maureen McGowan said...

I loved La Femme Nikita, too. Love Roy Dupuis. Once a decade (maybe once every second decade) Canadian TV does something right and that show was it for me. Right now it's Flashpoint, but while I still admire the structure and storytelling of that show, I'm starting to get a tad bored.

But I think I missed seeing the last season of Nikita :(

**Makes a note to rent it ASAP**

LOL Steph about man on man. There's a freudian slip! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I totally agree, not only that, but the cases are just crap, they try to be funny, but its not witty or even very interesting, just stupid, I was ready to stop watching after the whole jersey shore reference stuff, just plain stupid, yeah and the cases before were so interesting, now its a bunch of BS, esp with the one about the girl in the chocolate bar, really?! its just terrible,what could make the writers write so terrible, did they get other writers, did they lower their salaries drastically, its driving me nuts!!! I hope it gets better, but then again I feel a lot of seasons have lost its magic this season.

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