Sunday, May 20, 2012

Geek TV: Bones!

bonesConcept: A forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent team up to investigate murders. Inspired by the real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs. Why is this even being listed in Geek TV? Read on, my friends, read on.

Total Episodes: 135 as of this writing.

Original Air Dates: 2005-present.

Original Network: Fox

Geek Factor: 5

Characters:

BonesPicDr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel): A forensic anthropologist working at the Jeffersonian Institute (read: Smithsonian Institute) in Washington, DC. Very unaware of most pop culture out there (although she is a fan of Wonder Woman), and decidedly lacking in social skills. Bones tends to say what she thinks without worrying first whether or not someone might be offended. At the end of the sixth season, it's revealed that she's pregnant with Booth's child. Her birth parents were bank robbers; her mother was murdered in 1993, and her father has committed several murders since then, although he's not been convicted of any of them. Bones is a best-selling author, trained in three types of martial arts, and speaks eight languages.

Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz): A former Army Ranger and Special Forces sniper, he's very good at guessing people's motives, and also provides an “excuse” for the writers to translate the scientific jargon for the layman. He calls in Bones along with her colleagues to help investigate murders when there's human remains that are difficult to identify. He tends to refer to Bones' colleagues as “squints”. He's afraid of clowns, and is a descendant of John Wilkes Booth. He's apparently a fan of Family Guy, as he had once hallucinated that Stewie Griffin was present and speaking to him when he was suffering from a brain tumor.

Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin): The daughter of Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Angela specializes in forensic facial reconstruction, and has an undergraduate degree in visual arts with a minor in computer science. One of her biggest contributions was a holographic computer simulation that use used to try to determine how a murder was committed – not a full immersion simulator, like the Holodeck, but more of a tabletop projector system. She is married to Jack Hodgins.

Dr. Jack Stanley Hodgins IV (T.J. Thyne): Hodgins (even Angela calls him this) is a forensic entomologist, forensic mineralogist, forensic palynologist, and a forensic chemist – probably why he often refers to himself as “King of the Lab”! He's into conspiracy theories as a hobby. Jack comes from an extremely wealthy family (something he doesn't like to talk about, and hid from his friends at the Jeffersonian for some time). He's very sarcastic.

Dr. Zachary “Zack” Addy (Eric Mllegan): Introduced as Bones' assistant, he appeared in the first three seasons working closely with the team. He's got two doctorates, one in forensic anthropology and the other in applied engineering. Zack becomes the apprentice of the serial killer Gormogon, thanks to having a weak personality tat could be manipulated. Despite this, he was able to remain loyal to his friends, and gives up Gormogon after Bones uses logic to convince him to do so. He's since been a recurring character.

Dr. Camile (Cam) Saroyan (Tamara Taylor): Cam is the head of the Forensic Division of the Jeffersonian, and as such is Bones and the rest of the squints' boss. She is a hard line boss, but will listen to her team. She used to be romantically involved with Booth, and is now seeing a doctor named Paul. She is raising Michelle Welton, the daughter of a former fiancee of hers who was killed.

Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley): Sweets is a psychiatrist who works for the FBI. Initially, he was assigned to counsel Bones and Booth, but they soon realized that Sweets has a talent for profiling, and often call on his assistance (this despite Bones' assertion that psychiatry and psychology is useless). Sweets is currently in a serious relationship with Daisy Wick, one of the interns at the Jeffersonian.

Geek Guest-Stars:

Ernie Hudson appeared in two episodes as David Barron. He's probably best known for playing Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. But that's not all! He also voiced Cyborg on The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

Anne Dudek appeared in two episodes as Tessa Jankow before going on to play Dr. Amber Volakis (aka “Cutthroat Bitch”) on House, and currently is seen on Covert Affairs. Dietrich Bader appeared in three episodes as Andrew Hacker, but he's also done a lot of cartoon voice work, including Adonis in the 1998-1999 Hercules, Warp Darkmatter on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and of course, Batman on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Oh and he also appeared on some obscure sitcom called The Drew Carey Show.

Stephen Fry appeared in five episodes as Dr. Gordan Wyatt, but I was first introduced to him in Blackadder II playing Lord Melchett (he also had appearances in other Blackadder series, especially in Blackadder Goes Forth portraying General Melchett). He was also a delight in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which co-starred Hugh (House) Laurie, and I'm just mentioning it because it's hilarious. He was also the narrator for various Harry Potter video games.

Geek Pedigree:

Emily Deschanel played a receptionist in Spider-Man 2. David Boreanaz, of course, played Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He was also the voice of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in Justice League: The New Frontier. T.J. Thyne guested on an episode of Early Edition, had a small part in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, voiced Stu Lou Who in the 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas, appeared in an episode of The Tick (2001), three episodes of Angel, and an episode of Charmed.

Tamara Taylor guested on an episode of Early Edition. John Francis Daley played Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks.

Executive producer Barry Josephson was executive producer for The Tick (2001-2002), Tales From the Crypt (1991-1992), and also exec produced the 1998 Fantasy Island and the 2000 Secret Agent Man.

DVD Release: Full seasons.


Notes: Despite what I wrote above, there are a fair amount of geek references made in this program. The producers were enough aware of the geek market for this show that many of the cast members have appeared at San Diego Comic Con to promote it, too.

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