So, some months later.... the season finales have been and gone (and more new stuff has arrived. My brain hurts, and my mega upgraded Sky planner cannot keep up.) Some actually new stuff, some hangovers from last year that have only just schlepped across the Atlantic (and I couldn't be bothered to obtain via other means). And it's been an interesting bunch of stuff. Just not always in a good way, unfortunately. These two especially are still bugging me all this time later...
Worst of the bunch has to be whatever the hell the House writers came up with. An unholy mess might be putting it kindly. House is usually batshit crazy in all the right ways, (as is House himself, come to that) but this was just... insane. Barely any of it was true to character. Most of it went directly against what they'd spent years setting up. It wasn't snarky, it wasn't fun, it wasn't clever, or gutwrenching. Not House, then, as far as I'm concerned. House just became a literal psychopath who tries to murder people (including, as far as he knew, a 3 year old child). We've done rehabilitating him lots of times - after Amber, after the institution stay - it got a little dull and repetitive sometimes, but not... well, unrecognisable. And Lisa Eidelstein just quit? I'm not surprised, after all that.
Hate to say it, but I'm leaning towards jumping ship at this point too. I've been watching since it first got shown over here (on what was Hallmark, way back when) but seriously? That was shark-jumping to the nth degree...
Next up was Bones, which kinda ticked all the season finale big moment boxes on paper, but went about it in such an odd way that you couldn't help feeling a little flat when it was over. Last year dealt with all the insanely complicated emotional angst so well - firstly by giving us the big flashback 100th episode which appeared to end badly, but actually quietly reiterated why they weren't going in that direction just yet, and then on to finally rewarding us with reuniting Ange and Hodgins before sending the whole gang in out different directions to go find themselves (and not have to deal with fiendish murders on a daily basis any more. Except Cam, who would be hard pressed to make a living without fiendish murders, as it were).
And last year's ending was appropriately heartrending, but not necessarily disappointing - satisfaction deferred a while longer, to give the show a little more longevity (understandable, considering what just happened to House after they gave into making Huddy official at the end of last year. It's stil the freaking Moonlighting kiss of death).
It was hard to tell where Bones was heading exactly this year - we were thrown the ridiculously obvious red herring of the lovely Hannah to spin things out a little longer, but the bones of the story, as it were, were being stacked into a logical order. There were really gorgeous moments of grace in the episode where Brennan seems to have a minor breakdown and hallucinates her own face and voice instead of a murder victim, while being counselled by Papa Mars himself in the guise of longstanding Jeffersonian night watchman she runs into working late every evening. It was genuinely sad, and very different to anything we'd seen them do before, and it set a logical progression up: Brennan announced she was in love with Booth, and left him alone to deal with it, and they got on with things as 'normal' (I hesitate to use that word with regard to the weirdness that is Bones).
Which obviously led up to the events of the last two episodes, but (even knowing what was coming) absolutely lacked any sense of.... squee, I guess. Everyone was being odd. And I get that their hand may have been forced by Emily Deschanel's much discussed pregnancy, but there are ways and ways of doing these things, and being sly and coy about finally getting your two main characters together - and, possibly, skipping the whole thing?! - does not leave your audience with a glow of satisfaction. It was messy and disjointed; one big event after another pushing each reaction out of the way before anyone had a chance to process what happened.
So we get the resolution of Booth's feud with his homicidal former mentor mixed up with a long-running intern being accidentally assassinated in the process (Mr Nigel-Murray, you will be keenly missed as the geeky British voice of trivia!), leading to a stupendously coy 'Brennan and Booth finally get together' scene, which, actually, isn't. Is it?! Honestly, there's being 'different', and then there's just being plain old difficult, and this is definitely the latter.
Did somebody actually read the script and then stomp around going "make it all more subtle!!"?? Because that's what it feels like. We don't even get a kiss, and the only confirmation anything definitely happened (until the very end of the next episode) was Brennan's momentary goofy smile when Ange came out and asked her directly what happened(that girl does not smile much otherwise, let's face it).
And I'm really not sure what the point is. It was frustrating, and I can't really see a reason for making that narrative choice, creative or otherwise. We end up with the return of the spectacularly pointless 'Brennan & Booth Go Undercover For Some Insane Reason!' plot, which used to be fun and goofy, and I could totally accept the complete lack of any logic because they got to dress up and be daft and escape the confines of the normal plot for a while. This one was a little like a homage to the very early Vegas escapade (at least, that's the first time I remember Emily Deschanel dressing trampy and doing a daft accent) but this was more a... trailer trash version. With bowling. And her dad, in a wheelchair. Bowling. And then my brain exploded.
Er, guys? The first ep after you get your leads together after freaking years of dancing around it (and taking lots of criticism for said dancing) is not the time to go subtle. Ahem. We want a whole episode of everybody freaking out, talking about nothing else with the supporting characters but not each other, deliberately avoiding each other and generally flapping until they realise that everything might actually be ok and we can get on with things in the New World Order.
What we got was, er, the two leads spending the entire ep together doing daft play acting and not talking about it at all until the final moment. And even then they still don't freaking talk about that, because we've skipped directly to the 'er, i'm pregnant.' stage. Except that comes literally moments after Ange gave birth, so it's all feeling a tad repetitive at that point, and distinctly uninteresting... Er, underwhelming much?
I'm not even going into the whole Finder spin-off thing, except to say I didn't hate it, but I might hate it if it goes into production without Saffron Burrows, because her accent was hilariously inauthentic, but I did like her character (She is actually English, FFS, so the accent could easily be toned down from My Fair Lady-stylee faux-Cock-er-ney to maybe some nice Estuary-type deal? That's how all the actual Londoners speak these days, ho hum). What I like as well was the Burn Notice vibe she gave it (and who can forget Gaby Anwar's 'Irish' accent in the pilot for that, which was thankfully dropped. It's an easy way to improve things very quickly...)