Okay. That’s it. I’m raising the red card on an issue I’ve been grumbling about—at least privately—for several years now.
To mix my sports metaphors, I am calling a double dabbling penalty on the television series Bones, which I am just catching up on via Netflix. (Spoilers coming if you’re not up to Season 9.)
I love procedural programs, and as a certified science geek, I particularly like forensic series such as Bones and CSI. If you want to piss me off really quickly, however, I recommend you start a story line involving a serial killer.
Now that may sound counter-intuitive, but I find most serial killer story lines to be incredibly lazy and highly repetitive. More often than not, the episode structure and format are completely blown apart and rather than being about solving a crime, the episodes devolve into a personal vendetta, where the lead investigator—cop or forensic scientist—goes off the rails and alienates his or her team for a few episodes (or season).
“Don’t you get it? He’s taunting me, testing me, letting me know he’s always one step ahead of me.”
Yes. We know this. So let’s move on and get back to solving crimes (aka puzzles). You know, the reason I watch your ruddy show.
Watching a procedural series turn into a psychological drama is like watching a pretty actor try to take on a meaningful meaty role. It’s typically painful to watch and not what I purchased. You’re reneged on our unspoken agreement.
[NOTE: Dexter is held outside as that always was a series about a serial killer hunting down serial killers.]
Up until recently, I’d believed that this was just an annoyance I would have to live through. God, how I struggled with Grissom’s Miniature Killer. But Bones just escalated that annoyance to a new level, which is why I raise the red card and call for an ejection…
(Last chance to avoid spoilers.)
…for Bones has used a serial killer to introduce a second serial killer.
Seriously? A serial serial killer?
It’s not bad enough that I had to watch a season or so of Christopher Pelant torment the Jeffersonian team, only to have him torment Bones herself with news that several unsolved murders are connected and that her negligence has allowed a serial killer (The Ghost Killer) to go unchallenged. And all just 24 hours before Pelant is killed by Booth, leaving everyone but Bones questioning if he was just lying to drive her nuts.
So now, as a fan of the show, I conceivably get to sit through yet another season of the Jeffersonian team getting torn apart by this second serial killer. Can you tell how excited I am?
Remember when Fonzie jumped the shark? Well, Bones just jumped not one, but two (so far only two) serial killers.
As an open note to television writers and showrunners, when you’ve run out of things to say, stop talking. End the series. Take your bows and move on.
I will keep watching Bones, if only because I’m an idiot and have invested 8.5 years of my life to these people. Also, I know there is a significant death coming in early Season 10, not yet on Netflix Canada.
We’ll have to see who outlasts whom, but I know which of us is on life-support.