To paraphrase R. Kelly (ugh): Now, ‘scuse me, I don’t usually do this…
That is, individual episode reviews.
But sometimes, a woman just feels compelled by overwhelming BADNESS to speak her mind.
I watched the Thursday night episode of Bones yesterday, and wow. Wow. I don’t expect great art from them; I don’t expect much at all, actually, except that the secondary characters be HILARIOUS. Booth/Brennan? Come on. Their tired banter is not what makes the show. It’s all about…just about everybody else, actually.
Anyway, Thursday’s episode was focused on a young Japanese woman whose overprotective big brother hasn’t heard from her in a few days; that overprotective brother happens to be a good friend of Booth’s, so Booth and Brennan promise to look into it.
In short order, they find the girl’s severed head in a salt marsh.
The story itself is whatever, typical crime procedural. But the treatment of the brother and the forensic anthropologist he drags with him to DC is…ew. Frankly, just plain ew. I mean, I’m sure that the writers thought they were being very respectful, and I have to give them this much: at least it’s not a negative portrayal of Japanese culture. To the show’s credit, all the villains are Americans. Which makes sense, since the show takes place IN AMERICA, but I wouldn’t have put it past them to make this somehow Yakuza related.
But they didn’t. Go them. Instead, a list of all the other things they fucked up:
1.) Dude, did they borrow that “Tokyo” set from Bladerunner? Because everything, from the pouring rain to the cheap production values to the fact that the brother is buying noodles from a street vender in his opening scene had me looking for a young Harrison Ford. Yum. I mean, hey! Spend a little more money next time, okay?
2.) Ordinarily, Bones has an extremely eclectic, oftentimes jarring but occasionally awesome soundtrack. This episode? Sounds like they borrowed everything from The Karate Kid. Every time the brother or the doctor walked onscreen, Japanese music (or music that was supposed to sound Japanese) began to play in the background. Guys. Guys. That’s like blasting Tupac every time a black character—any black character—walks onscreen: it is racist to solely define a person by their culture. Even when it’s “just” through your musical selections. Trufax.
3.) Instead of solving things through SCIENCE! the way, oh, every other scientist on this show ever has, the Dr. Nakamura feels up the victim’s skull and talks about its “kami” being off or something, leading to the discovery that indeed, they had the cause of death all wrong. Guys. GUYS. Oh, motherfucking hell, come on. Would it be okay to have the good doctor have hunch that something’s not quite right? Sure. People often have hunches. But having him talk about it in terms of Kami plays into the “Asians are maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagic” stereotype. Do better.
4.) When someone refers to anime, Brennan quickly steps in to ask, “Japanese animation?” Ladies and gents, it’s 2009, not 1999: Americans know what anime is. Seriously. Even the ones who watch Fox. As my friend Erika says, Otaku are the new emo are the new Goth. Or something. Anyway, the 40-year-olds in your target audience are buying Naruto for their kids. THEY KNOW WHAT ANIME IS, GOD.
Awww, look, my List is over! Still, what they did do wrong was enough to fill me with RAGE. Do better next time, kids. I’m tired of throwing things at the goddamn TeeVee.
Read Full Post »