Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Slight Mea Culpa


I erred slightly yesterday when I posted that someone on "Bones" would die. I had read online about a funeral in the season finale, and had assumed there was a dead body in the coffin.

The ads for "Bones" indeed just listed a traitor and not a death. I must have gotten mixed up with the promos for "Lost," "Smallville," "NCIS," et. al. this season, all of which have teased deaths to a key character.

But my original point still stands, that all of the dramatic tension of a series is sucked out, not enhanced, by promoting that "someone will die" or that "someone is a traitor." Last night's "Bones" might have been a better episode if we didn't already know someone was a traitor. Certainly, the "Bones" scribes didn't do much of a job in telling us why Zack went over to the dark side or give us much insight to the killer. I found the whole notion, "He was a nobody who just wanted attention" to be a letdown since the serial killer theme has framed most of the season.

On yesterday's blog, an anonymous poster said one of the reasons he/she likes "The Wire" is the fact that the characters are killed off in such a fashion that it adds to the shock value. I had the same feeling when I watched "The Sopranos." There were times during that series when I was stunned that a character WASN'T killed off. How much would it have lessened the impact if we had an idea ahead of time that characters like Christopher or Bobby, etc., would be killed in the manner they were? Answer: Lots.


On the flip side, the fact there was no "big announcement" promo for "How I Met Your Mother" truly enhanced the ending. I have to admit I was surprised, not because of the way the stories have been written leaning toward the direction of finding out who Ted's future wife might be, but because of "Scrubs" renewal on ABC, I didn't think Sarah Chalke would be available to continue to play Stella on a regular basis. Of course, we don't know if she will say yes to the proposal, but I sure as heck hope so. And the continuing of the Barney-Robin storyline was also a bit of a surprise in how they played it.


Because that's the end of today's posting.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: OK, perhaps one more: Someone named David is going to win "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.). That's because the two finalists are both Davids, so not much of a spoiler. It's followed by "Hell's Kitchen," in which someone will almost certainly get yelled at by Gordon Ramsay.

The long-awaited death on "NCIS" (CBS, 8 p.m.) occurs tonight, as teased by countless promos for the two-hour season finale. It's followed by the series finale of "Shark" (CBS, 10 p.m.), a decent show in which the producers tried to copy the formula for "House," but didn't quite get it.

"Dancing With The Stars" (ABC, 8 p.m.) takes up the whole night on the network, while "Reaper" (CW, 9 p.m.) concludes its first season.


Jonathan said...

Even in its first two better seasons, "Bones" still was a big letdown on the season finales, but last nights' was worse than usual. I still think they were a little rushed by losing those 7 or 8 episodes due to the strike, but then why not continue the story into next season. Or at the very least, with the last four or five episodes you have, focus on the serial killer storyline, and save things like Brennan's dad's trial till next year, and just skip crazy stalkers all together.

zodin2008 said...

Well...I couldn't help myself as I hadn't watched "Bones" yet but I was dying to know the surprise, but I will keep the Zack news to myself.

It's not a huge surprise from the standpoint that I have never liked the actor (and if I had a guess, I will just bet you that the execs at Fox told creator Hart Hanson to 'lose the weird kid' and that's why they turned Zack) - plus, they have a much better and far more likeable young, geekish guy on the show now with Sweets, and it seemed inevitable they wouldn't keeo Sweets & Zack and if Sweets was being upgraded to a regular status, the logical conclusion is that Zack had to go. Fine by me.

Last year's "Bones" finale was wretched so I will see if upon watching this tonight, I feel that way, because to me, dumping Eric Mulligan (Zack) is an upgrade, especially since they are keeping "Freaks & Geeks" alumnus John Francis Daly (Sweets). To me, that's a big upgrade over Eric Mulligan, so that already makes this year's season finale better than last year's.

I ask you this, Phillip, on "Mother", are you 100% sure that Sarah Chalke is the mother? Just because Ted proposed, doesn't guarantee they make it down the aisle or even divorce at some point. Just sayin.

But I agree...Sarah Chalke fits with that group of actors like a glove. The chemistry she has with Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Ally Hannigan et all, is just as easy as it is with Zack Braff, Donald Faison and Judy Reyes on "Scrubs".

It's a compliment to what a great combination of beauty and humor and charm Sarah Chalke has in spades.

Phillip Ramati said...

Zod, no, I'm not 100% sure she is the mother, which is why I qualified it by saying we don't know whether she will accept the proposal. But from the response Chalke has gotten and the chemistry with the cast as you pointed to, I have to think the producers will make it so if they can. One thing they need to explain: is the daughter from 2030 the same daughter Stella has, or is that a different daughter (presuming Stella is the title Mother).

Jonathan, I'm sure you are right that the strike probably affected how this storyline unfolded, but you are also correct in that if this is the way they decided to wrap things up, they'd have done better to devote the rest of the season to it or wrap it up next year. They may not have decided to do the latter, since it would mean re-signing Eric Milligan instead of getting rid of him this year. I didn't have a problem with the actor, since he could only play the role as written. Now Bones may actually have to work in the lab for a change!

Ryan said...

I've been impressed with HIMYM this season. I've always enjoyed it for the great running jokes and one-liners, and it's simply impossible not to enjoy Barney or the Ted-Marshall-Lily dynamic. But the writing - the cohesiveness - has improved so much this season. It has ditched the sit-commy feel a bit, stayed very funny, and added a few bits of drama here and there (without it turning into 'this week on a very special HIMYM'). And I'm with you - I don't care if Sarah Chalke has to live on coffee for the next year, I want her to stay on both shows. I may even like her as Stella better than as Elliott. They can ditch Britney, though. No more stunts needed for this very good show.

Phillip Ramati said...

HIMYM is probably my favorite sitcom on the air right now. Britney served her purpose the first time, which was to give the show the ratings boost it needed. Since then, the numbers have been pretty good, enough so we don't need any more appearances from her. But I'm sure the producers will go to the well at least once more next season, unfortunately.