In trying to understand 18-49 ratings, somewhere I saw and kept in my mind as significant that 1.4 means cancellation and 2.4 means renewal ... generally. I don't understand it, but remember that. And probably saw those numbers on one of the sites referred to in comments here (but not positive). On 9PM and 10PM time slots -- isn't the later slot more for shows featuring "adult" content (meaning shows like Dallas or Peyton Place adult content)? Maybe they're testing for that audience??
There's no way that they could (or would) plot out the whole series right from the start -- and so we shouldn't work too hard to figure out details as if they have. The big gripe I have, though, is that I believe all of this unresolved speculation about whether or not the show is coming to an end has screwed up the continuity that, for instance, the show had in the first and second seasons -- the first season especially!
After that, though, the way most fiction writing goes is opportunism -- like if your characters have to go into a convenience store, the writers might imagine some interesting characters to be found there and such interaction might lead the plot down an interesting twist (or, say, Cho could have an interaction with a prostitute that they might draw out several episodes). But, season after season with however many people there were involved in writing scripts would generate all kinds of loose ends or false clues unconceived at the beginning (and maybe there are some ideas for twists -- like it is possible that the recurring religious sect was imagined by the writer of one show for that one show, but was good enough to have been drizzled into and expanded in other episodes to where it will -- it must, mustn't it? -- have something to do with the show's final resolution). (cont.)
When someone conceives a story idea, it starts with a "what if?" question. It isn't, however, clear whether the show started with a speculation about what if a carnival mentalist was solving crimes and then figured out what would have happened to get him interested in doing that -- or if it was what if a crime-solver's family is killed by a serial killer because he taunted him on television and then figured out what he could have been doing on television taunting a serial killer. My suggestion is that, in any case, when the idea was proposed, it wasn't necessary for anyone to know who Red John is/would be. By now, I would guess, they know and that they do a fix-up on each accepted for production script to not contradict that. (cont.)
The interactions between the characters reminded me of the early episodes (1st season, I'm thinking, but maybe 2nd season as well) -- so I thought of it as more of a throwback than something new. Back before the heavy RJ story arcs, hints dropped, and all, the cases were, if not lighter, more of a framework for the team's interactions. I liked/like that -- but then I've personally never been much of a fan of mini-series or long drawn-out-over-multi-seasons story arcs!
I liked the basketball in the face in the end. The thing that's different about Lucy Liu's Watson compared to the British show or traditional Watsons is that she's not an enabler, but actually expects a standard of behavior from him -- which makes her more of an actual partner instead of a devoted sidekick. Nice twist!
Besides my over-the-top comment, here's a more serious take: Remember the reunion episode? The implication in that episode was that she was bullied by her fellow students like always (but, of course, her solitude may have been re-enforced by a maternal comment at 15, sure). But, when people are constantly bullied, first they hide it from their parents, which begins their isolation, and then they learn defense mechanisms from very early on, such as avoiding attention (like not meeting anyone's eyes and walking away from any group having fun) and withdrawing emotionally (my nickname was "Ice") while being vulnerable to kindness, such as from a janitor, and over-thinking any human contact and finally submersing in some interest, by which one can redefine and re-imagine one's self--often schoolwork, which garners teacher attention.
I think our culture (and I mean in America, by my experience, but maybe worldwide) has changed so much in the last couple of decades but especially the last few years that what was reasonable/logical when Bones went on the air now needs to be Hollywood-reconceived ... like they did with Lincoln, or a few years ago tried to turn England's virgin queen, who was anything but a commoner, into a lovesick girl-next-door. I think this show was an attempt to explain Brennan as if she's us. She's not. She's the central character in a show that's been on 8 years because she's not. Who is common on the show? Hodgins? Angela and her father? Sweets? Any of the squinterns? How about her father, a stone killer who bowls in a league for a team led by 'a horrible child'? The fun is the eccentricity!
So, the reviewer nailed it. Nathan thinks that a 15 year old can completely change their personality at another's suggestion and study and become a genius all of a sudden. I guess somebody needs to take all the 15 year olds in America aside (or in the world, for that matter), and turn them all into geniuses.
I think you're missing part of the Deputy Director Craig quote. I mean I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I thought he added the qualifier "Yet," or "Not yet," which seemed to please Gibbs. If I'm correct, you've essentially misquoted him by reversing the sense. If _I_ misheard, please tell me so.
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