Friday, December 29, 2006

Are Pilots Always So Over-the-Top?

For Christmas, Mark gave me Bones, Season 1. We actually didn't start watching the show until about halfway through the first season as Fox originally aired it during my critique group, and I wasn't sufficiently interested in the premise and/or characters to bother with taping it. Then Fox did it's typical switcheroo and the show landed on Wednesday, which has been a dinner and TV with a pal night since the series finale of Voyager. (Sadly, the tradition had to end when we moved and our pal didn't.) So we got into the show late last year but have really enjoyed it since.

(Anna Genoese recently talked about it being unbelievable that Brennan is so unaware of the world and yet can still function well enough to write a bestsetlling novel. I, however, not only believe it but also get a kick out of seeing some of the foibles of my old science geek pals on the teevee. It actually is fascinating how people can function in this world, watch movies, read books, write books, and have a career dependent on their ability to observe and evaluate and yet be completely clueless when it comes to anything outside of their area of expertise. I'm not entirely sure how this can happen as I was always a bit odd in that I was a social creature and regularly wondered what the world looked like to those around me. But I do know that it does happen A LOT in science. As for Brennan making the NYTBSL, that is indeed something to quibble over. Writing is all about awareness of the human condition.)

Watching the pilot episode, though, I'm very glad that we came to the show late. I'm not sure I would've watched the show based on the pilot. Everyone's characters are so extreme, so unnatural. The confrontation and conflict is pushed beyond normal. Even the setting is overdone--Mark commented that he's never seen so many external establishing shots of the Jeffersonian in the entire span of eps he's seen, let alone in one episode. Later in the season, the characters were in a more natural grove, less "look at me!" or "quick! say a loaded line that screams my personality!" Actually, the only character that was more like his usual, later season self was Booth.

I was similarly disenchanted with the Eureka pilot. And I'll be paying more attention to pilots in the future for the same sort of excess. Or maybe I'll stop watching pilots all together until the show has settled and established itself a bit better.

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