October 3, 2007

The Best Female Character on TV?

I was watching Bones last night, which I watch with some kind of frequency, and realized something: Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan, the title character, may be the best female character on TV today.

"Bones" is well-played by Emily Deschanel. She brings a quiet, dignified, yet amusing demeanor to the role. She pulls off "super smart" without a hitch.

The Bones character is a forensic anthropologist who solves murders alongside her FBI partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz of Angel fame. Not quite a coincidence, Kathy Reichs who is the inspiration for the character is also a forensic anthropologist. She serves as a writer and producer for the series.

What do I love about this character? She is unapologetically intelligent and smart. Not just one of those booksmart bimbos who fumbles through life without any sort of social skills. Sure, Bones doesn't get most pop culture references (I assume due to the fact she poured her whole life into her study and work) and isn't afraid to say exactly what she is thinking. But that only makes her stronger in my opinion. Her fault (and every character needs one) doesn't lie in the fact that she is too smart for her own good - a victim - which would be the easy way to play it. Her fault is that she is so intelligent and so passionate about her work that it leaves little room for a social life.

She is also unapologetically truthful. Saying what she thinks almost to a fault. Not afraid to start a fight with a man twice her size or carry a gun. I love it!

Deschanel was made to play this role. It fits her like a glove. She has that glint in her eye that says, "I know something you don't know." She's attractive, but not overtly sexual. She's not the sexy librarian that becomes a Playboy model when she takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. The casting here is great because it doesn't make you suspend your disbelief to think that she might be a genius.

Perhaps Bones is such a great character because it is modeled after, and co-written by, and actual woman. A woman who is writing herself (or her ultra witty self she hopes to be, as most writers do). Not dumbed down or oversexualized to please the men. Just a great, three-dimensional female character. Really the best I have found on television. Oh, and the show is pretty good too.

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