Daily Read (4/20/16)

Star Hugh Laurie did a Q&A with Variety about The Night Manager.

Here’s an update on the Bones lawsuits, if any fans have been following that.

Children’s book The Royal Rabbits of London is in the works as a movie, and while I haven’t seen this book, it sounds ADORABLE.

Kevin Bacon will star in Jill Soloway’s adaptation of Chris Kraus novel I Love Dick for Amazon.

Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey have joined upcoming Netflix series Marvel’s Iron Fist.

Daily Read (4/15/16)

American Gods has done some more casting.

I haven’t read The Swans of Fifth Avenue yet – it’s a novel about the friendship between Truman Capote and socialite Babe Paley (which, yes, THAT Paley – her husband was the founder of CBS) – but this limited series starring Bryce Dallas Howard could be great or terrible? As could most things, I suppose. But here I think a lot depends on who they get to play Capote; Philip Seymour Hoffman casts a long shadow.

In case you were worried, John Le Carre’s son says his dad likes the Night Manager TV series. Of course, said son is an EP of the series, so what else would he say? (Note: I have no reason to think Le Carre doesn’t genuinely like the show. The story just struck me as funny.)

Bones fans, here are some interesting thoughts from showrunner Michael Peterson on the rest of the season.

It’s always interesting when things are optioned before they’re even published; this Spoonbenders novel/potential show sounds fun but also makes me long for a Curse Workers show.

Bones Midseason Premiere Clips!

BonesBones finally returns to Fox tomorrow (Thursday) at 8/7c, so let’s take a gander at some clips! And I’ll take this opportunity to ask: Are you guys still watching the show? Should I be covering it, or not bother? Let me know!

Back to Normal:

Checking Out:

Working the Case:

Bones Thoughts & Open Thread: The Puzzler in the Pit

Bones[SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF BONES]

“The Puzzler in the Pit” was one of my favorite episodes of Bones of recent memory, what with a mystery set in a culture that fascinates me and the birth of Daisy’s son. Let’s deal with the mystery first: the victim of the week is Lawrence Brooks, a celebrity crossword puzzle maker who’s basically Will Shortz. I was actually surprised by how closely the working relationship between Brooks and his assistant Alexis Sherman seemed to mirror Shortz and Anna Shechtman – especially as Sherman wound up being a prime suspect. She was ambitious and wanted Brooks to let her start publishing her own puzzles, and when he died she apparently automatically got his job (???). She was also stealing money from him to pay her gambling debts. Other suspects include Brooks’s wife, who was concealing his Alzheimer’s disease, and a puzzle-making competitor, but the culprit turns out to be Brooks’s biographer – who was also his secret son. This was yet another case in which the murderer wasn’t really trying to kill the victim and the death was accidental during a fight that came out of a tragic misunderstanding, and I feel like various procedural shows have been doing this a lot recently. (Or maybe I’m just noticing it recently.)

So. Daisy! She’s very pregnant and acting fine and cheerful and totally unlike herself, trusting a doula who tells her she’ll be able to magically communicate with her baby and discourages her from showing any pain. Brennan and Angela – who have both been through this, of course – try to talk sense into her. “Is there anything I can do?” “Maybe just keep telling her she’s ignorant? Stuff like that?” It’s clear that Daisy’s out-of-character behavior is a reaction to going through her pregnancy and facing motherhood without Sweets. POOR THING. The pain of labor finally makes her act like her normal self: she throws the doula out of her hospital room, asks for meds, and solves the case while giving birth. She names the baby Seeley Lance Wicks-Sweets, and everyone, including me, cries, especially at the first thing Booth says to his tiny godson: “Listen. I knew your dad.”

Other favorite lines and stray thoughts:

  • “When he’s ready, he’ll tell me how he wants his room set up.”
  • I love Brennan giving Daisy tons of baby stuff. “I’m sure the baby can feel your generosity.” “I doubt that very much.”
  • “Honey, she’s shopping for crystals.”
  • “You wouldn’t happen to have another envelope containing a believable alibi, would you?”
  • “Sorry, you’re getting a little bossy.” “Yeah, I know. It feels good.”
  • Awww, I love Aubrey getting Booth off the gambling site.
  • “Daisy, your water just broke.” “I’m sorry. I’ll clean it up.”

Bones Thoughts & Open Thread: The Money Maker on the Merry-Go-Round

Bones[SPOILERS BELOW FOR LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE OF BONES]

Last night’s episode of Bones, “The Money Maker in the Merry-Go-Round,” was . . . fine, I guess, but I also found it to be pretty boring. The case, involving a hedge fun manager murdered by a coworker, was mostly unremarkable, except that it allowed the show to illuminate some of Aubrey’s background: his father was a Wall Street type who stole from his clients and skipped bail – abandoning his wife and 13-year-old son – rather than take responsibility for his actions. The personal connection led Aubrey to be very invested in this case, but also to act inappropriately. But it also provided an opportunity for Brennan to open up to him about her own family. Given her issues with emotions and relating to people, it’s all the more meaningful when she does reach out like this. But it’s a very Brennan talk: “How did you get over it?” “I didn’t.” “So this is not a comforting talk.” “No.” Heh. But she has a good point: “The pain is always there. The challenge is to not try to make it go away.” I really like Aubrey (much as I still miss Sweets) and I’m glad that they’re pulling him into the found family of the lab.

The intern of the week was Oliver Wells, who is pretty annoying in general and rudely competitive and superior in particular. He was going on and on about wanting to surpass Dr. Brennan, which, fine, but talking that way to your superiors is generally not the way to advance in a career, Oliver. But I guess it’s somewhat refreshing – and realistic – to have someone in the lab who really is just out for himself and doesn’t want to be part of the family – especially in an episode in which the murderer used a crazy version of loyalty as justification for his actions.

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • “Okay, so how long until Christine can do the dishes and I can play with my toys after breakfast?”
  • The whole “gateway swear word” thing with Christine was cute, but again, not a whole lot to say about it.
  • I wonder if and when they’ll stop talking about work in front of Christine? Especially things like dead bodies in playgrounds?
  • “What kind of person shoves a dead body under a piece of playground equipment?” “A fun-loving person?”
  • It’s interesting that Booth says he hates the one percent, given his wife’s money.
  • “So you swore to stop yourself from hitting me?”
  • “Second best can be good enough for many people.” Oh, Brennan.
  • I am excited about the prospect of the next episode involving a crossword puzzle.

Bones Video: All About Agent Aubrey

BonesIt looks like the next few episodes of Bones are going to focus a bit more on Agent Aubrey and his backstory, and Fox has released this video of John Boyd, David Boreanaz, and Emily Deschanel discussing the character and his relationship with Booth. I’m interested to see where this goes and what his secret is! “The Money Maker on the Merry-Go-Round” airs tomorrow on Fox at 8/7c.

Bones Thoughts & Open Thread: The Lost Love in the Foreign Land

Bones[SPOILERS BELOW FOR LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE OF BONES]

“The Lost Love in the Foreign Land” dealt head-on with the often invisible issue of human trafficking into the United States, and I always have mixed feelings about Issue episodes like this. I absolutely think this is an important problem that should get more attention, and presenting themes like this through fiction is a great way to make people care about them and, hopefully, look for more information. At the same time, it’s too easy for Issues to feel shoehorned into an episode. This was done better than most, though – as a mystery, this investigation into the death of a woman being held as a slave wasn’t particularly complex or unique, but it was solid enough.

And the plight of the woman murdered after her father sold her to traffickers, and the one of the trafficked woman who murdered her so her rebellion wouldn’t be taken out on the rest of the group, definitely led the team at the Jeffersonian to appreciate how lucky they are. At the end of the episode, Cam pushes Hodgins to leave the lab a little early: “I just want to go home and give Michael Vincent a hug.” “Then this can definitely wait until tomorrow.” Aww. Booth and Brennan have a great bit of domesticity with Christine, as well: “She wanted me to tell you that she loves you, and she wants pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse for breakfast.” Hee. Booth says “Don’t ever let me take any of this for granted, Bones. How lucky we are,” and I love that these two central families are in such good places after years of difficulties.

But the main interpersonal subplot of the episode focused on Cam and Arastoo. Brennan rejects Arastoo’s dissertation proposal, because she thinks he’s just trying to please her by picking a topic she’s studied rather than doing his own trail-blazing. Her initial manner of rejection is extremely insensitive and tone-deaf, even for her, but Arastoo comes to understand her point and picks a better topic that interests him more. In the meantime, though, Cam confronts Brennan on his behalf, and that he’s mad about. (Brennan’s not thrilled either: “Do you feel he’s not capable of discussing this with me directly?”) He feels Cam is showing a lack of respect for him and his seriousness, and connects it to the way she always avoids questions about their future together. “It’s not Dr. Brennan I can’t deal with, Cam. I think it’s you.” They make up by the end of the episode, but I’m curious to see where this is going – they’re sort of talking about marriage, but having three married couples in the lab seems like a bit much, so I’m skeptical of whether the show will actually do that.

Other favorite lines & points of interest:

  • Loved seeing Cam’s house.
  • “Man, excrement is our friend on this one.”
  • “I just said ‘batcaves.'” I love Hodgins.
  • “No matter what the anthropological reasons, we fight to make the world a better place.”
  • I was writing “Booth says ‘Good boy’ to Aubrey exactly like a dog” even before Aubrey complained about being talked to like a dog. Heh.
  • I never would have particularly expected Brennan to quote Tennyson. “Full pardon, but I follow up the quest, / Despite of Day and Night and Death and Hell.”
  • “I usually know when I’ve solved the case.”
  • “I would thank a god if I believed in one.” “Then I’ll do it for you.”

Bones Thoughts & Open Thread: The Corpse at the Convention

Bones[SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF BONES]

“The Corpse at the Convention” was a fun episode of Bones, mainly because of the setting – a forensic sciences convention at which Brennan was a keynote speaker. The whole Jeffersonian team was treated like rock stars, which was fun to see, and seemingly every person at the convention tried to either get a job with them or sell them something. (Including Sean Gunn, a.k.a. Kirk from Gilmore Girls!) This continues once they start investigating the murder that inevitably occurs at the convention. They do find some of the offered equipment useful – including gloves made by the murderer himself – and Cam even has to call security on “experts” who get into the lab trying to impress the team.

Brennan’s speech also provided a great showcase for Booth’s whole-hearted but non-perfect (in a good way) support of her. Before the convention, she’s nervous about her speech and practicing it for him, even though he’s really not the intended audience: he doesn’t get her Schrodinger joke at all, even though it kills in the actual speech later. (I liked it, Brennan!) But what’s more important is that he did reassure her and tell her, completely sincerely, “You are the smartest person in that room.” Aww. I love how they’ve evolved to this point of faith in each other and respect for each others’ awesomeness even when they can’t entirely relate to or understand the specifics. And I loved that she used the joke he suggested in her speech – along with the one she wanted to do, not as a replacement – even though the audience wasn’t into it, because she knew it would make him happy. And I really loved how proud he was of her as he sat there in the audience.

The victim of the week was Hodgins’s former college research partner Leona Saunders, who he now hates because he says she stole millions of dollars of work from him. Hodgins was worth billions at the time so it wasn’t as big a deal, at least financially, but now he needs money, so of course he has to be seen as a suspect. (Again. “It makes me wanna kill someone so you don’t waste your time!” Oh, Hodgins.) I like how this was handled: everyone did their jobs and didn’t give Hodgins a free pass, but it was also made clear that no one on the team really thought he was guilty, and while everyone was a little worried, there was no big “Will Hodgins go to jail?” drama.

Speaking of rivals, we also had the return of Nora Dunn as Tess Brown, the fellow forensic novelist who Brennan said terrible things about in a previous episode. She has started doing at least some research for her books, but she continues to be a pretty terrible person, and tries to use the murder to promote her new book – which happens to be about a murder at a forensics convention. “Do you think I’d commit a murder to get a book deal?” “Yeah, I think you would.” Heh. I love Booth.

And Wendell’s back and in remission! I like that he’s back and also that the team isn’t acting like nothing happened. They’re so happy to have him there and bending over backwards to accommodate him while still treating him as a professional. Hodgins: “You are in remission. You can do whatever you want.” Aww. When he’s late getting back from treatment, they all worry, but it turns out that he’s okay – but one of the men in his clinical trial group has suddenly died. It’s great that Booth is the one he felt able to call for support in this situation – another way that this group is now a family – and that Booth talked him into not giving up hope and coming back to work. They can’t kill someone else off so soon after Sweets, right? Right??

Other favorite lines & points of interest:

  • I like how many episodes recently are starting with Booth and Brennan at home. It nicely grounds things in their relationship without having to specifically bring Relationship Issues into every episode.
  • “Does everyone in this place hate each other?”
  • “Am I hurting someone?” “Yes, you are, someone with a sense of decency.”
  • Loved the little touch of Brennan ordering food for Booth at the diner.
  • “I really do think you’re a good guy. So please don’t be the killer!”
  • “You’re of no use to me if your cancer returns and you die, Mr. Bray.” Oh, Brennan.
  • “So you’ve cheated on your wife, now you’ve turned it into a poem. That’s great.”
  • “Which you titled Hotter Than My Heart. That’s kind of a crime in itself.”
  • On the murderer’s research from jail: “I look forward to seeing it.” “Really, Bones?” “Really.” Heh.