Day: January 22, 2013

Dangerous Territories

Got me a wicked headache all of a sudden. Tempting as it is to post The Torture Never Stops, I am instead going with another interview courtesy of -- I'll even cop to not reading this one all the way through. But it's from Sounds, November 7, 1970, and is a piece called Zappa -- The Great Satirist, by Bob Dawbarn.

A Wizard Did It

As soon as this week's episode of Bones opened with the word "Previously," I knew I was in for something really, really stupid.

I like Bones. It is a workplace comedy disguised as a police procedural; it has a good cast and often features the best gross-out humor on television.

But god damn I hate its sweeps arcs.

I get what they're trying to do with the Pelant arc. He's the nemesis. He's Moriarty. Hell, they even cast a guy who looks like the guy who plays Moriarty on Sherlock.

But -- Sherlock spoiler warning -- at least Moriarty's big "I have a secret code to hack every computer system in the world" plot built up to the resolution that nah, he was just fucking with you guys, there's no such thing, he just bribed a bunch of people.

Now, Sherlock has done some legitimately stupid things with technology -- Irene Adler's acid-equipped cell phone springs immediately to mind -- but it's never approached the sheer inanity of Pelant's first appearance, where he encoded a virus into a skeleton that caused the computer that scanned it to catch on fire. And, to be fair, Bones hasn't reached that level of stupidity a second time either -- though God knows it's not for lack of trying.

The latest featured the "Your bank account is being slowly drained!" trope, which I recently commented on in Insufferable by Mark Waid and Peter Krause. But -- Insufferable spoiler warning -- at least the guy draining the account in Insufferable was actually the guy who was in charge of Galahad's accounts. It is entirely plausible that he had talked Galahad into signing documents that gave him the right to take all his money.

In Bones, that is quite clearly not what happened. And, funny story: banks can't just let other people steal your money, even if they have your password. There's this thing called FDIC, plus various fraud protections -- but hell, let's not let that get in the way of a good story.

Only thing is, all this bullshit really is getting in the way of a good story. The game of cat-and-mouse between Pelant and the Jeffersonian would be enjoyable, if it weren't for the constant distractions of Pelant doing crazy impossible shit because the writers can't be arsed to come up with something evil for him to do that's actually remotely plausible.

If the show's going to make the bad guy a wizard, it should just drop all fucking pretense of being set in the real world where logic and rationality apply. Just have everybody discover that magic actually exists and now they're going to have to deal with it. It wouldn't be any more hokey or less plausible than what they're already doing anyway.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm really looking forward to the City Watch TV series.

And more Sherlock.