I intended to wait a little bit for another quartet, but the only other show I've caught up with is NCIS, which holds up to its standards and cartoons, which deserve their own spot. So, I really need to ask this:
"Bones", what the hell's wrong with you?
A couple of years ago, when I started watching the show, I gave it a pretty strong recommendation. I was catching up on the last couple of seasons, which I missed because of my military service, and I was dumbfounded watching the complete loss of direction.
Despite its own spin on the concept, "Bones" is, at heart, a procedural "cop" drama. TV is stagnating with those, but the ones that stand out do so because of their characters and how they handle the drama (also why the only really good "Law & Order" was the SVU flavor, before that started sucking as well). This show had a very interesting female protagonist, with smart dialogue, an interesting line of work and a remarkable brain with a remarkable view on life, either in its details or the proverbial "bigger picture". The other half of its charm came from this character's interaction with the male lead, a complete opposite of hers, without however utilizing the cop-buddy formula that's gotten pretty stale over the years. It helped that the chemistry between Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, who hold the aforementioned roles respectively, was wonderful and the sexual tension worked.
The problem is that, even if that's the heart of the show (which I would argue it isn't), without a healthy body housing it you may as well pull the plug. Look, I don't expect any procedural to remain at the top of its game after seven seasons. In fact, when I had to stop watching the show circa early Season 5, I already recognized the series wasn't nearly as good or interesting as it used to be. The intrigue faded away around season 2, the show was hurt by the WGA strike in its 3rd season and unfortunately never recovered. But for FUCK'S SAKE it had SOME sort of direction!
The end of Season 5 found the heroes splitting and going away to pursue their own goals. The beginning of Season 6, however, brings them all back far too conveniently and without any significant repercussions, in typical TV logic. With them came a new romance for Booth and the show moved from "sexual/romantic tension" to "teen TV arbitrary drama", with Brennan just looking awkward every time Booth's new love interest would be on-screen.
And then, suddenly, they break it off! Booth proposes, in an ill-advised move, she says 'no' and he breaks it off right then and there, no discussion about the whole thing, no asking her, nothing! And this was a good relationship, mind you, with a great woman! I didn't know FBI agents were inherently stuck in the 10-year-old mindset! Who ACTS LIKE THAT?!
But all of a sudden they felt like they had to do that, because they push this "fated to be together" bullcrap for the protagonists. I thought we had finally resolved that last season, when we decided that they love each other, but this just ain't happening. Sorry fans, life sucks sometimes, that's how it works!
Then, they initiate a running storyline about a former sniper-buddy of Booth's who's turned vigilante. The guy kills one of the squids (fuck spoiler alerts, it ain't worth it) and he is dealt with, anti-climatically, in the second-to-last episode.
By the way, kind request to Hollywood in general; drop the singing and dancing and laughing following someone's horrific and tragic death. I'm sick and tired of the "celebrating one's life" OVER THEIR FUCKING COFFIN BULLSHIT THAT EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG DOES THIS DAYS. When a character dies, you fucking GRIEVE. There is a difference between "life goes on" and "oh, I remembered a song vaguely related to the pale corpse lying in front of me".
So, what are we doing in the last episode? We're waisting time with Hodgins and Angela's baby. Whooptie-fucking-do. Oh, we also learn that after six seasons that this show has been busting our balls about Brennan and Booth, now they will have a baby, because Emily Deschanel is pregnant in real life. No, that's really the best they could come up with to resolve this painful romance that just won't fucking end.
You know, sometimes shows have to end.
It reminds me vaguely of what became of "House", which started with a great focus on the titular character and used its theme and procedural nature to explore him and a few seasons later it started focusing on whether or not House would have middle-aged sex with Cuddy. It's not as bad, because for "House" it was a complete 180o, but still.
Get your game back together, or get the fuck out.