All summer long I’ve looked forward to the premier of the new FOX show Bones (and if the ratings are to be believed, so did 11 million other people). Forensic anthropology. David Boreanaz. How bad could it be?

It wasn’t bad. It certainly wasn’t capital B Bad. It was just plain awful.

Awful writing, no chemistry, lame plot, silly settings. Oh, how it hurt.

I kind of liked the lack of knowledge of DC. See the plane land at Dulles airport – which is on the Mall in front of the Capitol building! See the funeral at the cemetery – which is on the Mall in front of the Capitol building! See the ease with which you can drive around downtown DC, which, no matter where you are going lands you on the Mall in front of the Capitol building! Really, if you think about it cemeteries and airports are both rather poor uses of big plots of land. Why not combine the two functions? And why not combine them on that big ‘ole plot of land we call the Mall? It’s just sitting there – let it earn it’s keep.

I kind of liked the silly design of the Smithsonian Jeffersonian. Especially the lab and conservation areas/greenhouse. That’s what fragile objects really like, you know, lots and lots of sunlight. There was loads of bad science throughout the show and I’m looking forward to a chat about the show with my old forensic anthropology professor. I deleted the show out of the Tivo so I wouldn’t be tempted to waste time re-watching it to note examples, but a stellar example would be in the opening scene when our heroine transports a human skull in a duffel bag with no wrapping or packaging of any kind. Plus, she throws the bag around alot, drops it on the ground etc. Above and beyond the fact that this is a lousy way to handle evidence, it shows a profound lack of respect for human remains.

None of that bothered me as much as the gun thing. What disturbed me was the idea that scientists at the Smithsonian Jeffersonian carry concealed weapons. They even have their own firing range! (Which, incidentally, is a cavern of hard surfaces just waiting to ricochet bullets hither and yon – very safe).

Even if we ignored the fact that you can’t get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in DC there’s still the basic concept: guns + scientists. I know a lot of scientists, and many of them (possibly including myself) should be required to obtain a permit before operating a letter opener. Curatorial meetings are scary enough without firepower at the ready.

After Bones, Supernatural seemed darned good. At least it didn’t have gun-toting curators.

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