September 3, 2008

Brennan, Booth Meet Their Match in London

By Alan Pergament

Having just vacationed in London, England, myself, I had more than passing interest in the decision to send Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) of "Bones" across the pond for tonight's season opener of the increasingly popular Fox series.

I will say the padded two-hour episode, "Yanks in the U.K.," which airs at 8 tonight on WUTV, is more fun than the seven-hour journey it takes to get from a New York airport to London's Heathrow Airport. But it isn't exactly exciting, educational, clever or revolutionary TV.

With the dollar worth about half of the British pound, we certainly can understand why the show only sent the two main characters off to England and kept the rest of the cast back home.

Brennan and Booth head from Washington, D.C., to London to speak at Oxford University and Scotland Yard, respectively, and are asked to help out on a murder investigation involving a rich American's daughter.

They are teamed with a British female-male crime-solving team, Dr. Ian Wexler (Andrew Buchan) and Scotland Yard inspector Cale Pritchard (Indira Varma), with obvious similarities to their own partnership even before Booth asks Bones: "Is that like the English version of you and me and you?"

Wexler is an anthropologist and lothario and is immediately infatuated with Brennan, who doesn't want to upset Booth by acting upon the mutual attraction. The instant chemistry between Wexler and Bones isn't that easy to comprehend, but hey it's a TV show.

Practically every cliche about life in England is explored -- including the stodginess of royalty, the loyalty of butlers, the disciple of the Buckingham Palace guard, the lousy weather (which I can validate), the outrageousness of tabloids, the silly wigs that judges and lawyers wear in court, and the difficulties Americans have learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the street. The English scenery also adds minimal enjoyment.

It is all only mildly amusing no matter how hard the charmingly frustrated Boreanaz often tries to make it work by making Booth practically behave like Mr. Bean.

"I'm glad we had a revolution," Booth barks at one point.

"England is not good for my personal dignity," he later cracks.

Things don't get much more interesting back in D.C., where the romance of Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) hits some high school-like hurdles when Angela's long-estranged, hunky husband, Grayson, shows up.

With the help of computers, the D.C. crew helps Booth and Boreanaz solve the cases. To pad the two hours even further, there also is a brief musical time filler between the first and second cases that Brennan and Booth have to solve.

Naturally, Brennan and Booth seem somewhat clueless in this episode about how deep their feelings are for each other even if it is so obvious to people who instantly meet them. That attraction undoubtedly will be acted upon when the series is about to end.

When it happens, let's hope they aren't sent overseas for another padded episode.

* Linda J. Hastreiter, the president of the Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy, reports that the museum at 998 Lovejoy St. in Buffalo will be featured in tonight's season premiere of "Ghost Hunters," the popular Sci-Fi Channel series. It airs at 9 p.m. on the basic cable channel.

Hastreiter added that Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and the rest of the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) crew that investigates supposedly haunted buildings taped the program in June after they were alerted to unusual goings on at the museum, which was formerly a church and a funeral home.

Perhaps the TAPS crew will determine whether Hastreiter's mother, Marge Theilman Hastreiter, was correct when she was wrote in a My View published in the Buffalo News on April 11, 2006, that the museum seems to be haunted by a friendly spirit named Charles.

* Channel 7 has bought billboards across the county to promote a new 4 p.m. syndicated, weekday program, "The Doctors," that premieres Monday. That's its way of announcing the end of the run of "PM Magazine," which was killing the chances of the 5 p.m. news getting a decent audience.

Produced by the creative team behind "Dr. Phil,""The Doctors" has a panel of five "on-call" professionals who deliver topical medical and health advice. The five include Travis Stork, best known as a former "Bachelor" on the ABC reality series. He's now an emergency room doctor.

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8 p.m. today

WUTV Channel 29

Review: 2 1/2 stars (out of four)

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