Bones and it’s groundbreaking 12 season run has become one of the constant, greatest comforts of the messy journey I’ve taken these last 11 years to navigate life as it should be.
Confession: I did not know this show existed when it started. This little gem of a show came to me via my best friend during Hollywood’s writer’s strike ten years ago. She had watched Bones while all of television was on hiatus and then proceeded to get everyone she knew to watch it. (Seriously, she mailed her season one DVDs all over the world so our friends could fall in love with this show.) I will never forget the day she made me watch the pilot. We had just had a movie night and then I watched the pilot in the car on the way home, on her iPod. I was so into it, she circled my neighborhood until I finished the episode.
I was in.
After viewing the pilot, I watched the then three seasons in two and a half days. Yes, I did absolutely nothing but binge-watch three seasons of Bones before binge-watching was really a thing. This show became my favorite, and it’s been my favorite ever since.
This show is responsible for so much in my life. Bones made me a vegetarian. In season one when Brennan asked how you slaughter a pig, we both responded with “I think I just became a vegetarian” in unison on my first viewing. It stuck and I am ten years strong this August. It’s responsible for friendships and making memories. I made a handful of Bones “soundtracks” with the incredible music from the show. It’s even responsible for something as simple as my social media identity – chaoshopelove.
“We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love.” – Angela (Season 2, Episode 2: “Mother and Child in the Bay”)
Thank you to executive producer and former showrunner Stephen Nathan for those words that have stayed with me for the last ten years.
Two months after my three season binge, I saw Emily Deschanel and Eric Millegan perform as Sonny and Cher at an AIDS benefit in Hollywood. I got to meet Emily after the show and tell her how much I loved Bones and how it made me a vegetarian. She talked with me and my friends for a pretty significant amount of time and was the kindest, loveliest, most humble, down to earth human being. I will always be grateful for the way she so generously shared her time with us. I got to go to two of the three panels that The Paley Center for Media held for Bones over the years, where I briefly met Stephen Nathan and T.J. Thyne. I also met Kathy Reichs on one of her many book tours. Kathy is the real-life forensic anthropologist, writer and professor that Bones is loosely based on and inspired by. Of all of my Bones related experiences, I wish I still had the photos from that day. And for extra fun I’ve had numerous adventures at the Natural History Museum and California Science Center in Los Angeles, the site FOX used for the Jeffersonian exteriors and some scenes, with some of the dearest people I love most on this planet.
Bones has brought me nothing but joy, inspiration and helped me to find my inner-badass in the time it has been here to entertain us. I am grateful for that. Actually, gratitude probably isn’t even the right word. I hope that someday what I’ve taken from this show can help to change the world.
To the Cast, Crew, FOX and everyone who has ever been Team Bones:
Thank you. Thank you for elevating stories about a real-life woman of science and believing those stories to be important enough for the world to see for an extended period of time. Thank you for holding a space for women scientists, women writers, producers, directors, artists and women of authority. Thank you for showcasing that women breaking the mold can be a normal thing but they can also exist in the way society “expects” them to without sacrificing who they are as human beings. Thank you for shedding light on the fact that EVERY woman is a woman of power. You’ve all changed the game, there was no show on the air like Bones when it began and their will never be another.
To Kathy Reichs, Hart Hanson & FOX: There would be no Bones without you. Thank you for changing the world a little more than you know. To Michaela Conlin: Thank you for Angela, who consistently showed us that art could make science her “bitch” but that the two could coexist without lessening the importance of the other. And for portraying that sharing your feelings and your heart with other people makes every woman stronger. To T.J. Thyne: Thank you for Hodgins, who made “bugs and dirt” way less creepy and gross and a lot more fascinating. Also, in these last couple seasons, portraying a disability with such care, respect, dignity and authenticity… as someone with a disability, I thank you for that. I can tell when an actor has done the work when it comes to that. Thank you. To Eric Millegan, John Francis Daley, John Boyd & all the Squinterns: You brought me so much joy in your own ways every time you were on the screen. Thank you. To Tamara Taylor: For 11 of these 12 seasons, you had such a pivotal role… playing a woman running a forensic science lab. Cam was vulnerable but her badassery never waivered and she made women harnessing their own power and executing it in their position in the world seem doable, and though scary, made for a generation of fearless women. Thank you. To David Boreanaz: Thank you for Booth – who was a man that held every person to an equal standard no matter their job, gender or class as set forth by society. Booth always did his best to protect and fight for everyone as human beings and his country at the same time. The current state of the world could learn a lot from Seeley Booth. To Emily Deschanel: As Booth would say, you are the standard and the center by which this show held its own. Thank you for showcasing that love was okay, that science is the coolest, that a woman can be whatever she wants to be and everything that she already is, is what makes her unique in this world. Thank you for inspiring an entire generation to find their voice, to use their voice and to recognize that they matter. You inspire me every day.
To my friends:
Janice: Thank you for circling my neighborhood so I could watch this pilot. Thank you for not judging when I watched all those seasons in 2.5 days. Thank you for doing everything possible the night we met Emily. It’s been ten years and I am still on cloud nine from that night. Thank you for going to the Paley panels with me and being the first person to take me to “The Jeffersonian.” I also loved most when our nieces were little and we played “dancing phalanges.” Those writers had no idea they were creating tiny human magic.
Kyla & Becky: Thank you for pulling my wheelchair through the grass at the rose garden so I could participate when Kyla wanted to re-enact the “I think I could be a duck” scene from the pilot. Thank you for sitting on the fountain in said rose garden and listening to my Bones soundtracks with me. That is one of my most favorite memories.
Kyla: Thank you for… everything. You already know. But most recently, thank you for talking with T.J. about the important work he’s done. That meant a lot.
Annie & Anne: Thank you for that one Christmas when you watched all of the Christmas episodes with me. That particular ten day Christmas was the best of my life and I am grateful Bones was a small part of that.
Bones is going out at a time when the world needs a passion for science and humanity more than ever, but it’s still going out on top. And that’s how you do it.