The 'Moonlighting' Effect: Is That Why 'Bones' Refuses to Pair Leads Romantically?
Be forewarned -- spoilers ahead. In last night's 100th episode of 'Bones,' audiences were drained of all hope when it comes to the romance between Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). After five years of the two of them clearly being in love -- 'Bones' is full of longing looks, jealousy and cute moments -- the showrunners still refuse to explore a relationship between the FBI Agent and the forensic anthropologist. But why?
We can only imagine it's the 'Moonlighting' curse. The popular '80s series that starred Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd sizzled in the ratings, until the two of them sizzled in the bedroom in the 14th episode of season three. After that, the ratings took a steep nosedive and the show never recovered.
Personally, we'd like to tell creator Hart Hanson and co. that they shouldn't be worried about 'Moonlighting.' You can have your leads in a relationship without alienating your audience.
It must be said that Hanson swears it's not the 'Moonlighting' effect. "Everybody always mentions 'Moonlighting,' but that honestly never comes up in our discussions on how to deal with them," he told EW's Michael Ausiello. "The 'Moonlighting' curse? Don't believe in it." Well, sorry, we just don't believe him. (Last year, he promised the sex between Booth and Brennan would not be a dream. Only to have us find out it was an "alternate reality." Oh, Hart. How stupid do you think we are?)
'The Office' survived Jim and Pam's wedding and is enjoying some of its biggest numbers. Season six, when the couple tied the knot, is averaging 9.4 million viewers -- a gain over the fifth season.
'The Big Bang Theory' is as popular as ever, even though Leonard and Penny are an item. In the beginning of the third season, the pair sleep together, and yet 14.3 million people watch every week -- more than the 8.3 million who watched season one and the nearly 10 million who watched season two.
Obviously, it can be done. What are the 'Bones' writers and producers afraid of? We'd love to be able to experience an actual relationship between Booth and Bones -- not just a series finale where they finally decide they are right for each other.
Some staples already went that route. Sure, Ross and Rachel on 'Friends' were together-together at the end of the second season and into the third, but they broke up after only a few episodes. And yes, throughout the series, there were moments and nods (they almost got back together in the third season finale, he said Rachel while marrying Emily, they had a Vegas wedding and they had a kid together), but for the most part, Ross and Rachel's happy ending was relegated to the series' ending.
We'd like to make a plea. Let them date! As Brennan says in this very episode, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome." Why continue to have them go back and forth, date other people and expect people to stick around to watch?
That sounds insane to us.