Bones and other "serialized procedurals"

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by DigificWriter, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hi. I recently started delving back into FOX's Bones (courtesy of my sister's Netflix account), and memories of watching the series during its early days reminded me of just how much I enjoyed it, and why I should make an effort to start watching it again (although, admittedly, I don't watch a whole lot of television these days).

    What does the title of this thread have to do with the above? I'm coming to that. As I've been watching Bones S1 (and, BTW, following a different order than the one in which FOX initially broadcast the series), I've realized that one of the things that appeals to me so much about it - as compared to other 'cop shows' - is that it really plays out much more like a serialized drama than other series of its type.

    I also started wondering if there were other shows out there - and ones that I might not be paying attention to - that share Bones' nature as being a 'serialized procedural', and thought I'd come ask the question here. What other series are there out there that are of the procedural genre, but share Bones' serialized nature?
     
  2. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I agree with you about Bones, I don't usually delve into cop procedurals, as the murder of the week usually isn't enough to keep me interested in a series, but Bones is great at the serialized aspects of the show. I can't wait for the next episode each week to find out what happens to the characters.

    I guess the other show like this that I've had some interest in (in the past, I haven't watched it in a while) is House. When the original cast was still around, I did care about their individual stories, and it was around the time that most of them left that I stopped watching the show.

    I can't really think of any other shows like this, though I'm sure more exist and I just haven't explored them yet. It's been a very long time since I saw Numbers, but I vaguely remember the show having many serialized elements despite it also being a crime of the week show.
     
  3. Canadave

    Canadave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose you could probably consider Pushing Daisies to be a serialized procedural, though it obviously didn't last very long (:() and the highly stylized\fantastical nature of it might not appeal to everyone.
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After I made my initial post, I sat down and realized that I already knew of a few more series that fit the genre, but didn't remember while I was posting:
    Fringe
    Hawaii 5-0 (2010)
    Las Vegas
    The X-Files

    I also sat down and tried to think of series that might fit the genre, and came up with the following list:
    Alias
    Burn Notice
    Covert Affairs
    Flashpoint
    Ghost Whisperer
    The Good Wife
    Harry's Law
    JAG
    NCIS
    NCIS: Los Angeles
    Nikita
    Rookie Blue
    Veronica Mars

    There are probably a great deal more series that might fit the genre that I couldn't think of, so if anyone's got suggestions, please feel free to make them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  5. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Homocide: Life on the Street and the Wire would both count as serialized procedurals, albeit a bit grittier than Bones.

    Moving further away from the procedural aspect, Hill St. Blues is still the gold standard of serialized network police dramas. I watched a few months' worth on a cable back in 2009 or 2010 and it still held up.
     
  6. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought that Homicide: Life on the Street was more of a 'traditional' procedural, although Wikipedia lists it as a serial drama rather than as a procedural drama. Wikipedia also lists The Wire and Fringe as being serial dramas, although The Wire is one of the few hits I got back when I did a search for the term 'serialized procedural' and Fringe, as per its creators' stated intent, is/was deliberately structured as a procedural drama, so I'm now not entirely sure how much credence to give it as a source of information as to what fits the 'serialized procedural' genre and what doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Body of Proof with Dana Delaney is very similar to Bones in structure.
     
  8. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Similar in structure in terms of being a procedural drama, or similar in terms of being a procedural with a narrative arc structure (which is what makes Bones a 'serialized procedural' as opposed to a traditional procedural [ala the CSIs and the Law and Orders])?
     
  9. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Homicide definitely is a serialized procedural. It's stories continually build upon each other. The entire first season (which isn't very long) involves Pembleton and Bayliss trying to catch a specific killer. Even when the investigations don't bleed over, the character stories are continuous.

    I've never thought of Fringe as truly a procedural show but, if X-Files counts, it does as well. It definitely has serialized elements (which I've been told have increased in frequency, I haven't seen the show in a long time).
     
  10. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Based on your description, Homicide definitely does sound like it belongs in the 'serialized procedural' category, because the things you said it has are definitely shared by series like Bones, the new H50, and Las Vegas.

    Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman deliberately structured Fringe so that it had a procedural drama structure as opposed to something that was more serialized (like, say, Battlestar Galactica). I don't know what the balance between the procedural and the serial on the series currently is, given that I haven't watched it in a long time, but it would take a lot to completely change the series from a procedural into a serial.

    Having said that, sometimes a series can sound/seem like it might fit into the 'serialized procedural' category even though it really doesn't because, as it moves forward, it skews too far one way or the other, and becomes either a straight-up serial drama or a straight-up/'traditional' procedural drama. The original CSI and Joss Whedon's ANGEL both are good examples of this, although they're opposites of each other.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Similar in that you wanted shows like Bones. If it were like CSI/L&O it wouldn't be similar, now would it?.
     
  12. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, it would. Bones, CSI, and Law and Order ARE similar; they are all procedural dramas. Bones just happens to be more serialized than the CSI and L&O franchise series.

    As an aside, FOX aired the first season of Bones drastically out of sync with its serialized nature, and the PTBs didn't bother to make adjustments when the DVD for the season came out. Of the season's 22 episodes, there were only 4 (episodes 1, 8, 9, and 22) that aired in their 'proper sequence'. Episodes 2 and 3 were flip-flopped, episode 7 should've aired as episode 4, episodes 4, 5, and 6 should've aired as episodexs 5 (4), 6 (5), and 7 (6), episodes 10 and 11 were flip-flopped, episode 16 should've
    aired as episode 12, episodes 12 and 13 should've aired as episodes 13 and 14, episodes 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 should've aired as episodes 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19, episode 15 should've aired as episode 20, and episode 14 should've aired as episode 21.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  13. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not having seen Bones (but heard a bit about it) i'd suggest Castle.. the show has a major story thread that gets picked up several times during a season and is slowly developing throughout the seasons.

    Also Bones and Castle get compared much when the topic is about the relationship between its two leads but as much as i like Boreanaz back from Buffy and Angel he's got nothing on geek god Nathan Fillion. :p:lol:
     
  14. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I mentioned Castle upthread as a series that I thought might fit into the same category but wasn't sure on. One thing that Castle has going for it that Bones doesn't is that it (Castle) has played homage to or referenced Firefly multiple times.
     
  15. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Castle is a Bones ripoff where all they did was make the male the writer and the female the cop. :lol:
     
  16. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Mentalist would seem to fit into this but I lost interest after the cheat at the end of the last season.
     
  17. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Part of connecting with a procedural is connecting with the characters. Bones is serialized somewhat with Brennan's parents and then again with the Gormegon, but they still do cases of the week 90% of the time. What makes Bones special is that the characters are constantly getting attention each week in addition to the cases.

    NCIS is probably similar in this regard. Lots of comedy, interesting characters, and some overall story arcs beginning in the later seasons.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    But you didn't want shows like CSI and L&O. So why would you take a statement that "Body of Proof is similar to Bones" to somehow include the former 2 shows?

    Regardless, Body of Proof is the type of show you are looking for per your original post. Check it out.
     
  19. Ood Sigma

    Ood Sigma Commander Red Shirt

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    "The Closer" is another excellent show that fits this mold.
     
  20. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm assuming the order on Netflix instant is the same order as it aired on TV (so, the incorrect order)? That is the order in which I watched the shows.
     

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