Stop teasing!

By Cate Masters

So many series enjoyed long runs because of the sexual tension between the two main characters. Moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis, Remington Steele with Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist (did you know you can watch full episodes on Hulu? Love that site!), even the Gilmore Girls. Though admittedly, once Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelei (Lauren Graham) got together, the show lost its appeal, and the conflicts seemed manufactured (or I should probably say more manufactured). I know there are lots of others but for the sake of brevity I’ll stop there.
And now Bones (full episodes on the Fox site too! Can’t wait till TV migrates from cable companies altogether. But that’s another post.) To tell you the truth, Bones is getting on my nerves. I want to tell the writers: enough with the teasing! No one’s that out of touch with their own feelings. But that’s what Seely Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) are portrayed to be. It’s so blatant that all their coworkers – everyone they meet, in fact – recognize their attraction to each other. Except for Booth and Brennan. Oy.
Usually this type of premise works (for me, at least) when it’s an outside force keeping the two apart. Or even an internal conflict. But to pretend the attraction doesn’t exist?
Maybe because it’s February, and Valentine’s Day overshadows every commercial and print ad and movie (I can’t wait to see the movie Valentine’s Day, btw! Just an irrelevant aside.).
And then a commercial for Bones appears on TV, and the two of them are together, smiling at one another with that glow of love, in what appears to be a reclining position, suggesting all sorts of things.
But on the show, all they share is that smiley moment every now and then, and if anyone mentions it to them, they both deny having feelings.
I’m not overly invested in Bones. My hubby watches it, so I watch sometimes too (but the gore factor sometimes makes me walk away, admittedly). But I also admit, there are times I argue out loud with the characters about their total ignorance of each other’s affection.
So my question to you is: at what point does the tease become too much? When do you get so frustrated about the lack of payoff that you stop watching? Dish, divas! (and nondivas too!)


Design for Life available Feb. 10, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press!
Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. I'm with you - the teasing is fine up to a point but then it just gets stupid. And pointless. Enough already. And as much as I like the show Bones, I find the character Bones grates on my nerves. She's so socially dysfunctional it makes it unbelievable.

  2. Hello Cate!

    Can't say I watch Bones, but it's always intrigued me... Anyway, yes, enough with the teasing, the double-entendres and all that jazz. I always find myself directing most movies and TV shows these days, from the peanut galleries, shouting at them "Kiss already!" and "Tell him how you feel!!"

    Thanks for the fun post! No need to tease there...

  3. I love Bones. And actually - I don't want them to end up together until they are wrapping up the show.

    They have actually addressed, in more than 1 episode, why they don't act on it (in a way) They are 2 very, very different people. And while they *might* make a great couple, they don't want to act on it and then destroy their friendship since they both recognize they are quite different. And different in ways that might not work well as a couple, but do fine when friends (religion, kids, gut feelings, etc, etc.)

    I saw them on a panel at Comic Con and many people asked this same question. The answer was not every couple who "should" be together ends up that way. Doesn't mean they don't love each other.

    And really - once they got together on both Moonlighting and Remington Steele - the shows took a downturn IMO.

    We like the tease - it's a game. What will happen next? Once it's settled, we lose interest.

  4. Hey Kelly! I understand that the Bones character is supposed to be highly complex and a genius, but they do take it to extremes.

    Hello Nina! I probably wouldn't have watched it if my hubby didn't. But I find myself yelling those same things at the TV! Arrrghhh!

    Hi Celeste! My beef isn't that they don't actually end up - that's a believable premise. But the fact they seem to be the last two to recognize the attraction between them falls outside the believable for me. I'd love to go to Comic Con someday! (another irrelevant aside, ha ha)

  5. I've read some books like Bones. It's enough to make you want to toss the book.

  6. Hi Cate!

    At least an unacknowledged attraction is better than the 'on again-off again' scenario that is just crazy-making. Although I get that the writers need some way to ramp up the tension, it's still like fingernails down a blackboard.

    Thank goodness that Grey's Anatomy chose to just embrace the relationship between McDreamy and Meredith!! And now there's a chance to discover the other ways tension can be ramped up. Yay!

    Great post, this is something we complain a lot in our tv-viewing home!


  7. Hey Alice! Good to see you at the Divas!

  8. My hubby wishes I'd stop complaining, Chiron - at least out loud! I can't help it! Arrgghh!

  9. Hey Cate: Fun post. I agree that when the guy/gal leads have that much chemistry on screen they should keep them apart for as long as possible. It's what keeps audiences tuning in. But I do think that for certain shows there should be a time limit - like no more than five seasons - then they get together at the end - otherwise if they try to keep that magic going for six plus seasons it can get stale. If they bring them together too soon it can also get stale pretty quickly after that initial - hooray Ross and Rachel are finally together moment. Remember what happened on Friends - all that back and forth of being together then not - was kind of annoying. The fun is in watching that banter and that tension between the characters.

  10. For a show based on this premise, I think the audience eventually needs the pay-off of watching the couple finally achieve their transformation into true love status. But that should be saved for the wrap of the series. The sexual tension that fuels the show needs to be there.

    As for couples not realizing their attraction but everyone else around them does...guilty as charged for my husband and me.

  11. Series do tend to fizzle once the tension's lost, I agree. The writers should figure out an alternate premise, though, to keep things moving. It feels very stagnant right now. That's why they're paid the big bucks, ha ha!

  12. Too funny, Julia! Sounds like there's a story in there. Maybe even a series! :)


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