Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fictional Psychoanalysis

It may have been a good hook for The Sopranos, but overall I find fictional psychoanalysis a needless shortcut. Instead of letting characters reveal themselves in the course of the plot, motivations are ascribed to them.

For example, last season on Bones Seeley Booth was required to attend sessions with a psychiatrist after firing his weapon in public without cause (shooting the speaker off an ice cream truck that annoyed him). Would a former sniper, trained to have preternatural patience and respect for firearms, really snap like this? I think not.

This season, another psychiatrist, Dr. Sweets, will become a regular ostensibly because the FBI is concerned about subconscious conflict between Brennan and Booth, after Booth arrested Brennan's father. This may be meant to heighten the already good chemistry between the two, but chemistry tends to suffer under too much analysis.

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