TV Article

'Bones'' Shrink Raps TV

'Bones' shrink analyzes crazy TV characters -- The show's staff helps ''30 Rock'''s Liz Lemon, ''24'''s Jack Bauer, and more

Now a full-time fixture on Bones, psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) helps Booth, Brennan, and the Jeffersonian team work through their considerable issues. We asked him — with assists from creator Hart Hanson and executive producer Stephen Nathan — to analyze some of TV's other notable head cases.

House's Dr. Gregory House
Dr. House is unable to maintain a romantic relationship with a woman, and is embroiled in a melodramatic and angst-ridden relationship with his ''best friend.'' He surrounds himself with phallic objects: the cane, the motorcycle, a Flying V electric guitar — not coincidentally, the most aggressive of Gibson instruments. He insists upon uncovering ''the truth'' while anesthetizing himself from his own reality. It doesn't take a trained psychologist to recognize the source of House's outside-the-mainstream behavior: He is not really American.

30 Rock's Liz Lemon
In her formative years, as other girls were maturing, joining the cheerleading squad, and attracting the boys, Lemon wore glasses, braces, and probably some padding. Since high school status is defined by externals, Lemon, an outsider, used humor and intellectual acumen to gain acceptance. She was unaware, as most adolescents are, that her physical appearance would change markedly as she matured. She has become...I'm not sure what the technical term is for hot, but she has that, you know, attractive-but-really-funny-yet-hot thing going on that there really should be a specific psychological term for, because I'm feeling a little awkward talking about her right now.

Californication's Hank Moody
Narcissistic, solipsistic, selfish, addicted, sex-obsessed, yet incapable of denying himself any brief pleasure, Hank Moody indulges in dangerous behavior not out of a sense of self-loathing, but because he looks awesome in a black T-shirt. Dress the man in a Hawaiian or polo shirt for two weeks and all these pathologies will disappear.

24's Jack Bauer
That man is a psychopath. I mean, really. Does my name have to go on this? Because he will find me and talk to me in a really quiet voice and then yell at me in a very harsh voice and then shoot me in the knee and tell everyone it's for the good of the nation. He's crazy. You won't print this where that amoral sociopath can read it, will you?

Originally posted Nov 21, 2008 Published in issue #1023 Nov 28, 2008 Order article reprints