The characters in Bones, Fox’s slightly annoying comedic twist on the forensic-procedural genre, work at the fictional Jefferson Institute, where they’ve been examining human remains and solving grisly murders for six seasons running. Theirs is a genre that trades in slightly heightened realism, but it turns out the Washington that Bones inhabits is quite fictional itself. In last week’s episode, David Boreanaz’s character, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, said this about a suspect: “A white man in Columbia Heights? He’d stand out like an onion in a bean field!” In a November 2010 episode, he fielded a question about Anacostia this way: “It’s a neighborhood about a mile and a half from here: seedy, prostitution, lots of gangs, bad activity…why?” In the show’s pilot episode from 2005, an establishing shot of Dulles Airport included a view of one of D.C.’s marble monuments—never mind that Dulles is nearly 30 miles away from the center of town.
OK, so Bones’ creators obviously haven’t spent much time visiting D.C.—nor, it seems, trying to build a passable understanding of its demographics or geography. Through a deeply embedded Hollywood source, Washington City Paper was able to obtain scripts from Bones’ next season. Here’s what David Boreanaz will say about your neighborhood.
H Street NE
“A white man on H Street? No one from Arlington would be caught dead there—folks from Virginia haven’t gone there since the riots in ’68!”
“A white man in Chinatown? There’s nothing there but groceries, rickshaws, and opium dens!”
“A white man in Trinidad? Yeah, right—I hope he brought his steel drum!”
“A white man in Dupont Circle? But that’s miles from Georgetown!”
“A white man in Hillcrest? But that’s in Anacostia! It’s a neighborhood about a mile and a half from here: seedy, prostitution, lots of gangs, bad activity…”
Photos by Darrow Montgomery