Bones is the only show in the crime genre I've watched to any extent (unless the X-Files counts), but I know there are several that have been running for ages, right? Same cast, same premise, dozen plus seasons? Why don't they run out of ideas?
Best guess I have without investigating is that they don't run out of ideas because the crimes don't involve the regular characters. Translated, they would consist of "Booth and Brennan solve a murder. Sweets helps Hodgins and Angela talk about their marriage. A new intern is annoying Cam." I'm not saying the show would be all that good if they stuck to that formula, but I'll bet anything it wouldn't be so damned bad.
At the very least, it would mean no Pelant. No more Pelant ever again. No worst villain ever concocting least credible schemes ever with the lamest motives ever. No backing out of engagement because a mean man on the phone told you you're not allowed to get married because he's jealous. Guys if I wanted to follow a story like that, I know where to go to read supernatural erotica.
Let's see, what else happens? Angela goes to part-time hours to pursue her artistic dreams; nothing changes. Hodgins loses his fortune; nothing changes. Cam's dating Arastoo, who seems to have lost his personality to accommodate a nonsensical romance; otherwise, nothing changes. Sweets and Daisy finally break up; nothing - wait, actually, this was a long time coming and exactly the right thing to happen with them, except Sweets is still an ass and Daisy's still annoying, so I guess nothing changes.
And it is with great dread that I come to Booth and Brennan. I don't think it's a secret that most of us started watching because DB was in it and kept watching because the probability that he would occasionally take his shirt off was generally in our favor, but I wish the producers hadn't noticed because I think we were inadvertently responsible for turning his pecs into the center of gravity around which the rest of the show orbits. He's a pretty good actor, Booth is a pretty good character, and yes, he's still hot, but it's not enough. Without the moderate plausibility of the early seasons, he's less of a pretty good character and there's no point in having a pretty good actor in that kind of role.
More importantly, the show should have never been about him. He's the male lead, yes, but the title and the original premise suggest that it's Brennan's show, and she's been reduced to his love interest and a running joke about her scientific mind being unable to process emotions, and excuse me but I just have to get this off my chest: INFLEXIBLE THINKING DOES NOT DEMONSTRATE LOGIC. When your partner wants to go on vacation to have fun with you and the baby, who the hell objects on the grounds that the baby won't remember it? Did anyone watch that scene and think that it made Brennan smarter to assume that retaining specific memories is more important to a child's development than spending quality time with both parents?
And the inconsistency, don't get me started. She's never flinched at the gruesome remains of murder victims, yet she flies into a rage at the body of a tiger because "the tiger was a beautiful animal". Yes, many people feel more affected by harm to animals than humans, but those people don't work as forensic anthropologists for the FBI. Of course tigers are beautiful. This has no bearing on a crime scene investigation.
So our alleged main character has nothing to do with her character concept anymore. What this means, of course, is that the show doesn't either. Instead of science and intelligence solving crimes and bringing justice, we get a slight tinge of fate to every conclusion, like there are mysterious forces at work here. Are these forces in any way connected to the faith of the spiritual characters? Nope. Those guys are still portrayed as kind of gullible and dumb, but in a really endearing way, so you can't even hold it against them when they turn out to be right by pure random chance. Can't wait for the episode when Brennan doesn't want Booth telling Christine Santa is real, until he finds reindeer tracks on their rooftop.
On the topic of religion, obviously this show boils my blood sometimes so I was really impressed when Booth explained confession in a way that was a totally legit thing for a Catholic to say. Then at the end of the episode Brennan refers to the strength of his beliefs by quoting from the King James Bible are you kidding me.
Yes, I'm going to watch the last season. Didn't get this far for nothing. But I am so, so grateful it will be the last one. Might even say I'm blessed.