Round One: Antisocial EntomologistApparently, you always need a bug guy on these kind of shows (see also Grissom, Gil). Jack Hodgins has that whole scruffy misanthrope thing going on. And sometime between this promotional picture and season four he got a haircut, thank god. But c'mon. Mahesh "Bug" Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy is a grouchy South Indian with no social skills. It's like looking into a living mirror. Advantage: Jordan.
Round Two: Free SpiritI tend to find a character like this irritating and/or superfluous ... the Deanna Troi of the cast, if you will. Kind of hypocritical, seeing as I'm a counselor, but what are ya gonna do? But I was impressed by Angela Montenegro, who named herself after a dream she had (her birth name remains unknown). You don't get more hippie-dippie than that. Sorry, Lily Lebowski - this round goes to Bones.
Round Three: The WeirdoSure, Zack Addy is young and adorkable. But then he becomes the assistant to a serial killer and gets locked in a mental hospital. Nigel Townsend, on the other hand, is a tall, British goth who had me at, "hello, love." No contest - point to Crossing Jordan.
Round Four: Sarcastic BossI'm just kind of "meh" about this type of character. I see that they're necessary, and I'm glad they're around to (a) keep the principals in line and (b) move the plot along. Asking me who I like better, Garret Macy or Cam Saroyan, is like asking me if I prefer staples or glue. Let's just call it a draw and move on.
Eye Candy The Cop
This is a tough one. For pure "yum!" factor, I've got to stick with Woody Hoyt. He's got that corn-fed Midwest appeal and a pair bright baby blues that I could stare into for days and days... What was I saying? Oh yeah, the contest. Sadly, it's not about how hot you are - it's a about that actual police work. And Seeley Booth, with his mad interrogation and deductive skills, wins in that department. I am forced to conclude that Bones takes this round.
Round Six: Eponymous Queen Bee
I am convinced that each of these brilliant female protagonists has a neurological disorder - borderline schizophrenia and high-functioning autism, respectively. And while her psychiatric issues make Jordan Cavanaugh dark and edgy, it was too draining to be emotionally invested in her. In contrast, Temperance "Bones" Brennan's social awkwardness is whimsical and charming. Final score ... Crossing Jordan 2, Bones 3.
WINNER: Bones. And it's for the best. Crossing Jordan was canceled over a year ago, so if they had won I'd be relegated to watching reruns for all my creepy forensics drama needs. Now I'll have Bones to look forward to, Tuesdays on Fox and Mondays on TNT.