Dr. Temperance Brennan, or Bones (Deschanel) is the world’s leading bone specialist. She works in Washington, D.C. for the famous Jeffersonian (I assume it’s intended to be the Smithsonian). Her talents have proven themselves very helpful in solving crimes where skeletal remains are all that there is to go on from the victim. Her FBI agent/liaison is Seeley Booth (Boreanaz). Together they have an uneasy relationship that grows into a kind of friendship. The problem is that Bones doesn’t have a ton of social skills. She relies on Booth to guide their social interactions. More on that later. The lab is run by Dr. Camille Saroyan (Taylor) who has become a bit of a guiding mother to the team. Dr. Hodges (Thyne) is the trace-elements expert and tries very hard to be cool and hip. He’s generally the opposite of Bones. He says pretty much what comes into his head and is a bit of a science-fiction geek. Angela (Conlin) is an artist who uses her skills to reconstruct facial details from the skulls. She also works on enhancing images and restructuring evidence. She’s a bit of a romantic and has probably slept with every male in the lab. But Angela and Hodges are now married with a son. Dr. Sweets (Daley) is a young FBI agent and psychologist. He profiles victims and suspects as well as serves as a counselor to the team. He’s a bit over-eager at times, looking up to Booth as a mentor of sorts. The lab also has a few interns who show up from week to week, likely depending on actor availability.
The problems I have with the show deal mostly with character development. None of these characters have grown much in six years. I jumped from season 1 to season 5, and with the exception of some changes in cast, it was like I never left. The characters spend way too much time talking about their sexual prowess, with more than one character making multiple references to how exceptional they are in bed. The relationships too often take as much time as the cases themselves. This shorts the plot development and often leads the show toward the obvious. And the worst problem is the Bones character herself. She’s not likeable at all. She’s arrogant to a fault. She always talks about being the best and how she’s the natural hero role model for others. But her scientific brain is to the point of cruelty. She has to have non-emotional explanations for everything. She insults with impunity. They also stretch the idea that this highly educated woman doesn’t know any slang or figures of speech. She’s always misquoting a popular saying as if she were just learning English. It’s too contrived, and the writers reach pretty far for each of those “jokes”. Gone now is the sexual tension between Booth and Brennan. Now they are openly together and expecting a little one.
The writers and filmmakers take pride in offering the most bizarre of crimes and victims. You can expect a gross body in each episode. There is also a good share of interesting cases to go with those bodies. Season 7 features some cool stuff. The highlight of the entire season is watching Booth and Brennan on the set of the Hollywood big-budget film being made of her book. It’s a huge film with things exploding and plenty of action. Of course, Brennan doesn’t understand why they had to mess with her original idea. Also, of course, a real dead body shows up on the set, and they have to show the Hollywood types how it’s really done.
Each episode presented in its original broadcast 1.85:1 aspect ratio. While there is at times a bit of grain, the presentation is mostly pretty solid. There are some sweet detailed crime scenes that appear to shine in color and depth. There are a lot of earth tones here, so don’t look for a particularly bright mood in the presentation.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 offers a few nice ambient moments, but mostly you’re getting dialog here. It’s all fine and well placed; just don’t look for too much ear candy.
There are a couple of cast and crew Audio Commentary tracks on select episodes.
Gag Reel: (4:01)
Creating The Suit On Set: (10:59) This feature goes behind the scenes of the making of the fictional movie this season.
Bone Of Contention On The Red Carpet: (3:18) A mock red-carpet interview for the fictional movie.
The 7th season was cut short by Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy, which was also used on the show. She took the time off, so we only got 13 episodes this season. It’s back with a full season this year, however. It might have been nice to get these episodes earlier to give fans something to help with the limited run. The show was also on the bubble for a time, but it looks like it’s safe for now. You guys really love your show and “love always wins out in the end, right?”