Judge Cynthia Boris, a forensic DVD reviewer, regularly investigates mangled DVD slipcases.
Our reviews of Bones: Season One (published December 4th, 2006), Bones: Season Three (published December 1st, 2008), Bones: Season Four (Blu-Ray) (published October 26th, 2009), Bones: Season Five (published November 18th, 2010), Bones: The Complete Sixth Season (published November 4th, 2011), Bones: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (published October 26th, 2011), Bones: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray) (published November 6th, 2012), and Bones: The Complete Eighth Season (Blu-ray) (published October 21st, 2013) are also available.
Booth: Reason for wanting a gun?
It may not be the most talked about program on TV, but according to creator Hart Hanson, Popular Science declared the series the most forensically correct forensics show on TV. But then again, if all you're looking for is correct science, you should probably turn on The Discovery Channel. If you want quirky characters, tight writing, brain-teasing puzzles, and a side of romance, you should definitely watch Bones: Season Two.
Facts of the Case
Based on the books of Kathy Reichs, Bones follows the lovely but socially lacking Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel, Glory Road). A forensic anthropologist, she works with wildly creative FBI agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz, Angel) to solve crimes that begin with particularly mangled or decomposed corpses. Brennan has a team of brilliant but quirky "squints" (Booth's nickname for the science geeks), which includes young, socially inept Zack Addy (Eric Millegan), paranoid bug and slime expert Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), and forensic artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), who brings a bit of humanity to the lab.
In the second season, Brennan's cultured boss, Daniel Goodman is gone and in his stead is Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor, Party of Five). Cam comes with her own bit of baggage: she and Booth used to be lovers, a fact that plays heavily into the first half of the season.
Even though Bones is a very episodic series, there are several short story arcs that turn this season into a set of mini-movies.
Caution: there may be spoilers ahead.
The addition of Cam was meant to be a short-lived story arc but didn't wind up that way. Much to the actress's surprise, the character was extended beyond her original staying point because she added so much to the chemistry of the series. I didn't care for her at first, but she grew on me and I think she's a bigger asset to the show than the character of Goodman was in the previous year.
When Booth shoots a clown ("not a real clown"), he's ordered to take time off and his therapy provides an amusing and touching story arc with the excellent Stephen Fry as his therapist. While Booth is sidelined, Brennan works with a new FBI agent (Eddie McClintock) and romance ensues.
Speaking of romance, my least favorite part of Season Two is the long, drawn-out story arc dedicated to the blossoming love affair between Angela and Hodgins. Sorry, but neither romantic plot works for me.
Fans of the series will be treated to the return of Brennan's family troubles when her father pops up on the grid. And it doesn't get much creepier than the return of serial killer Howard Epps who's after Brennan and her bunch for the third time.
Several episodes stand out. "Aliens in a Spaceship" has Brennan and Hodgins buried alive, thanks to the ingenious serial killer the Grave Digger (who may return in Season Three). The episode is compelling, emotional, and horribly claustrophobic and the rescue scene is a terrific piece of television. Hodgins also figures prominently in "The Man in the Mansion," which has him hiding his personal connection to a murder victim, and "The Headless Witch in the Woods," a freaky little horror movie wrapped up in a murder mystery.
The DVD itself is well put together with graphics that look almost like sketches, nice navigation screens, and good audio and video quality, which is expected from a show this new.
The special features are interesting, particularly the "Visceral Effects: The Digital Illusions of Bones" featurette. I had no idea so much of what I saw on screen was digitized in afterward and it gave me all new respect for the production team behind this stylized show. There's also a double gag reel covering both seasons with the usual trips, gaffes, and giggles and a "Memories in the Season" featurette which is a nice summary of what was new and different.
The commentary tracks were interesting. The track with Emily Deschanel and her director father Caleb is quite funny, but there's no David Boreanez on any track and that's a shame.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I'm a collector, so I like to keep my DVDs all nice and neat in their little boxes. So I was quite disappointed when after only one opening, one of the slipcases broke right in my hands. It's the top rounded edge of the case and it can be glued, but it speaks to me of cheap. Never had that happen before.
As for the show itself, I think I prefer Season One as a whole to Season Two. There are some exciting and inventive episodes this time around, but I feel the show is doing itself a disservice by including more of the personal lives of the staff. Keep the romance out of the office, unless it's the necessary sexual tension between Bones and Booth.
If you like your forensics with a bit more fun, you'll love Bones. It's quirky and actually comic in spots. The mysteries are detailed, the special effects are amazing, and it's got a style all its own.
Having reviewed all of the evidence compiled by Doctor Brennan and her team, this court has no choice but to declare Bones: Season Two guilty of unlawful detainment. Once I start watching, I can't let go.
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