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Good enough to watch, but not good enough to own.

DVD Review: Bones – The Complete Second Season

Written by Senora Bicho 

Bones is a crime drama based on real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs. The main character, Temperance “Bones” Brennan, is the protagonist from Reichs’ crime novel series. Creator Hart Hanson pitched the idea of a forensic show to FOX. Afterwards he was asked to meet with Executive Producer Barry Josephson who had purchased the rights to produce a documentary on Reichs. After this meeting of the minds, Hanson agreed to sign on and write the pilot episode. This provides the show with a certain level of credibility as Reichs also serves as a producer and is intimately involved in the storylines. A forensic anthropologist studies the human skeleton; therefore, all of the cases involve a victim that is partial or completely skeletonized. Bones has many similarities to other crime dramas such as CSI and Crossing Jordan, but it does offer unique cases and a stellar cast.

Season Two starts with the forensic team at the Jeffersonian Institute, which is loosely based on the Smithsonian Institute, getting a new boss, Dr. Camille Saroyan. Brennan clashes with Saroyan right from the start because she believes that the position should have been hers. Immediately, Saroyan comes off brash and bossy, alienating herself from the group, but at the end of the first episode, she stands up to a prosecutor in defense of her employees and miraculously wins them over.

Bones sets itself apart by investing heavily in personal storylines. David Boreanaz is perfectly cast as Brennan’s partner, Special Agent Seely Booth, the brooding romantic interest. He is believable in the role, and is sexy as hell. A major plotline revolves around the reoccurring role of Brennan’s father, Max, played remarkably well by Ryan O’Neal. He is a career criminal on the run. This causes an internal conflict for our main character. Is her dad a good man or a bad man? Her scientific mind only works in black and white. All of the scientists on the team are overly cerebral with minimal social skills.

There are very few extras offered with the DVD collection. There are two episodes with commentary tracks. Emily Deschanel (Brennan), director Caleb Deschanel and executive producer Stephen Nathan narrate “The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House”. This is one of the best commentaries I have listened to. They are each able to provide a different perspective and have fun together in the process. Caleb Deschanel has an impressive resume having directed several episodes of the television show Twin Peaks and his cinematography credits include The Black Stallion, The Right Stuff, The Natural, and The Passion of the Christ to name just a few.

The second commentary by series creator Hart Hanson and executive producers Nathan and Barry Josephson is on the season finale, which sets up a few cliffhangers that really didn’t leave me desperate for the premiere of Season Three. This group is able to provide good behind-the-scenes information, but it is a tad boring.

The additional special features include “The Memories in the Season” and “Visceral Effects: The Digital Illusions of Bones.” There is also the standard deleted scenes collection and a gag reel. The gag reel is painful to sit through. There is nothing remotely amusing and the attempt to present the actors in a different light fails miserably.

While I enjoyed watching this season of Bones, there wasn’t enough to make me sit through the show again, so I wouldn’t buy the DVD collection. However, for those who are forensic crime junkies, it certainly holds its own and fills the void between all of the CSI franchises. If you are not already a fan, catch a rerun or rent it first.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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