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Bones - Season 1 (DVD)
Member Name: samueltyler
Bones - Season 1 (DVD)
Advantages: Funny, Well Acted, Good Writing
Disadvantages: Bit Smaltzy, Dips in middle
I thought I say a skeleton once. I was about 10 years old and I used to share a room with my brother. I woke up in the middle of the night only to see a spectral skeleton floating above the ground near my bed. Suffice to say I did not eat cheese before going to bed again and my brother and I soon moved rooms as I could no longer sleep. What would happen if I say a skeleton know? Probably not much as it would be sitting in a museum. However, if I dug one up or found one in a wall cavity I would run away faster than a sprinter on horse steroids. It’s this reaction from normal folk that explains why we have the police and forensic specialists to deal with these things. Make no bones about it – I wouldn’t do it!
‘Bones’ is a TV show developed by Fox about a forensic anthropologist called Dr Temperance Brennan. Early on in the series she aids Agent Seeley Booth in a crime involving a skeleton. Due to her high level of expertise and the FBI’s jurisdiction over the entire USA the number of cases that need a specialist such as Dr Brennan means that they soon form a partnership between the FBI and the doctor’s team of specialists at the Jeffersonian Museum. Each episode highlights a case that requires both Dr Brennan's clean scientific studies and Booth’s gut reactions. Together they form a partnership that can uncover murders – old and new.
‘Bones’ refers to the nickname that Booth gives to Dr Brennan and underlines the level of fun that the writers bring to this dark subject matter. Based on a series of books by Kathy Reichs, Dr Brennan herself is an author in the show. This gives the series a level of expertise that shows up in each episode. Rather than remaining a dry look at death, the creators of ‘Bones’ have made the two central characters both charming and funny. The relationship blossoms throughout the series to mimic that of Mulder and Scully in the ‘X Files’. Although this series was red lit due to the popularity of the similarly themed ‘Crime Scene Investigators’ is stands on its own two feet as an excellent programme.
The writing is the first area that should be praised, not only is each story different from the next but a lot more is given to develop the characters than in many shows of this type. You get the feeling that the creators made a concerted effort to try and flesh out the roles of, not only, Brennan and Booth, but also the cast as a whole. This means that after only a few minutes you begin to know more about and enjoy characters in ‘Bones’ than in an entire series of ‘CSI’. Perhaps it is the acting combined with the characters that is the strongest element to the show.
The main two roles of Dr Brennan and Booth are cast perfectly by Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz. They seem to know their characters really well and push what is funny and acceptable between two colleagues. Deschanel plays Dr Brennan as a very intelligent but social unaware woman and this works fantastically against Boreanaz portrayal of Booth as a hard nosed but fun loving FBI agent. The best moments of the show happen when these two characters are bickering together. For all their differences their relationship and the show work so well because they complement each other so perfectly.
The supporting cast in series 1 of ‘Bones’ is also very good. We have the sexy best friend of Brennan; Angela (Michaela Conlin), who acts as her emotional side as well as the stuck up boss Dr Goodman (Jonathan Adams). Perhaps the best two roles go to the assistants Hodgins (T.J.Thyne) and Zack (Eric Millegan). These two characters are very likable but also very geeky. Hodgins is a conspiracy nut and his interpretation to what may have happened in a particular case is often very funny. Zack is a young PHD student who is very intelligent but even more socially inadequate than Dr Brennan – this leads him into lots of funny problems. The supporting cast are developed through the show and are not left behind like in many dramas. The actors play them so that they reveal their intelligence but also some of their inadequacies. This human feel runs throughout the show and is what makes it unique in the crime genre.
Another couple of areas of production that should be praised are the special effects and direction. ‘Bones’ is the kind of show that will succeed or fail on what the bodies look like as they are instrumental to each story. I am glad to say that they look hyper realistic and are as good, if not better, than the stuff on CSI. The direction is also very well suited to the show being flashy but also intelligent allowing the viewer a chance to feel part of the case.
There are a couple of issues that prevent ‘Bones’ from reaching the heights of the very best CSI episodes and this is due to some of the smaltzy American plots. Rather than treat the audience with the intelligence shown during the case the episodes often finish with a flurry of syrupy Americana lesson learning. Arguable CSI does so little of this that it is at fault but I found that ‘Bones’ did it too much for my liking. Also like many season 1’s this show dipped in standard during the middle from excellent to just good. However, overall ‘Bones’ is still one of the best, funniest, most intelligent crime dramas of the past few years and definitely worth a rent or cheap buy from any fans of the genre.
Starring: Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz
Price: Amazon uk £27.99
For such a meaty box set there are not that many extras to choose from. The final disc contains a few middle of the road adverts disguised as featurettes but apart from that only one episode has a commentary from Deschanel and Boreanaz. This is fun to listen to, but they basically mess around rather than tell you anything of interest.
Summary: Great Crime Drama from Fox