Posted: 10/18/2011


Bones Season 6 on DVD

by Julie Hughes

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For those of you uninitiated, Bones is a television show on Fox based on forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology, with each episode focusing on an FBI case file concerning the mystery behind human remains brought by FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to the forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel). It seems to be a temptation for critics to determine that the sixth season is when a good TV show forgets about its characters and merely starts meandering into crazy, nonsensical plots. Fortunately, there is no sign of that in the sixth season of Bones. The characters are still true to their original personalities although they have grown throughout the seasons in ways a normal person would grow given the same circumstances. If the plots start getting a little too topical or unwieldy, the writers bring them back down to earth with these solid characters.

So, what’s so great about season six? Season six is a six disc set; that’s a lot of Bones for your buck. Season six has some great episodes too from the silly “The Maggots in the Meathead” with Dr. Brennan’s full analysis of the “guido tribe”(she mistakes Jersey Shore for a documentary series) to Dr. Brennan’s deep transformation from rational scientist to paranoid delusional in “The Doctor in the Photo” when she over-identifies with the victim and worries that she will die alone and unnoticed. Whether light-hearted or character-altering, each episode is written with the benefits of intriguing mystery and fascinating science, acted with a deep knowledge and loyalty to the characters, and presented in a visually stunning way.

One of my favorite surprises of this season was seeing David Alan Grier as Dr. Brennan’s intern (or “squintern” as Booth calls them because of their tendency to squint when trying to deduce and observe). Grier plays a children’s television show host trying to get Dr. Brennan on his show. Dr. Brennan is reluctant since she considers Professor Bunsen Jude “The Science Dude” to be less of a scientist than she’d ideally like to work with. Professor Jude offers to help her with her current case to prove that he is a real scientist and his show is worthy of Dr. Brennan. David Alan Grier always turns in a wonderful performance and this episode is no exception. Diehard DAG fans will be delighted. Bones seems to turn to guest actors that breathe life into the wonderfully-written characters as opposed to just shoving Britney Spears in front of a camera, hoping for the best and promoting the crud out of it.

The special features are few but enjoyable. The gag reel is always a fun little device, but especially entertaining to see Emily Deschanel flub her lines since her character is always so serious and occasionally, humorless. I always wondered how Emily could be related to Zooey (the indy darling star of Fox’s The New Girl); you can see the resemblance in the gag reel. There’s a pilot for The Killing, which, while nice, is not really part of the Bones experience. The commentaries show the devotion the crew has to the show, but don’t add a whole lot of new or useful information. The gem among these special features is certainly “The Visual Effects of Bones” documentary. It’s easy to forget how intensely visual Bones is since the performances, mystery and science usually command one’s attention. But Bones’s visuals encompass the obvious challenges of creating realistic human remains and bodily functions, as well as fancy computer science illustrations to the less obvious skill of reconstructing backgrounds. I was amazed to see how much green screen work goes into an episode of Bones and it is flawless.

This set is a must for any Bones fan. If you’re unfamiliar with Bones, new episodes premier on Fox starting November 3rd and reruns can be seen on TNT fairly regularly.

Julie Hughes considers television her teacher, mother, and secret lover. She has a BA in Media Arts from Butler University and lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her wonderful husband and beloved basset hound.

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