Bones is a forensics procedural vaguely based on the real life experiences of Kathy Reichs starring Emily Deschanel as the titular 'Bones' a brilliant forensic anthropologist with poor interpersonal skills, David Boreanaz as the more worldly and charismatic Special Agent assigned to work with her, Michaela Conlin as Angela (the pretty assistant), T.J. Thyne as Jack (the beardy/hipster assistant) and Eric Millegan as Zack (the nerdy annoying
The show mixes a stereotypical procedural format with a dark sense of humor and an unusual method of recreating crimes. Each episode gives us the old 'crime of the week' to solve and will normally be wrapped up by the end of the episode. Most long term plots involve exploration of the characters on the show and a 'will they won't they' romantic sub-plot between 'Bones' and Booth. Occasionally reoccurring characters will make reappearances and there is another major plot that deals with Bones' parents, and for the most part things are neatly solved by the credits (but not always).
David is as brilliant as you'd expect from his past performances, he's always made for a charismatic and likable lead, while Emily is also very good as Bones. I still can't decide if she's attractive or just mannish, but no matter what she looks like she's a very good actress. The rest of the cast are also solid and you'll almost certainly have a favourite 'squint' within a few episodes.
As an aside, I'm also exceptionally fond of the title music used in the show. The Crystal Method is one of those bands I love to listen to but have never been able to/got round to getting my hands on their albums.
The Other Stuff:
As you can see the packaging theme in this set is two main things, white and bones. Pretty appropriate styling really. If I'm honest the skeleton used on most of the pictures (including the front cover) is rather, well CGI looking. It's honestly looks a bit cheap. Likewise the photos, while more interesting, are heavily photoshopped in an obvious manner. Hey, call it stylistic choices if you like, personally I think that this makes for a stylish cover, not obviously photoshopped photos. But what do I know?
Inside the dust jacket the 6 DVDs are held in slimline DVD cases in pairs, one per side. The front of each has a different picture of the cast while the back has the same cheesy CGI skeleton along with details of the episodes contained on the discs. I'm not the biggest fan of packaging but at least it isn't as bad as some of the stuff used on the US versions of The Office has been...
The Start Up & Menus:
The incredibly annoying and frankly offensively placed FACT "You wouldn't steal an _____" video is sadly in attendance here. I believe I've made my opinions on this piece of propaganda quite clear before but to just reiterate my key point. It will not deter people who intend to pirate the DVD and they are more than capable of cutting it out of their pirated versions so people who don't care about intellectual licensing won't even see it. In this end this means that it's just those of us who pay for legitimate copies that get punished. Way to go FACT you bunch of donkey-ass-hats. In fact if you must put a video like that on a DVD please put it after the episodes have all aired and use this one or this one instead.
Fortunately it's skippable, unfortunately the two FACT screens that follow aren't.
The main menu isn't that impressive to be honest, you get a shortened loop of the Crystal Method theme music playing over a static shot. The loop on the music isn't even set up to run seamlessly so the general plan is to get out of the menus asap and start watching additionally there is no "Play All" option
Each of the sub menus has it's own language and scene selection placed over another static image taken from the episode in question. Our ears are treated a little bit here because the music loop isn't present. Just blessed silence. I might like the theme, but it soon loses its novelty when twenty seconds of it is looped over and over.
There's not a lot of extras in this set. They are as follows:
Commentary on the "Pilot" Episode by Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson (Show Creator)
Commentary for the Episode "Two Bodies in The Lab" with Davide Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel.
The Real Definition Featurette
Bones - Inspired by the Life of Forensic Anthropologist and Author Kathy Reichs Featurette
I've listened to a little of the commentaries but on the whole I wasn't that bothered about checking out these extras so I can't comment too closely. I know, I know. I should watch them to give you the full scoop, be happy I'm willing to mention them.
Runtime: 920 Mins approx
Number of Episodes: 22
Sound: 5.1, Commentary in 2.0
Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and English
Number of discs: 6
Zavvi are the winner this week with a price of £15.99, but they are unfortunately out of stock right now. The next best I've found are both HMV and Play.com who are priced at £24.99. I think it's worth holding out for Zavvi to get back in stock personally, £24.99 seems a little high for what you get.
At £15.99 it's 1.7 ppm.
The Final Word:
Bones is a show I like to watch during the quieter TV periods of the year, in some ways it's much like House, CSI. NCIS and other procedurals. Incredibly formulaic plots that are spiced up with strong characterisations, occasionally disturbing images and sharp, witty dialog. It doesn't really tax the viewer at all and sometimes that's just what you're looking for in a show. The first season is good fun and the time will just fly by while you watch it, definitely something for fans of the investigative show genre.