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David BoreanazDavid Boreanaz - "Bones" Tv Series - Season 1 DVD - The-trades.com Review
Monday 4 December 2006, by Webmaster
One is a man of action, given to metaphors and in touch with humanity. The other is driven by cold logic, distant, and befuddled by emotional displays.
If you’re thinking of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Mister Spock, you’d be close. You’d have to toss in a little sexual tension, and frankly that’s a mixture you really don’t want to go googling.
They are FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz, "These Girls") and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel, "Glory Road") — "Bones" to Booth, as much as she despises the term. "Bones" is a forensic anthropologist, on special assignment to the FBI from the Jeffersonian Institute. She’s like Quincy, with a specialty — she examines the bones of unknown victims and finds their identities, and most of the time, their killers as well. She’s also a bit of a celebrity — she’s got a bestselling novel about (ready?) a forensic anthropologist who helps solve crimes. This often leaves her co-workers wondering what parts they play in the stories. (The real twist is that the series, Bones, is based on a best-selling book about a forensic anthropologist who’s also an author of a best-selling book about a forensic anthropologist, which was written by a forensic anthropologist, Kathy Reichs, who is, naturally, an author. Got all that? Good, because you may need to explain it to me later.)
The series works on so many levels, because while the episodes are case driven, the series as a whole is very character driven. Temperance is very dispassionate and disconnected, socially and emotionally, which adds more than a touch of wry humor to the series. Her personality is the result of years spent in the foster care system after her family abandoned her when she was fifteen. Booth provides her with an anchor to the real world, and he gets tossed all the interesting cases because he has the access to Temperance’s expertise.
But Temperance doesn’t work alone. She’s joined by a team of hyper-competent individuals, some of which are so literal-minded and socially inept as to make her seem like an actual earthling. I can’t pick out a favorite, because they all have unique, individual qualities that make them stand out rather than fade into the background. Zach Addy (Eric Millegan) is the so-called geek, yet who has never read a graphic novel until late in this season (and when he does read them, he reads them deep.) Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is a conspiracy buff, and the scion of an extremely wealthy family who are the largest donors to the Jeffersonian — something he tries to keep secret from those who know him. Doctor Daniel Goodman (Jonathan Adams, American Dreams) is their boss, a man with sharp intelligence, and a wit to match. And then there’s Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin): graphic artist, computer programmer, and self described "good time girl". She’s the oddball of the "squint squad" because she’s so much like a normal person. She’s a free spirit, but she’s no slouch intellectually, having developed a cutting edge computer display device that allows for three dimensional holographic construction. Her job is to give the skeletons a face, and restore their identity.
This first season includes twenty-two stand-out episodes. In "The Girl in the Fridge" (and somebody owes Gail Simone a royalty cut on that, I believe), Temperance takes the witness stand to prove that a couple bound and killed a girl; the witness for the defense: her former professor and ex-boyfriend. But the real problem here is that he’s personable, while the jury tends to doze off during Tempe’s dry as... we... bones descriptions of injuries and forensic evidence.
Of course, being a lifelong comic geek, I admit that I had to skip ahead when I saw there was an episode titled "The Superhero in the Alley". In this episode, a teenaged boy is found in an alley, wearing a costume. The investigation turns to the graphic novel the boy — Warren Granger — was writing with the artist Stew Ellis to search for clues to the cause of his death. (Waitasec... Warren? Ellis? Who’s the comics squint in the writer pool?)
Rounding out the season is "The Woman in Limbo", in which Temperance comes across a Jane Doe skeleton that, when Angela provides the face, is the image of Temperance’s missing mother; the investigation that Booth launches turns up enigmas within riddles as Temperance learns her family — herself included — aren’t the people she thought they were.
Bones is one of those shows that, once you start them, you can’t stop. The plotlines are engrossing (and, honestly, gross as well, given all the decaying corpose) and engaging. It’s also another one of those series where a single niche of study is used to extrapolate an entire solution to a mystery. The comic geek in me, who by nature loves crossovers, would love to see Fox and CBS find some way to have one single murder case with three different theories of solution fought over by Temperance Brennan, Dr. Gregory House, M.D., and Numb3rs’ mathematician Charlie Eppes. (Hey, Fox does two out of three — I’d settle for that!)
In English, with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.