Another show (see also: "House") that seemed like an unlikely pairing with "American Idol", "Bones" still saw benefits from the match-up, as the series has done what seems like a rarity today - made it to a second season. The series stars Emily Deschanel (sister of "Elf" star Zooey) as Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist - with little in the way of social skills - who reluctantly works with FBI agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz), who needs Brennan's forensic skills in order to solve crimes where the corpses are often. That results in a series that is, admittedly, graphic at times.
However, the show's best aspect is it's cast. Deschanel (who manages to share the exact same perfectly deadpan delivery as her sister) handles both the comedic and dramatic scenes equally well. Her Brennan is tough, hardened and determined, but Deschanel's portrayal is certainly not one-dimensional. She also has terrific chemistry with Boreanaz, and their snappy give-and-take exchanges of dialogue crackle and give the show energy and momentum.
The two are supported well by a terrific supporting cast that includes ela Conlin, Eric Millegan and T.J. Thyne as Brennan's lab team. Jonathan Adams is also superb as Brennan's supervisor (although he left the show after the first season, as the second season introduced Dr. Camille Saroyan (portrayed by Tamara Taylor) as Brennan's new boss.) Another new character this season is FBI Special Agent Tim "Sully" Sullivan (portrayed by Eddie McClintock), who is partnered with Brennan later in the season and who becomes a romantic interest. The series also gets a boost from consistently solid writing; while I'm not sure how realistic the series is, the plots are often unpredictable and in season two the show still provides a fairly wide variety of plots.
Some of the highlights of the second season include: "The Titan on the Tracks" (Brennan and Roth investigate an apparent suicide, which caused a train to derail and kill a senator), "The Truth in the Lye" (Brennan and Booth investigate a partially dissolved body at a construction site, only to find that the victim was living a double life), "The Woman in the Sand" (Brennan and Booth investigate the brtual underground world of ultimate fighting when they try to track down a killer), "The Headless Witch in the Woods" (the death of a documentary filmmaker fuels the legend of a witch who haunts a forest), "Judas on a Pole" (Brennan is horrified to learn that her father may be involved with the murder of a former FBI agent), "The Girl in the Gator" (Booth is forced to see a therapist, resulting in Brennan getting a new partner to investigate a student killed on her Spring break), "Spaceman in a Crater" (the death of an astronaut leads to a surprising conclusion) and "Stargazer in a Puddle" (the team investigates a rare aging disease and Brennan's father returns with a surprise from her past.)
23. 2- 1 30 Aug 06 The Titan on the Tracks
24. 2- 2 6 Sep 06 Mother and Child in the Bay
25. 2- 3 13 Sep 06 The Boy in the Shroud
26. 2- 4 20 Sep 06 The Blonde in the Game
27. 2- 5 27 Sep 06 The Truth in the Lye
28. 2- 6 4 Oct 06 The Girl In Suite 2103
29. 2- 7 1 Nov 06 The Girl with the Curl
30. 2- 8 8 Nov 06 The Woman in the Sand
31. 2- 9 15 Nov 06 Aliens in a Spaceship
32. 2-10 29 Nov 06 The Headless Witch in the Woods
33. 2-11 13 Dec 06 Judas on a Pole
34. 2-12 31 Jan 07 The Man in the Cell
35. 2-13 7 Feb 07 The Girl in the Gator
36. 2-14 14 Feb 07 The Man in the Mansion
37. 2-15 14 Mar 07 The Bodies in the Book
38. 2-16 21 Mar 07 The Boneless Bride in the River
39. 2-17 28 Mar 07 The Priest in the Churchyard
40. 2-18 4 Apr 07 The Killer in the Concrete
41. 2-19 2 May 07 Spaceman in a Crater
42. 2-20 9 May 07 The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House
43. 2-21 16 May 07 Stargazer in a Puddle
Note: An episode called "Player Under Pressure" was never aired due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. The episode has not been included on the DVD set.
VIDEO: "Bones" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The show's presentation here looked terrific, with crisp, clear images throughout. Good detail was present even in the darkest of sequences. Some minor artifacting was spotted on a couple of occasions, but was hardly noticable. No edge enhancement or flaws with the source material were seen. The show's color palette is understandably a bit subdued, although it appeared accurately presented here, with no smearing or other issues. Black level was solid, as well.
SOUND: The show is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 by 20th Century Fox. The show's soundtrack does put the surrounds to use at times to offer occasional effects and ambience, as well as some support for the score. Audio quality was fine, with crisp music and clear, undistorted dialogue.
EXTRAS: A pair commentary tracks are included, on "The Glowing Bones in the Old House" and "Stargazer in a Puddle". While both tracks are enjoyable, the track with actor Emily Deschanel and her father, director Caleb Deschanel (who are joined by producer Stephen Nathan) is particularly enjoyable. The other track, which includes creator Hart Hanson, exec producers Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan also offers a lot of good insights on the show's production. We also get a pretty funny gag reel, "The Memories in the Season" featurette, "Visceral Effects: The Digital Illusions of Bones" featurette and nearly 8 minutes of deleted scenes with commentary from Josephson and Nathan.
Final Thoughts: The second season of "Bones" sees the series keeping its dark humor, compelling stories and strong characters and adding some new characters into the mix. It's a solid sophmore effort from the show, which has grown in popularity over two seasons. The DVD set offers solid audio/video quality and a few nice extras. Recommended.