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Based very loosely on the life and writings of forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs and developed for television by Hart Hanson, BONES will be returning for a seventh season of episodes, indicating that its mixture of humor and the police procedure remains a popular combination for television audiences. On a weekly basis, BONES offers entertainment seekers equal portions of forensic science, detective work, humor and character driven storytelling. As I have said previously, it is the series’ quirky sense of humor and character rich writing that has made BONES one of my favorite police procedurals currently airing on network television. Dealing with murder and decomposing corpses on a weekly basis, BONES is not a comedy by any stretch of the imagination, but it is character based humor runs through every episode that gives the series genuine audience appeal. Of course, BONES does balance its sense of humor with the more serious elements, so the humor is never allowed to undermine the forensic science that is the nuts and bolts of the show’s weekly mystery.

Unlike most police procedurals, which deal with fresh murder victims and corpses that tend to be intact, BONES strips away the flesh and blood of a crime, and places the investigation firmly in the hands of forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel). Given the unfortunate, but appropriate, nickname of "Bones," our forensic anthropologist works out of Washington’s Jeffersonian Institute on difficult cases brought to her by the FBI, where she and her team reconstruct crimes from the human remains that are literally little more that bones. For these difficult cases, Dr. Brennan is (for the lack of a better term) partnered with Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), that is, when the investigation requires her to deal with the living.

Other members of Dr. Brennan’s forensics team include Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), an artist who specializes forensic facial reconstruction and Dr. Jack Hodgins (T. J. Thyne) the resident entomologist, who is also an expert on spores and minerals. Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) is the Head of the Forensic Division at Jeffersonian Institute and a pathologist, who oversees the investigations. Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) is the psychologist assigned to Booth and Brennan by the FBI, who sometimes assists in their investigations by providing motive, psychological profiles and probative questions during interrogations. Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher) the prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's office, who becomes involved the cases investigated out of the Jeffersonian Institute on a regular basis. Michael Grant Terry, Carla Gallo, Ryan Cartwright, Pej Vahdat, Eugene Byrd portray the rotating roster of interns/lab assistants that work with Brennan’s forensics team.

BONES: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON ($70) comes to Blu-ray in a four-disc set that features the following twenty-three episodes that were aired during year six: The Mastodon In The Room, The Couple In The Cave, The Maggots In The Meathead, The Body And The Bounty, The Bones That Weren't, The Shallow In The Deep, The Babe In The Bar, The Twisted Bones In The Melted Truck, The Doctor In The Photo, The Body In The Bag, The Bullet In The Brain, The Sin In The Sisterhood, The Daredevil In The Mold, The Bikini In The Soup, The Killer In The Crosshairs, The Blackout In The Blizzard, The Feet On The Beach, The Truth In The Myth, Finder, The Pinocchio In The Planter, The Signs In The Silence, The Hole In The Heart and The Change In The Game. Season six begins with Caroline Julian reassembling the team after seven months apart while they were exploring different interests. Booth returns from a training mission to Afghanistan with a new girlfriend, this new relationship causes Brennan to reexamine her feelings for her partner. Angela and Hodgins share a happy announcement. An old nemesis meets their end, while a new nemesis emerges from the shadows.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made all twenty-three episodes that comprise BONES: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentations contained in this Blu-ray set easily best their 720p broadcast counterparts. Like other Fox Network shows appearing on Blu-ray, all of the artifacting and other peculiarities associated with the over-compressed network feed from my local cable company are nowhere to be seen on disc. Across the episodes, the image appears very sharp, nicely textured and offers up plenty of fine detail. Additionally, the picture is quite dimensional. Colors are bright, vibrant and fully saturated, while the flesh tones are quite natural. Blacks are pure and whites are completely stable. Contrast and shadow detail are strong performers, which is just what one should expect from this type of quality high definition television production. There are no noticeable defects in the source materials. Modest to more noticeable levels of grain/noise are present in the image.

All of the episodes that comprise BONES: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Like the preceding sets, the season six episodes have only modestly better than average television sound designs. Talky by nature, the episodes are front-loaded, but demonstrate good stereo imaging, especially where the music is concerned. Sound effects are also imaged across the front, but to a lesser extent than the music. The rear channels provide modest reinforcement of ambient sounds and musical fill, as well as occasional active effects. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity gives the musical component a nice boost. Sound effects are reasonably convincing, but there isn’t that much action in these episodes to test one’s system anyway. The bass channel adds some weight. Dialogue is always clean and fully intelligible. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Running Audio Commentaries have been included on the following episodes: The Doctor In The Photo and The Blackout In The Blizzard. Extended Versions of the following two episodes are also provided The Daredevil In The Mold and The Bikini In The Soup. Featurettes and other programs include: Breaking Down: The Blackout In The Blizzard (eight minutes) and The Visual Effects Of Bones (twelve minutes). The pilot episode for THE KILLING is also provided. A Gag Reel close out the supplements.

Six seasons in, BONES remains one of the most consistently entertaining and enjoyable police procedurals out there. The Blu-ray presentations remain head and shoulders above 720p broadcast. Recommended.


Bones: The Complete Sixth Season [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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