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Bones: The Complete Eighth Season(TV) (2012-2013)
Dr. Temperance Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth in more mystery, murder, and mayhem.
For more about Bones: The Complete Eighth Season and the Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray release, see Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on October 5, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Directors: Ian Toynton, Dwight H. Little, Rob Hardy, Chad Lowe, David Duchovny, Caleb Deschanel
» See full cast & crew
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review
Is Bones broken?
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, October 5, 2013
Have you visited your local police station lately? Now, you don't need to confess to any nefarious activities to answer in the affirmative: this is a completely innocent question designed to merely ferret out how many readers might be aware of what their local precincts look like. My own nowhere near representative experience with such matters is that police stations are often housed in older buildings, some of them approaching the decrepit, where fluorescent lighting showers its hideous white rays on often ghastly looking old plaster walls and dinged up desks, chairs and tables. While some long running television franchises, notably Dick Wolf's multifaceted Law and Order, have tended to show our public safety public servants working in fairly shabby environments, there are a whole host of other crime related dramas on the air now where seemingly run of the mill cops have decidedly luxe working conditions. Think of shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or the relatively recent Canadian import Motive, and those who are prone to wondering where their hard earned tax dollars go might assume that the sleek Plexiglas environments and gigantic flatscreen apparatuses that are regularly on display in these series are part and parcel of real life "cop shops". Bones is another series with a rather improbable high tech appearance, but at least in the case of this long running Fox series, most of what appears to be the very expensive trappings of the Jeffersonian Institute are part of the Federal government, which supposedly has even more spare change lying around which it can throw at supposedly arcane divisions like the one where Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) plies her trade of forensic anthropology.
For those wanting to get up to speed with the Bones story thus far, I highly recommend checking out the reviews of previous seasons by my colleagues Ken Brown and Casey Broadwater:
Bones: Season Four Blu-ray review
Bones: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray review
Bones: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray review
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray review
Bones was one of several series which popped up in the wake of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a show which reinvigorated the procedural and perhaps, like the iconic Mission: Impossible series of decades ago, tended to emphasize plot over character. Bones' great contribution to this genre is that it actually offered characters who were at least as important to the show's ultimate success as its often convoluted plot twists and quasi- scientific blather. The biggest part of this character aspect in Bones has been the wonderful, often witty, interplay between Deschanel's Bones and David Boreanaz as FBI Agent Seeley Booth, a relationship which has followed the time honored trope of bickering opposites who ultimately give in to their deeper impulses.
That very emphasis on character has arguably been both Bones' greatest strength as well as its largest detriment, at least when the show's writers engage in overly melodramatic subplots that tend to put one or more characters in some kind of jeopardy. This is certainly nothing new for this (or indeed any) kind of show, as current lovers of another acronymed procedural, NCIS, can attest. A few years ago we saw Seeley in mortal danger, felled by a brain tumor and supposedly at death's door (yeah, right). And this season picks up with last season's supposed cliffhanger which sees Bones herself as a wanted fugitive who is suspected of having committed a murder (did I already say yeah, right?).
Bones does take a page out of some other procedurals (notably Law and Order: Criminal Intent) by having a "super villain" of sorts who recurs throughout this season, a la CI's Nicole Wallace. In this case, it's hacker (and presumed serial killer) Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds), a seemingly mild mannered computer expert who had popped up previously on the show and who already created last season's cliffhanger and is now on hand again this season to continue wreaking havoc for Brennan and Booth. While admittedly still a fairly minor character, his presence gives the semblance of a longer story arc, especially since he shows up again well into this season after having beaten a hasty exit fairly early on.
There's a nice callback to previous season here in one of this year's more interesting episodes, when psychic Avalon Harmonia (Cyndi Lauper, playing a character somewhat similar to her turn in the long forgotten film Vibes) shows up once again to figure out what's happened to a young boy who has evidently been killed. The perspective in this episode is the actual victim's, which lends a certain poignance to the proceedings.
Bones continues to excel at exploiting the various charms of its large and rather colorful supporting cast. My personal favorite this year turned out to be acerbic "jack" of all trades Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), who reminds me of a sort of (more?) manic Adam Savage on MythBusters. Hodgins not only has a reservoir of little quips at his beck and call, he's frequently seen this season performing a series of daffy experiments to prove various theories, and his penchant for paranoid conspiracy theories provides some decent laughs along the way.
While Bones is perhaps starting to show its age, the series still manages to be enjoyably entertaining, if with slightly diminishing returns as the show goes on. This season does see some interesting developments, especially with regard to the morphing relationship between the two leads, but the series also suffers from the same malady that confronts any procedural which lasts this long—how to invest a show which is rote by its very nature with enough varying elements to keep "dem bones" alive enough to maintain interest.
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This latest season follows comfortably in the generally excellent footsteps of the last few seasons' Blu-ray releases, with a sharp and nicely detailed looking presentation that may in fact be a bit too detailed for more squeamish viewers when the close-ups of moldering corpses come into view (which they do with fair regularity). Colors are rather unexpectedly bold and bright for a show of this kind of dour content, and contrast is consistent, helping make transitions from outside field work to the environments of the Jeffersonian (which are admittedly fairly brightly lit most of the time) seamless.
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season falls pretty much resolutely in line with the previous Blu-ray releases of this series, with a perfectly fine, if fairly routine, lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The show almost always features some sort of surround activity in every episode, with nicely positioned ambient environmental sounds placed around the surrounds, but just as often—in fact, probably more often—the show tends to play out in quieter dialogue scenes which are anchored front and center. This is certainly a workmanlike sound mix, and one that offers just enough surround activity to create a decent, if not overwhelming, sense of immersion.
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I personally found myself more involved and engaged in this season of Bones than I have for that past couple of seasons, but I still couldn't help but feel that the series is starting to show signs of increasing age and tiredness, something that really came to bear when once again the same arch-nemesis who gave us last year's cliffhanger returned to do much the same thing again this year. The show still continues to be entertaining in an undemanding way, but there's a decided lack of the joie de vivre (or should that be joie de mort, considering the show's emphasis?) that highlighted the first few years of the series. There's still probably more than enough here to keep longtime fans hooked, but the writing may be on the wall for Brennan and Booth. Recommended.
Bones: Other Seasons
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Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray - August 19, 2013
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has officially announced and detailed its upcoming Blu-ray release of Bones: The Complete Eighth Season. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the United States on October 8th.
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