Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bones: Season 2 DVD

My next DVD review for this month is Season 2 of "Bones". I spent Thanksgiving weekend last year watching Season One DVDs with my parents so I have lots of good memories of this show.

Now, Season Two involved some casting changes that were controversial but I was overall happy with the finished product. Bones is best when it lets it’s characters shine and this season certainly allowed that. Re-watching I am always so happy as how funny and un-abashedly geeky this show is. It would be really easy for a show about solving murders to be dour (CSI) but they manage to preserve a fun tone while still showing the humanity of the characters. The mysteries are also good in that there’s always a bit of a twist so it’s not as easy to predict.

Spoilers for special features below the cut....

Now, Bones Season One didn’t have many extras so I didn’t have high expectations here. The main features were:

1) “Memories of the Season” – Very good. Although, obviously spoiler rich so don’t watch these until you’ve seen all the episodes. Ryan O’Neal appeared quite impressed with Emily Deschanel (Dr. Brennan). Also, the new cast member? She was hired the night before her first day of shooting! Some on-line fans really lit into her work this season and I thought she did a good job. The best part was when the actors each described what type of show “Bones” is..They all gave completely different answers.

2) “Visceral Effects” - Also very good. They talk about several of the more complicated effects they've done like the zero-g shots from "Spaceman in a Crater". Several of the actors and producers talk about their favorite effect shots. Interesting fact: most of the bugs, ants, rats, on the dead bodies are CGI. They showed a split screen of several effects shots with as-filmed on one side and the final shot with effects. Nice little feature talking about some of the more subtle effect-work of the show.

3) The Commentaries – There are two of them. Unfortunately, none are from the pair of series leads Emily Deschenal & David Boreanz. Their commentary on Season One episode “Two Bodies in a Lab” was brilliant. But what’s here is also good, if not as better.

“The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House” – This is a surprise. Emily Deschanel with producer Stephen Nathan and her father Caleb who is the director of this episode. Very good commentary. They included lots of funs facts about the show and little behind the scenes tidbits. One really endearing thing is they would occasionally MST3K their own show a bit. Also, you get to hear Stephen Nathan sing his version of the "Bones" theme music. The three of them keep a good flow to the conversation and are overall enjoyable.

“Stargazer in a Puddle” – Includes series creator Hart Hanson and excutive producers Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan (again). Thsi was great. These guys clearly enjoy their work and can talk endlessly about it without sounding pretentious or boring. They also riffed on the show a bit (occasionally replacing dialogue, etc). The funniest moment for me was when Barry Josephson cheered when his name appeared. Actually, these guys were so "on", by the end of the credits I was shocked at the amount of topics they'd already covered.

One thing I would like to say on the commentaries. On both, the series people mentioned "Hey, we've got to talk about good stuff, people paid for this DVD set." They definitely conveyed the fact they wanted people to feel like they were getting something valuable for supporting the show. As someone who spends quite a bit on DVDs, this was good to hear.

4) Gag Reel – Just OK. It’s mainly line mess-ups, etc. Which isn’t surprising considering some of the scientific lingo they have to get out. Also, David Boreanaz cusses like a sailor.

Overvall for the DVD, very good. "Bones" doesn't have tons of extras but what they have (for the most part) provides great additions to the already entertaining Season Two episodes.

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