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Featured TV on DVD Review: Bones: Season Seven

October 8th, 2012

Bones: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Season seven was a bit of a disappointment for Bones when it came to ratings falling to 48th place overall. However, it was also a shortened season as Emily Deschanel was pregnant, and this could be the reason why fewer people turned in. With only 13 episodes, does the season have concentrated goodness? Or does it struggle to find momentum?

The Show

The season begins with Bones heavily pregnant and living with Booth splitting time between their two apartments. (There's talk about marriage, but neither side wants to be the one to ask the other.) Although a lot of the group want to offer them advice on their relationship, especially Angela and Sweets and Camie and Hodgins. That's pretty much everyone, except the rotating list of interns, who are smart enough to stay out of it.

This evolving relationship is a focus of a lot of this season, which is both a blessing and a curse. As a Police Procedural, the level of direct competition is just too fierce. (The People's Choice Awards has separate categories for Favorite TV Crime Drama and in 2011 even had Favorite TV Crime Fighter.) Each such show needs something to stand out and the Bones / Booth relationship is part of this show's hook. However, it is also a curse, as we've seen Bones' inability to deal with / understand humans on a social level, so it isn't fresh anymore. We also see more of the relationship between Angela and Hodgins, who are raising an infant boy of their own. Plus other relationships have a smaller focus, as well as family troubles pop in a few times.

As for the mysteries, they are very solid and the consistency is most impressive. In fact, I don't think there's a real miss in the group. The victims and crimes have a wide variety from competitive eating champion to someone cut up and shipped to the dead letter department at the post office and others. Partway through the season we meet Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) who is the big bad guy for the shortened season. I can't talk about it, due to spoilers, but I can say it sets up an excellent beginning to season eight and these two episodes are arguably the best in the season. The Suit on the Set is also a great episode, although I did get a sense of Déjà vu. Castle did something very similar in Season Three and there was an episode of Monk along the same lines during Season Two.

The Extras

The only extras on the first two discs are deleted scenes on one episode on the first disc. The rest of the extras are on disc three and start with an audio commentary track on the season finale, The Past in the Present, while there are also deleted scenes for that episode. There is an 11-minute making of featurette on The Suit on the Set, which is arguably the third best episode from the season. Bone of Contention is a faux-featurette with Angela and Hodgins on the red carpet for the premiere of movie based on Bones's book from The Suit on the Set. Finally, there is a four-minute gag reel.

The video and audio quality is just as good as last season with excellent details, deep blacks, strong contrast, vibrant colors, etc. The audio is great for a TV release, which is to say the dialogue is very clear and there are some good uses of the surround sound speakers and the subwoofer (especially in Bone of Contention's trailer).

There is a problem with the price. The Blu-ray costs 42% more than the DVD, which is too much, but worst still, it costs the same amount as last season, despite being only 13 episodes long. That's not acceptable.

The Verdict

Bones remained one of the better police procedural shows on TV with a good balance between the emotional relationships in the cast and the murder mysteries. Season Seven is certainly worth checking out, but the price-per-minute of the DVD and the Blu-ray are just too much.

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Filed under: Video Review, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, John Francis Daley, Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor, T.J. Thyne