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Title: Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2stars:

HTS Overall Score:78

“Bones” is one of my weekly comfort food watches when I can. I stopped watching it air on TV a while ago due to my crummy reception at my rural home, but I still like to pop on a disc every week or so and chew down a few episodes. Like most crime/police procedurals the show is fairly self-contained, and the viewer doesn’t have to worry about massive serialized arcs that get interrupted the minute you miss an episode. It’s simple, light and fun without needing a huge block of time. For 11 seasons, I’ve done this, and for 11 seasons I continue to look forward to the next one. “Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season” is more of the same with a slight twist, marking the “almost” end of an era as it was recently announced that season 12 is going to end the series as the cast is ready to move on and the ratings have started to slump a bit.

While there are some differences in season 11, this is really more of the same in reality. Most of the episodes are your classic 42 minute chunks that open up a new murder case and have it resolved by the end of the series. We have some mild overarching plot lines that last the whole season, but 90% of the show is based around finding a new victim, bringing him/her to the Jeffersonian for study, and then find out who the killer was. Rinse and repeat. Now, while there is nothing wrong with that (for some reason each kill is unique even after 11 years) there are some twists and turns thrown in for good measure. One being the inclusion of a few cameos from celebrities like Betty White (who still looks the same as she did 20 years ago), and a fun little crossover Halloween episode with the cast from “Sleepy Hollow” (which was one of the more hilariously fun episodes of the season). This season also houses a new serial killer that takes up some of the crew’s time. This time in the form of a killer by the name of Puppeteer. Frankly I was REALLY worried about having another serial killer on the loose as Pelant really burned me out from having these main overarching villains. He was the “Red John” of the show and his overstaying his welcome led to some of the more frustrating points of season 9. Thankfully the Puppeteer is only about 2 hours of the whole show and is wrapped up in a clean 2 episodes. Something that is much appreciated as the self-contained episode structure of “Bones” works much better than the effort to serialize.

This year we see the return of Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) back to their original positions. Slight spoiler alert for those who missed season 10, but the two had quite the FBI and Jeffersonian to live lives as normal people. Something which we know wouldn’t last very long. Within the first episode the pair have given up any semblance of a normal life and are back at the grindstone again. Something which I actually feel cheapens the show a bit. I would have liked to have seen them tackle cases from a different angle and a new job instead of just saying “oh crud, we made a mistake. Let’s get our jobs back and act as if nothing had happened”! Still, it’s the status quo, and you can only change up so much in a show without the fans feeling cheated or disgruntled. HOWEVER, there is a dark twist to this season when an explosion cripples Jack Hodgeis (T.J. Thyne), turning him from the classic goofball and over exuberant character of the show into a bitter and enraged man who struggles with his new disability. In fact, it’s one of the darkest and most shocking twists in the series to date and acts as a huge deviation from the characterization of Hodgins. This allows for some interesting development between himself and the rest of the cast, altering relationships and interactions that have remained much the same for years.

While the episodes and murders are fun, what really makes the show continue to slog on after this many years is the chemistry of the cast and the quirkiness of the characters. We have the classic revolving door of interns for Bones (thanks to the loss of Zack from the first couple of seasons. A character who actually makes a surprise appearance as well this season), including Daisy, Colin Fischer (our favorite Nihilist), Dr. Clark Edison, and slew of others to keep the humor flowing. Bones and Seeley are the two main characters of the show, like it or not, and their evolution over the course of the last decade + has turned them into very comfortable bed fellows (so to speak). A chemistry and comfort level that allows for the viewer to comfortably lay back and accept their flaws and downsides in the formulaic series.

Episode Rundown is as follows

The Loyalty in the Lie
The Brother in the Basement
The Donor in the Drink
The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves
The Resurrection in the Remains
The Senator in the Street Sweeper
The Promise in the Palace
High Treason in the Holiday Season
The Cowboy in the Contest
The Doom in the Boom
The Death in the Defense
The Murder of the Meninist
The Monster in the Closet
The Last Shot at a Second Chance
The Fight in the Fixer
The Strike in the Chord
The Secret in the Service
The Movie in the Making
The Head in Abutment
The Stiff in the Cliff
The Jewel in the Crown
The Nightmare Within the Nightmare


Not Rated.

Video :4.5stars:
Like the previous 2 seasons “Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season” was unfortunately not released on Blu-ray (even though the 4 seasons before it were lucky enough to get a Blu-ray release), but the resulting 1.78:1 encoded 480p transfer looks simply amazing, considering it's source. Filmed digitally it looks about as bright and clean as a show can with some excellent cinematography. The show shows a lot of outdoor scenes as well as brightly lit lab areas, so the series tends to look nice and “shiny” for the most part. Colors pop off the screen and saturate the outdoor landscapes well. The contrasts are nice and balanced throughout with some excellent skin tones. Detail is excellent for the most part with this season When Bones and Booth are out digging up a corpse out of the gutter or out of a backwoods swamp things looking lovely. Even inside the sterile environment of the Jeffersonian clarity is crystal clear with the steel and slate looking work areas. Blacks are very well done, both indoors and out, and artifacting is kept to a bare minimum. There IS some mild softness associated with an SD 480p DVD, but that's more a side effect of the format than an encoding flaw.

Audio :4stars:
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you’ve seen the previous seasons of “Bones” on Blu-ray, than you know what to expect. A very nice 5.1 Dolby Digtal soundtrack that does everything just right without going into the realm of high end film mixing (the show has kept a very consistent mixing style over the last decade) The surrounds are used mildly, but there’s always some nice surround use going on in an episode. They never get too out of hand, but certainly add some nice ambiance to the show with the sounds of birds chirping in the wild, or the sound of beeps and boops from the Jeffersonian lab. Dialog is first and foremost the most important part of the show and the track is more than a little front heavy as a result. Vocals are firmly planted in the center channel and are well balanced with the rest of the track. Dynamic range is mild, but effective, and the LFE channel manages to sneak in a few potent moments beside the up beats of the opening score. It's a done track and if you've ever seen a DVD/Blu-ray of "Bones" before you'll know exactly what you're getting.

Extras :2stars:
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Promo Trailers

Overall: :4stars:

"Bones" is a show that has kept on going for a SURPRISING amount of time. I, for one, did not see it lasting as long as it did after the weak seasons in the center of the block, but it has managed to eek out a 12 season long arc for the viewers. It's amazing to re watch some of the earlier seasons to see how the characters have matured and changed over the years (Bones herself is nowhere near the character she was in the first 4 seasons). This latest season showed some fatigue in some portions of the storytelling process, but also managed to mix it up with a twisted and dark core that really brought out the darker side of some of the characters. A change that was a welcome addition after the last couple of seasons airy and breezy murder mysteries (if there can be such a thing). For these long running crime procedurals there really isn't much convincing to watch one way or the other. Either you're a fan of the long running show or you aren't. For fans, the show is still lively enough and full of spice to continue watching through the final 12th season and well worth the purchase. Audio and video are up to the show's high standards, although the extras are the slimmest I've seen in years. Good for a watch at the very least.

Additional Information:

Starring: David Boreanz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin
Created by: Hart Hanson
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Rated: NR
Runtime: 962 minutes
DVD Release Date: January 3rd, 2017

Buy Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season DVD on Amazon

Recommendation: Watch It

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