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TV review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Bones TV Poster Image
Grisly murders and a fab female role model in forensic show.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 104 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show revolves around the sobering subjects of death and human remains, but in general it keeps a light and quirky tone. The series also reinforces the importance of using teamwork and applied intelligence to solve complicated problems. Science and technology are highlighted in positive ways, too.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bones is a brilliant and independent Ph.D., a strong female role model who uses her intellect to crack complicated puzzles. But she's far from perfect and has real trouble connecting with friends and co-workers on an emotional/personal level. She and her male partner works alongside each other as respected equals. The team also includes a good mix of personality types and ethnicities.


Along with the typical hand-to-hand combat, wrestling, and close range shooting of a network cop show, the series lingers on gruesome corpses who have met their end in very graphic, specific ways.


Flashes of lingerie, discussions of sex.


A great deal of language, such as: "bitch," "ass," "pissed," and "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional celebratory alcohol drinking or casual cigarette use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that since this show is about a forensic anthropologist, many scenes show dead bodies -- some of which are quite grisly. Light sexual discussions take place both jokingly and seriously. Scenes feature fights, guns, and deaths. The characters' interpersonal relationships can get somewhat soap opera-like, but the tone is light overall.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byhead shot July 12, 2010
a bit on the gory side in some eppisodes
Adult Written bymoviemadness April 11, 2010

Mature Audiences Only

Bones is a great, fast-paced show for older teens and adults. There is some great stuff here, from strong, intelligent, female characters (including women of c... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bycross_breed November 18, 2009

Five Star Show

This is one of the best shows on television. Brilliant casting and really good characters. The corpses are very bloody and can unnerve even me, a fifteen year o... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by♪♫music♪♫ January 13, 2011

Amazing! But for young kids take in to consideration your childs level of comprehension and ability to handle gory images

I have been watching this show since it first premiered in 2005 so I was 8. I know some parents would never let their kids watch a show like this but I never ha... Continue reading

What's the story?

Dr. Temperance \"Bones\" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a hotshot anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institution and writes novels on the side. The character is based on real-life anthropologist and novelist Kathy Reichs; the character's name comes from Reich's novels. In each episode, the FBI turns to Bones and her team at the Jeffersonian to help analyze skeletal fragments of unidentified corpses.

Is it any good?

BONES premiered at a moment in television history when the procedural series reigned supreme. That's the genre of television where a simple investigative format is pumped full of unique characters and situations, although they mostly turn out to be cop-style shows with varying degrees of quality. Law & Order is the gold standard.

While Bones does not do much to innovate the format, it does have a unique advantage in its two lead characters, Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz), who share a classic will-they-won't-they banter that never gets old. It's where the acting and writing both shine. That same light tone is attempted throughout the series and even in some of the more absurd crimes investigated, but because the characters are less vivid, the jokes fall flat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the gore associated with the many murders on the series. Does the show's lighter tone make it easier to take the scenes of dead bodies?

  • Is the potential for romance between Bones and Booth appropriate, given that they work together? What are the potential real-life issues involved in a workplace romance?

  • Families can talk about curiosity and perseverance. How are these character strengths demonstrated on the show? 

TV details

Character Strengths

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