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

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 112 reviews

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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 2, 4, 6, 8, 8, and 9-year-old Written byTabithaWren July 30, 2011

Great show.

My children have watched this since they were nine. I've explained that people die, and you can't help it. It has also taught them to be careful aroun... Continue reading
Adult Written byWatchWhatYouWatch September 28, 2020

Entertaining but GORY (and other serious thematic content)

I'm 20 but if I had kids younger than 15 or 16 I WOULD NOT let them watch this.

It's really mostly about the gory/vivid crime scenes. Blood, decay..... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bydicapriofreak94 October 19, 2011

Amazing, just AMAZING. Bones is the best show there is.

Best. Show. Ever. Not even kidding. This show is AMAZING. It has everything that anybody could ever wish for in a TV-show. It has: romance, humor, murders, lova... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBigBrainBobTheMinion April 21, 2021

its good

ive been watching it for atleast 3 years and have collected the whole series and its a good murder mystrie show i highly recommend

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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