Bones TV Poster Image


It's CSI, with banter; expect grisly murders.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

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

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."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional celebratory alcohol drinking or casual cigarette use.

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.

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 proceudral 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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:September 13, 2005
Cast:David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, John Francis Daly
Networks:Fox, Syndicated, TNT
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Bones was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byhead shot July 12, 2010
a bit on the gory side in some eppisodes
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
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 old with a stomach of wrought iron. The role models aren't quite great either, as the majority of them are agnostics, and one of them is a sex addict. Booth is really the only good role model in the entire show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
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 had a problem with scary images. I am also able to follow the story very well and of course I love the relationship drama. I think parents should let their kids watch if they're interested in forensic anthropology and if they are smart enough to comprehend the plot. There are discussions of relationships which can get inappropriate but don't consume the entire episode. I say don't knock it 'till ya try it!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models