The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Body of Proof (4/1)

EW Description: “Dana Delany does some dead reckoning on ABC’s brisk new crime drama. She stars as a prickly, brilliant neurosurgeon who finds redemption as a medical examiner after a debilitating car accident.”

Ten years ago, all procedural crime shows had a very cut and dry feel to them. Eventually, people seemed to get sick of the impersonality and wanted something more quirky. Now, with shows like Bones and NCIS, procedurals all seem to feel they need quirky and interesting characters. All procedurals need a hook now. Body of Proof is just the latest in this genre.

Dana Delany stars as Dr. Megan Hunt, a neurosurgeon who is now a medical examiner. In the world of this show, the medical examiner works alongside detectives to solve crimes, regardless of the fact that’s not actually what a medical examiner does. Just like crime scene investigators don’t interview suspects and make arrests, medical examiners don’t actually meet with the victims’ families to interview them.

There’s a lot of suspension of disbelief going on in this show. The characters try a little too hard to be edgy and the need to give Megan a debilitating hand problem seems unnecessary. Then there’s the ridiculous dialogue. Sentences like “I care about the dead because they can’t speak for themselves” are just the type of profoundness at which the show attempts and mostly fails. With the exception of Megan, no characters are particularly memorable and I found myself zoning out more than I wanted to.

This isn’t necessarily a bad show. It’s just not particularly good. Maybe it seems like I’m being too harsh, but I’m so sick of procedural crime dramas like this. Each one is less inventive than the last and they’re cluttering the TV landscape. What really makes me angry is that this show, which is basically like Bones, NCIS, CSI, or any other procedural, is probably going to get renewed while a fantastic show (Parenthood) in its same timeslot will likely end up on the chopping block.

Comments on: "Body of Proof (4/1)" (2)

  1. I watch a lot of procedural crime dramas as well, which is why I respectfully disagree with your analysis of Body of Proof.

    Granted, this was by no means the best pilot I’ve ever seen, and I remain unconvinced that the show will take off.

    However, I found the episode to be quite different from most crime dramas. The focus on a single female lead character quickly differentiated it from similarly situated shows. Furthermore, the character is not particularly lovable in any really sense, and is not even that attractive by Hollywood standards. The feminist in me cheered a little because of this (though this clearly does not absolve the show from feminist critique).

    Also, the hand injury in my opinion was pretty central to the main storyline. After her car accident that caused the hand injury, Megan was unable to continue with her neurosurgery career. This led to her position as a medical examiner.

    I agree that the show asks the viewer to suspend a lot of disbelief. But don’t all shows do that? I mean, Glee is certainly far from realistic, and that very quality makes it entertaining. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I don’t watch shows like this expecting to get an accurate portrayal of the legal system. If I wanted to see the legal system in action, I could go down to Boone County Courthouse.

    Still, the show definitely needs tweaking. I’ll still be tuning in next week nonetheless. 😀

    • I’ll give you that it’s awesome the main character is a strong woman, but I just felt so meh about it. Maybe it’s because I watched the second episode and not the pilot, but there was just nothing that grabbed my attention. All I could think after it was over was “been there, done that.” I want originality in my TV shows and I just don’t get that from Body of Proof.

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