Ouch. As to how this one got on the air in the first place is beyond me. How it somehow managed to get renewed for a second season is a clear indication that the executives at ABC are either high or have an intelligence quota comparable to that of a young Basset Hound. But, I’m getting ahead of myself: we’re only examining Body of Proof: The Complete First Season here — a show that, in lieu of innovation or imagination, took the very best elements it could muster from every medical drama and murder mystery series past or present, threw them into a pot and let the whole seemingly-pleasant concoction simmer until everything boiled out except for the all-too-familiar smell of cliché.
Actress Dana Delany plays the lead here, imbibing the various quirky characteristics found in such great TV sleuths like Quincy, House and Columbo — completely failing to make any sort of impact in the process. As Dr. Megan Hunt, a former neurosurgeon-turned-medical examiner (the result of a car accident) who helps the Philly PD solve murders by annoying their detectives until they finally listen to reason. And why should they listen to her over their years of experience on the force? Because Megan is much better at solving medical mysteries thanks to her keen eye for detail. She’s a strong female workaholic that walks, talks, acts and reacts like she just jumped out of a Lifetime title — and brought along several horribly amended scripts (rehashed from several other, better shows) with her.
I suppose if you can handle that, you can handle Body of Proof — which premiered mid-season (replacing a short-lived Detroit 1-8-7 in the process) and crammed as much as it could into its pilot in order to develop the persona of Dr. Hunt. Unfortunately, no amount of introduction can make up for the fact that Body of Proof’s lead character is incredibly formulaic and featureless. The rest of the cast is worse. Nicolas Bishop (as a medicolegal investigator), looks like he just walked in on this series, mistaking it for Grey’s Anatomy instead; John Carroll Lynch and Jeri Ryan (as the lead detective and chief medical examiner, respectively) are good, but miscast; Geoffrey Arend and Windell Middlebrooks (as medical folk) are incredibly stereotypical; and Sonja Sohn (as Lynch’s partner) is about as humdrum as can be.
As I said before: “ouch.”
ABC Studios brings all nine episodes of Body of Proof: The Complete First Season on two discs in their original 1.78:1 widescreen ratio with 5.1 English Dolby Digital surround sound. As it’s a new series, the audio and video aspects of this release are commendable. Optional subtitles are available in English (SDH), Spanish and French; there are also several special features here, such as a blooper reel and a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
In short: skip it. Or cross your fingers and hope it gets better.