Tuesday, April 05, 2011

'Body of Proof' worth a look


Anybody else watching "Body of Proof," ABC's new crime drama, starring Dana Delany as a neurosurgeon turned medical examiner?

Caught the first couple of episodes -- it has to be the first episodic show I've watched with any kind of regularity on ABC in at least 20 years -- and it's pretty good.

I've gotta admit that the only reason I initially tuned in was because of Delany. She's been a favorite even before her underrated turn on the underrated "China Beach" (why isn't that show out on DVD?) in the late 1980s. I first spotted her in a couple of episodes of the seventh season of "Magnum, p.i." It was love at first sight.

Here she plays a hard-charging, sarcastic ME named Dr. Megan Hunt ("Quincy" with legs, as one reviewer said, in a sexist moment), with a keen mind and a Sherlock Holmes-like ability to diagnose much from one glance. She also has a past. She's divorced, estranged from her daughter, and was forced to leave neurosurgery after complications from a car crash caused numbness in her hands.

Jeri Ryan (the sexy co-star of "Boston Public" and the only good thing about "Star Trek: Voyager") plays her boss, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kate Murphy. Nicholas Bishop is Megan's partner, medicolegal investigator Peter Dunlap. John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn are the put-upon homicide investigators who have to deal with Megan's interference during their cases. Geoffrey Arend and Windell Middlebrooks (the Miller High Life guy) provide comic relief as a forensic pathology fellow and the deputy chief medical examiner.

Wikipedia tells me that although the series is set in Philadelphia, it is filmed entirely in Providence, R.I.

One critic got it wrong by writing that Megan is an unlikable character. Not true. She's tough, sure, but life has made her that way. She's sarcastic, but that's part of her charm. The bluster barely hides her vulnerability. That's both plausible and appealing.

Network TV has way too many police procedurals on the air, but this one is pretty good. I guessed the wrong killer in the first two episodes, so that has to say something.

Watch it for yourself. See what you think. "Body of Proof" airs at 10 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesdays on ABC.

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