Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Body of Proof: A Review.

     The new Dana Delaney vehicle where she plays a smart-as-a-whip neurosurgeon turned super medical examiner, solving crimes like no one else in the world can.  It's not my normal cup of tea, so on one hand I wasn't presupposed to the comparisons it was already drawing before it even aired.  On the other hand, well, it's not my cup of tea so it didn't have much of a chance.
     I watched the pilot out of my natural pilot-curiosity.  I watched the second episode because I hate myself, apparently.  I tried to give the gobs and gobs of exposition a pass in the pilot considering the possibility of rewrites and studio interference.  It didn't get any better in the second episode.  I actively wondered if the writers had even been to writer's school.  Or maybe they went to the Nicholas Sparks School of Writing.   It could have been a damn radio show.
     Apparently Dr. Megan Hunt (Delaney) is the most brilliant ME on the face of the earth and her existence renders most other police officers unnecessary.   In the pilot she tells us every-damn-thing there is to know about her: she was a brilliant neurosurgeon (neurosurgeons are rarely not brilliant, I wish they'd quit with the superlative) who put work in front of everything else but then lost it all in a terrible car crash.  She was blind sided when she ran a red light while on the phone with her daughter whose *something* she was missing- a birthday, or a recital, or something else little girls do.  She was explaining about how she's a doctor and she's saving lives.  Smash.  The accident made her hands no worky-worky so she resigned to being a medical examiner.  Also, it was a wake-up call (of course it was) and she finds she prefers the ME job because she can learn more about people from their bodies than they would ever tell her.  Also, she killed a patient.  And she's a bad mother but wants another chance.
     She pretty much just read that out loud to the camera.
     I think the opening line of the show was something like "Oh, Dr. Hunt.  We've heard about you."  Fantastic.  I'm so glad her reputation precedes her.  She walked in and said a bunch of crap that made the detectives look like they were sick the day they taught police work in police school.  But it wasn't clever.  It was as though the detectives were blindfolded and hungry and the ME walked in to feed them and shine light in their eyes.  "Don't believe everything you hear.  The truth is much worse."  There must be a book of cliches the writers are just pulling out of a hat.
     The moment that put me over the edge in episode two was when the medical police investigator (I don't know what this is, but he's the guy who follows Delaney around everywhere and claims he was assigned to her) actually said he was there to help her navigate her way to being a good mother or some crap like that.  It seemed like something that should have been left a writer's note and accidentally got typed into the script.  Don't tell me who your character is, show me by just being that guy.
     Another trope crime/medical drama moment in episode two happens near the end.  People are standing around talking about something and the word tears comes up.  Hunt says "tears.  Of course" and walks out of the room.  Cut to everyone in the room as she tells everyone the whole damn story and how she solved the crime and found the killer, someone nobody suspected, by comparing cells left by tears.  Then we end the episode with some bit of personal growth between her and her daughter.  Then I threw up.
     I would like to give the show a little bit of credit for making the cases a little bit interesting.  Or course, it's only episode two and I imagine the cases are just going to get weirder and weirder so they can keep topping each other.  Plus to make the episode last 44 minutes there has to be plenty of misdirection which often results in a surprise dues ex machina type confession.  It's just not my cup of tea.
     Body of Proof is poorly written poorly executed trope of a medical-crime drama.  It'll probably get five seasons at least.

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