“The body is the proof. It will tell you everything you need to know if you just have the patience to look.”
And patience is exactly what you’re going to need with this new ABC drama. Body Of Proof was a mid-season entry by the network; it debuted at the end of March and ran for only 9 episodes so far. It has been renewed, so it will have the opportunity to develop into something better than what it is. So far I see a ton of potential, but these first 9 episodes didn’t exactly leave me on the edge of my seat.
Dr, Megan Hunt (Delany) was one of the best surgeons in the business. A car accident left her with some recurring numbness in her hand which led to her killing a patient on the operating table. Now she works somewhere where she can’t kill her patients because they’re already dead. She’s now a member of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. Her boss is Dr. Kate Murphy (Ryan). Megan isn’t really good at taking direction, and Murphy has learned to accept that she won’t easily be commanded because she’s good at what she does. The problem is that she’s quite abrasive and doesn’t sit very well with authority. She treats the Deputy Medical Examiner, Dr. Curtis Brumfield (Middlebrooks) with so little respect she refuses to call him doctor, let alone follow his orders. Most times she’s telling him what to do. Megan is divorced with a young daughter who she is trying to re-connect with. It seems she lost her family because her work dominated her life and time.
In the lab there is Ethan Gross (Arend) who is the apparently requisite young geek who is pretty socially awkward and intimidated by the rest of his colleagues. Megan is often teamed up with the detective team of Detective Bud Morris (Lynch) who thinks she’s way too full of herself but reluctantly admires her results and Detective Samantha Baker played by The Wire alum Sonja Sohn.
Each week there is a murder, and Megan ends up sticking her neck out to speak for the dead. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it most definitely is. It all began with Quincy back in the 1970’s and more recently with Crossing Jordan. Both of those actors (Jack Klugman and Jill Hennessy respectively) were more dynamic than Dana Delany, who comes over after a more successful job portraying the somewhat unstable Katherine on Desperate Housewives. The problem here is that all of her supporting cast appear to be more compelling than she is. The cases don’t stand , and this is the kind of show that you can sit quietly and watch for an hour but forget about any of it minutes later. It’s tough when the top of the call sheet is badly cast. It’s nothing against Delany. I’ve seen her do far better work on other shows. It’s just not a good match, and if these 9 episodes are any indication of where this is going, I don’t expect the series to last the upcoming season.
Each episode is presented in its original broadcast aspect ration of 1.78:1. The series looks pretty good when it comes to the image. It’s a little bright, but that’s the artistic choice of the series. Everything looks quite natural, and compression artifact doesn’t do tremendous damage. Little chance for black levels to shine, however. Flesh tones are very natural.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track serves dialog and little else.
Examining The Proof: (10:21) A look at the process of developing the show from story to technical consulting.
If Looks Could Kill: (5:32) Costume feature.
Body Of Goofs: (3:40) Blooper
Promo For Season 2
To be fair, the series hasn’t really had a lot of time to get its legs, and perhaps Delany will settle into the part and find her voice. But this is one that needs to improve right out of the gate in 2011-12 or we’ll be doing our own post mortum in these pages sometime next year. I do enjoy the Philadelphia locations. Whoever is writing this show does know their Philly stuff. I loved some of the subtle references that only someone from the area would catch. Unfortunately, “It’s just not enough”.