Body of Proof Is Dead on Arrival

Did you watch the premiere of Body of Proof last night? It's the new ABC crime procedural starring Dana Delany as a kind of Quincy, M.E. with a sassier attitude and more on-trend wardrobe. Delany plays Dr. Megan Hunt, a brilliant former neurosurgeon who we learn has lost her career to a car accident that killed another driver and impaired her motor skills (or at least she thinks it has). Robbed of her ability to operate, she now puts her superpowers of deduction to use solving stymieing crimes for the city. “Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about me,” Hunt tells the skeptical, mildly retarded detectives on whose turf she so brazenly trespasses. “The truth is much, much worse.”

So Body of Proof is going to be one of those shows. To call it derivative is almost so obvious as to be tacit. You need only have a passing awareness of shows like House M.D., Bones, Crossing Jordan, The Mentalist, and Lie to Me to feel their tried formats hovering over the proceedings. But, to quote Fred Armisen channeling Joy Behar, “So what? Who cares?” The sheer number of these shows seems to suggest there’s an audience for them, and their formats aren’t really all that different from that of a Sherlock Holmes novel: Genius sees what mortals cannot; sidekicks marvel; crime is solved; genius celebrates by injecting some heroin.

But unlike Dr. House, Hunt has no drug addictions or other chemical dependencies to work through. There are no signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Tourette's Syndrome, or even an irrational fear of clowns. Hunt doesn’t even really have that bad of an attitude, despite her corny warnings to the contrary. Her failings, it seems, are mostly non-existent—beyond her workaholism, which was apparently enough for a judge to deny her custody of her only daughter. Now, I’m no divorce lawyer, but I’m pretty sure, “Mommy makes way too much money as a brilliant neurosurgeon” isn’t really a viable cause for giving Daddy full custody? Like, “Mommy spends way too much time prostituting herself in exchange for vials of methamphetamine” would be a pretty good reason, but not “working really hard?” And yet there she is at the door on her daughter’s birthday, and her jerk of an ex-husband (Once and Again's Jeffrey Nordling) practically slams the door in her face. “Get out of here, woman who provided too well for her family! You are tragically faulted, yet your hubris is also your greatest virtue. Go wallow in your inner-irony!” I mean, come on.

The central mystery of the pilot, involving a runner found dead with a concussion, was utterly uninvolving, which leaves us instead to just familiarize ourselves with the cast. Peter Dunlop is Hunt’s Dr. Watson—a former cop who acts as her minder and pal. He’s played by Australian actor Nicholas Bishop, looking almost startlingly like a less-pretty Simon Baker. Sci-fi sex symbol Jeri Ryan is on hand as Dr. Kate Murphy, Hunt’s boss, here to provide some weekly version of the sentiment, “Watch your step, Hunt.” John Carroll Lynch—the dough-faced character actor whose oversized features can relay both menace and a profound thickness—is Det. Bud Morris, there to cast doubt on every one of Hunt’s deductive leaps, only to be proven the chump at every turn. And Sonja Sohn, sainted forever for her role as a lesbian drug cop on The Wire, is also accounted for, slumming as Morris’s partner. And then there’s Delany, who’s doing her best with what she’s given. The most I can offer is that she’s pleasant enough to be around for an hour of going through the crime-show motions.

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I am not watching this show because Dana Delaney is in it and I don't much care for her as an actress. If the leading lady was someone else I'd think about it.
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I like that she's not likeable. I like imperfect characters. Her difficult relationships with her daughter, her ex and her colleagues are interesting. She's a real human. It could be a good show.
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did not bother finishing the show...it was awful
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I agree it was not very good but I also think that it's one of those shows that will get better in time. The dialogs and the plot I hope :)
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It really is pretty bland: C+/B- quality. It's ("Rizolli and Isles" - Rizolli) x pathetic. I can stand a typical procedural, but as a southeast PA resident, I can't accept that 'Philadelphia' is really Providence, RI. If you're going to the trouble to film on the East Coast, do it in the actual city.
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it was so bad I couldnt even bring myself to see the whole episode.
Its almost as bad as the cape.
the biggest misstakes in shows like this where the main character is supposed to be smart, is that the writers arent intelligent enough to make it believable. better write about a fool fumbeling about and solving crime by chance... it may suite the writers more.
come up with something better than this crap atleast.
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I've seen 4 eps so far, cuz it's been shown in Poland for awhile now, and I have to say that it's getting better, so don't give up after one ep, give it a chance :D
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I don't mind procedurals as long as the characters are interesting. I'll wait a bit longer to see if I want to follow this one or not. I was a little disturbed by the mother-daughter-ex husband dynamic. Parents should not place their children in the middle and this seems to be punishing a woman for being a successful career woman......a little to Right Wing for me.
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Most should not judge an entire series based on its pilot. The mention about the divorce lawyer tactic, she only made reference to the length of time she spent at work, compared to her then husband. That probably bends to a deeper meaning that could unravel further in the series. This points out the economies of the world and how it can play against you as a woman; a key element that could be debated further or revised.

Another key note, the weight of the premiere should not be used for filling in loose ends. The premiere, in my opinion, was a pinch of corny at times, but it managed to set itself apart and manage likable characters. Far be it, not many other series have accomplished before. So sit down and enjoy what's to come.
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It really was a pretty awful pilot. I just kept waiting for it to end.
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i enjoyed it. 14 million people watched it the pilot, that's saying something.
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The first episode was awful hope this one gets cancelled.
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One short season for this show...no more...
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...and it wasn't as bad as this post made it out to be. I actually want to watch more.
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I have it DVRed. I live in southeast PA, so i'll give it a try just to support Philly, if nothing else.
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"...as a kind of Quincy, M.E. with a sassier attitude and more on-trend wardrobe." That's pretty much what I thought, too. I liked the episode, even if it wasn't entirely original. And it is weird how much Simon Baker and Nicholas Bishop favor each other! (Mr. Bishop even looks a bit like Eric Dane from Grey's Anatomy.)
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It's a fine show. Not brilliant, not outstanding, but fine.
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Thank goodness Ron Moore got Dana Delany back on television in her one-off part on "Battlestar Galactica" years ago as the terrorist leader. Its just good having her on tv.
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Thank God. I thought I was the only one who felt this show was boring and unoriginal.
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"genius celebrates by injecting some heroin. "
we've all been there, give him a break
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The more I read about this show, the more it reinforces my opinion that it's just a cheap rip-off of Rizzoli and Isles.
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I thought that the show was great! It reminded me more of Sherlock Holmes, though, than other current/recent cop shows when she made observations about the cop's (Morris) personal life. I also enjoyed watching Nicholas Bishop who reminded me of Dr. Watson, too. He still think that he looks like Simon Baker, but after watching the episode, he really looks like Ben Mckenzie. I also like the mother/daughter dynamic. Any person that screens calls from the other parent for a child that age IS a jerk. The child is not even given the choice of talking/not talking to that parent. Regarding the custody, She did say that she thought he had her back, but really he was sneakily using her absences against her for the custody trial.
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I enjoyed it even though it has some similarities between bones and castle(two of my favorite shows).
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I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had given up on network TV but will watch this show.
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Nicholas Bishop looks more like Ben Mckenzie from Southland!
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Only reason I'm gonna watch the next episode is for Delaney! Also the hot boss! Being a big fan of Castle and Bones makes me feel guilty if I don't at least try watch it!
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The comments have inspired me to watch the pilot :P
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another loser who does not pay attention to what he watches. She killed someone on the table not in the accident. Idiot. Give up writing here you suck at it
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It was all right. I will watch again.
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@Catwoman87531 plus she can't drive it seems. plus she was less enthusiastic about picking up their daughter and whatnot due to her former job though that i can understand considering she was due for work in 30 at the time of the call which seemed last minute of the husband.
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@Catwoman87531 i agree they need to go into the husbands backstory as well but the picture they painted did make him look like a jerk. and if you wern't paying attention (which obviously you aren't) the husband works the same hours the wife does/did. if anything they ruled in favor of the husband because she accidentily killed someone on the opperating table and she's very rough around the edges.
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@IndianaMom either that or a continuation of her character from ncis which was great as well. until you mentioned her role on castle i completly forgot she was on there too XD. when the first crime scene took place at the docks i was kinda excited for a second thinking she was more than just a medical examiner for the show D:
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Your Crazy, I loved it! I was glad to see a new point of view of the crime/medical investigation. I love that its new and not a repeat of all the CSI/NCIS shows. And I Love Dana Delany she is the best. Cant wait till the next ep.
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I disagree big time SETH , I enjoyed the pilot it was very good, I will definetly continue to watch
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@IndianaMom
that would have been great! I LOVED her on Castle last season! That would have been awesome!
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When I first heard that Dana Delany was going to be in a new show I hoped that it would be a continuation of her role as an FBI agent in two excellent episodes of Castle that aired last season. I haven't seen Body of Proof, but I still think the FBI show would have been better.
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My favourite quote is "...Australian actor Nicholas Bishop, looking almost startlingly like a less-pretty Simon Baker." Thats just too funny. Hoping the second episode is better.
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It was ok. Lets hope it gets good.
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I watched it and fell asleep - it was horrible.
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I gave it a go, and felt pretty bored about 30 minutes in. I'm not sure if I'll tune in next week.
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Same old,same old
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I agree with Seth, these shows are getting so old. I can list all the shows that follow this same formula but it would be easier to list the shows that don't. Do we really need more of this unimaginitave crapola?
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@Seth_TV - I agreee there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian, and for the record I'm a man who likes lesbians :) As for the show, the trailer put me right off, a big bunch of "seen it all before" elements that together amount up to meh!!
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I did not find it to be as bad as this writer did. As with any new show, it takes time for things meld, especially characters. The next few episodes will definitely help me decide if this works or not. I see the lead character as a mix of Bones and Mentalist, as she is very sure of herself and doesn't really care about offending anyone. She states what she thinks and at least outwardly, shows very little emotions. Maybe be a factor of the accident.



I kinda liked her sidekick and can only hope he gets expanded a little more as the show goes on. I also thought this writer was very hard on the ex-husband... We have very little information about what happened in their marriage. Also, if she wasn’t there for her daughter, who depending on the state laws may be old enough to choose who she lives with and if she sees the other parent (Which I believe that the ex mentioned in the phone call) may not want to be with her mother, because she feels mom was never there. I would suggest that you don’t judge this show by the opinion expressed by the staff writer… but check it out for yourself.
More+
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@mermayd Because her partnerships with Cheryl was one of the best depictions of a same-sex relationship ever on TV, and should be regarded as such. There's nothing wrong with being a lesbian. And for the record, I'm a man who likes men.
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I watched the pilot. It's not so bad. But it's not great as I hoped :-( Let's see what's next.
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And why is Sonja Sohn described as a "lesbian" cop. Why can't she just be a cop?
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Is Body of Proof a mashup of Russell Crowe films?
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