Name another criminal or medical procedural, and Dana Delaney’s new show, “Body of Proof” shares something in common with it, only it’s not as good (I promise.). “House”? Grumpy, wiseacre lead who has a problem with authority. “CSI”? Typically trite murder investigations. “Sherlock Holmes”? Dana Delaney’s character can sum up someone based on a bruise or a scar. “Bones”? Brilliant but socially inept medical examiner working with a more outgoing partner. “Castle”? Tries occasionally to capture a lighter vibe, denoted by that obnoxious jangly ABC score. “Medium”? Give it a few weeks. “The Mentalist”? She has an immense respect for dead people (is that a thing on “The Mentalist”?) “Rizzoli and Isles”? I don’t know what that show is about, but I’m sure it shares a lot in common with “Body of Proof.” I’m also certain it’s better. It can’t possibly be worse.
In “Body of Proof,” poor Dana Delaney has been saddled as the lead, Dr. Megan Hunt, who is provided all the evidence she needs in the form of the weekly corpse. She has an attitude. She wears heels. She demands respect. She says things like “Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about me. The truth is much worse.” She also goes over all the clues three times, just in case someone at home missed it the first two times.
Dr. Hunt is a former neurosurgeon turned medical examiner after a car accident ended her previous career. That accident also apparently cost the woman her family. She’s divorced, and her ex-husband keeps her away from her daughter, but not enough unfortunately, as she’s still allowed to deliver to her daughter an achingly sentimental speech about the wonders of her grandfather’s shed on the event of her daughter’s birthday party. Don’t ask.
She also has a boss (Jeri Ryan) who bitches about expensive procedures and threatens to fire her for subordination. There’s a couple of doggedly arrogant cops (John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn (Oh, Kima)) who complain that Dr. Hunt is overreaching, and who look to be the show’s consistent foils when they are proven wrong (like in “Psych”!). There are also some younger doctors who have a thing or two to learn from Dr. Hunt (“House” again!), and a medical investigator partner who will no doubt provide Dr. Hunt with her weekly therapy session, at least until they decide to make the two an item (see also: “Castle,” “Bones,” “The X-Files” and almost any other procedural with male/female partners. Won’t someone please put together two gay male partners who have a love/hate relationship?).
It’s a terrible show: Dull, trite, predictable and woefully melodramatic. The dialogue might provoke in you a desire to chew your own ears off. In other words, it’s an almost guaranteed hit. Congratulations, ABC. You’ve mastered the art of generic.