Dana Delany plays Dr. Megan Hunt, a woman who “lost her daughter to her career and her career to an accident.” Once a brilliant neurosurgeon, Hunt is now a medical examiner with a penchant for solving crimes.
Although the former neurosurgeon and family problems are a new twist, if you were watching television during the late 70s and early 80s, you may be reminded of another strong-willed medical examiner named Quincy (Jack Klugman). While Klugman’s character was occasionally grumpy but with a somewhat softer comic touch, Delany’s character initially comes off as obnoxious and rude. Some would say that this is because we are talking about a male character versus a female character, but it actually seemed to have more with the way the character was written and the somewhat frantic pace of the first thirty minutes of the show.
Supporting characters and Hunt’s backstory were tossed at us willy-nilly in between attempts to catch a killer. Oh yeah, that right. There actually was a plot thrown in there somewhere. A woman with blunt force trauma to the head (or maybe it was some other kind of trauma, but close enough) is found dead. Hunt discovers the victim suffered a brain injury months earlier, which dramatically changed the woman’s personality, making her more aggressive sexually, but also bringing the woman closer to her mother. Hunt is reminded of her own family, and we learn that her ex-husband has custody of her daughter and they are estranged.
Meanwhile, suspects are interviewed, Hunt argues with the detectives assigned to the case (John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn), and ultimately the case is solved after a few missteps as to who the real killer is. On a positive note, it is nice to see Lynch with a regular role again. You will recognize him from Close to Home, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and more recently Big Love and The Glades. His grumpy detective is a nice offset to Delaney’s grumpy medical examiner and you know already that they will find some mutual respect even if they pretend not to like each other.
I would like to say I have high hopes for this show, but placing it on Tuesday night against The Good Wife and Parenthood seems like a death knell. While viewers may have continued to “stay tuned” after Dancing With the Stars was over this week, one has to wonder if it can hold the momentum over two other better-written and established shows. The network is giving Body of Proof another chance to gain attention by placing it after Desperate Housewives on Sunday night. As a former cast member of that hit show, this could give Delaney an edge, but with the normal viewing time being on Tuesday night, it could be a hard uphill climb for this show to survive.