Body of Proof & Mr. Sunshine

I generally like serialized Dramas (the story builds from week-to-week) over Procedurals (where the story generally resets each week), but one big exception for me is House M.D., maybe my favorite show on TV right now. The stories are interesting and there is more character development than normal Procedurals. Also I over-identify with House - a frustrated genius who’s incredibly lonely, in constant pain, can’t relate to anyone or maintain a relationship. (He even uses a cane just like me! True, House is probably more handsome, but I can sing the 50 states in alphabetical order in under ten seconds. Beat that!)

In the end, though, my love of House the show comes down to my love of House the character. I’m riveted by Hugh Laurie’s depiction, and I am constantly trying to figure out what House is thinking, what’s he’s feeling, and what he will do next. 

This brings us to Body of Proof, which you could sort of describe as House with boobs. And really great legs.

Don’t call me sexist - I’m just describing Dr. Megan Hunt, who never met a super-tight skirt and a pair of scalpel-me heels she didn’t love. I’m NOT hating, not as a man or even as a concept. I love me some Dana Delany, and have since way back to TOMBSTONE. It’s always been about her sparky eyes, but I wouldn’t kick her out of bed unless she liked the floor (if you follow me), and anyone who looks that good at 55 years old has every right to Brockovich it up.

Besides being delectable (I’m really not making too much about this: if she looked this good at 25 you’d drool. At 55 it’s practically a Congressional investigation), Megan Hunt is an interesting character study. I mentioned her House-like qualities of figuring stuff out, but this extends far beyond the hospital. Megan tags along with the cops much like Nathan Fillion’s Castle and finds all manner of hidden clues.

(The more I think about it, Megan really is a hybrid of House and Castle. They should have made her last name Manor and named the show “Megan’s Manor.”  Well, maybe that’s dumb. Let’s move on.)

The deal with Megan is that was was once a renowned neurosurgeon, so driven that it cost her a husband and daughter. Then came a car accident, leaving nerve damage in her hand, and, well, now she’s a snarky know-it-all medical examiner dressed for a cameo in SATC 3. Were that we all could be so lucky.

Dana Delany IS the show, and she’s plenty interesting, but the rest of the cast is solid and gives me hope for future episodes. Nicholas Bishop plays her partner Peter Dunlap (former Police Officer now Medical Investigator), and in the pilot he did his best “Wilson” impression while also looking a heckuva lot like the Mentalist guy. John Carrol Lynch and Sonja Sohn are the actual cops who will inevitably be assigned to all her autopsies and be outshone by her brilliance. Both are fantastic actors from HBO (he was awesome in Carnivale and she was Kima in The Wire), so I have hopes they will get the chance to flesh out the characters beyond type. Jeri Ryan had the “Cuddy” role of Chief Medical Examiner. I never have thought much of her but at least she’s a hot blonde, and we can always more of them on screen. I didn’t recognize the dad or the daughter, but you can bloody-well look up something for yourself!

Body of Proof is set in Philadelphia, which means lots of Philadelphia scenery shots to “prove” where they are (think how CSI does it). That’s fine with me; I get a bit tired of New York and LA, so it’s always nice to see the skyline of a different place.

It’s not exactly fair to judge a new show by one episode, but I will say that way way way too much was explained in the first episode. Maybe I notice it more because I’m trying to write screenplays, but I felt like there were a list of questions about Megan Hunt and one by one the answers were checked off. I could do with a lot more messiness, and I’m more than willing to not understand the “why” or even the “what” of something I’m watching as long as I’m engaged and interested.

For that matter, we got a couple of preachy monologues about speaking for the victims, and that was a couple too many. Murder victims are important, we get it, but at the same time, the show exploits lurid crimes for story-lines, and we lap it up to watch, so enough with the high-handed speeches, eh? (At least there wasn’t a voice-over paired with a tie-it-together song a la Grey’s Anatomy.  No amount of great legs and tight skirts are worth that torture.)

It will take about five episodes before we know if the show can find the right blend of the talented supporting cast and Delany’s star power, and show us something interesting and new. After all, we’ve all seen the police solve murders, and we’ve all seen medicine and surgery and diagnosing. Just because we have seen it all before doesn’t mean Body of Proof can’t be entertaining, but to be “fresh” they will have to step up. Otherwise it will just be the Dana Delany Hour, and she’d need to be much more naked to make that work. (Seriously: why not try that? It’s ABC, for Light’s sake. They gave us Dennis Franz’s bare ass! Can’t we get a little reciprocation here? I’m just sayin....)

I don’t know if I will hang around to see if Body of Proof gets it right, but I wasn’t bored, so that’s something. I knew from word Go that House was spectacular, and I didn’t have that feeling here. But I do love Dana Delany’s sparkly eyes, and I do love the rest of her, and that might carry me for awhile. 

(There’s a new episode Sunday at 10 and then Tuesdays at 10 will be the regular time, on ABC)


Mr. Sunshine (Wednesdays at 9:30 on ABC)

I have gotten into Modern Family (which is on Wednesdays at 9), and I like Matthew Perry a lot, as well as Allison Janney, so I had some hope that Mr. Sunshine would be good, or at a least decent diversion while I waited for FX’s totally awesome Justified at 10.

How do I put this?  Mr. Sunshine, in a word: Sucks Giant Donkey Balls, and everyone who made it should have their urethrae scraped with a rusty carrot peeler as punishment.

I watched three episodes: I feel like I did my time and now I’m out of prison and I ain’t going back. You’re on your own, and God help you.

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