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TV review: ‘Body of Proof’

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Dana Delany (right) returns to TV in Body of Proof.

Cops on TV must get really fed up with all of the arrogant, brilliant novelists, body-language experts and mentalists who constantly butt in on police investigations and insist that they know better than trained law-enforcement officers about how to solve crimes. Body of Proof adds yet another condescending genius to the mix: Dana Delany plays Dr. Megan Hunt, a former neurosurgeon who becomes a medical examiner after a car accident leaves her with shaky hands and unable to perform surgery. Megan is smug and brusque, tagging along for every stage of the murder cases on which she’s supposed to be consulting, collecting evidence, questioning suspects and making wild (but invariably accurate) accusations.

The Details

Body of Proof
two stars
Tuesdays, 10 p.m., ABC

With her outward gruffness masking deep emotional pain and her tendency to always be right, Megan is basically House, M.E., although Delany gives Megan more vulnerability than Hugh Laurie’s curmudgeonly doctor. The problem is that Megan’s personal issues are as clichéd and clumsily presented as her boilerplate murder cases, and the show makes strained connections between the two that don’t really hold together. Whenever Megan isn’t being snide and dismissive, she’s giving heartfelt speeches about honoring the dead by figuring out what happened to them.

Delany is a talented actress who’s been stuck in some lame TV roles, and she does her best here, along with some decent supporting performers (Jeri Ryan, Sonja Sohn, Geoffrey Arend), but the writing is too bland and generic to overcome. It’s time for these eccentric know-it-alls to just leave the police alone to do their jobs.

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