10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2014
I was -- still am -- a big fan of the first two seasons of "Body of Proof," so much so that I bought the DVD sets for both seasons and watch them often. So I expected to like Season Three, awaited it with impatient anticipation, just knew that it would be great.
But Season Three turned out to be the death of "Body of Proof", killed by the inevitable banality into which Hollywood sinks every original, creative and intelligent program it produces. I am so glad I was short on cash, and so checked out Season Three from the public library. It would have been such a waste of money to buy it.
Banality is exactly what has diluted "Body of Proof" into just another "CSI"-clone. Which means it is not one big mistake, but a long series of little changes that gradually diminish anything that would set apart the series until it is reduced to the lowest common denominator of generic popular "crime dramas." "Body of Proof", in Season Three, has gone from being three-dimensional, multi-layered, true to the complexities of life, and reaching to touch paradoxical and ambiguous issues of life in the lives of real persons, warts and all, to become banal -- blandly flat and predictable, lacking any conviction or determination, content to fit in with the crowd of "crime dramas." There is far less science (and the science has become simplistic and even "magical") and far more car chases and shoot-outs. There is less reason and more violence. Less deductive crime solving and more "shoot-from-the-hip" cowboy-police "intuition." To accomodate this banality in concept, the characters have been flattened from complex, interesting, conflicted three-dimensional persons to flat, two-dimensional "types" who act in predictable, "typical" behavior. This has made Megan Hunt into nothing more than a nasty shrew with an inflated ego and a pathological obsession about her father's death (that obsession being one of the two story lines throughout the Third Season, the other being her "mysterious" past and revival of a love affair that began twenty years ago in New York with the new cardboard cut-out detective character, Tommy Sullivan). Banality has no place for the depths and subtlties of a mother-daughter relationship, so Lacey simply fades away into the background until she is completely gone, while Megan's mother pops in now and then to rant at Megan to leave her father's suicide alone and "get over it." Dr. Ethan Gross and Dr. Curtis Bromfield are reduced to predictable, flat foils for Megan whose role is to fill in the missing science with "news" from the lab or from off-camera autopsies -- thus getting rid of all that heady and egg-head science stuff in a few lines of dialogue and a few rapid leaps to conclusions, so Tommy and Megan can go out and fight the bad guys. Dr. Kate Murphy is collapsed into "eye candy," a sex object with brains. It in the Third Season that we have an -- admittedly hot and steamy -- sex scene in which Jeri Ryan is stripped down to her scant black lace bra and panties to have rough sex with a Ukrainian man of mystery. (Okay, Jeri Ryan getting passionate in barely-there black lace bra and panties, offering lots of "jiggle-room" up top, may actually be worth the whole rest of the season, even if it lasts just a few minutes!) But that also is banality: in the first two seasons, Kate is the respected Dr. Murphy, chief medical examiner, scientist, artist -- respected for her brains despite her body. In Season Three, she is reduced to sexy Kate Murphy, now a political animal seeking election to congress and letting that distract her from her work as scientist and medical examiner. And of course, that means we have to throw in the generic sleezy politican, in this case a district attorney who sponsors Kate's candidacy as a means to build his own political image, who tempts Kate down his own path of double-dealing, little white lies, and corruption "for the greater good" -- "how the game is played."
This is what banality is and does; and it has totally compromised "Body of Proof."
But the real root of the banality has a name: Det. Tommy Sullivan. Tommy Sullivan is a stereotype "hardboiled detective" right out of a bad crime novel. He has had a long and stormy career, for most of his life with the New York Police Dept., from which he departed under mysterious and suspicious circumstances, only to turn up now as a detective with the Philadelphia PD. By sheer coincidence (and so conveniently) in his years as an NYPD cop he had some sort of wild and somehow hurtful love arffair with Megan Hunt that broke up in an explosively bad way that left deep emotional scars in Megan and a pathetic torch burning for her in Tommy's heart. Tommy Sullivan is a cartoon: middle-aged, tough, craggy, prone to violence, proudly "old school" and so defiantly dismissive of technological advances in criminology, terse, taciturn, rough and crude -- a well-practiced crack shot with a pistol who never misses where he aims --- and down deep really a good guy with a heart of gold who (for some imporbable and inexplicable reason) is exactly the guy Megan really needs to fulfill her life. (I am left wondering what kind of role model step-father Tommy would be for the budding teenage Lacey, but then, Lacey has faded away so we don't really need to care.) The character of Tommy Sullivan pushes everyone except Megan to the side; he is the main "dummy-down" factor of Season Three, who drags Megan herself down to his level. There is nothing interesting in and everything predictable about Det. Tommy Sullivan -- which makes writing the show so much simpler.
I miss Peter Dunlop, Det. Bud Morris and his partner Det. Samantha "Sam" Baker, and the character with so much promise and potential, Danni Alverez. These characters were either killed off (Danni; Peter) or shipped off (Bud into retirement, Sam to join the FBI) precisely because they were real people, with real lives and real relationships, troubles and problems and conflicts with which we all could identify. These were characters who extended beyond a simplistic "CSI-Philly" cartoon. These were characters who gave Megan and Kate and Ethan and Curtis and even Lacey comrades and competitiors to build an increasingly complex and interesting community of interacting, believeable people about whom you cared, where for an hour the boundary between fiction and real life blended a bit. This ensemble of characters with Megan at the helm but by no means in control made "Body of Proof" worth watching.
I have checked out Season Three from the library and watched it through three different times now, and I am still disappointed in it and bored by it. Even the solution to the mystery of the death of Megan's father is rather anti-climactic and cartoonish. I am not even going to bother with Season Four.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
Buy the first 2 seasons and then run.It turns into the typical lead characters just want to get together wink-wink just like every other show on TV.UGH. Megan's personal life though an integral part of the show is now nearly the whole focus instead 0f the victim.Now we have to listen to her whine about her Father's death yet again.Really we are supposed to believe she's only about 43,Really.I like Dana Delaney fine ,but I watched the show because unlike most other shows with a death theme this show for the first 2 seasons was interesting with the tension broken by the camaraderie of the characters.The show has become the let's watch 2 middle-aged characters try to solve a crime while they tease each other about becoming lovers again.Some of us actually enjoyed the show as it was,they were funny,and sad and unpredictable.This show has become the standard schlock..It is sad that the interesting characters Bud,Sam and Peter are dumped for some generic guy (Tommy)that somebody keeps trying to give a job with a dull as toast partner .Delaney had a give and take smoldering just under the surface relationship with Peter but it respected our intelligence.She also had a boyfriend.If you watch all of the lets just jump into bed,or in this case back into bed ,whiny, my life is not happy unless I bof the idiot that I got rid of on purpose heroine.Then by all means jump right in it is now as bad as all the rest.Megan went from a strong woman in a group to a usual ABC drama character how sad.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
not only was peter removed from this show but also the two cops who worked with Megan, the lead character, a medical examiner. brought in as a major new character is a cop who Megan previously knew and with whom she was involved. They do have chemistry in the show and he is infinitely more appealing than anyone this show has used as a male to date. The two doofus, comic MEs are back as are the daughter, the boss and to a limited extent, the mother. the only thing that is somewhat unbelievable is that a medical examiner in a big city would be spending a ton of time with the cops other than at the scene of the crime to study the body and then with the cops during the autopsy, if they attended. But no, Megan is right out there with the cops solving the cases. this reminds me more of the partnership of Bones and Booth in BONES than of a forensic medical show. I do keep watching though because of Dana Delaney. She was the best thing on the end portion of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and has transposed that talent here. The scripts are good but they need to bring a consultant in who works for big city medical examiners' offices to get SOME reality into this show.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
Body of Proof fans fought hard to get a third season for this intriguing show, but as Season Three progressed, most fans could see that the producers decided to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Gone was the focus on ME Megan Hunt and the insightful, interesting plot lines that called on an ensemble of well-loved characters to give Megan aid, support, and an occasional kick in the behind to get her through the show. Instead, every plot had to center around Megan's romantically-charged relationship with the new homicide detective, Tommy, and his sidekick Adam. Kate Murphy went from a colleague/peer with whom Megan was establishing a tentative relationship to a single-minded, slightly hysterical political hack who only appeared to tell Megan how she'd screwed up Kate's latest photo op. There's only been a couple episodes worth watching all the way through--one of them being the Kate Murphy-centered episode about kidnapped Ukrainian sex workers and a reformed spy. The Body of Proof producers committed character and show assassination on such a level that I stopped watching midway through the season and was pleased to hear that the show was canceled because it freed up the excellent cast for other opportunities. Don't waste your money on Season Three: This isn't the Body of Proof you knew and loved.