When Dana Delany guest starred on Castle last year, it reminded me of how much I missed seeing her in a worthy lead role on prime time
I've been a fan of Delany since her days on China Beach, but I haven't loved her in everything. Where I found her stint on Desperate Housewives ill-conceived and her short lived series Kidnapped virtually unmemorable, Body of Proof gives her a vehicle that can display her considerable talents.
But that doesn't mean the the series premiere didn't have its flaws. There wasn't much new here story wise, as we met Megan Hunt, a brilliant loner who needs to rebuild her life and career after a tragic accident alters both, perhaps not completely for the worse.
Why is it that all medical examiners on TV need to be somewhat socially inept and better investigators than the police detectives? It is a concept that goes all the way back to Quincy M. E. and has become a cliche. It made this procedural feel average right from the start.
Delany's Hunt is brilliant but blunt. She has drive and passion yet her marriage crumbled and her relationship with her daughter is in shambles. As arrogant and confrontational as Megan can be, I still find her more likable than some of her socially awkward lead counterparts (i.e. Bones' Temperance Brennan or The Mentalist's Patrick Jane), mostly because Delany sells beleaguered sarcasm better than anyone.
The supporting cast has some serious appeal of its own. Jeri Ryan's scenes - as Megan's supportive but wary boss - were brief, but left me anticipating more from her in future episodes. Nicholas Bishop's Peter Dunlop is Megan's plucky sidekick. The former police officer turned medical investigator tries to help keep Megan on track both personally and professionally with charming but mixed results.
To its credit, I'll admit the story kept me guessing about the killer. That is, until I saw the wife walk out the door. The set up quickly became so obvious you could have slapped the cuffs on her before she uttered her confession.
Few pilots really hook me, but this one did leave me looking forward to episode two. Body of Proof showcases a fantastic cast in an entertaining, albeit average, procedural. There is a lot to like and also a lot of room for it to grow.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.