TV Review: Body of Proof

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There are three (potentially overlapping) distinct audiences for ABC's new medical dramaBody of Proof: Fans of the genre, fans of Dana Delaney and anyone who is sick of office politics. Delaney's medical examiner can't be bothered with being politic; she's there to do a job, and do it well. And anyone who has a problem with her spending or her tactics gets the benefit of her scalpel-sharp tongue.

Somewhat less soapy (and reliant on bizarre medical conditions) thanHouse, this feisty doc drama finds neurologist Megan Hunt relegated to the after-death portion of medicine, after a car accident leaves her with a condition that results in the death of one of her patients on the operating table. She's not thrilled about the career change, and she takes her frustration out on everyone around her, from her ex-husband to the detectives who are used to doing their job with some quiet assistance from the M.E. (Have you eve seen a medical examiner on a cop drama be anything other than, at best, mildly annoyed at being a police officer's servant?)

The result is a sharp, hour-long drama that manages to inject fresh life into the genre. Delaney isn't a misanthrope; she's a focused workaholic with a drive to redeem herself by finding the murderers of the victims who come across her table. And if that means speaking up during police interviews with potential suspects, then so be it.

There's a vicarious thrill for anyone who works for someone dumber than they are in watching her Dr. Hunt interact with colleagues; this is a woman with nothing left to lose, who isn't afraid of telling the men and women in charge that they're not quite in her league. Hopefully, her personal quest for redemption won't come too soon, because there's a lot of pleasure in watching her brusquely push aside anyone who gets in her way.

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