ABC’s newest procedural drama follows Dr. Megan Hunt. Once a top neurosurgeon in the country, a car accident leaves her unable to operate (random numbness in her hands). She becomes a medical examiner, using her study of the body to learn about the victims brought into the morgue and helping to solve their murders. She is also trying to connect to her daughter (Hunt’s ex-husband got full custody because Hunt was always too busy working to care for her daughter).
The biggest news I kept seeing surrounding the show was that Dana Delaney was returning to television. Having never watched Desperate Housewives, this didn’t mean anything to me, but considering the many articles about it, I had pretty high expectations. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. Her character is sort of a cross between Bones and House–highly intelligent (and overly intellectual) and hard to control. But where House’s Hugh Laurie has somehow managed to make House sympathetic despite his rudeness (maybe it’s just because he’s amusing and likes to play pranks), Hunt does not come off as someone you care to root for all that much. And where Bones is clearly fragile behind her hyper-analytical exterior, it feels like Hunt is trying to be fragile more than actually being it (yes, she is trying to connect with her daughter but it felt forced not natural). I don’t know if her acting is lacking or if the pilot is just weak or if the writing as a whole is poor, but I couldn’t find anyone to care about.
The supporting characters are even less interesting as we get absolutely nothing about their personal lives and backstories. The one exciting point for me was Jeri Ryan, who I had not realized was in the show. As longtime fan of Star Trek: Voyager and also impressed with her work on Leverage, I really want her to be in a show that will stick around. Though her character was two-dimensional now, i’m hoping she becomes at least as interesting as Cam (Bones) though ideally more so because she is one of the lesser developed members of the Bones cast or maybe as integral as Cuddy (House) has become even without being in the show as much as the other cast members.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that there is no detail that really sets this show apart from its fellow police procedurals. What makes this show different from the others? Using the body as proof is something that Bones does all the time. Making connections by seeing minor details that others miss is a trick for Psych, the Mentalist, and Sherlock Holmes. The surly lead is House. (The details also don’t entirely make sense, why are the detectives reporting and answering to the Chief Medical Examiner?)
Delaney says that as the show continues they get more into the characters and less into the procedural aspect, so I am willing to stick with the show further to see how it develops, but if things don’t change within a few episodes, I don’t think I will be watching for much longer.
What did you think of the pilot? Was this show as strong as you hoped? Will you be sticking with it?