When Body of Proof debuted in March 2011, it put me in a tough spot.
It aired on Tuesday nights, which already featured two of my still-favourite shows -- The Good Wife and Parenthood -- and I was already having a hard time making a Sophie's Choice between them. Alicia Florrick and the Bravermans won, and Dana Delany was dropped, as a regular, at least. I would catch the odd episode every now and again, but because my PVR was already smoking that night, the ABC show really didn't stand a chance.
Since Parenthood already wrapped Season 4 last month and Good Wife now airs on Sundays, I no longer have an excuse to keep Body of Proof out of my Tuesday night lineup. But, boy, oh boy, has a lot changed since I last tuned in.
Gone is Peter Dunlop (Nicholas Bishop), who died at the hands of a serial killer, as well as detectives Bud Morris (John Carroll Lynch), now retired, and Sam Baker (Sonja Sohn), who departed for the FBI. Megan Hunt (Delany) will likely go through the entire season disapproving of every wannabe medicolegal investigator who wants Peter's old job, but no worries. She has her hands full with the new homicide team: Det. Adam Lucas (Elyes Gabel) and Det. Tommy Sullivan (Mark Valley), the latter with whom she shares a past.
Season 2's final episodes, which centred on a serial killer, helped boost the show's ratings and it looks like Proof will maintain that heightened, thriller element. Just look at this week's premiere.
Megan returns after her forced three-month leave in "Abducted, Part 1," and is thrown right into her first case -- a serial killer whose victims are young war veterans. But just when Hunt, Sullivan and Lucas think they've caught the bad guy, things come to an end (well, the end of Part 1) when Megan gets a call from the killer, who is holding her daughter, Lacey (Mary Mouser), hostage. (Sorry for the non-spoiler alert, but the episode begins with that phone call no parent wants, so I figured it was OK.) And all this while learning to deal with a man from her past on an ongoing basis? It's going to be a roller-coaster of a ride.
By mixing Megan's personal and professional lives, it's a way of keeping the show that much more energized. There'll be the will-they-won't-they aspect, but it'll be organic to the story, and not come out of nowhere. But if the writers eventually go there with Megan and Tommy, it'll make sense. They already share a nice, easy chemistry (perhaps from their Pasadena days) and there's already that Moonlighting banter between the two characters. But since Megan, who rarely lets anyone in, just lost someone close to her, I doubt anything romantic will happen anytime soon. It is nice to see one person who doesn't put up with her crap, though. It's more refreshing than all the ass-kissing and tiptoeing around everyone else seems to do.
If you thought Hunt was a handful in past seasons, she's even more abrasive after the death of Peter, and the reappearance of Tommy isn't helping. Valley always adds a little something to every show he's a part of, and it's nice that Tommy already knows what Megan is all about. I've loved Valley and that twinkle in his eye ever since he was the only viable Jack Deveraux recast on Days of Our Lives, and I mourned Human Target after it was cancelled. Grrr, it still bugs me.
I do fear one teensy thing, however -- that Valley (again, let me reiterate my love) might be a bit of a show-killer. Target, Pasadena, Keen Eddie, Boston Legal, Harry's Law ... but I do believe Body of Proof has enough going for it that it will live on, and I'm hoping this is the show where people finally realize that Valley's awesome. Amirite?!
Body of Proof premieres Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. ET on City and ABC.