I have often written of my hatred for cop shows; how they all follow the same formula, and have the same characters, either the wacky computer person or the wacky forensics person, and at least one ‘tough’ cop who just hates crime so much he has no qualms at all about beating the shit out of a suspect, totally lying to them or coercing confessions, and a couple of hot lady cops.
Every now and again, though, I’ll start watching one, if I’ve never seen it before, and follow it for a few weeks telling myself ‘this one is a bit different’ but they always disappoint me.
The one I’m following now has gone from “Oh, this doesn’t look so bad” to “OMG, this is the biggest piece of shit on television, I’m embarrassed to be watching this” in about two weeks.
Body of Proof takes place in the Medical Examiner’s office, so damned near everybody’s a wacky forensics expert, except for the detectives, who have no particular objection to beating the shit out of a suspect and lying to them about their rights because they just hate crime soooo much.
The boss of the office is Jeri Ryan, (You know, Seven of Nine, who is still looking good even though she hasn’t been seen in much since….well, since she was Seven of Nine.) and the main character is pretty hot, too, and they’ve got a hate on because one of them is sleeping with the other’s ex. Anyway, they’ve got the hot lady cop angle covered.
But it’s been getting ridiculously sensational lately, what with a bio-terrorist spreading terror city-wide and a serial killer who takes his victims brains out with a hook,through the nose, after they are dead, and the killing off of a couple main characters (I liked one, didn’t care much for the other), so I’m tempted to give it up.
I was watching today, though, and I realized something. Almost none of the people on the show can act worth a damn. Jeri Ryan is the best of them, and that just means she can read her lines without actually putting the inflection on the wrong word in the sentence, you know, the way you would in rehearsal when you’re reading the lines and don’t really know the story yet.
The two lab guys are not bad, my guess is they were doing stand-up somewhere when they were picked for the cast, to play ‘comically fat black guy with attitude’ and ‘nerdy and trying too hard guy,’ which they do adequately, I suppose.
The tough detective tag team, though, are about as intimidating as a bag of marshmallows, and the main character is even worse. They keep trying to characterize her as this hard as nails, impossible to deal with woman, who makes new hires cry with her demands for perfection, but she doesn’t play the part. Like, not at all.
She sashays around the set acting like a normal person in a normal office setting and you don’t feel anything driven or angsty or obsessive at all. In fact, she seems to get along well with her co-workers.
It’s as if the show’s writers said “Don’t worry about the acting. We’ll write the dialog and the viewers will know what they’re supposed to think.”
I may give it a few more episodes because, you know, Jeri Ryan, but it is a seriously godawful piece of crap.