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What if Dr. House was a female medical examiner?
Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) was a brilliant neurosurgeon until a car accident caused unknown neurological damage that makes her hands numb occasionally. After she accidentally killed a patient, she decided to switch jobs and become a medical examiner - because, after all, "I can't kill anybody if they're already dead."
Blunt and to the point, she has no problem in butting heads with not only the medical investigator Peter Dunlap and the Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kate Murphy (Jeri Ryan), but also with the police detectives she helps. One consequence of her previous life as a workaholic, though, is her estrangement from her daughter and her striving to make up for the neglect she had in the past.
Tropes found in Body of Proof:
- Actor Allusion: Arriving at the victim's residence in Love Thy Neighbor Megan mentions she used to live in a cul-de-sac like this, and that there's more to the place than meets the eye. At the end she tells Ethan he couldn't handle a desperate housewife. Delany was on Desperate Housewives.
- Amateur Sleuth: Technically, she's only supposed to examine the bodies, not solve the crimes. But she doesn't care.
- Amoral Attorney: The lawyer the victim was sleeping with in the first episode - and the victim herself before she had an accident falling down stairs which changed her.
- Atonement Detective: Megan is still trying to make up for killing a patient on her table.
- Berserk Button: Adoption for Peter, since he was adopted himself.
- Casting Gag: Christina Hendricks plays the love interest of Geoffrey Arend's character--her husband.
- The Coroner: The main character and pretty much everybody who works at the ME's Office.
- Da Chief: The Chief Medical Examiner, played by Jeri Ryan.
- She is briefly sacked from the role, but reinstated.
- Deadpan Snarker: Megan Hunt.
- Double Standard: Mentioned by Megan when she describes how her husband got full custody of her daughter: she claims the court ruled against her because a man who works eighteen hours a day is a "good provider", a woman who works eighteen hours a day is an "absentee mother."
- Dr. Jerk: Megan again.
- Eureka Moment: As soon as Peter says he has a nut allergy, Megan gets a total House face. And that's just one of many moments.
- Follow the Leader: Has been criticized as being a copy of Bones, Castle, or House, in that it has an overly blunt know-it-all medical examiner who has a partner of the opposite sex with some UST.
- Fair Cop: Peter, who is an ex-cop and now a medical investigator. Megan is a Fair Medical Examiner.
- Fiery Redhead: Megan.
- Forensic Drama
- Good Cop, Bad Cop: Megan says she was just trying to be bad cop after accusing a suspect of killing the victim in the first episode.
- Heroic Fire Rescue:One episode kicks off by having Peter run into a burning house to rescue one of the inhabitants, underlining his bravery credentials.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
Ethan: I think I left something in a place that isn't here...
- Jerkass: Megan, full stop.
- Killed Off for Real: Dani Alvarez
- Missing Mom: Megan was this to her daughter, since she worked 18 hour days.
- Never Suicide: Subverted, Megan has a ANA (antinuclear antibody) panel run on a suicide - not because she thinks it's murder, but because she just wants to know why they committed suicide.
- No Sympathy: Megan is the character trait variation, although she certainly has her moments of empathy. Her daughter and ex-husband appear to have a certain amount as well: the former lying to their child to make Megan look heartless and badmouthing her when she's actually doing something nice, the latter quick to shoot Megan down any time she makes an effort.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Evidently, it's easy to go from being a neurosurgeon to being a pathologist/medical examiner!
- Sherlock Scan
- Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: Megan asks a friend who performs vasectomies to reveal one of his patients. He can't break doctor-patient confidentiality, but he pointedly leaves his cellphone on the table in clear view and goes to the restroom.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: Curtis interviewing new drivers. The candidates are mostly unqualified and/or creepy (i.e., talking about how interested they are in dead bodies). There is one one experienced, normal-sounding candidate, and it looks like the montage is over... and then she starts texting in the middle of the interview.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Kate gets (unfairly) demoted, Curtis takes over. Not only does he become an obnoxious martinet, he's also incompetent, doing things like entering scenes without gloves.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Somewhat between Megan and Peter.
- You Get Me Coffee: Megan does this to Detective Morris during the autopsy in the first episode.
- In a later episode, Megan gets her comeuppance in this regard by an arson investigator and Spear Counterpart of herself.