2 June 2012 | tarmaque
Derivative, but enjoyable
First of all, this is a blatant and self-conscious ripoff of "House" that tries to be sexy. In general it succeeds but on a lower level. The writing is not nearly as smart or innovative nor are the actors particularly inspired, yet I still find it enjoyable to watch.
Dana Delaney glows on screen, and this character seems to have been written exactly for her. Some say Megan is abrasive and unlikeable but I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes an interesting character. I would gladly work with or for Megan because you'd always know where you stood with her and there wouldn't be any games. I guess most people don't like other people who forthrightly speak their minds, but I find it refreshing. How many sitcom episodes over the decades have been based on people who refuse to say what they mean? Or think?
Nicholas Bishop is also well cast as Pete. A complex person and the Yang to Megan's Yin. Bishop runs the gamut from brooding to devious to jolly and never looks uncomfortable in any of his rolls. Obviously cast for his sex appeal (as opposed to the caricatures that are Ethan and Curtis) who was supposed to look good and be a romance interest for Megan, I hope they never actually get together. Their complex relationship and the team they make would only suffer.
Joanna Cassidy is irritating and exasperating as Megan's judge/mother and perhaps perfectly cast. It can't be easy to pull off a self-absorbed and flawed parental figure, but Cassidy makes it work. I hope she continues.
Jeri Ryan is fun to look at, but so ornamental she doesn't seem right. She actually gives her best performance when sick and dying, and in the few scenes where she isn't trying to look like a supermodel. Another actor cast as sex appeal, but one that didn't work as well as Bishop. I like the character well enough, but I think she was miscast.
Shoes. Megan's shoes are worse than Carrie's flower button thingies in "Sex and the City." I know they're supposed to make her look fashionable and upper class, but instead they make her look silly. The one episode where she wears little red sneakers is actually a breath of fresh air. The only saving grace is Delaney can walk in them (unlike some actresses) without looking unstable. Note to producers: you actually can look elegant without wearing heels, and the heels on this series are trashy.
Romance. Most of the romance in this series is painful, and so far Megan's boyfriends have all been sort of unrealistic. I actually buy her ex husband as a bygone love interest, but most of the others leave me with a "Really? Given all the options you'd choose this guy?" feeling. The victims in this series all make better romantic choices than the heroes. The romantic conflicts all seem forced and intentional.
Location. Nowhere in the world is there a forensics lab like that. This drives me nuts! It would cost more than all the public buildings and the staff to run them in a city the size of Denver for that one building! I know corporate executives that don't have as nice offices as Megan has. However these days it doesn't make it any different from any other cop/doctor drama.
However I do enjoy watching the series. I think it's because many of the regular characters are likable even when they aren't particularly rounded. Megan's mother, Judge (Joan) Hunt, is overbearing and irritating, but yet you can't hate her for it. The three generations of the Hunt family really DO look like Grandmother, Mother, and Daughter, and the relationships do seem to be developing. The cops are the kind of cops you wish all cops were like, even with their flaws, although it might be nice if they were a little more complicated people.
I hope it continues for a few seasons.
Caviate: This series like a number of modern forensic programs can be visually pretty gruesome. It doesn't bother me, but it might bother some. Of course those are probably not the kind that will be tuning in to this program.
I also laugh that all the Apple products are pretty obviously disguised. I saw not one Apple logo on any device, while quite clearly almost all the devices were of Apple design. You can't disguise an iMac by covering the Apple logo with a gear sticker! I suspect it's a sponsorship thing.