Warning: Spoiler Alert
Over the last few years the TNT Network’s created original programming, resulting in some surprisingly good shows, that can hold their own against most series presented on broadcast networks. Tuesday night marked the conclusion of the first season of “Proof,” a medical drama with a twist starring Jennifer Beals who stole American’s hearts in the movie “Flashdance” back in the early eighties. Her character Dr. Caroline Tyler’s a highly respected heart-surgeon, who’s just gone through the toughest year of her life. Tyler survived a car accident, that took the life of her teenage son Will and she blames herself for his loss. Soon after Caroline survived a plane crash and had what is known as a “Near-Death-Experience.”
The crash caused Tyler’s heart to stop briefly and while her life hung in the balance, she saw her son Will near her and tried to grab his hand. She also recognized someone else in her vision, an elderly woman with short gray hair, wearing a green scarf. Caroline got revived before she had a chance to talk to her son or the woman, but the vision’s haunted her ever since she had it.
Tyler’s estranged from her husband Dr. Len Barliss, portrayed by veteran TV actor David Sutcliffe and both doctors work in the same hospital. We’re under the impression that their marriage fell apart due to Caroline’s accident, that killed their son, but we find out the reasons are far more complicated than that. They have a teenage daughter named Sophie (Annie Thurman,) whom like most teenage girls can be both adorable and incredibly frustrating, depending on her mood.
The stars from the Eighties keep arriving as Caroline’s life gets altered forever when she meets Billionaire Industrialist Ivan Turing. Matthew Modine, who as a young man starred in the movies “Vision Quest” and “Full Metal Jacket,” as well as a score of other films, takes on the role of the brilliant visionary diagnosed with terminal cancer. Wanting to find out what, if anything awaits us on the other side, he offers to build a new wing for Tyler’s hospital if she consents to help him in his research.
Yet another actor who came of age in the eighties, Joe Morton who portrayed “The Brother From Another Planet,” plays Dr. Charles Richmond, who encourages Tyler to work with Turing, so the hospital can get the new wing, but he’s unaware of the nature of their research. Caroline enlists the help of a young doctor Zed Badawi (Edi Gathegi) a young man from Kenya that Tyler’s taken under her wing and expresses passion for the project.
Throughout the series ten-episode run, the show explored topics such as reincarnation, receiving messages from the dead and in one episode, a young woman who woke from a coma without any memories of her own had distinct memories from the lives of the other patients she shared the coma ward with. Although the series left open the possibility, that there could indeed be an afterlife, they also presented the full spectrum explaining that there could be very logical reasons, behind the seemingly paranormal events.
The characters are empathetic, the writing’s strong and the episodes seem to pass quickly, all benchmarks of mine for an enjoyable viewing experience. TNT has yet to announce whether Proof will get brought back for a second season next summer, but the finale ended in a way that gave the viewers closure, while leaving open the possibility for another season. TNT’s currently streaming the show on its website, it’s a show worth checking out.