What's Worth Watching: Haunted By Loss
Proof, "Til' Death" (Tuesday, June 23, 10/9c, TNT)
Like a more arrogant, brusque version of The X-Files' Dana Scully, Dr. Carolyn Tyler is a professional skeptic on a journey into the great unknown in Proof, an unusual blend of procedural and metaphysical mystery. Jennifer Beals' tough and prickly characterization of Dr. Tyler helps elevate the show beyond its more earnest tendencies, including frequent flashes of her dead son whom she may have encountered during her own recent near-death experience.
Enlisted to find scientific "proof" of an afterlife by a dying billionaire (Matthew Modine, suitably quirky), whose promise of donating a fortune to the hospital explains why her bosses (including an underused Joe Morton) let her neglect her duties as a celebrated heart surgeon, Dr. Tyler finds it hard to put aside her preconceptions. That's especially true in this week's episode, which suggests Proof will find different approaches each week—including that of a ghost story with romantic, then sinister, undertones. In the latest case, Dr. Tyler thinks a psych consult is in order when she meets a young widower who sees his beloved late wife everywhere. The more she tries to analyze the situation with science, the more she's stymied when there are possibly supernatural signs that the ghost may be getting dangerously jealous of her interference. Oh, if only Scully's partner Fox Mulder could be called in with his "I Want to Believe" philosophy.