Monday, November 20, 2006

Guilty Pleasure

Several months ago, I noticed a program that kept popping up on the cable TV on-screen guide: "DaVinci's Inquest." Since I began noticing it about the same time that the film of "The DaVinci Code" was being released, I thought the two were somehow related. Was it about some renaissance inquisition into Leonardo?

Turns out the show is a Canadian police drama set in Vancouver, revolving around the work of the city's coroner, Dominick DaVinci. DaVinci is a straight-talking, no-nonsense pragmatist whose business draws him into the drama of the local police, investigators and politicians. Sort of a mash-up of "Quincy, M.E." (remember that Jack Klugman vehicle?) and "Fargo." Though DVI is often pedestrian, there are occasional moments of almost transcendent truth that just burst out from the story. One happened in the first episode I watched, so I watched again. And there was another.

On the most recent episode, there is a lovely moment when Da Vinci is being shown the body of a 12-year old boy who'd been run over by a freight train. The cops on the scene watch as he begins to perform his duties. But he seems hesitant. It's slight, but it's there. Then he stands and says quietly and matter-of-factly, "Boy, this is really somethin'. This is a're gonna have to give me a second here." It was just so human and lovely. And they happen sort of regularly. Another episode, usually another moment. Sometimes two. Sometimes zero. But so far enough to keep me watching.

Me and (apparently) a lot of really old people. Here is a partial list of sponsors:

Diabetic Supply of America
VESIcare (for "frequent bladder urges")
Bristol Myers/Squibb (for "peripheral artery disease")
Rascal Scooters (not Vespas, electric wheelchairs)

Still, there's something quite compelling about watching a cop drama that is so different from the CSI or Law & Order franchises. Give it a try. It's on WGN every day.

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