IMDb shows that these episodes are surprisingly old: "Dr. G" has been on the air for five years, and this first season set collects 12 episodes that were first broadcast between October 2004 and June 2005. Since then, the general tolerance level of what's okay to air on television has probably loosened, since I've seen fictional dramas with more (literal) guts than "Dr. G", but anyone interested in medical examination or criminal investigation should know going in that there isn't a single internal organ or legitimately investigated body part shown on camera. Occasionally, Garavaglia will go through the motions on an actor's body, indicated by on-screen "dramatization" captions, but that's as close as we get. Of course, it'd be a fine line to walk. How much would be too much? It's hard to gauge the level of appeal the show would have if Garavaglia was holding internal organs up to the camera, or whether there are varying degrees of Nielsen tune-outs to be considered, but even if the idea of looking at dead kidneys and infected livers isn't necessarily appealing to me, the show seems kinda stunted without it. Perhaps this has been handled differently in future seasons of the show, but each episode is filled with shots of Dr. Garavaglia assessing cadavers that are below frame, pointing out all sorts of important evidence that the audience can't see. The show's solution is computer-generated diagrams, which is a reasonable compromise, but it's still impossible to know how much more informative actual organs might have been.
With a show like this, devising a reliable draw could be complicated, which is clearly why the producers have chosen to make it about Dr. G rather than a series of medical examiners across the country. Garavaglia is a perfectly nice, charismatic woman, and her friendly demeanor certainly goes a long way towards picking up the slack from the show in the nuts-and-bolts of forensic science department. I may have been drawn to the show through my passing interest in criminal science, but even when the show tries to play up the drama of Dr. G's investigations, she remains perfectly at ease in front of the camera, even during those pesky "dramatization" segments. Garavaglia has such an easy rapport with the audience that it's almost surprising she's not a physician or some other medical position where she'd form bonds with the patients.
Not all of the "dramatization" segments consist of Dr. G examining fake bodies; in fact, the majority of this footage is used to recreate the final moments of the various cases Dr. G investigates. As far as recreations go, they're perfectly average, with amped-up cinematography and lighting, and dramatic dutch angles left and right. As far as the actual content goes, I felt it was pretty tame -- really, the most blood you see in the show is one of the intercut bumpers, swirling down the drain of a medical sink, so I'm not sure a parental content warning was really necessary not just at the beginning of the episodes but after the show comes back from every single commercial break. Frankly, I'd be surprised if Dr. G was more than a TV-PG, so this is fairly excessive.
All in all, "Dr. G: Medical Examiner" is a lightly entertaining show, and it's certainly not doing anything wrong, but it's hard to judge how long its mild charms will prove worthwhile. Given that the show is apparently still running, it's more than possible that they've made improvements to the format, but it'd be a coin toss for me, having seen just this first season, whether or not I'd want to keep tuning in. I always thought that if I were rich and had all the free time in the world, I'd probably be engrossed in the Discovery Channel, but so far, the three shows I've checked out for DVDTalk have been a tad on the underwhelming side. "Dr. G" keeps things mostly in check, but sometimes I wonder if the people who produce these shows have ever considered that their subject might be interesting enough, and the electrified artifice they've piled on top might not actually be necessary.
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