TNT's Proof: Is There Life After... the Premiere?

Proof TNT

Although she has experienced great tragedy in her life, Proof‘s Dr. Carolyn Tyler has also witnessed miracles. Not only did she survive a near-drowning experience herself, but five minutes into Tuesday’s premiere, she watches a teenager come back to life after flatlining in surgery.

But suggest the idea of life after death to Carolyn — a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon — and you might as well have recommended she start DVRing Long Island Medium.

And yet, Carolyn (played by The L Word‘s Jennifer Beals) is asked not only to consider the possibility of an afterlife in TNT’s new medical drama, but to research and provide scientific evidence of it.

The task is given by Ivan Turing (Matthew Modine, Weeds), a terminally ill billionaire who offers up his entire estate — $10 billion! — in exchange for any real proof that something is awaiting him after his life ends. To make his argument even more persuasive (and/or creepy; you decide), Ivan recites all of Carolyn’s most personal experiences back to her, including her near-fatal experience on a capsized boat in Japan and the recent death of her teenage son. Wouldn’t Carolyn want to know if she could somehow see her late child again?

Ivan’s offer piques Carolyn’s interest enough that she looks into the case of Lilly, a young girl who once spent five days in a coma at Carolyn’s hospital. When Lilly woke up, she told her parents of “The Other Place” she visited when she was asleep, then drew pictures of people she’d never even met before, including a grandfather who has never been mentioned in her family tree.

Later in the hour, Lilly is brought back into surgery for a blood clot in her brain, and when Carolyn asks the girl if she visited “The Other Place” this time, Lilly cryptically informs the doctor that “they” told her not to talk about that place anymore. (Does ABC’s The Whispers need any more unnerving little kids? Because I think I might’ve found one.)

It’s this spooky interaction with Lilly that convinces Carolyn to commit to the afterlife research; in exchange, Ivan will make sizable donations to foreign countries that need medical assistance. At first, the research doesn’t seem like it will interfere with Carolyn’s daily life — but that becomes a lot less likely when during a morning run she encounters a mysterious woman who disappears as soon as a bus passes by. (Funny how that always happens, isn’t it?)

OK, your turn. What did you think of Proof‘s debut hour? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. texmike says:

    I liked it. I’m in. Back in the ’60’s I had an Aunt pass away from liver cancer. In a coma the last couple of days, see kept speaking to relatives who had already passed. That along with another family experience makes me a believer. So I find the subject very interesting.

  2. Jennifer Beals? Then I am in. She is very versatile actress.

  3. Dean says:

    Jennifer Beals as good as an actress as she may be really has a poor track record when it comes to tv shows.

    • Benington says:

      Dean, Ms. Beals starred in the L- Word which was a success on Showtime and on for 6 years from 2004-2010. Since then she has starred or guest starred in several series, whose failures or successes were in no way related to her or her talent. In fact the majority of them, were very well received by both critics and fans alike. Unfortunately, we all know how insignificant that fact is, since it all comes down to the Nielsen ratings based on the tastes of the masses (which so apropos, rhymes with assses ) So whether this show is a success or failure, ( unfortunately it challenges most religious doctrines about the concept of the afterlife) maybe it will at least provoke some intelligent, spirited (pun intended) dialogue in regards to life after death. Especially since the concept of death and the afterlife, that most of us have been indoctrinated to believe in….is so unbelievably small minded.

      • Ani says:

        Beautifully stated.

      • Cheryl says:

        Why do you think it’s “unfortunate” that it challenges most religious doctrines? IF there is an afterlife it will have everything to do with the nature of consciousness, the nature of the universe, will not necessitate a deity and will have nothing to do with judgment, reward or punishment.

        • Benington says:

          I used the word “unfortunate”, because TV shows that espouse the spiritual and metaphysical sentiments that you so beautifully spoke about…usually have a shelf life of 13 or less episodes. Questioning the infinite possibilities of afterlife, absolutely does challenge the doctrines of most religions and/or their deities. For most people the afterlife is exactly and only like, that which their religions dictate it is. They can not and/or will not open their minds to question the wondrous possibilities of any alternative theories. Profoundly sad but true! By the way, I believe in god or a higher power and I am a proud Jew, but I also believe in an afterlife that includes reincarnation and so much more…

  4. RUTH says:


  5. rebecca says:

    I love Jennifer Beals. So nice to have her back on my tv. On a side note, The L Word is really popular on Netflix.. I wouldn’t hate a little reunion movie! :)

  6. hud says:

    Flatliners.1990, been there, done that.

  7. I liked the show, will give it a bit more time to be sure, of course, a lot can happen after the put it looks promising.

  8. Reincarnation is believed in by 3/4 of the world’s population. Near Death Experiences started popping up everywhere after Peter Sellers (the world famous actor who died in 1980) stated his NDE he had in 1964. However, there is no “Proof”, as the program’s title suggests. If you believe in it, no explanation is necessary. If you do not believe in it, no explanation is possible. Perhaps a better approach would be, ‘You’ll see it when you believe it” instead of the skeptic’s concept, “I have to see it in order to believe it”. I totally enjoyed the program and I totally believe in reincarnation. If there’s no payback in this lifetime, how else would KARMA work? Or, in this lifetime, as Barbara Streisand sang in 1997, we all have, “Lessons to be Learned”.

    • KCC says:

      Something believed in by the majority of the population does not make it true. The world’s flat, the universe revolves around the earth, you can cure ill people by bleeding them, etc. In my experience the universe’s rules are the same for everyone. What someone believes does not alter that. Is karma a real thing is the question you have to answer before getting into how it works. Whether someone on their deathbed is experiencing a glimpse of the afterlife or is delusional because their bodies are failing, they’re feverish, medicated and possibly hallucinating is what Carolyn has to prove. It could lead to some interesting stories.

      • I told you there’s no proof. You either believe or you don’t. I stated my beliefs and you’ve stated yours. We are going to have to agree to disagree. I do believe we will be entertained by this show.

    • Benington says:

      Well said!!!

  9. N says:

    I loved this show…..Yes Jennifer!

  10. Rick Davis says:

    Any of this true??

  11. Pat says:

    I gave it a C. I will continue to watch but I am not sure for how long. I was not to impressed by this first episode. I just wish that the had not cancelled Perception.

  12. dean pharis says:

    There is a big difference in our spiritual eternal life and evolving consciousness and Religion that say’s their particular belief is the only way to God,(whic is plural,male & female) The church’s were the government & used fear and occult(hidden knowledge) of real spiritual knowledge because the average person will most likely misuse it,I likrd that the pilot showed realistic NDE’s and wasn’t propaganda for any one religion,

  13. Kathy Holden says:

    We loved it. And it’s an issue good to deal with

  14. Staci says:

    I like it.. What I didn’t like was when the little girl. said “they” told me not to talked to you anymore…

    • Why not? “They” were the people the little girl saw on the other side and I get the impression that that “They” didn’t want to upset Carolyn as she’s not ready to believe. Everybody has to take this at their own pace. There’s no timetable.

  15. Judy Hassinger says:

    I really enjoyed this pilot, I just hope I don’t get hooked on this and then 3 seasons from now the rug gets pulled out like Longmiere. Dumbest move TNT made “giving” it to Netflex. Bad enough I pay $150 mo for satellite now I have to pay Netflex if I want to see the cliffhanger, typical the little guy always gets screwed. I could understand it if the show wasn’t popular it had other people in the industry scratching their heads, wish another network would have picked it up.

  16. co says:

    Im glad there are shows like this now. Makes people question what they ‘think’ they know. I hope. Ive been ‘beyond’. Made me question my programing! Looking forward to the next episode to check out how they plan to ‘poove’ the unproovable.

  17. Zoila Sanchez says:

    Enjoyed watching the program. It is a breath of fresh air compared to typical program shown – modern family, archer, and other so forth

  18. ms says:

    I am trying to watch the premiere but TNT won’t allow me. I wanted to watch it again, missed some part due to a cable black out.

  19. Laura says:

    Jennifer Beals AND a great subject to explore is a win-win for me. I’m dropping three shows for every new one I add… its easier than I thought it would be lol