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BACK TO THE > Forensic Fanatics TV Index.

Crossing Jordan

If you're fascinated with forensics and passionate about the struggle that many women experience in the workplace, then you're probably a fan of the now defunct television mystery series, Crossing Jordan.

The show followed the life of Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh, a beautiful coronor with a chip on her shoulder that rivals the rock of Gibraltar. Crossing Jordan was a finely scripted drama that wove the interpersonal lives of the characters with their expertise in forensic medicine and crime scene investigations. The show ran for six years on NBC from 2001 through 2007.

Jordan Cavanaugh is a dedicated professional with the Medical Examiner's office in Boston. The darkly lovely Jill Hennessy, who made a name for herself on Law & Order, plays Jordan with passion and intensity. The series followed her exploits in and out of the lab solving crimes while desperately trying to escape demons from her own past.

Jordan's boss, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Garret Macy, is played by, Miguel Ferrer. Ferrer is the son of Puerto Rican actor turned Hollywood handsome star Jose Ferrer and the acclaimed big band singer, Rosemary Clooney. Dr. Macy is no-nonsense man who sometime borders on being neurotic as well as struggling with alcoholism. However, if it weren't for Macy's going to bat for her, Jordan would have never gotten her old job back in the Medical Examiner's office.

Macy strains to keep Jordan in step with the other members of his coroner's team including 'Bug' (Ravi Kapoor) a forensic entomologist; grief counselor Lily Lebowski (Kathryn Hahn); criminologist Nigel Townsend (Steve Valentine); and Detective Woody Hoyt (Jerry O'Connell) as Jordan's on-again/off-again love interest. The ensemble cast added depth and the occasional humor the show needed to balance with the volatile character of Jordan Cavanaugh.

Jordan is struggling to deal with her own moral and emotional outrages and is a fearless advocate for victims' rights. She's had a dark history of letting her emotions get the best of her commonsense. Easily enraged, Jordan's emotional roller coaster began in her childhood with outrage and grief when her own mother was murdered. Past angst weaves through a clouded future and Jordan still struggles to balance her scientific training with her crime solving abilities.

Forced to take an anger management course after an incident in Los Angeles where she slugged her employer (a move that nearly ruined her career) Jordan has returned to her old job in Boston. Often enlisting her father's help in solving crimes, the daughter and father (Ken Howard as Max, an ex-Boston policeman who left the force in disgrace), Jordan and her dad role-played a simple game from her childhood, 'You pretend to be the killer and I'll be the victim. We can figure out how this crime happened.' After the completion of the third season, Ken Howard left the show. From that point on, Jordan continued to role-play as part of her sleuthing, bouncing off ideas with Woody and Macy.

Available now on dvd, Crossing Jordan is a good bet for mystery fans who enjoy strong women characters who aren't afraid to buck the establishment to solve the toughest of crimes.

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