Lie to Me*

The pilot of the new show Lie To Me* ran last night on Fox.  The show stars Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk, Reservoir Dogs, Four Rooms) as Dr. Cal Lightman.  Roth is great in this role, although I can’t think of a role I didn’t like him in.

Here is the extended version of the show description from fox.com I posted the other day:

The average person tells three lies in ten minutes of conversation.

DR. CAL LIGHTMAN (Tim Roth, “The Incredible Hulk,” “Reservoir Dogs”) can detect the truth by analyzing a person’s face, body, voice and speech. When someone shrugs his shoulder, rotates his hand or raises his lower lip, Lightman knows he’s lying. By analyzing facial expressions, he can read feelings – from hidden resentment to sexual attraction to jealousy. But as Lightman well knows, his scientific ability is both a blessing and a curse in his personal life, where family and friends deceive each other as readily as criminals and strangers do. Lightman is the world’s leading deception expert, a scientist who studies facial expressions and involuntary body language to discover not only if you are lying but why.

From writer Samuel Baum (“The Evidence”) and the executive producers of 24 and “Arrested Development” comes LIE TO ME, a compelling new drama series inspired by the scientific discoveries of Dr. Paul Ekman, a real-life specialist who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose both the truth and lies in criminal investigations.

Lightman heads a team of experts at The Lightman Group who assist federal law enforcement, government agencies and local police with their most difficult cases. DR. GILLIAN FOSTER (Kelli Williams, “The Practice”) is a gifted psychologist and Lightman’s professional partner who brings balance to the partnership by looking at the bigger picture while Lightman focuses on the details. He needs her guidance and insight into human behavior, whether he knows it or not. ELI LOKER (Brendan Hines, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES) is Lightman’s lead researcher, who is so uncomfortable with the human tendency to lie that he’s decided to practice what he calls “radical honesty.” He says everything on his mind at all times and often pays the price. RIA TORRES (Monica Raymund, “Law and Order: SVU”) is the newest member of the agency, and one of the few “naturals” in the field of deception detection. She has a raw, untrained ability to read people that makes her a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve been looking forward to this show since the first ad ran.  I remember kind of rooting against it being a good show, because there are already so many good shows on, and so little time.  But I find the subject matter this show explores difficult to resist.  Can you imagine playing poker with this guy?  Roth’s character is very similar to Simon Baker’s character, Patrick Jane, in The Mentalist.  He’s an independent consultant using his ability to read people to assist law enforcement.  But this show is by no means a clone of the Mentalist.  There is definitely room for both, and I hope they both succeed.

I’m very curious to see where they will go from here with Lie to Me.  In the pilot we saw Dr. Lightman give a lecture on reading faces, we saw several interrogations and interviews, we saw him using his skill in his office, in his personal life, and even at random while walking on the street. We’ve seen him using his abilities to help others, using them to lash out at people, and we saw him faced with decisions about ignoring the information he gleaned from observing people speak.  What’s left?  Hopefully, a lot.  We’ll see.

I was looking forward to reading the Recapist’s report on this show, but was saddened to see the headline on www.recapist.com,  “Recapist To Cease Recapping.”  Apparently the headline is a bit of an exaggeration, but they are cutting back the number of shows they will be covering.  Too bad.

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