Shout out to Colorado and Oregon for this one.
There's a new episode of The Mentalist on tonight... I guess we all saw this one coming.
How influential is the breakaway smash hit The Mentalist? So influential that it influenced shows that were on TV before it even aired! Last season, Life introduced us to Charlie Crews (Damien Lewis), an L.A. homicide detective returning to the force after serving 12 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit. Quirky, extraordinarily observant, familiar with being on the other side of the law, and teamed with a cranky female partner (sound familiar?) he applied his zen outlook to solving the bizarre cases he was faced with on a daily basis, and eventually caught the guy who did the murder he was blamed for in his spare time. That would probably have been a good way to wrap up a series -- imagine if Patrick Jane caught Red John and avenged his murdered wife and daughter on The Mentalist -- but Crews discovered a conspiracy, and has so far spent Season 2 trying to figure out who wanted to frame him (and solving murders, of course). How's that going? Well, in the last episode before the hiatus, Crews got shot in the chest.
Fans of The Mentalist, good news! Finally, there is a second show on TV for you to watch. We know, we know -- you only like shows that feature a highly insightful person decoding crimes or mysteries with the help of a young, reasonably attractive team of investigators, which meant that until now, you could only watch one program per week. Well, this show fits that criteria exactly, so make that two! ...Seriously, the press has been telling us to be on the lookout for shows that knocked off The Mentalist, the only success story from last fall's pilot season, but who knew the first one would star a big gun like Tim Roth? Whether you loved him in Reservoir Dogs (me!) or The Incredible Hulk (me! me!), he's just as quirky and interesting here, and he may be the one who keeps me interested in the show until the rest of the cast starts to grow on me (if that ever happens).
Fans of The Mentalist, good news! Finally, there is a second show on TV for you to -- whoops, that was the beginning of my article about Lie to Me. Sorry about that. No, Psych already had two seasons under its belt when The Mentalist rolled into town, and had already impressed its Monk-loving lead-in audience with its hilarious tales of a hyper-observant, perfectly-coiffed, fake-psychic investigator and his partner. (To be fair, The Mentalist features a former fake psychic, but it's still kinda uncanny.) Anyhoo, partners Shawn and Gus are always making pop-culture references and exchanging witty banter, and it's actually a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys the TV shows of Joss Whedon -- just be prepared for a lot less angst. Also, Whedon has likely never written a Super Bowl tie-in episode for any of his shows. (Maybe when he worked on Roseanne?)