Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'The Mentalist' review

In today's column, I review "The Mentalist," whose pilot is unchanged since I wrote about it back in June. Short version: it's "Psych" minus the humor, but plus Simon Baker, and you can figure out whether that adds up to something you want to watch. I like Baker well enough, but I doubt I'll watch more than one or two additional episodes (if that) before giving up.


Anonymous said...

You definitely hit the nail on the head when you said the show needs a "compelling leading man". The USA network slogan "Characters Welcome" is exactly why I like Monk and Psych, they basically do the same thing, solve crimes with their mad observation skills (heh or skillz if you will), but they also have unique characters. Both sometimes get annoying with their "quirks" but I love Shawn with his pop-culture quips and Monk for his melancholy sweetness.

Pamela Jaye said...

apparently it also have Robin Tunney, whose hair style does not appear to have changed since the House pilot.

She's pretty. But probably not enough to make me watch it.

Bobman said...

BUT, do they have an uber-catchy theme song?

Anonymous said...

I think I like it more than yall. While it's not call-all-of-your-friends-fantastic, it is promising. I like Simon Baker (Robin Tunney got on my nerves on Prison Break - hope she is better here)

I'll think I'll try it for a few episodes if for no other reason than there aren't a lot of other promising shows. I gave up on 90210 after 3 eps and I'm not really excited about anything else.

Plus, Mad Men is nearly over and Lost and Damages don't return until January.

Bix said...

I liked it a lot, but it definitely felt like they pulled their favorite elements of multiple shows:

- Psych: For obvious reasons.
- House: Brilliant, but an ass who doesn't show his hand while his team chases their tails.
- Profiler: Murder investigator with unique intuition who had family members killed by a serial killer they were investigating.

Anonymous said...

1. Am I the only one who's sick of serial-killer plots?

2. If you're going to have someone do something that seems impossible -- say, figure out what another person's father's profession was just by looking at her -- you'd better provide an explanation for how he does it, beyond just "he's really smart." Otherwise he's not an actual person with an amazing skill, he's a magic elf from fairlyland, and what's the point?

Anonymous said...

One more thing...

While I love to see character actors and stars make guest appearances on crime dramas (e.g. the Law and Orders, CSIs, etc)particularly when playing against type (e.g. NPH on L&O), it often ruins the "whodunit" aspect of the show. When (insert the name of any star/long time actor) is a witness to the crime or a coworker of the victim, you know he/she did it.

As soon as I saw Zeljko Ivanek I knew he was the killer.

Anonymous said...

Yeeeaaah. Not a god show. Simon
Baker is hot,hotter,hottest. But
the plot was predictable,the humor
non-existant and the other actors
just missed.

Won't be watching it again. Sorry.

Stef said...

I enjoyed it, enough to watch if i'm home on whatever night it's on.

What was with the Charlie Brown references in the character names? The young detective is Ms. Van Pelt, and the killer was "Linus Wagner." Not a coincidence, right?