Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Lie to Me” Is Great – Honestly!

Image from Fox
l to r: Monica Raymund, Brendan Hines, Tim Roth, Kelli Williams

Just when you think there can’t possibly be another twist on the everyday crime show, someone comes along and proves that there is. This is the case with Fox’s new show “Lie to Me,” which is about Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his team of “deception experts” who are human lie detectors. It seems they can read body language and facial expressions in order to determine whether a person is lying or telling the truth. It can also help them to determine why a person may be hiding the truth.

I missed the pilot episode (I haven’t had a chance as yet to watch it on the show’s web site), but so far I really like what I see. Tim Roth is very believable as Dr. Lightman, who seems as blunt as Dr. Greg House, without the nasty streak. Lightman, like any completely honest person would be, is open and direct himself – he tells it like it is. That is, unless not saying anything gets him more information. I have to admit that in the few times I have watched the show, I find myself thinking about how I may look to other people when I am talking to them. Not that I would lie, mind you, just that I wouldn’t want to LOOK like I’m lying.

The rest of Lightman’s staff seems to be very well balanced. Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams) who is a psychologist, Will Loker (Brendan Hines), the lead researcher, and Ria Torres (Monica Raymund) seem to “play nice” together. But Torres is the new kid on the block who wasn’t educated in school to hone her talent – she’s considered a “natural”. Because she hasn’t been formally trained in the field, her ability to read people sometimes puts a new light on the case. It may also be causing some mild tension between her and Lightman, since Torres’ talent is a gift, while Lightman had to undertake extensive study to gain his.

There is light humor peppered throughout the show, which seems to soften Lightman’s sometimes clinical approach. But what I enjoy the most is that I feel like I am learning something while I am watching. After watching crime shows for years, I feel like I could work on a forensics team, or be an attorney, and after watching years of medical shows I learned so much about diseases, treatments, and medications. But body language and facial expressions seems like new, uncharted territory for me. Even though at one point in my own career while managing large groups of people we were taught very rudimentary body language, this show is taking it much farther than what I had learned before. (A side note, we were told that when people cross their arms when talking to you that they were being closed minded or guarded. But our offices were so cold that when everyone had their arms crossed all the time just to keep warm, body language sometimes only told you the person was freezing cold!)

“Lie to Me” looks like a winner – I can be entertained AND learn something at the same time. It’s now on my “must watch” list for this season.

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1 comment:

samfan said...

I LOVE lie to me. I watched the pilot, and the other episode too, and really like it. I thought that you would like it. I can't wait until this week's episode!