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TV on DVD Obsession: Lie to Me

Lie to me
Image by Hytok via Flickr

*Since I’m going to do the PostAWeek2011 challenge in this blog and my writing blog, along with the PostADay2011 challenge in my other blog, I figured introducing some staples/topical posts was in order. This is one of the first ones, TV on DVD Obession. I will profile any TV shows I have discovered on DVD rather than on television. Suggestions are welcome.

Here’s a quick profile of the types of characters I love in male leads on criminal/hospital dramas with an odd sense of humor: the must be British (either the character or in real life),¬†they must be cynical and world weary, they must be tormented by some tragedy in their past, and they must be the smartest person in the room despite their demons. This perfectly describes my top three obsessions of the moment. One of those is Cal Lightman of the Lightman Group on the show Lie to Me.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Lie to Me, the show’s premise goes something like this: Cal Lightman has spent his life study body language and facial expressions. He has developed his skills to read even the tiniest micro-expressions. He’s obsessed with getting the truth and reading people. Figuring out whether or not someone is lying is easy; figuring out what their hiding is where the real fun is. Dr. Lightman runs the Lightman Group, a company that specializes in lie detection. Law enforcement agencies, political advisors, CEOs, lawyers, and even teenagers looking for their biological parents come to him to find out the truth. Sometimes he pokes his nose into situations he isn’t asked to study, just for fun.

The range of things people will lie about is endless, as are the reasons they have for lying. People are fascinating, and any show about the study of people will fascinate me, so this was an easy sell, once I was actually able to sit down and watch it. Netflix recommended it to me based on my liking for the show Bones, and ever since I’ve found it, I look forward to watching it.

The first thing that intrigued me about the show was the use of famous people’s photos depicting different emotions that character’s display. I also like how they explain how they know whether or not someone is lying or telling the truth. I feel like I’m learning something as well as being entertained.

The best part of the show has to be the cast of characters they’ve assembled. I especially like the FBI detective played by Mekhi Pheifer and Torres, “the natural.” Everyone has their quirks and ticks, but none compare to Cal’s. His backstory hasn’t been over-exploited, just showing up in bits and pieces, and what they’ve shown has been interesting. It’s par for the course that he’s no longer welcome in Las Vegas.

The only real problem I have with this show is the same problem I have with the other shows that allow me my tortured cynic leading males: they are always trying to force feed me romantic tension between him and someone he works closely with. At least one show was above this wrangling. Hmph.

Lie to Me: A/****