One of the biggest hits of last season’s new offerings, Lie to Me took off like a shot, and with good reason. The Tim Roth led cast is wonderful, and the episodes are crafted with an intelligence and focus that is beyond rare in today’s offerings. Check out my initial review of Lie to Me here for my early impressions.
As Cal Lightman, head of The Lightman Group, Tim Roth brings his superb acting skills to a complex, unique role as the world’s foremost expert in deception. With the help of his right-hand woman, Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams), Cal explores wildly varying cases, brought to him through any number of channels, but whatever the challenge or obstacle, he’s only interested in the truth.
The rigid truth approach frequently brings an interesting spin to the show, because it’s all messy, everyone lies (according to the show, hundreds of times a day), and the truth being concealed may be irrelevant, but we’re going to have find out what it is just to be sure.
The show is not only one of the best things on television, it is in many ways one of the best things about television. A smart, engaging show with a bit of education thrown in, that puts all manner of interpersonal relationships under the microscope. Clever and confident enough to leave some of its most powerful statements utterly unmentioned, Lie to Me entertains while taking people to task, as individuals and as a species.
Further pulling viewers into the show is the unique mix within The Lightman Group, and the curious struggle of working with people when everyone knows when everyone else tells a lie. The unspoken (and spoken I suppose) rules about not speaking about things, and evolving personal relationships in such a context is a tricky game for a group of writers, and so far they are pulling it off almost magically. Calling in sick to work is the least of your worries. It’s like working for Sherlock Holmes, who knows everything about your home life just by looking at you. That’s a hell of an odd work environment.
An additional hook available to the writing team, headed by series creator Samuel Baum, is that the show can go anywhere and often does. Though some crime is generally at the heart of the matter, we are not limited to them, and a fair number of cases present themselves in which no one has really done anything, or hasn’t done anything yet. Sometimes someone just needs to know the truth.
The DVD release is pretty standard, and doesn’t come with much in the way of extras, but the show is worth owning with no bonuses at all. There are deleted scenes, and a very fun featurette The Truth About Lies, which is absoloutely worth a look, but that’s it.
The Washington Post called Lie to Me, “Easily one of the season’s best new shows,” and not only is that decidedly true, but it is going to be one of the best shows on television with season two.
Also, be sure to watch Monday, September 28th at 9:00 pm.
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- [TV] Lie to Me – Season 1 (geeky-guide.com)