The Mentalist Review: You Read My Mind

March 5, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THE MENTALIST: Friday 5th March, Five, 9pm ALERT ME

Do we really need anymore cop shows? They all looked the same to me until I saw that The Mentalist had it’s own unique draw: Simon Baker.

This delicious looking man is the eponymous mentalist, and he uses his Sherlock Holmes style of perception and an understanding of human nature to help solve crimes.

Baker plays Patrick Jane, a private investigator with a brain for people and puzzles, who acts as an aide to Californian cop Teresa Lisbon and her team. If you’re looking for psychics, spirits and all that jazz then you’ll be better off watching Medium because The Mentalist is based on logic and actual detecting skills.

Well, kind of; he still uses hypnotism and a bit of mind-reading now and again but it always fits neatly into the plotline. However, you do get the sense that he’d be the most annoying bloke to hang around with because he’s such a bloody know-it-all.

In this episode we see Lisbon dealing with the murder of a paedophile that she convicted several years earlier. Unfortunately, Lisbon’s fingerprints were on the murder weapon and she has no recollection of the night in question. When she fails a polygraph and must hand in her badge and gun, it’s up to Patrick to help solve the mystery of the missing memory.

Baker may have grabbed the attention of the US by getting nominated for a Golden Globe but here it’s Robin Tunney who shines as Lisbon, the tough female cop with a dark past. Her climactic scenes show off the character’s aggressive, unpredictable side which hopefully will turn up again later in the series.

The two are nicely supported by a young, good-looking team of cops who are behind their potentially guilty boss 100%. With the exception of the two grizzled older guys in this show, why is everyone so damn attractive? Wish they’d send a few cast members over to The Bill.

The show is good fun but takes itself a little too seriously and makes the dark subject matter look at odds with Simon Baker’s quirky, light-hearted performance. Though there’s not exactly an edge-of-your-seat tension, the mystery is well crafted enough to keep you guessing and might even be enough to have you tuning in next week.

john444 says:

She’s great…very tongue in cheek and quietly disapproving. The show isn’t serious, you know? It’s just a fun version of a cop show taking advantage of the fashion for mind reading, lie detecting, scientific analysis type shows. Lie To Me is another great show on similar lines, while Mental which works in a hospital context on similar lines is patronising and all too irksome.

Curiousity of mine: what is it that makes the British hate beautiful women these days?
On every UK reality show the really pretty girls get voted off straight away nearly every time. What’s that about? Is it just jealous women voting off the girls to stop their worse halves ogling them and dribbling on the sofa? Or is it that Brits just hate anyone who looks like they have come to success too easily.

I understand the irritation element in cases like Jordan, but it goes much further than that. Why vote off the wee Welsh lass on X factor last year, for example? I’m just complaining here because once all the lasses have gone, I get bored and switch off. Who wants to listen to Vinney and Alex getting all hot and excited?

Anyway, the Mentalist is fun, fun, fun…

valma44 says:

The worst actress ever?I laugh lot of !
she is certainly better than most of actresses, not the best you know in the world you know it’s meryl streep but really not the worst ever

Colby5 says:

Robin is the worst actress ever, She’s totally unconvincing as team leader in the CBI..