Yeah, but I thought much the same about The Ghost Whisperer (which I also has one of the dumbest series names in the history of television) and Numbers. But the fact is that any series can succeed, regardless of the basic concept, if the characters are strong, the acting good and the actual story-telling up to snuff. Even the Sherlock Holmes stories didn't always have the most intriguing mysteries, and they soon developed a very rigid formula, but the compelling character of Holmes and his relationship with Watson kept people coming back. I'll give Lie to Me a Shot despite any doubts, because I've been proven wrong before.
I liked it, though I thought that it was just a little predictable in the first episode, both with the Congressman and the main case. I'll keep watching for another episode or two to see if that changes.
(I thought the same thing about The Mentalist for example, and that's gotten much better than that first episode.)
Can someone give me a little idea of what the pilot was about. I read somewhere that it involved Jehovah's witnesses and I'm curious as to how they handled that whole situation (I have family members who are witnesses).
There was nothing terribly specific to the Witnesses in the episode. Bascially the family was the standard Hollywood version (or cliche
) of any fairly conservative religious group. "Jehovah's Witness" was just plot shorthand for "somewhat insular, sexually repressed, and suspicious of the values of outsiders." They didn't get into theology, beliefs or even evangelization.
The boy suspected of murder and his family could have been Hassidic Jews, Mormons, conservative Catholics, Muslims or any number of Protestant denominations and it would have made zero difference to the story. I guess most of those groups have been overused, so the Witnesses seemed like a novelty to somebody. The main thing was that the subject's sexual guilt was misread for something else. (This also ressonated with the plot of the "B" story, which hinged on a congressman who lied about not having sex with a prostitute.)
I liked the show. Most pilots aren't as good as the subsequent series. How could they be? They are basically shakedown cruises for the whole project. Part of the point of making a pilot is to sell the show, but another is to work some of the bugs out. Everybody learns a lot about making a show, the characters, what works in terms of costume and makeup the first time it goes "from page to stage". And then they go on learning as they do more episodes. That's one reason networks often air the third or fourth episode shot in a season early on, even before the pilot in a show that doesn't do a lot of continuity, in order to grab the audience with the stronger shows up front. Most shows don't really "hit their stride" until the second or third season for this very reason.
I thought Roth was good and his partner is very appealing. The newbie is a good stand-in for the audience, always asking the questions we would ask. After watching the first one, I don't think there's that much danger of things getting stale quickly. The range of things his talents can be applied to is too broad (it doesn't all have to be criminal investigation after all, which is one advantage the show has over the more straight-forward police procedurals it resembles.) Again, as long as the cast is appealing, and the characters and their relationships are interesting, the specifics of the plot tend to be less so. I don't remember too many specific events that took place at the Ponderosa or in Virginia City, but I do know I liked spending time with the Cartwright boys.
My only problem now is that this show conflicts with two others I'm already recording, which means I'll actually have to watch it live.
I've enjoyed both episodes so far as well. I don't realloy care how long the premise will remain entertaining as long as it is entertaining for as long as it lasts. It's nice to see Kelli again. I don't think I've seen her since The Practice.
While i'm liking the show their constant observations of the facial contortions of everyone they encounter is beginning to cross the line from detecting lies to out right paranoia lol.
It's also becoming just a tad irritating, every five minutes we're treated to a close-up of someone's eye, mouth, hand etc.
Another thing is clear, none of these people will ever be able to be in a relationship with anyone, their constant calling out of people's emotions will get them severly smacked in the face eventually lol.
This is not quite true of course. In the first episode, they established that the husband of Kelli Williams' character was lying to her (for whatever reason), but Roth kept it to himself, and in the latest episode, Roth's daughter was caught lying several times, but again Roth kept quiet until she got in trouble. It was interesting when it was revealed to the daughter that Roth knew that she was not being completely honest, but didn't call her out on every lie because he knew he would definitely "lose her." It humanizes the character and makes him more like a regular parent, who has an idea their kid is up to something, but let's them make their own choices and mistakes.
The characters are more down to earth than say, on House. I'm really enjoying the show much more than the Mentalist, which had a terrible pilot. I also like the structure of two cases per episode. It allows different characters to pair up each epsiode and greater chances to explore their relationship dynamics.
I was not familiar with Kelli Williams prior to this show, but I really like her in Lie to Me. Her character is interesting (does she not see her husban is lying, or has she chosen to ignore it?) and she makes a nice contrast to Roth. The fact that she also reminds me in different ways of both Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal doesn't hurt.
Kelli was on "The Practice" for pretty much that entire show's run. She was also on "Medical Investigation" (along with Neal McDonough) a couple of years ago .... it only lasted one season, but I thought it was an overlooked show. Kind of like "House" but on a national level (they worked for the CDC ....)