by pat howard

Late reviewlet: The Mentalist

In CBS on October 14, 2008 at 1:28 pm

It took me almost three weeks to get the pilot of this new CBS drama off my DVR, but when I finally got around to it I was satisfied with the show. Especially for a first time out, this was an entertaining hour of television. Think Psych (minus the slapstick hilarity) meets Profiler (minus the embarrassingly bad writing) with a twist of television psychic John Edward (plus a healthy portion of shame).

I suppose the sleight of hand is designed in part to keep eyeballs on the action rather than the myriad distractions viewers juggle while “watching” television. There’s definitely plenty to look at, including CBS veteran Simon Baker (The Guardian, Smith) and his straight (wo)man foil Robin Tunney (you say Prison Break, I say “Empire Records”).

In the time between its premiere and me watching it, CBS picked up a full season of the show, which has performed very well in its first two outings. The key to its continued success (or at least my continued viewership) will be its ability to get creative with the premise so as to avoid becoming stale and transparent like Psych.

Also, may I suggest that we wrap up this Red John business in a season, at the most? I’m pretty sure even Ally Walker got tired of chasing after Jack on Profiler for three long years. By the time Jamie Luner shows up to replace a burned-out Baker, I will long ago have fled the scene.

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