It's Predictable, but Lie to Me Is a Charmer

Procedural crime drama a seemingly successful hybrid of House , Mentalist
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2009 11:15 AM CST

(Newser) Lie to Me, Fox’s new crime procedural, really ought to be terrible, Heather Havrilesky writes in Salon. It checks every predictable box: a misanthropic, lie-detecting genius at the center, surrounded by sexy sidekicks and quirky underlings. But “fast-paced, clever” writing helps the series, premiering tonight, “avoid feeling like just another leaden dippy crime drama pilot,” writes Havrilesky.

The closest analogy to Lie to Me is medical show House, which similarly stars an ultra-perceptive jerk. “Like Dr. Gregory House,” Havrilesky writes, Tim Roth’s “Cal Lightman is prone to making harsh statements: ‘The question is never simply if someone is lying—it’s why.’” But Lie to Me stays buoyant—and a little ridiculous—where House is angsty. Somehow, it works.