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The Mentalist. IDK.
I finally sat down for an episode of The Mentalist after three years and three seasons of success and awards / nominations. The main character, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is an intelligent, observational, insightful smart-ass. He uses his skills to assist the California Bureau of Investigation and often steps on their toes whenever involved in an investigation. I’m not sure how to really judge the show, because I never had any interest – honestly it seemed it was meant for older woman that were just hot for Mr. Simon Baker.
1. Modern-Day Sherlock Holmes? I think the similarities between Sherlock Holmes and Patrick Jane are pretty obvious – socially inept, intellectually brilliant, yet absolutely charming. Jane has an answer for everything, works alone, is somewhat condescending to women. But it’s Jane’s sad history that wins me over (and of course that smile). When he gained fame through his ruse as a psychic he became the target of a well-known serial killer, Red John. As a result Red John murders both Jane’s wife and daughter leading to Patrick’s burning desire for revenge. I feel for him at the moments he gets all red-eyed over the chase of Red John.
2. Where’s Watson? Watson is a great complimentary character to Sherlock Holmes, and I’m not sure if there’s anyone like that here. The closest thing to a sidekick Patrick has is Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and their chemistry is somewhat similar to the bromance of Holmes and Watson, but something’s off to me. Maybe it’s the (not-so) accidental moments of sexual tension between the two, or lack of significant functionality for Lisbon’s character. There’s a dependency Holmes has on Watson, and for some reason it feels more like the other way around here.
3. Oh, right – they have a “crew”. Of course Jane and Lisbon must have a sort of posse to back them up every now and then. The group consists of: 1) Kimball Cho (Tang), a straightforward and direct agent with witty, jokes riddled with deadpan humor; 2) Wayne Rigsby (Yeoman), an agent serving as an arson specialist without much personality at all; 3) Grace Van Pelt (Righetti), the group’s newest member and ‘hot’ female of the group, giving off a Scarlett Johansson vibe with more stiffness. My favorite is Kimball Cho – hands down. He’s hilariously awesome, and seems to be one of the few people to keep up with Jane’s intelligence.
When I first heard about The Mentalist I really just thought, ‘why don’t they call it the Simon Baker show?’ My opinion hasn’t changed much since then, and the weak supporting characters don’t help all that much. There was a character, Sam Bosco who seemed pretty interesting, but unfortunately he’s dead now. The elusive Red John is an interesting antagonist for the series and peaks my interest. We’re still in the midst of season 4, so maybe things will only get better. I’m still on the fence about it, but I could still watch Simon Baker all day.