Written by Senora Bicho
Lie to Me was a midseason replacement on FOX that premiered on January 21, 2009 and consisted of 13 episodes. The show has been renewed for a second 13-episode season to start on September 28.
My curiosity was piqued on yet another crime drama due to the show’s star, Tim Roth. He plays Dr. Cal Lightman, a psychologist who has spent years analyzing body language and facial expressions in order to tell when people are being deceptive. He has started his own consulting firm called The Lightman Group that takes on assignments to assist in difficult investigations. Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams) is also a psychologist and is Lightman’s most trusted colleague. Eli Loker (Brendan Hines) is a younger member of the firm who is college educated and believes in radical honesty. Ria Torres (Monica Raymund) is the newest addition to the group and Lightman’s protégée. She is a “natural” which means that she has no formal training but can easily identify emotions and deception. Mekhi Phifer joined the cast at the end of the season as an FBI agent whose talent Lightman quickly recognizes and brings him in for ongoing, armed assistance.
Over the course of the first season, the team solves all types of mysteries from murder to embezzlement. There are usually two crimes being investigated per episode. The personal lives of the characters start to unfold as well. Lightman’s ex-wife (Jennifer Beals) makes an appearance while Foster’s marriage starts to fall apart. One aspect of the show that I enjoy is the dilemma that team members face in their personal lives, when to let people know that they can see the lying and when to let it go.
The DVD release contains all 13 episodes from the first season. There are not many special features offered. “The Truth about Lies” is interesting as it includes interviews with the cast and crew and provides good background information. The Lightman character is based on Dr. Paul Ekman, a real psychologist who has spent years studying micro-expressions to detect emotions. The Foster character is based on a psychology professor from the University of San Francisco. Learning about the real-life experts helped to bring some legitimacy to the show. There are also deleted scenes.
The video quality is presented in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The image has very good detail for the most part, but there are moments where they get soft. The colors are rich and vibrant. Edge enhancement appears to have been used and there are occasions of slight video noise,
The audio is available as 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital. The dialogue has great clarity in the fronts with the rears not given much to do other than deliver limited ambiance and the music.
What is unique about Lie to Me is the concept. The idea of solving a mystery just by studying people’s faces may seem boring but it isn’t. During the course of each investigation, many people lie, even the innocent. Finding out what they are lying about and getting to the ultimate truth is the intriguing journey. I have always been a big fan of Roth and he doesn’t disappoint here with his intense, quirky character that has lots going on under the surface. I am also happy to see Williams back on TV since I enjoyed her on The Practice. She does a good job here playing Lightman’s better half; she is charming and believable. This isn’t a show you need to watch every week and even if you do want to see everything with only a 13-episode season it isn’t a big commitment either. So if you are interested in a different type of crime drama, give it a try as it is worth watching.
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