The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… "The Mentalist", "Lie To Me" And Fox TV

This is aimed at my AMERICAN audience…

Whenever a network comes up with a new wrinkle in drama or comedy, you can bet a rival network will rush out something similar within a few months. Thus it was with “The Mentalist” and “Lie To Me”. Except that CBS’s The Mentalist came out first – and is mediocre – while Fox’s Lie To Me is BRILLIANT!

Despite the popularity of The Mentalist, Australian actor Simon Baker comes across as a grinning idiot. And the thing between him and “Red John” is merely a rip-off of the thing between “Monk” and the guy who blew up HIS wife – but treated with far less skill.

While in Lie To Me, the GREAT Tim Roth runs RINGS around Simon in every department (okay, except in looks). His acting is SUPERB and he exudes vulnerable MENACE (which is not an easy trick to pull off). And the writing is INFINITELY better than that of the procedural stylings of The Mentalist.

So big cheers for Lie To Me and big boos for The Mentalist, right? Well, actually The Mentalist is not SO bad – if you don’t compare it to Lie To Me. And perhaps a comparison is unfair, anyway. The reality is the two series are really nothing LIKE each other. In fact, it may even be that Lie To Me has nothing to DO with The Mentalist and its appearance just four months later was a gigantic COINCIDENCE.

But what surprised this commentator was not only that Lie To Me came along AFTER The Mentalist and was far SUPERIOR – but that its maker is FOX!

After all, Fox is mostly famous – nay INfamous – for its comedy “news” network. And in the past, while its entertainment network has made the occasional programme (like “The X-Files”) for thinking people – since Digger likes to please ALL of the people SOME of the time, in order to SELL his services – its in-house programmes have mostly been low-brow DROSS.

However, recently, this reporter understands Digger has handed over the con of his TV interests to his SON, Digger Jnr – which may explain why more INTELLIGENT home-grown productions have begun to seep into Fox’s primetime schedules.

First it was “24” – which began as a pseudo-serious, heavily-right-wing, 9/11-inspired orgy of self-congratulation, where all of the actresses played characters who were BIMBOS – but then matured, with the bimbo characters being supplanted by smart ones. And the still-absurd plots are now pure unvarnished dark COMEDY.

Then along came the likes of “House m.d.”, “Bones” – and now, Lie To Me. And suddenly, Fox began outstripping first the ailing NBC, then the formerly strengthening ABC and finally began rubbing shoulders with the previously invincible CBS, in the primetime ratings.

And one has noted that Fox’s entertainment network has of late been trying to DISTANCE itself from its idiot sister, Fox News.

Like, on 24, the President always had his big-screen wall-mounted TV tuned to Fox News (as if!) but this season, it is tuned to CNN (okay, a CNN look-alike) and one star who was beginning a series on Fox even went so far as to state, on a chat-show appearance to launch their show, that they were working for the NICE Fox!

So after 25 long years, it would appear that a sea change is occurring at Fox. Its loony “news” service is being left to serve America’s right-wing wack-jobs, while its entertainment network is finally striving to be taken SERIOUSLY.

Right now it only has three hours of primetime programmes, which this writer hears is due to broadcasting rules regarding CONTENT, where a station becomes a NETWORK (which involves all SORTS of requirements) when it has at least FOUR hours of primetime programming. But he also hears those rules have now been relaxed.

Therefore, this scribbler would like to make a prediction (and a lot of his past ones have come TRUE – but that’s another story) which is: Digger Jnr will extend his network’s primetime to eleven o’clock, with some gritty, intelligently written adult-oriented shows – and give NBC (if it still exists) ABC and CBS a thorough SPANKING!

You heard it here first…


4 Responses to “Damien on… "The Mentalist", "Lie To Me" And Fox TV”

  1. Lie To Me is the worst show on Fox. It’s boring, unoriginal and repetitive in the storylines. Tim Roth is mediocre, phoning in his performance since the third episode…worst lead actor on TV. The rest of the cast are also forgettable. Total waste of time. I hope the show is cancelled soon.
    Boos to Lie To Me!

  2. American audience? OK… nevertheless very interesting and informative. We in UK only get ABC, NBC, and CBS in one half-hour Main News relay per day (on Sky News and BBC News -and I cannot remember which).

  3. Foxie – OUCH!!

    Well obviously I disagree with you – but as a liberal democrat, I have approved your comment! We are all entitled to our opinions. Like the man said – “Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one!”

    NO!!! I wasn’t calling YOU an arsehole!! I mean, I have MY opinion TOO! So maybe I’M the arsehole! (Damn. I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t STARTED this…)

    However, I note you said Tim had phoned his performances in from the third ep on – so you must have watched at least four eps – so it can’t have been THAT bad!!!

  4. Cy – while the Big Four U.S. networks cannot be viewed from Britain, most of their top shows turn up somewhere – even if they’re on DiggerVision and cost plenty wonga to view.

    Although if BBC2 get ’em, they probably still mess around with them like they did before – when they enabled Digger to ESTABLISH Sky in the FIRST place!

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