The mentalist - great show, terrrible cast.

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by JoeZhang, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So I've just watched most of the first season of the Mentalist and while I love the main actor and the premise it seems unbalanced in that the rest of the cast seem uniformly lousy - I can't quite tell if it's because they are underwritten or simply just bad - Robin Tunney in particular seems to be made out of fine teak!

    The Asian guy gets a pass as his role seems to be written as bland.
     
  2. chardman

    chardman Vice Admiral In Memoriam

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    As far as I'm concerned Robin Tunney is the one weak spot in the cast. Which is sad, because I've liked Tunney since way back when she appeared in "The Craft". I'm assuming that the producers also agree that she's at least one of the show's weak links, and is probably why they've increasingly begun to pair Jane with Grace (Amanda Righetti) instead of Tunney's Agent Lisbon.

    The only problems I have with Rigsby (Yeoman) and Cho (Kang) is that they're criminally underutilized and underwritten. The writers have failed to give either of them much depth. Hopefully that'll change next season (assuming the show is renewed).
     
  3. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My main problem with the show is that most episodes follow a very predictable "No Jane, don't do that even though I know you will and then solve the case and receive no punishment for your disobedient and sometimes illegal actions." plot. I enjoy most of the cast, notably Jane and Cho(in the few episodes they've given him anything to work with).
     
  4. TGTheodore

    TGTheodore Writer Admiral

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    It's called the basic premise.

    I enjoy the show a lot. I really like the cast and I think it's written well. The other characters have had a lot to do lately and I find them a good balance for Baker's character.

    It's the #1 new drama this season on TV. And one of the few I have a season pass for on my TiVo.

    --Ted
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  5. Nobody

    Nobody Commodore Commodore

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    Eh, it is a procedural show just with different window dressing. I've watched a few episodes but the lack of engaging characters turned me away. If you're gonna do the basic procedural, at least give us some characters to identify with so we can ignore the mystery-of-the-week. In any regards, I like the show when they call it Psych. Much more entertaining. :)


    -nobody
     
  6. Small White Car

    Small White Car Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    +10

    Who looked at Psych and thought "Hey, this could be better if we made it tiny bit more serious"? What the heck?

    I mean, I guess that worked when someone looked at Scrubs and turned it into Grey's Anatomy, but it's just not the same thing in this case.
     
  7. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not convinced Robin Tunny is very happy on the show. And, yes, she IS very much the weak member of the cast.

    I was watching some Awards show or another a couple months back and "The Mentalist" won for "Best New Drama" or some such (it might have been the People's Choice Awards). Anyhow, the entire cast trucked up on to the stage and there was a little jostling between Simon Baker and Robin Tunny as they neared the mic. IIRC, she was handed the award, then passed it to him as he approached the microphone and she said something to him like, "You talk. I'll just stand around behind you." Then in kind of a sniping tone, she added, "Just like on the show." Maybe they're as happy as clams and it was meant as a joke or something but, frankly, she came off like a mega-bitch at that moment.

    I've wondered ever since if she doesn't like playing Second Fiddle to Simon Baker.
     
  8. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It strains credibility and suspension of disbelief. I'd much rather see this character as PI as well as the "consultant" he currently is, at least then his skirting of the law would be somewhat believable. There are only so many times I can accept that someone in law enforcement swept his willful indiscretions under the rug. He is very good at what he does, but he is far from indispensable.

    This isn't my normal kind of show though, I tend towards shows like Dexter or BSG or Breaking Bad or Mad Men or Kings or (the early years of) Lost. Shows where generally actions have consequences and the characters drive the plot rather than just unravel it to find some solution of another. Shows like the aforementioned are quickly dwindling to a bare few, so I've delved into The Mentalist, Life(somewhere in between the two, I find, and of course headed for cancellation), etc. The premise of a character with such observational skills and interpersonal acuity putting himself into the role of "crimefighter" is one that deserves more than it usually gets on The Mentalist, and the show only really shines when we delve into Jane as a character rather than a plot device.
     
  9. Michael Chris

    Michael Chris Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Although I have loved when Psych references the Mentalist.
     
  10. Emher

    Emher Admiral Admiral

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    Well I'd say it's rather the reverse. I like the cast, but the show itself is pretty predictable and the writing and plots really are not very special. This started airing around roughly the same time as as "Lie To Me" here in Sweden, and out of the time I greatly prefer the latter. It's not huge amounts better then "The Mentalist" to be strict, but Tim Roth does a whole lot better job of carrying the show then Simon Baker does.
     
  11. veridia

    veridia Ensign Red Shirt

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    I disagree. Simon Baker = part House, part Sherlock Holmes, part Cheshire Cat. Best combination ever.

    Lie to Me is a great new show though, it just doesn't top the Mentalist for plot setups and snares set up to get suspects to confess. Plus the Mentalist uses NLP fairly well, making it realistic, although it wouldn't be obvious to those not familiar with NLP.

    Lie to me is setup as partly educational programming, and it's good. What makes the Mentalist great, is that I know that the writers are aware of NLP, and they make liberal use of it in the show, without using the jargon. Plus there is the NLP episode to confirm my suspicions that they are aware of NLP.

    For those unfamiliar, NLP is like a combination of Rhetoric & Psychology.
     
  12. Emher

    Emher Admiral Admiral

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    I just think the writers could do a lot better job with The Mentalist. I did however enjoy the last episode that aired here, dealt with Red John. They should get more into that storyline, but I hope they don't mess up Red John. At this point he's a pretty decent nemesis.
     
  13. pajamahead

    pajamahead Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Me and my wife enjoy this show. We are bigger fans of Psych. We fill this show is not an obvious ripoff of Psych, but maybe inspired by it. Jane and Cho are our favorite characters. Cho dry delivery reminds us of my sense of humor. We also love how he is the muscle and is always reading. The episode where he was picking up the girl in the bar was priceless.