The trouble with police procedurals is that there are so many of them that it's hard to stand out. Some resort to gimmicks to stand out. Fox's new show Lie to Me is a case in point. It centers around a police/FBI consultant played by Tim Roth who specializes in "deception analysis" who uses body language and facial expressions to tell when a witness is lying and his team. Tim Roth plays a cynical House-like character who likes to use his skills to shove peoples lies on their face. He's quite brilliant and always right. His team functions mainly as researchers and as a sounding board—a lot like House's team of doctors.
I don't think that this is a coincidence, House is one Fox's most successful scripted shows and it makes sense that they'd look for shows that duplicate it formula in some way. But does Lie to Me work the same House does? I'm not sure. House is very much an acquired taste. It took me a long time to get into it. And judging by the long time that House took to catch on with viewers I'm not alone.
But House did catch on and clearly Fox hopes that this show will catch on as well. And therein lies my problem with this show. Part of House's appeal for me is Dr. House's misanthropic personality. Dr. Cal Lightman by comparison is a fully functional human being with a precocious daughter and happy home life. His only real personality problem is that he doesn't seem able to turn off his knack for reading people's lies. While this makes abrasive and annoying at times, it doesn't make him particularly interesting.
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