If You Missed “The Mentalist,” You Might Give it a Second Look

By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

I hope you got a chance to see Casey’s Geek Guide for the Fall TV Season.  On it she lists some of the new shows that should be real winners for the geek crowd.  After finally catching up with all the pilots, one show stood out for me that sadly didn’t make the list.  Let’s make up for some lost time!

Red John Behind Patrick JaneThe Mentalist is one of the least hyped shows of the Fall.  Aside from commercials that reminded me of The Dead Zone, the pilot received almost no attention.  At first glance it looked like a rehash of an old idea (the hyper-observant detective) that might fall somewhere between Monk and Psych.  When I was planning my “premier week” watching schedule, I didn’t even add The Mentalist to my list.  In fact, I only remembered it after its pilot had already aired, forcing me to find it on the internet.  After viewing it last night, I have to say that I was pretty impressed.

The premise of the show is that a one-time psychic uses his powers of observation and manipulation to solve intricate mysteries.  If you ever saw Crossing Over with John Edward, the protagonist, Patrick Jane, was pretty much that guy until a tragedy occurred in his family.  After that, he quit his career as a cold reading con-man and began helping the California Bureau of Investigation with their major cases.  To say much more about Patrick Jane would give away much of the plot, but let’s just say that it’s certainly no clone of Monk and it’s a far darker story than Psych.  In fact, the last scene of the pilot is very dark and really ties together the whole episode.  Consequently I’m hooked for the rest of the season.

I was completely prepared for this show to be either terrible and over-the-top or dry and boring as paste.  It turns out I was completely mistaken.  If you saw the pilot, share your expert opinion in the comments!

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