Monday, December 14, 2009

Lie to Me "White Lie"

Lie to Me, which debuted in Jan of 2009, is a crime drama with a twist that has become a pleasantly unexpected hit. The show involves Dr. Cal Lightman (the Oscar-nominated character actor Tim Roth) and his team of human lie detectors who use the science of microexpressions to determine the veracity not only of their subjects, but often of the clients and agencies that have retained their services. Much of the show is formulaic, along the lines of House, with sexual and psychological tensions among the players bridging the plots of the otherwise largely self-contained episodes. All the usual politically correct stereotypes and cliches are there, the misunderstood Muslim, the hooker with the heart of gold, the farmer with a tractor bomb. But the show's gimmick, the scientists' ability to detect lies, means that the writers are always dealing with deeply held values worth lying about. You can focus on the drama and disregard the not always so subtle moralizing. The clip below, where the unpaid intern and loose cannon Eli serenades some kids to keep them calm during a bomb threat is maybe not the most riveting, but in context, it was one of the more memorable scenes in recent scripted television. You can and should catch Lie to Me at Hulu or elswhere and monday nights on Fox. Enjoy also the voice of Felicia Day, here a school teacher, also known to many as Penny, the love interest of Neil Patrick Harris from Joss Whedon's cult hit, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

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