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The Mentalist: review

Posted in Bad Astronomy by Skepdude on September 26, 2008

Last night was the premier of the TV “The Mentalist”, what promised to be a skeptical look at psychics and police work.

Quick summary: it rocked.

More thorough summary:

Simon Baker as The Mentalist

Well, it did rock. It’s a crime/detective drama, but also has lots of humor. Simon Baker, dreamy Aussie, plays Patrick Jane, a man who used to be a relatively famous stage psychic, and is now a police detective. He has an incredible gift of observation, able to watch people’s behaviors, notice small background items, note things that are said, and put them together rapidly to form a picture of what’s happening around him.

“The Mentalist” is a different kind of crime drama. Baker is very engaging (especially, evidently, for my wife), and he does have a quality about him that makes him fun to watch. His character invokes sympathy right away, even if he is a bit of a pain in the butt. He’s confident, even a little arrogant, but funny and endearing. It’s hard not to compare him to the titular character from “House”, though he’s not as grumpy.

I love love love his character. He hates so-called “psychics” — hates them. In one scene, he comes right out and says there are no such things as psychics! When he did that, Mrs BA, The Little Astronomer, and I all threw our arms over our heads, fists pumping the air! W00t!

But to the meat of this: I think a real skeptic is behind this show, someone who knows about the frauds, fakes, and evil people who claim to speak to the dead. Here’s why:


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