Psych + Monk +added intensity = The Mentalist. This season, it seems that CBS decided to copy two of USAs hit shows to try to create a hit of their own. It worked. The story goes like this: Patrick Jane is a consultant for the police department whose detective skills are so good that he is often able to convince people that he is psychic (=Psych). However, he is still haunted by his inability to capture serial killer Red John who murdered Jane’s wife and child (=Monk minus OCD). Accompanying him are his police sidekicks, who are always kept guessing what Patrick’s next move will be (=both Psych and Monk minus hilarity that ensues).
I enjoyed this show. Like Psych and Monk, it’s not the type of TV series where I would be sad if I missed an episode, but it is definitely engrossing. I’ve only seen one show so far, and am interested in seeing the next one. The story was believable (though of course slightly far-fetched as is customary in these shows), and the mystery was just easy enough without too many extra red herrings that I was able to solve it by the end, and feel smart about it.
However, the show was not without its flaws. I was a little put off by the awkward juxtapositions of seriously brutal images with ineffectual attempts at comedy. For example, at the end, we learn that Patrick Jane still lives in the home where his wife and child were murdered, though it is now completely devoid of furniture except for a lonely bare twin mattress in the bedroom where Patrick still sleeps. And on the wall the serial killers mark remains, a smiley face formed from the smeared blood of his dead wife (and/or child). Dark, right? But then, in the next scene, Patrick swaggers into his office and presents an origami frog to his overly serious female cop sidekick (who pretends to despise him) and to her surprise, the paper frog leaps up off the table! Oh, how silly Patrick is!
Despite this, I will definitely keep watching. What’s another murder mystery show to add to my long list of murder mystery shows to watch? Besides, Psych and Monk won’t be back until January…