Tag Archives: CBS

The Mentalist

12 Mar

The Mentalist is an American TV show on CBS in it’s 4th season. The show is a crime, detective, show. The main character, Patrick Jane, is a mentalist. In fact in the first seasons of the show the opening had the definition of a mentalist, “/’men-tǝ-list/ noun. Someone who uses mental acuity, hypnosis and/or suggestion. A master manipulator of thoughts and behavior.”

Jane is a mentalist, who used to use his skills as a con man, he was a fake spirit medium. However, he was good at what he did, and he would help the police from time to time. Once on television he called a serial killer, nicknamed Red John, a small and pathetic man. When he got home, his wife and daughter were dead.

To try and catch Red John, Jane became a consultant to the police. He solves their cases in unusual and tricky ways. Jane is an excellent character, and the show is intelligent. His team at the force is a good cast, and his dynamic with the head detective is great. Jane will use hypnotism and word play on tough criminals to make them confess, or set up elaborate schemes to reveal the killer.

I see a trend lately in crime shows moving away from the forensics rage of CSI. More crime shows coming out are focusing on the detection again, finding clues like cigarette butts and a missing glove, or looking for discrepancies in witness statements, instead of DNA, fingerprints, and blood splatter.

The forensics stuff is cool, but I do think it is over done in a lot of shows. The detective shows like Mentalist rely on characters  and more interesting stories. It’s all about the people in crime, motivation and intention. These shows remind me of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. He always said, “it is in the psychology.”

I recommend the show to any mystery fans. This show is most similar to detective shows like Castle, Psych, Monk,  or Poirot.

Patrick Jane is the blond in the middle. The rest is the team he works on.

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Criminal Minds

28 Feb

Criminal Minds is an American crime show on CBS. My family followed it for the first five seasons. Then on the sixth season we missed a few episodes, and we just kinda trailed off watching it. Recently we got back into it again and are picking up where we left off. And we are greatly enjoying it.

Criminal Minds is pretty different from most crime shows. This show is about a federal profiling unit that catches serial killers. They are stationed in Washington and they get requests from all over the country when crimes either cross state lines, or the local police just ask for help. The team then mobilizes and moves in to help.

Now with serial killers it’s all about method, and how their minds work. That is why the team are called profilers. They profile the serial killer. For serial killers it’s not about motivation or money. They like to kill, and they do it methodically and specifically. With serial killers you don’t investigate the death by looking at the victim, but how the victim was chosen, how they were killed, how the body was dumped, how long they were missing and much more.

From looking at all these details the team releases a profile. From looking at everything they can tell his age, race, gender, how he acts in society, what his job may be, where he might live, what kind of car he drives, what his personality is like, and more. It is really very impressive how they reach such conclusions, and it is an intelligent show that executes it well.

The characters are also great. My favorite is the current head of the team, he’s a no nonsense, straight faced, profiling machine. Yet he still interacts with others well and is a nice guy.

My family has been watching season six with great interest. Though the show can be on the darker side for any of those squeamish. There are very often multiple victims per episode. And if they are killed in a horrible way it can get a bit graphic. Or at least a bit scary, seeing a woman strapped to a medical table with a guy over her with a hacksaw.

I recommend the show to any crime and mystery fan. Especially with an interest in serial killers.

The current Criminal Minds cast