The next big boost for magic in fiction happens this month with CBS’ “The Mentalist,” starring Simon Baker.
OK, it’s not really magic, per se. Baker’s character, Patrick Jane, is simply a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, divining detailed conclusions from random data with such proficiency that he is declared a psychic. Jane’s approach is generally frowned upon by his cohorts in the California Bureau of Investigation… or maybe it is his past as a semi-celebrity psychic medium. However, a shady character from that psychic talk show may be returning to haunt Jane.
Some reviewers think the show will be just another crime procedural, using “mentalism” as its gimmick. Others think the show is a refreshing twist on the typcial procedural, so it won’t be another CSI or Law and Order.
Unfortunately for The Mentalist, it is paired against the Fox Network’s “Fringe,” which is supposed to be a mix of “The X-Files” and “Silence of the Lambs” that isn’t really as dumb as that sounds. Too bad Jane didn’t see that coming.
The Mentalist premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 23.
p.s. Roger Catlin, of The Hartford Courant, also skewers the new season of “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed” in that above-linked review. And speaking of magic, the video above is a perfect lesson in the power of misdirection.