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The Mentalist
The Mentalist 2008 Intertitle.png
The Mentalist season 2 intertitle
Genre Police procedural
Drama
Created by Bruno Heller
Directed by Chris Long
David Nutter
Starring Simon Baker
Robin Tunney
Tim Kang
Owain Yeoman
Amanda Righetti
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Bruno Heller
David Nutter
Producer(s) Charles Goldstein
Location(s) California
Running time approx. 43 minutes
Production company(s) Primrose Hill Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 23, 2008 (2008-09-23) – present
External links
Official website

The Mentalist is an American crime procedural television series which debuted on September 23, 2008, on CBS.[1]

Contents

Premise

The Mentalist follows Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based in Sacramento, California. Although not an officer of the law of any sort, he uses skills and knowledge from his former career as a successful psychic medium to help a team of CBI agents solve various crimes, with the hope of one day bringing his wife and daughter's murderer to justice.

It is revealed that Jane used to be a psychic medium and enjoyed near-celebrity status. He appeared on television to claim that his paranormal abilities helped the police profile a dangerous serial killer named Red John. This angered Red John, who then murdered Jane's wife and daughter in revenge. Consequently, Jane abandoned his career as a psychic medium with the singular pursuit of bringing Red John to justice, by teaming up with the CBI to help them solve various crimes, some including those involving Red John. He openly admits that he feigned the supernatural aspects of his skills, often explaining that "there's no such things as psychics"; however, he has genuine talents in cold reading, hypnotism, powerful skills of observation and a deep insight into the human psyche and human behavior. These skills come in handy in every episode, and his unorthodox and bizarre techniques to solve crimes often clash with the agents he helps, because they often involve elaborate ruses and mind games to trick the culprit into revealing himself. Ultimately, his input to the team's work is almost always instrumental in closing the case.

The real-life CBI no longer exists under that name; it merged with another agency in 2007 (before the show premiered) to become the "California Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence."

Reception

The pilot episode had an audience of 15.6 million viewers in its first airing, and 7.8 million in a re-airing three days later. [2] It also introduced some of Jane's backstory, indicating that his wife and daughter had been murdered by a serial killer known as "Red John" five years before the series began.

On October 15, 2008, CBS ordered a full season of The Mentalist.[3] The December 2, 2008, episode ("Flame Red") was the highest-rated television show of the week, marking the first time a program in its first season had achieved that distinction since Desperate Housewives four years earlier.[4]

On May 20, 2009, CBS renewed The Mentalist for a second season, which premiered on September 24, 2009, in the US. [5] and on September 22 on CTV in Canada[6], as well as September 28, 2009, in Australia.

In Italy, it has been aired from April 28, 2009, on Mediaset pay-per-view Joi on the Premium Gallery and as of September 2, 2009, on Mediaset Commercial channel Italia 1. No date has been announced for other regions.

The series has moved to Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, following CSI. [7]

On November 6, 2009, TNT announced that it had obtained exclusive syndication rights for The Mentalist and would begin airing old episodes of the series starting in the Fall of 2012. [8]

Awards

Concept

Due to the main character's ability to notice seemingly insignificant details, to draw conclusions from them and profile people, the show has drawn comparison to other television series, most notably House, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Life, Monk, Profiler, and Psych;[10][11][12] all these shows ultimately trace their premises to Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes stories.[10][13] While it has been acknowledged that the concept is not a new one, the show has been praised for its "thoughtful execution". [14]

Cast and characters

Main cast

  • Simon Baker as Patrick Jane – the series protagonist and the titular Mentalist. He had earned a living as a psychic, but after series antagonist Red John murders his wife and daughter in retaliation for Jane's mocking, Jane admits he was a fraud and now works as a police consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation. Though a bit eccentric, he is very perceptive and much of what he finds helps solve the cases they are investigating. He is brilliant and very in-tune to what is around him, but is often cocky, playful, and annoyingly right, all characteristics that earn him friendship in each of his colleagues. They are, however, often annoyed by him, to the point of taking turns of who go with him on trips. However, he has shown a much more sinister side concerning Red John, a serial killer who murdered his family. When dealing with him, Jane becomes intense, focused, and willing to sacrifice anything, including his life, to catch him.
  • Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon – though Patrick often annoys her with his unusual behavior and going behind her back, she views him as an invaluable member of the team and will back him up on some of his most unusual theories. Her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident, leaving her to take care of her brothers and her alcoholic father. She is also the only member of the team he trusts with details of his past and they work well together, despite his attitude often causing her problems with local law enforcement. Her team was responsible for the Red John case until Agent Sam Bosco became director of the new Serial Crimes Unit, which took over the responsibility for catching Red John. She and agent Bosco – Lisbon's mentor when she was a junior agent – dated a long time ago and they share a dark secret which was revealed by Lisbon as leverage against Bosco in the episode 'Black Gold and Red Blood'.
  • Tim Kang as Kimball Cho – often portrayed as Jane's "right-hand man," he seems the closest to Jane, often requesting help regarding finding evidence, though he does get annoyed with Jane's habit of not telling him everything he knows concerning a case. Cho has a dry sense of humor and is shown to be friends with Rigsby. Probably the most down-to-earth of the group, he is often the one who sees through Jane's parlor tricks. When Jane tells Van Pelt that he was moving a straw across the table with telekinesis, Cho simply says, "He's blowing on it." He was in juvenile hall prior to serving in the military and then joining the CBI. He was secretly called "Ernie" by the Bosco team, who also refer to Rigsby as "Bert". Something he didn't mind because "Ernie's the clever, handsome one". He was in a gang called Avon Park Playboys before he was a police officer.
  • Owain Yeoman as Wayne Rigsby – arson specialist, he develops strong feelings for Grace Van Pelt, causing him to be overprotective of her. He didn't initially act on them, as romance between agents is against regulations, but the two gave in to their feelings and have begun seeing each other secretly. He is a good friend to Jane, though, like the others, is often annoyed by his ways. He is shown to have a good friendship with Cho. His father was a biker, which led to his own hatred of bikers. A running gag in the show is Rigsby's obsession with food. Often, during stakeouts, he is seen either eating or looking for food in the car.
  • Amanda Righetti as Grace Van Pelt – the newest member to the CBI, often doing research for other members. She has a deep belief in religion and psychics and will butt heads with Patrick every time he dismisses it or does something she sees as morally or religiously inappropriate. Van Pelt becomes secretly involved with Rigsby, after months of reluctance due to the regulations prohibiting romantic relationships between agents. She is very strict, organized, (Jane deduces during the first season that this is because she is hiding some deep emotional trauma) and somewhat high strung, but is overall a very valuable addition to the team.

Recurring cast

  • Red John – the unseen antagonist of the series. Jane has stated that "Red John" sees himself as a "showman", as he always makes sure that his trademark, the smiley face drawn with the victim's blood, is the first thing one sees before one sees the body. The trademark face is created by using the index, middle and ring fingers of his right hand together in one motion, Red John wears rubber gloves for this act. After Jane mocked Red John on a talk show, Red John retaliated by killing Jane's wife and daughter. Though only focused on three times during the first season, he is portrayed to be very intelligent. For instance, Red John hacked into the CBI's computer system and has been using the system to monitor them for some time. So far he has been known to have three accomplices, a man that has been mentioned to have died in prison and that man's son, who held Red John in high regard. The third was revealed to be Bosco's assistant in the episode "His Red Right Hand." However, Jane states Red John doesn't have partners but tools. The episodes that Red John is involved in are gradually becoming more and more frequent as is Jane's obsession over "catching" (finding) him and "taking care of him" (killing him).
  • Gregory Itzin as Virgil Minelli – Minelli was the Special Agent in Charge of the CBI until the second-season episode "His Red Right Hand," wherein he retired from the CBI after the murders of Sam Bosco and his team in the same episode.
  • Terry Kinney as Sam Bosco – Bosco was a Senior Special Agent with the CBI. He was Lisbon's mentor when she was a junior agent. He became director of the new Serial Crimes Unit, which took over the responsibility for catching Red John. He had a severe hatred for Jane as he was not a police officer and Bosco believed he corrupted the people around him. He also had secret feelings for Teresa (that everyone besides her seemed to notice) even though he was married. Bosco's team was murdered in the second-season episode "His Red Right Hand," shot by their secretary Rebecca, who was a mole sent by Red John. Rebecca, in turn, was fatally poisoned by a person assumed to be Red John while being transported to prison. After she died, Jane was distraught. He visited Bosco in the hospital, where he was in critical condition following his attempted murder. He asked Jane to kill, not arrest, Red John, to which Jane responded that was always the plan. Bosco then whispered something inaudible to Jane and went into cardiac arrest. Later, the CBI team was seen mourning Bosco back at headquarters after attending his funeral.

Episode list

US ratings

Season Episodes Premiere Finale Viewers
(million)
Rank
1 23 02008-09-23 September 23, 2008 02009-05-19 May 19, 2009 17.47[15] 6[15]
2 23 02009-09-24 September 24, 2009 02010-05 May 2010 N/A N/A

DVD releases

The first season was released in the United states and Canada (Region 1) on September 22, 2009[16] and a day later in Australia (Region 4)[17]. The set, called "The Complete First Season", contains all 23 episode of the first season on 6 DVD's. The first season will be released in the UK and Ireland on March 8, 2010[citation needed] and in Italy on February 23, 2010[citation needed].

International broadcasts

Country Network Start date
Fiji Fiji Mai TV
Australia Australia Nine Network Season 1: October 5, 2008
Season 2: September 28, 2009
Austria Austria ORF 1 March 1, 2009
Argentina Argentina Warner Channel November 6, 2008
Arab League Arab World MBC Action Season 1: April 2009
Season 2: February 13, 2009
Belgium Belgium VT4 (Dutch)
BeTV/La Une (French)
February 4, 2009
May 18, 2009/September 2009
Brazil Brazil Warner Channel November 6, 2008
Bulgaria Bulgaria PRO.BG September 22, 2009
Canada Canada A Channel (English)
CTV (English)
V (French)
September 23, 2008
January 9, 2009
September 2, 2009
Czech Republic Czech Republic TV Nova November 30, 2009
Croatia Croatia RTL Televizija March 4, 2009
Denmark Denmark TV 3 February 2, 2009
Estonia Estonia Kanal 2 March 8, 2010
Finland Finland MTV3 September 3, 2009
France France TPS Star/TF1 April 20, 2009/ January 6, 2010
Germany Germany Sat.1 Season 1: March 1, 2009
Season 2: February 28, 2010
Greece Greece Nova Cinema
Star Channel
February 4, 2009
2010
Hong Kong Hong Kong TVB Pearl July 15, 2009 [18]
Hungary Hungary RTL Klub February 2, 2009
India India WB TBC 2010
Republic of Ireland Ireland RTÉ One Season One: April 16, 2009
Season Two: February 21, 2010
Israel Israel yes stars Action HD November 16, 2009
Italy Italy Joi
Italia 1
April 28, 2009
September 2, 2009
Latin America Warner Channel November 2008
Lithuania Lithuania LNK March 3, 2010 [19]
Malaysia Malaysia NTV7 July 11, 2009
Netherlands The Netherlands SBS 6 January 1, 2009
New Zealand New Zealand TV2 August 10, 2009
Norway Norway TV3 January 7, 2009
Philippines Philippines C/S 9 June 15, 2009(?)
Poland Poland N
Canal+ Poland
December 3, 2008
April 16, 2009
Portugal Portugal RTP2
AXN
May 12, 2009
September 19, 2009
Romania Romania Pro TV March 10, 2010
Singapore Singapore Channel 5 July 28, 2009
Slovakia Slovakia TV Markíza January 4, 2010
Spain Spain La Sexta/TNT January, 2009
South Africa South Africa M-Net January 14, 2009
South Korea South Korea tvN April 6, 2009
Sweden Sweden TV3 February 17, 2009
Switzerland Switzerland TSR 1 (French)
3 Plus TV (German)
La1 (Italian)
September 2, 2009
March 23, 2009
August 26, 2009
Thailand Thailand True Series July 9, 2009
Turkey Turkey DiziMax February, 2009
United Kingdom United Kingdom Five/Five USA Season 1: March 26, 2009
Season 2: February 19, 2010

Reviews

References

  1. ^ Michael Schneider, "CBS sets premieres after debates" Variety June 26, 2008
  2. ^ http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20080924cbs01
  3. ^ http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20081015cbs03
  4. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2008/12/cbs-takes-weekl.html
  5. ^ "Fall TV: CBS Announces Premiere Dates". TVGuide.com. http://www.tvguide.com/News/FallTV-CBS-premieres-1007227.aspx. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  6. ^ "CTV.ca | The Mentalist (HD)". CTV.ca. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/show/CTVShows/20080908/mentalist/20090831/. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i7ee3d207fbb1fda38f1f752f7055bcfb
  8. ^ McDuffee, Debbie (November 6, 2009). "TNT: The little network with the smart decisions". CliqueClack TV. http://www.cliqueclack.com/tv/2009/11/06/tnt-the-little-network-with-the-smart-decisions/. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ Allen, Kate (2009-09-07). "Coben, Cole, Atkinson vie for crime awards". The Bookseller. http://www.thebookseller.com/news/96297-coben-cole-atkinson-vie-for-crime-awards.html. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  10. ^ a b Sepinwall, Alan (2008-09-23). "Sepinwall on TV: 'The Mentalist' review". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2008/09/sepinwall_on_tv_the_mentalist.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14. "That kind of Sherlock Holmes insta-profiling isn't remotely as novel now that we have not only "Psych" guy, but Gil Grissom, and Monk, and Robert Goren and a bunch of other crime show stars who can similarly size up a stranger with a brief glance." 
  11. ^ Hale, Mike (2009-08-06). "Obsessive Influence". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/arts/television/07monk.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14. "It’s funny, but it’s misguided. Because the “Psych” crew did not have to look far to find the show that really served as a template for “The Mentalist,” not to mention “Psych” itself." 
  12. ^ Fuchs, Cynthia (2008-09-23). "The Mentalist: Series Premiere". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/the-mentalist. Retrieved 2009-08-14. "That he has a traumatic backstory for his bad behavior makes him a little like Charlie Crews on Life, though the specifics of that backstory make him even more like Sam Waters on Profiler". 
  13. ^ Hale, Mike (2009-08-06). "Obsessive Influence". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/arts/television/07monk.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14. "It’s funny, but it's misguided. Because the “Psych” crew did not have to look far to find the show that really served as a template for “The Mentalist,” not to mention “Psych” itself." 
  14. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2008-09-22). "'The Mentalist' is among fall's best new offerings". Chicago Tribune. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/09/simon-baker.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  15. ^ a b "SEASON PROGRAM RANKINGS (THROUGH 5/17)". ABCMedianet.com. May 19, 2009 (2009-05-19). http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=051909_05. Retrieved January 30, 2010 (2010-01-30). 
  16. ^ "The Mentalist: The Complete First Season (2009)". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001CTDH76. Retrieved January 25, 2010 (2010-01-25). 
  17. ^ http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/dvd/dvd-genres/tv/mentalist-the-season-1/449888
  18. ^ The Mentalist on TVB Pearl
  19. ^ LNK (Lithuanian)

External links








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