Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TV EYE:Coming Up Empty (Again)

Aussie actor Simon Baker, the star of The Mentalist (CBS, Tuesday, 9:00 PM) has the sort of insidious charm that just ekes outta his pores with the mere turn of his head. CBS has twice tried to wring success out of his good looks and eye-twinkling vibe (The Guardian, Smith) and they’ve decided to try it again, cranking out yet another mainstream procedural with Baker at its center as a fake psychic turned criminal consultant, solving the crime of the week committed by the guest star of the week all the while surrounded by a team of consistently harried, puzzled, and grudgingly admiring team of crime solvers of the week. Its Psych meets House meets Without a Trace and even Baker’s inherent likeability can’t amp up the tepid crimes, the obvious clues, and the stock situations. Like anyone else, I believe that either a TV show or a movie can occasionally get by on the acting chops or charms of a particularly cool daddy thespian. Often times, the actor or actress’s chops or magnetism is enough to make an audience overlook the work at hand’s obvious deficiencies or lack of originality. Not this time. Score: CBS 0, Baker 0, Audience 0..

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