Lie To Me (2009)
Creator: Samuel Baum
Stars: Tim Roth, Kelli Williams and Brendan Hines
“The truth shall set you free.” It’s a beautiful thought and yet we have a tendency as humans to want to cover up and lie to protect ourselves. And in some moments it may be appropriate. But for the most part there is nothing good that comes from lying. Guilt, regret, hurt, pain, and loss are always knocking at the door as soon as that little lie escapes our lips. Most comedy of errors starts with a little lie to cover up a simple mistake and then the rest is trying to keep that lie a secret. Is it ever worth it in the end?
Lie To Me starts with the premise that we can tell whether someone is lying or not simply by observing their facial expressions and body language. Behavioural science is the key to unlocking the truth and solving the crimes in this crime/mystery/drama show. And it is this key that unlocks the intrigue of the audience. We are constantly asking ourselves “but how did he know?!” and then gently they reveal to us the science behind the mystery. The reveal is gradual but intriguing which makes this show just like any other crime drama, but it has an edge: Tim Roth.
Tim Roth makes this show continually entertaining and intriguing. His character of Cal Lightman is a beautiful balance of bastard and truth-seeker. He is charismatic and charming but also cruel and pushes the boundaries of people’s emotions and breaks them down to the vulnerable squishy-squirmy liars they truly are. You spend a great deal of the time watching Roth and trying to work out, like his colleagues, whether to love him or hate him. Over the three seasons so far I have come to admire the character and his unfailing search for the truth, not just the culprit of the crime he’s been hired to find.
Lie To Me is a different kind of crime show but follows the same formula, a formula that works. The characters are complex, intriguing, and people who I would like to know in real life. Their journey together through the work is what keeps me coming back for more. I really wish it hadn’t been cancelled last year but alas I must lose some more of my favourite TV characters. It’s really worth the watch and the show gets better and better over the seasons.