Shame about the title

Why read minds when you can read people? The new maverick detective series kicked off on five tonight – ‘The Mentallist’. I misread it at first and thought it was a show about a steel worker or something but …The dad did it, but that was just the scene setter, showing us Patrick Jane (played by hunky blonde Simon Baker) in action.

He goes into the victim’s family home and helps himself to tea and sarnie, a new approach to policing which would be met with outrage in any decent British home, but not in the US, where the mum declines his offer of said beverage and snack while he’s goes to work on her. Oh, he’s good – just like Columbo, only better looking. So good in fact what when Dad walks in and lies about killing their daughter, she knows it and shoots him.

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” says Jane to his colleagues and, like all great maverick detectives (only much better looking) is promptly suspended for the next two weeks in TV time. Until he goes over the head of the sexy partner he’ll have a love/hate relationship with, to help solve the double murder this episode is all about.

He’s right, everyone else is wrong, we know this because otherwise there’d be no show. He knows it’s the doctor and sets him up good and proper, just like Columbo would have done (only much, much better looking – apart from the slight Les Dennis resemblance occasionally). He walks back in on the doc searching for the non-existent diary, which Jane then finds after planting it under the bookshelf. The doc falls for it, not knowing that Jane has dialled his colleagues on the mobile and they are now all listening into the confession that will surely follow. Or maybe not – just one of them turned up to save him; I’m thinking it may have been a booty call instead.

It’s not all light hearted fun though – we are shown History with the unknown serial killer known only as Red John, who killed Jane’s family. He still lives in the family home where the atrocity took place, with the mark of the killer above his bed. Well, duh – no wonder you can’t sleep, you donut.

I’ll be watching again next week.

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