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What's ticking me off about The Mentalist

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 12th 2009 1:02PM
After last season's success of The Mentalist, I made a point of watching the show this season. I wanted to see if vox populi was right and this was must-see TV. Well, now that I've tuned in for a few episodes, my opinion of the show remains the same as when I previewed the pilot in 2008. It's a star vehicle for Simon Baker. He's wonderful in the role and commands the screen.

However, since watching this season, there's one major thing about The Mentalist that's ticking me off. Aretha Franklin sang about it: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

That's my big problem with the show: the attitude of the higher-ups to Jane. Why are they so upset when he sticks his nose in a case? Isn't that the reason he's being paid as a consultant to the CBI? Oh, sure, Jane is obnoxious and a know-it-all. He can get under the skin of those working with him, which is irritating. Still, after all the times that Patrick Jane has caught the killer, solved the crime, unraveled the mystery by using his superior skills of deductive reasoning and observation, why doesn't he get any respect? He's treated like a pest.

Compare attitude on The Mentalist to that on Monk. Adrian is a consultant for the San Francisco PD and Stottlemeyer and Disher value Monk. They understand his phobias and conditions, and put up with all of it because of the way Monk can help them do their jobs. Maybe Jane should give Monk a call; they're not that far away from each other in northern California.

So, there it is. My big pet peeve about The Mentalist. Will they ever address the issue or will Jane ever get fed up with Minelli and Bosco and simply walk out on the CBI? Yes, I know he's there to get Red John and needs to be on the inside track, but even he has a boiling point.

Hmm... I don't know. Is this situation ticking you off, too?

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It's not that they don't respect him, it's that he is not lawful in the way he does things. The only reason they keep him around is because he solves the cases- but Teresa has to do a lot of apologizing and paper work for him- just to keep him on the team. Anyone would get annoyed with him for that. So I would say it's fair. After all, half the time he's hypnotizing people, or setting them up and that is against the law.

October 14 2009 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to comment to bruce. i have a construction business with 20 employees. i have three men who call me "boss" when they address me. so, i recognize it.

also, Lisbon has been dolled up to show a little more "cuteness" and "femininity". am i seeing things?

October 13 2009 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have no problem with the Mentalist. I like the characters. Simon Baker and his character, Jane, is the reason I enjoy this show. It is escapism for me and I refuse to pick it apart for that reason. I cannot and will not compare The Mentalist to any other show. I like it just the way it is. Only hope that it remains on the air for many seasons. No, I am not being naive, just honest. I rarely expect any television show to be 100% factual. It is what is is, a television 'show'....;)

October 13 2009 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree and it's the same thing that bugs me about Psych (and yes, Mentalist and Psych have a lot in common). How many times has Shawn Spencer not only solved their cases, but actually saved the lives and careers of Chief Vick, Carlton Lassiter, and Juliette O'Hara? Yet he's still treated as nothing more than an annoying pest. "Stay out of our case, Spencer!" He's literally saved their lives. And four seasons in, his track record should give him the utmost respect from the police.

In Mentalist, this new Bosco guy has no reason to be so rude to Jane, but I think the disrespect he gets from Lisbon is more about getting him to follow the rules than actually disliking him and not wanting him to be there. I dunno... the whole show is odd vis a vis character interaction. I still find it odd that in casual conversation everyone on the team (well not Jane, but the actual cops) call Lisbon "boss" (yes boss, right away boss, sure thing boss, you got it boss, sorry boss, etc.). I know she's their "boss" but do people actually talk like that, and make a point to address your boss as "boss" every chance you get? it's weird and unnatural.

October 12 2009 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never thought about it until now but it's true, they seem to have a problem with him despite his contributions. Bunch of ungrateful sods!

Honestly, it's not something that I can get bothered about. If any detective show should get criticised for bizarre character psychology it should be Medium. How many times does Alisons husband doubt her dreams? Even after all that's happened he treats them as if it was the first time it'd happened when in fact she's always right. It's not just him either, it's the D.A and Scanlon!

Even though it drives me crazy, I still love Medium. I presume the writers want Joe to be a "scientist" and be sceptical about these things but I'm not sure many scientists would experience something hundreds of times and still think it isn't happening.

October 12 2009 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I read the pre-jump portion of this post, I thought it would be the opposite of what it was: Jane's lack of respect for anyone else. Rich people and authority figures certainly, but when it comes to a victim or even members of his own team, I never know whether he'll be sympathetic or mocking.

It's easy to see why the higher-ups would have a problem with Jane, even besides the insubordination and failure to follow orders, procedures or laws. He's always more interested in revealing the killer than being able to convict them, as others have commented above. Minelli's said this before, and even the ADA last week who was glad to have it be a Lisbon case rather than a Jane case. Since the characters bring it up, it's not the type of show like Monk or Psych where we can handwave it away.

October 12 2009 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jane is a law unto Jane. He has no respect for anyone else. He needs to be brought down a couple of pegs.

October 12 2009 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The difference is that Monk WAS a cop at one time, so he's gone through the police academy and other training. The fact that he's OCD now doesn't change that fact. Jane, on the other hand, has no police training whatsoever, and that's why he's treated like a pest. Plus, he tends to show the "real" cops up, and it hurts their precious egos to have an amateur see a case better than they can.

October 12 2009 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stbyra's comment
shawn Jones

My thoughts exactly...It's the perfect "he has not seen the things I have and been through the things that I have" mentality. That is why they get annoyed!

October 12 2009 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know about you, but there are lots of people at my work who aren't as excited about getting something done as how it was done. People like things done a certain way, especially when there are courts involved. Jane's antics are fun to watch, but he walks a fine line when it comes to things like entrapment. I personally love the tension coming in the CBI this season. It has allowed much more character development which is exactly what this show needed!

October 12 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, when I think of a show on USA to compare the Mentalist to, Monk is the first that comes to mind.

:roll eyes:

October 12 2009 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Johnny's comment

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