Lie to Me
When considering the future of some shows on Fox and the CW, in the case of the former, there are only a couple of programs on the fence. Fox, overall, has had a strong year highlighted by the success of 'Glee,' which trumps nearly any disappointment execs might have over already cancelled shows like 'Sons of Tucson' or 'Past Life.'
On the other hand, the CW has a few hours teetering on the brink amid some solid, if not spectacular, already renewed shows like 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Supernatural.' To check the threat assessment for the Fox and CW programs on the bubble, read on:
Every fall TV season brings out a new crop of fresh shows and despite the fact that some of them are ridiculously good, they slip through the cracks and not many people watch them. Not all of these are new and not all of them are suffering in the ratings, but some could still use your eyeballs. So take this list as a gentle nudge to start tuning in if you haven't already, because all six of these shows really are appointment television right now.
Modern Family (ABC; Wednesdays 8:30) -- Easily the best new comedy of the Fall '09 season, Modern Family has very quickly risen up most critics' lists and even nabbed a Golden Globe nomination earlier this week. The show features a spectacular ensemble cast that tackles just about any family related issue from dating to divorce by putting one of the most unique spins on the genre in recent memory. With the show on hiatus until January, now would be a great time to catch up on the first half of the season and if you don't, Fizbo the ass kicking clown, will, you know, kick your ass.
(S02E10) "...everybody does it because it feels all right, and it's more polite, but a lie's still a lie even when it's white..." - Loker
With the fall TV season slowly winding down, it was a pleasant surprise when Fox announced that Lie To Me's fall finale would air practically halfway into December. Now that the episode has come and gone and the TV schedules are becoming more and more barren over the coming weeks, I'm already wishing that Fox would just make up their minds and figure out when the final twelve episodes of the season will start airing. While "Tractor Man" wasn't Cal and the gang's strongest outing, it was still a solid reminder why Lie To Me has become so much more than just another crime procedural.
According to the press release from Fox, former Shield cast members Catherine Dent (Danny), Kenny Johnson (Lem), David Marciano (Billings), Benito Martinez (Aceveda), Cathy Cahlin Ryan (Corinne), and David Rees Snell (Ronnie) will all be featured in the episode, entitled "Pied Piper."
(S02E09) "She's the female equivalent of roulette and you like the view." - Foster
There's always a potential for screw-ups when networks start airing episodes out of the producers intended order (see NBC and their goofs with Detective Crosetti's death in season three of Homicide), but Lie to Me seems to have avoided that sort of miscalculation despite FOX's shuffling of the season order. That is, until "Fold Equity" aired last night. Originally set to air during Fox's Simpsons week (catch the Sideshow Bob reference?), "Fold Equity" didn't drop the ball on anything as major as a character's death, but more than once during the hour it felt as though we were taking some giant steps backward.
Sexy vampires. Oh my, we got lots of them this year. The Twilight Saga: New Moon's got nothin' on TV vampires. Eric Northman and Bill Compton from True Blood are definitely at the top of my list. Pictured is that hunk o' steamy vamp himself, Eric, a.k.a. Alexander Skarsgard in real life. But we also got those lovely Salvatore brothers on The Vampire Diaries. Elena certainly has some high-class problems, doesn't she? Steadfast Stefan or bad-vamp Damon? They both have their particular gifts.
(S02E08) "You believe in Santa Claus?" - Lightman
Ho Ho Ho... you're going to Afghanistan. Not exactly a Christmas present to be happy about. Having said that, Cal must surely be happy about what he accomplished in last night's episode of Lie to Me.
Sent to a US Marines outpost in the middle of the desert near Kabul, Cal was tasked with uncovering the truth about a deep-cover US operative who got left for dead and had to join to Taliban to survive. Cal was able to get plenty of info from his subject about two missing Marines but we ended up learning far more about Dr. Lightman as a result of his methods.
(S02E07) "Finally got you thinking like a criminal. Wonders will never cease." - Cal to Gillian
I have to admit, that image of Cal Lightman in a girlie apron still makes me laugh out loud. Lie to Me may have scored a place in our drama category here on TV Squad, but in our household, we laugh all the way through the show. That's partly because my son does a perfect Cal Lightman impression, with his penguin walk and in-your-face look to see whether you're lying or not.
But on to this episode -- the perfect scenario for Lightman and team, in figuring out Max's lineage. I lost track of how many cold cases they solved along the way. Lots.
(S02E06) "You work here. I know everything." - Lightman
Looks like we've got a bit of a trend going on here. Just a few weeks ago, we got a glimpse into Cal's seedy criminal past and now we got a taste of what Reynolds was up to before he became the FBI liaison to The Lightman Group.
As enjoyable as a one-off case on Lie to Me can be, it's way more interesting when Cal starts using his talent on the people working in his own office. There's more than enough material to mine here and hopefully there's more of this in the future.
(S02E05) "It's always the popular ones who think they can get away with murder." - Loker
Easily the best episode of Lie to Me to date, I have to wonder -- I can't be the only out there who's just dying to know more about Cal's past, right? Lennie James guest-starred as Terry Marsh, one of Cal's old crime pals and his arrival created so many questions that have just pushed aside anything else going on at The Lightman Group. Unless Gillian or Loker turn out to be serial killers from past lives, nothing else really matters right now besides Cal's history.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has ordered an additional three scripts for Lie to Me, the Shawn Ryan-helmed drama.
Assuming Fox approves the scripts once they've had a chance to see where the story goes, that'll bump Lie to Me's season two total to 16 episodes. It's not a full back nine - but it's closer. That being said, don't forget that Lie to Me was a mid-season replacement earlier this year and the fact that it got picked up at all was a pleasant surprise.
(S02E04) "If we don't do exactly what this guys says, he will kill Cal." - Foster
Looks like it didn't take long for Cal's decision to buy out Zoe to catch up to The Lightman Group. Cash poor, Cal has been relegated to handling simple, pedestrian cases that do nothing more than bring in a paycheck. As the episode opened, there was obviously the possibility that Cal was actually at that singles mixer for himself, but it became clear pretty quickly what he was up to once he started grilling that blonde about marital fidelity.
Lightman looked embarrassed that he had to be doing it, but it did lead to a very heated discussion between him and Gillian. It would have been nice to see them argue a bit more about where their income will come from, but then a case that guaranteed to not pay anything wandered in the front door. Good thing, too, because it turned out to be arguably Lie to Me's strongest episode to date.
(S02E03) "So you're setting me up on a blind date with a potential murderer?" - Torres
When I first heard about Lightman's Mexican holiday via Shawn Ryan's Twitter account, I had pretty high hopes for it because as he suggested, it should be a "fun one." I assumed it would just be Cal and Emily having a grand ol' time, making fun of cabana boys when they lied about being out of pineapple juice or dark rum. There was some of that, but Cal, who always needs something to do, ending up getting embroiled in a fairly interesting case. The problem? The case that Gillian and the rest of the team got caught up in was far more intriguing and Cal wasn't there to take part of in any of it. Well... sort of.
In last night's episode of Lie To Me, Cal Lightman had reason to rifle through his daughter Emily's dresser drawers, in which he found a fake ID and birth control pills. Then he went ballistic. At one point, Emily berated him for "reading" her, something he promised he'd never do.
My question is this: if you have an amazing lie detection talent, why on earth wouldn't you be reading your kids all the time?
(S02E02) "I mean, how can I not judge someone who creates their own harem and then tosses out the competition when they hit puberty?" - Foster
Already this is shaping up to be leaps and bounds ahead of season one of Lie to Me. The cases are more interesting, the writing is tighter, and most importantly, it's becoming far more personal for the employees of The Lightman Group. Every case has far more meaning when Cal and his team are in it for more than just a paycheck. That isn't to say that I'm against seeing cases like we saw in the season premiere with Erika Christensen, but finding out that Cal's daughter Emily has a connection to a statutory rape case he's investigating is far more compelling.
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