(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.
(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.
The show, created by one-time 'Nash Bridges' writer and 'Angel' producer Shawn Ryan, has just been released on DVD with 'The Shield: Complete Series' (Sony Home Entertainment), a lavish book-type package that features all seven seasons on 28 discs, with cast and crew commentary on each episode, a new featurette on the real-life Los Angeles police scandal that inspired the series and a new behind-the-scenes featurette/set tour of the show's police offices, "The Barn."
Ryan, whose real-life wife Cathy Cahlin Ryan played Corrine, the wife of Chiklis' Vic Mackey, on the show, is now busily helming the Fox drama 'Lie to Me' and the upcoming FX comedy 'Terriers,' but took time out to talk to AOL about 'The Shield,' an unexpected fan encounter and how he's lost some serious space on his DVD shelf this year.
(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.
(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.
(S02E01) "Oh, your husband likes unprotected sex with hookers, so it might be a good time to get yourself tested for, you know, everything really." - Cal
Lies! Lies! Lies! Or are they? With the return of Lie to Me comes a whole new batch of poker faces for The Lightman Group to interpret and fortunately for us, the overall vibe of the show is a lot more believable than it used to be. If I'm going to watch a show where the lynch-pin of every episode rests on the ability of Tim Roth's Dr. Cal Lightman to negotiate all the little twists a suspect's face makes, then I better not be able to figure it out myself in the first five minutes. When I recently spoke with Roth, he said the show was a lot better now. He wasn't lying.
Lie to Me is not a show that grew on me last season. When it first premiered earlier this year, I didn't even bother watching it. I tend to shy away from mid-season replacements to begin with and something about seeing Tim Roth speaking in his normal British accent in promos for the show seemed weird to me.
Then summer arrived, TV viewing options started to dwindle, and suddenly Lie to Me became a viable option. I watched the pilot, was mildly amused, and then dropped it for over a month before I looked at another episode. At first, it wasn't that great, and now that I've had the opportunity to speak to Roth about it, it's good to know that I wasn't alone in thinking that.
Also in the news today: ABC moves 'V''s premiere date, while Hilary Duff books a new ABC Family movie.
See more of today's top TV headlines after the jump.
FX held panels for Archer and Sons of Anarchy on Friday morning, but by then press tour fatigue had set in, and the energy in the room was low for both. It was especially low for Archer, a Adult Swim-esque spy cartoon by the creator of Sealab 2021 that most of the critics hadn't yet seen. The panel seemed to be more content with answering with wise-ass remarks that made themselves laugh but the just served to make us tired masses annoyed.
Things perked up, though, when the network presented five of its show-runners to talk about what it's like to develop edgy dramas for basic cable. But since the theme of the week has invariably been "Leno at 10," the questions often came back to the fact that NBC with one fell swoop wiped out five hours of scripted drama per week. And the show-runners took every opportunity to bash the Peacock for it.
And it got ugly: "I feel they should take the American flag down in front of the building and just put up a white one," said Rescue Me's Peter Tolan, "because they've clearly given up."
Earlier this week, I told you about the real reason Without A Trace was cancelled. Now, executive producer Shawn Ryan reveals the real reason The Unit was cancelled. "Listen, if the show had been owned by Paramount and Medium had been owned by 20th Century Fox, we'd be making the fifth season of The Unit now." You see, TV fans, it's comes down to money. CBS owns Paramount so it would earn more in the long run if The Unit made more episodes, went into syndication and reaped revenues for years to come. However, Fox owns The Unit. Get it?
I've never connected with Logue. I thought Grounded for Life was mostly crap, and he wasn't as "amazing" as the critics told me he was going to be in Knights of Prosperity. He has done better in some of his dramatic work. Maybe I'm just bitter that the hype machine told me Knights was going to be the greatest sitcom of the last millennium, and the next.
Television is a vast alien landscape of shows, programs and other watchables. So the odds of a really good show not getting special recognition are about as good as Michael Chiklis' chances of his noggin being mistaken for a shiny, beige Brunswick in a bowling alley.
The Emmys also tend to favor younger shows rather than the oldies that have had their chance to win some awards because the best stuff on television is always fresher out of the gate. It's just the beast of the cycle. Great movies age like a fine cheese. Great TV shows age like spray cheese.
The Shield, however, got totally snubbed from this year's nomination list. And is that something the Academy really wants to do to a guy with a hair trigger anger who considers a Smith and Wesson as his "backup piece"? (I should ask myself the same thing after that bowling ball noggin joke.)
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