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Thursday, November 25, 2010

From My Watchlist --Lie To Me

Lie To Me is premiering on Indian television, at 10 pm on Mon-Fri on Star World. The first two seasons are being shown in succession. It is centred around Dr. Cal Lightman, who is originally English and through extensive research has learnt to read human expressions and draw conclusions from them almost flawlessly. He runs a D.C.-based firm, called The Lightman Group, of deception experts, with Dr. Gillian Foster, a skilled psychologist, as his business partner and prime associate. An important employee of the firm is a young Ivy Leaguer called Eli Loker, who, in addition to taking part in the firm's investigative commissions, also runs their research lab on human behaviour. Ria Torres, a former TSA recruit with an exceptional record of 97% correct arrests, was picked up by Lightman & Foster from her airport job when they came to know of her natural talent for spotting lies. The rest of the firm consists of all kinds of professionals, from software operators to accountants, who usually do not get more importance than the required unnamed appearances.
The firm usually assists different levels of law enforcement, orgnisations, and even individuals, in completing investigations and solving various kinds of problems that involve deception and human psychology.
Lightman as a person borders on an anti-hero personality, as he does not care for the law when it comes in the way of the truth. We see suggestions of a rather shady past he seems to have had, and his personal life is evidently no smooth rink, with a problematic ex-wife who doesn't approve of his way of studying her always, and different women, with none of whom does it ever work out. Dr. Foster went through a divorce in the course of the show after she found out her reporter husband to be leading a double life as a drug addict. She too has been seen with different men since then, and till date none of those, too, have ever looked promising. There seems to be some sparks between the two of them, but we've not seen anything conclusive yet. I, for one, am all for it.
Lightman shares a sweet relationship with his daughter Emily, a 16-year-old, who has her share of a high-schooler's troubles. She is quite patronizing on him at times, and at other times she gets into trouble trying to lie to her dad. Not much is known about Loker's private life, except for the occasional date. It is known though, that Torres faced physical abuse from her father in her younger years, and she had to get a plastic surgery done on her nose to fix an injury inflicted by him. She has a half-sister, who was reconciled with her in a recent episode, and with her assistance is back into the mainstream from juvenile detention.
There is also FBI agent Benjamin Reynolds, who is their resident agent and has to assist them on all law enforcement cases as part of the firm's retainer contract with the FBI.
The personal lives of the experts and their families and friends are often interweaved with the cases, and many cases come to the Group through them; these are usually those cases where the Group acts without a specific client and without expecting profit, though they usually are rewarded handsomely when they solve these cases.
The show is a bit slower compared to most crime fiction, however most of the one-hour episodes deal with two parallel cases, and it quite compensates for the lack in pace. The show has immense potential, as the scientific methods that the Group is shown to follow are applicable in real life.
I personally have learnt a pretty amount of face-reading from the show, and it helps in daily life. Also, the show is different from others, as it deals with a third party, non-government group of people who assist American law.
In the photo above, from left to right, Foster, Lightman, Loker and Torres.

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