Dr. Cal Lightman continues to see through the lies people surround themselves with solving both local and federal crimes as well as keeping his new firm a thriving business.
Film making 20/25
Bonus Features 16/25
Lie to me stars Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, a psychologist who specializes in the lies people tell and detecting them. He heads a group of psychologists, mainly his partner Dr. Gillian Foster played by Kelli Williams, at The Lightman Group.
The Lightman Group is hired by both government agencies and private individuals to find the lies in cases like divorces, law suits and crimes. The group started in season 1 and continues as a full fledged business in season 2 but with financial difficulties.
The business is struggling because the major crimes that the group is asked to solve does not pay well, so they have to take cases that do pay. Law suits that hinge upon the single testimony of the accuser or a divorce where infidelity is a main factor are now a part of the groups staple diet.
The show is much like House, M.D. with its crass and bold central figure who does things in spite of people’s emotions and often enjoys seeing them flinch in emotional circumstances. Dr Lightman does things just to see how people react and highlights the emotional impact lies have on others.
He does not just find the lies but solves the crimes behind them to help local police and the prosecutor’s office as well as federal agencies like the FBI. The FBI has even assigned an agent, Ben Reynolds played by Mekhi Phifer as liaison between the Lightman group and the FBI.
The cases are rather interesting and range from common crimes to large scale kidnapping and murders but varies well. The show has done a good job of bringing many aspects like the money problems of doing those big cases and not getting any compensation for them into the show.
It is hilarious for the esteemed Dr. Lightman to have to tell a client their divorce is based on infidelity or not in a quick two sentence questioning sessions. He rushes in asks a few questions, gives his opinion and leaves to move on to his next victim.
The show really brings some interesting cases but the lies and detecting them is not the whole show, the main focus is not really on any one thing. The series has gotten away from the emphasis on the lie detection and the small things that the psychologists use to tell a person is lying that was a stale of the first season.
In season 2 they have gotten away from the facts behind the lie detection and more toward the cases and interplay between the characters. The series has grown and is more than just finding its footing in season 2, it’s developing into a fine series that is as enjoyable as House.
Video and audio are typical for DVD shows with great looking video that is set at a wide variety of locations that has good color and blacks that are well done. The video is clear and with very few problems, mostly location based and not a problem technically for a good looking series.
Audio is also well done with 5.1 Dolby Digital, voice is clear and understandable with good use of surround and effects throughout all 22 episodes. I could not find a problem with video or audio and both were very typically well done technically.
Bonus content includes a blog by Dr. Paul Ekman, a short gag reel, a Lie Detector tutorial with Dr. Ekman and Tim Roth/Dr. Lightman and another feature with Eli Loker. The main features of Dr. Paul Ekman and Eli Loker’s are the meat of the extra features and worth a look but not much more.
Lie to me is based on Dr. Paul Ekman, a renowned psychologist who has studied human traits and states over time. The feature talks about Dr. Ekman’s research all over the world viewing isolated people’s expressions and how that relates to others.
Dr. Ekman’s study of human expressions using isolated cultures and how they do not differ from general society shows how not only lying but other emotions are universal for humans. He has shown that emotions and expressions are pretty much the same for most people all over the world and the basis of the show, lying is also a human trait, not a learned response.
The Eli Loker piece showcases the character of Eli Loker, a totally honest man who tells the truth, even with things he should not. This is a short segment on the character and how he tells the truth all the time, the type of person who does not even tell white lies and of course is not well liked by many.
Lie to me does a great job of the lie detection as it pertains to cases they take and a few that are thrown their way because of past events. The series is really good and well worth a purchase if you enjoy the oddball main character that does not so much care about what people feel as what they are not telling you.
Lie to me: The Complete Second Season is a great show and is well worth a purchase for fans of House type shows that dare to be different.