Lie To Me, the Tim Roth I-know-what-you’re-thinking-because-your-eyelid-twitched crime show, just got an order from Fox for an additional three scripts. It deserves the full “back nine” order — a full season. Here’s why:
• It’s gotten better: more tense, funnier, smarter. Under new showrunner Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Roth’s Cal Lightman has been put under more pressure this season. He leveraged his company, The Lightman Group, to buy out his ex-wife and keep her from moving his daughter to Chicago. As those few of us who watched last night saw, Cal’s cranky about this. He has to take grungier, cheesier clients to drum up fast cash. And a cranky Cal is a very good Cal: Roth excels at orneriness.
• Lie To Me deserves to prove itself over another season, to demonstrate where it’s going. It’s clear that Ryan, the producers, and the writers have a plan — they want to provide more intensity to the show, so it’s not just The Mentalist Lite. (Maybe that’s the wrong comparison: Can The Mentalist get any lighter? Oh, that’s right, it can: It’s called Psych.) Right now, following Fox’s King Crankypants, House, Lie To Me suffers from its lead-in comparison as much as it benefits from House‘s big ratings. It also gets bumped around, as it did last night, due to Fox’s airing of baseball play-offs.
• Last night, we saw how good Lie To Me can be. With a superb guest appearance by Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood) as a gun-wielding hostage-taker, Roth and co-star Kelli Williams really got to show what they can do. Lie To Me has all the makings of a solid, maybe even surprisingly original series.
But it needs more of a vote of confidence from its network. And from you.
Did you watch Lie To Me? Would you watch it again?
Follow me on Twitter. No lie.