With Disney Plus recently getting the additional of the “Star” brand, we went into their catalogue and found several shows worth trying out new or revisiting to see if they hold up. Today it is the turn of Lie to Me.
Lie to Me is a dramatic TV Series that aired for 3 seasons in 2009 to 2011. The show focuses on a body language expert Dr Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) who is basically a “human lie detector”. Cal and his work help solve some strange situations when reading facial and body language cues. He helps the police solve crimes by going to the route of the problem.
Cal is not alone as he is teamed up with Dr Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams), Eli Loker (Brendan Hines) and Ria Torres (Monica Raymond). Each bring terrific characters to balance the show’s tough subject matter. If you like crime procedurals and learning new facts about body language this is the show for you.
Just in case you may want to watch it, we promise no major spoilers in plot. However there are minor spoilers ahead – Final warning.
The First Scene
The first scene is always important, this is here to make sure the audience keeps watching. The introduction to the world of Lie to Me is the science and it leaves the audience wondering why.
We see Cal Lightman interviewing a prisoner who has seemingly commit a crime, just based on body language he was able to help. This scene is very dry in nature, but Tim Roth’s performance makes you laugh a little and scared of him at the same time.
This series of scenes sets up the series well. As the viewer you pick up some hints and tips too. Facts like “the average person tells three lies per 10 minutes of conversation” . Wait until he talks about “surprise” and how long it lasts…. We loved learning that fact.
The Lightman Group
The first time meeting all the group is important too. Cal Lightman is the crackpot expert, Dr Gillian is the person who acts from the “Heart”, Eli is the group’s “truth” teller and Ria Torres is the natural rookie.
Ria (Monica Raymond) enters part way through the episode with her being a natural working in an airport. She in later episodes, becomes a key entry point to the science of the show. Loved her surprise in the “signing bonus” scene.
The Idiots in the Middle
This was a remarkably interesting case to start a show to. Kid is accused of killing their teacher and the Lightman Group have being asked to access it. They break down the case and go far into the body language behind it. The way the show uses it to create a “twisty and turny” plot is still interesting to us.
Most episodes contain a secondary story line to keep the quick pace of the show going. A judge is accused of seeing a prostitute. It was secondary feel to the story and was not focused on.
We could say more but we will leave the concluding arc of the episode out of the highlights. Good twists and turns, good character drama and good acting. Makes us want to revisit it again.
This is one of our go to shows as we enjoyed it throughout. If you like crime solving shows and have not tried this, it is for sure worth watching the pilot episode. It brings a different feel to a crowded show market – no one has done body language in that way other than The Mentalist. “Lie to Me” shows the body language off and makes them “clues” to solve each of the cases.
Tim Roth went deep into his character Cal Lightman and his performance was breath taking at times. We will likely be watching more and more of this show again. It is good to go back to a Crime Procedural type show once you have forgotten what has happened.
For More Info
At the time of writing, this was available on UK Disney Plus. Please check your local provider for more info.