One of my guilty pleasures are TV series, mainly from the US. They are either dramas, science fiction or comedies. However, I feel more connected to the dramas. The stories have more depth, the characters are more complex.
It all started with “The O.C.” which I watched on TV and then followed the addictive “Prison Break” which was recommended to me by a friend. Thinking back many have good lead characters but few have really amazing and intriguing ones. This post will be about three of my favourite leads from three of my favourite tv series. The actors in question are Hugh Laurie, Tim Roth and Simon Baker. If this doesn’t ring a bell then the titles of the series they play in may do the trick: “House M.D.”, “Lie to me”, “The Mentalist”. Of course I’m talking about Gregory House, Cal Lightman and Patrick Jane. How about now?
These men each with their genius, make themselves known if not by being the best at what they do, then through their craziness and passion for solving puzzles and not obeying the rules.
I don’t want to make an extensive biography of each of them, because you can find that on google. Instead I would like to point out why I miss Lightman (“Lie to me” ended last year), why I will miss House (it is at it’s last season) and why I will keep watching Jane (“The mentalist” is at it’s 4th season).
It’s been a while since I saw “Lie to me” but I still remember how great a character was Cal Lightman. The great expert in microexpressions and body language, helping fight crime by spotting liars with his vast knowledge based on science and less on educated guesses. He had his way of “reading” people, fixing them with a look that almost burned. His character definetely made me want to know more about the subject. That is an ability that would come in handy when asking people their opinion about yourself. So yes, I miss “learning” from a funny and witty character what to look for when wanting to know if someone lies and also enjoying his nonconformist procedures in doing so.
House is by far my favourite character of all and I’ll miss him for many more reasons that are not really linked to its job but to the way the character is. I’ll miss those moments when he plays games and tricks Wilson, those moments near the end of an episode when he is out of diagnostic ideas, goes to Wilson to discuss an entirely different thing and he suddenly figures out the diagnostic leaving Wilson a little confused. Also those moments when he lets his guard down and he no longer refuses to deny his unhappines. His way of “reading” people and being offensively honest but still realistic. He almost always lacks diplomacy, but not rationality.
Patrick Jane is another great TV character who joins the noble cause of fighting crime in a way similar to Lightman’s. With his wits and charm he manages to solve succesfully all cases asigned to the team to which he is a consultant at the CBI. As House, he seems to lack empathy towards the victims sometimes and also has a passion for breaking the rules. Jane is a mentalist. He is a fine observer, he also “reads” people and uses manipulation and deception and, when allowed (or not), hypnosis to solve the cases. I like how he seems to stay positive and focused on his goals. I also like his ability to get under many peoples’ skin to get the information he needs. He manages really good to hide what he feels, only few people really manage to get a read on him through the series. Jane is a resourcefull person and has extensive knowledge about lots of things, which is impressive everytime he reveals it.
I find them very similar and interesting and that’s why I thought of making this post about them. I don’t know if I made justice to this great characters, but what I do hope is that maybe I made you curious about this series and great actors if you don’t already know about them and admire them just like me.
As a bonus here are the awesome songs that open "House M.D." and "Lie to me".