Netflix Roulette: “Lie to Me”

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’re Katey Stoetzel and Sara Hettel, and we’ll be teaming up this semester to bring you Netflix Roulette.

Netflix Roulette is a weekly source of commentary about television shows found within Netflix’s library. Each week, we’ll randomly select a series by spinning the wheel on the Netflix Roulette website. All thoughts, observations and reviews are based only on the pilot episode of each series.

FOX’s “Lie to Me” follows deception expert Cal Lightman as he solves crime by studying the human body’s response to lies. The pilot episode aired Jan. 21, 2009.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Katey: That was torture. Confession time — I’ve seen the pilot to “Lie to Me” before. It’s worse the second time through.

Sara [1:55]: I’m writing this two minutes in. Send relief.

Sara [4:50]: Is “I was just lying in bed this morning thinking about how nasty-hot Nancy Grace is” an actual line or am I hallucinating?

Sara [5:30]: The punch line to that joke was literally “people who like pudding.” Why? Why did we just miss out on possible case information for this man to shame his coworker for eating pudding at 10 a.m.?

Sara [9:14]: This guy is a special agent and built his own firm because he can read basic facial expressions and body language?

Sara [18:49]: I hate everyone and everything.

Katey: Everything you just mentioned is why I have a problem with this show. I don’t think it’s special or cool or significant that Cal is a human lie detector because the way they presented it made it seem not cool. He’s like a lame version of Sherlock Holmes, but “Lie To Me” takes away all the cool of detective work and using science to explain it. You know what I mean?

Sara: He doesn’t have any superpowers or anything to make it halfway interesting. It would be different if he could tell people were lying based on their straight face or even something completely irrelevant like their handwriting, but no — his “power” is that he can tell a person is angry if they scowl.

Katey: Every time it flashed back to show the scowls of people lying to let us know this other person was lying annoyed the hell out of me. Putting emphasis on such small facial features causes the actors to over act, too. And honestly, I don’t really like Tim Roth either.

Sara: Probably because Cal isn’t the least bit likeable. He’s thinks he’s above everyone else because he can tell when people are lying. Also, as far as the scowls are concerned, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make that face seriously and effortlessly in my entire life.

Katey: I don’t think I’ve ever seen it either. I didn’t particularly like anyone. Not even the cops were fun people. And I’m not into the feud between the consultants and the cops. Also, the first case we get is really boring. I was not invested in that kid’s life at all. Nor was I into the whole senator B-plot.

Sara: Yeah, the first case was pretty typical and uninteresting. The B-plot was frustrating for me, just because it was entirely the wrong time to introduce another case. If anything, they should have started with that and dumped the teacher murder case. The pacing of this show is really off and made it hard to watch.

Katey: It also irked me how much they played up the whole Cal knows when people are lying but he’s a liar too by having the new recruit be astonished that Cal lets some people get away with lying. Lying is a fact of life, whether it’s a huge lie or little white lie. The fact that the employees at Lyman Group think they’re above everyone else because they can tell when people are lying make them seem like righteous snobs.

Sara: Exactly. Everyone lies at some point in their lives, and this show makes it seem like everyone is a perfect little angel who always tells the truth. Also, I hate that assistant guy with curly hair.

Katey: He’s obviously supposed to be comedic relief, but he wasn’t very funny. His determination to never tell a lie isn’t all that interesting or intriguing. I guess it’s acting as a character quirk, but in a show that bases itself on the nature of lying, having a character determined to never tell a lie seems blatantly obvious to me.

Sara: Yeah, it just made him even more hateable. This whole show is just horrendously cliche.

Katey: I just remembered Cal has a daughter. When Cal asked her date if he planned to have sex his daughter might have been the only time I smiled. Smiled, not laughed. This show doesn’t deserve my laughter.

Sara: I cringed almost as hard as I did when Curly the Assistant told that lady he wanted to sleep with her after literally just meeting her. It wasn’t even smooth. It was just awkward and uncomfortable. At that point I wasn’t surprised anymore.

Katey: Haha, Curly the Assistant. Best contribution to the show right there.

Sara: I’m happy to provide that for you.

Katey: Thanks. For a second, I thought that was his actual name but then I was like oh, Sara’s being clever … it’s pretty obvious we have nothing else to say about this show, isn’t it?

Sara: Because it’s a steaming pile of crap. The end.

“Lie to Me” aired for three seasons and ended Jan. 31, 2011. The show has four and a half out of five stars on Netflix. Similar titles include “White Collar,” “House” and “Bones.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]