Lie to Me

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

10
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2009 on FOX
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
367 votes
16

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The murder of a teacher prompts The Lightman Group to investigate a student who was seen fleeing the murder scene. Meanwhile, the team also takes on the case of a politician who is accused of paying for sex.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Intriguing. Could be Roth's House.

    7.0
    While the facial micro-expressions are performed without enough subtlety (and so come across as gurning), the two plots are pretty off-the-shelf and the spread of lead characters is mandated by US TV law (the maverick hero, the powerful woman, the gifted rookie and the odd one), the concept is intriguing. Part of why you want to watch is, well, not to put too fine a point on it, a fascination with becoming a better liar or, if you're lying about it, to try and better detect liars yourself. Tim Roth is our maverick hero and is, as usual, excellent. This could be his House but only time will tell.



    Read more of my bite-size reviews on TV, anime, games, and movies at misterslimm.wordpress.com.moreless
  • This could be good.

    9.0
    The murder of a teacher prompts The Lightman Group to investigate a student who was seen fleeing the murder scene. Meanwhile, the team also takes on the case of a politician who is accused of paying for sex. So this started over here last night becuase I'm a fan of Tim Roth I thought I would give it a go. I have to say it has potenial, the show reminds me of House there are a lot of simularities here. I will carry on watching this show, I liked the acting aain the episode and the lying stuff was pretty cool.moreless
  • Really enjoyed this, the theme of lies is going to be interesting for sure.

    9.0
    So 'Lie To Me' turns out to be another great show of its kind. First the Mentalist and now this...all is well in crime investigation TV land. Both Cal and his female counterpart were great characters, both have potential for brilliant development. I liked how we got information on each...Cal has a daughter and the woman (Zoë perhaps!?) has a suspicious husband.



    I liked how they employed the other female (Sorry I can't remember the name again) it was funny how the cash turned out to be her start bonus. As I said before the theme of lies seems really interesting, I loved the insights into how people behave. It even got me intrigued about people I know. The case was actually enjoyable and I found myself wanting to know who killed the teacher. Loved the ending with the fake suicide...wasn't expecting it...the note was funny 'Bring this to me in 5 minutes and acts grim' brilliant.



    And of course the ending song 'Easier to Lie' fitted the show down to the ground. I look forward to the second episode.moreless
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Fascinating concept and interesting characters, questionable acting and production, episodic format I hate you

    7.0
    I wasn't expecting to find their applied psychology techniques so fascinating. I already knew a few things about body language and facial expressions but I definitely learned a lot. For example I didn't know a liar kept eye contact so it's natural to look somewhere else when you're thinking about what you want to say. So the episode was very insightful but I found the acting wasn't genuine enough and it was obvious the performers forced their expressions to make us believe in the concept. However using historical photos to assert their arguments was quite convincing.



    As for the characters I was gladly surprised by them because for once I think they're well balanced. The leader keeps a distance, his female assistant skills were also well used and the younger mates also contributed to make their team as likable as possible. The protagonist can detect lies because he's a micro expressions experts but he knows that using it is not always appropriate even if he apparently can't control his ability. As for his assistant she's a words worm and knows how to convince someone, by using affirmations for example, but also to analyse what they say. In fact she reminded me of Dune by Frank Herbert but her gift is real, she doesn't magically charm people with her voice. An other character I liked was the guy who always tell the truth. He's not Jim Carrey but definitely someone you can relate to. As for their new female recruit she's gorgeous but I'm not really fond of her for the moment even if her more natural approach could be interesting to follow. It contrasts with the protagonist more rational and mechanical one. Last but not least they made me laugh from time to time so you should instantly fall in love with them.



    But even if it has many qualities I also noted a few flaws. First the production quality is average and I suspect some budget cuts because at times it reminded me of shows like Mental where even the lighting has issues. However it's not that bad and even good enough so immersing into their universe shouldn't be a problem. Second I worry that the writers have used all their bright ideas in the pilot to amaze the audience. I'm sure they have kept some bullets for the whole season but the concept has its limit. Third and last I can't help comparing it to Castle and CSI: NY, other procedural shows. The very first minutes you know the format is episodic and I just hate that. They didn't even try to develop a major arc to intrigue us. Right from the beginning they started a new déjà vu investigation. In fact there were two arcs but none of them really interested me. There was nothing original about the story and only the fresh ideas made it entertaining.



    For me such a format can only ruin a show because it depends on the quality of its many scripts. I can't imagine how great Lie to Me would be if it had the strong format of shows like Dexter ! One major arc with a serial killer to catch and new investigations from time to time. But if you don't mind its procedural approach then I can only recommend it.moreless
  • Facial expressions and body language don't lie. Fortunately for Tim Roth the suspects in the case of a murdered teacher DO - shame the viewer sees through every lie 5 minutes before it's revealed on screenmoreless

    7.0
    I'm not one to watch procedural shows like CSI or Cold Case but the ads did make this one look good. So I gave it a try and it wasn't that bad, in fact, seeing as I watched it with my 2 brothers we all tended to discuss and guess the next lie to be found out. This however is both a gift and a flaw to the show because barring one (the fact that the locked up christian kid was only perving and not having an affair with the teacher) we guessed every lie/development minutes before it was figured out on screen. First the reason why it's a gift. If watching with other people it becomes a fantastic guessing game. Everybody likes a mystery but to solve it through analysis with others is more satisfying than just figuring it out for yourself.



    Secondly, the flaws. If every show is as predictable as this pilot then the novelty will ware thin very easily. Yes, Tim Roth is great in it (it's a procedural so no meaty, gut wrenching acting involved - he just breezes through) but it's the mechanics of the show that will see it survive, and that needs to be tweaked so it's not as easily guessed at every stage. So a promising start with a few things that need to be fixed for it to survive. Overall though I enjoyed it, just don't think I would've done so much if I had watched it by myself.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • GOOF: In Lightman's office, there is a picture of his daughter behind his desk. If you look closely you'll notice it's not of Hayley McFarland. It's actually Kay Panabaker, who was original cast in the role and shot an unaired pilot.

    • The song playing at the very end of the episode is "Easier To Lie" by Aqualung.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Cal: (to Gillian) Politician. That's all you. Charge him by the lie. You can retire tomorrow.

    • Lightman: Just getting in, Loker?
      Loker: Yeah, I got piss-drunk last night with my roommate, and I was just lying in bed this morning thinking how nasty hot Nancy Grace is, and just trying to decide if I was gonna come in at all cause it's not like there's anyone in here to fantasize about.
      Foster: No offence taken.
      Loker: I don't go for married women.

    • Baldridge: So Dr. Lightman just assumes you're a liar if you're a politician?
      Gillian: He assumes you're a liar if you're a Homo sapien.

    • Eli: I would like to sleep with you.
      Cal: Ah, Eli Loker, Ria Torres. He's harmless, just always speaks the truth about what's on his mind. What do you call it again?
      Eli: Radical honesty.

    • Gillian: Do you still have that note, that I brought you? I want it for my office.
      Cal: (handing over the note) You really are a pack rat.
      Gillian: You could have just told me what this was for.
      Cal: No. You're a terrible liar.
      Gillian: Normal people think that's a good thing.

    • Weil: You haven't done enough muck-raking for one day?
      Ria: Sir. We don't think you were doing anything sexual at that club, because, I believe this escort, Melissa, who you paid for time with-
      Weil: What about her?
      Ria: She's your daughter.

    • Cal: The only way three people can keep a secret is if two of them are dead.

    • Cal: What's your content analysis of the mother?
      Gillian: She was definitely concealing something. When I asked her about Miss McCartney, she started referring to her as 'that woman'.
      Cal: As in, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky'.

    • Gillian: You think I'm naive just because I don't share your twisted view of the world.
      Cal: That and you read romance novels.
      Gillian: Yes I do, because they make me happy. A pursuit I highly recommend to you.
      Cal: Truth or happiness, never both.

    • Gillian: We'd like you to come work for us, Miss Torres.
      Ria: Why?
      Gillian: You've made seven times more arrests than the average TSA agent and you scored 97% on the TSA deception diagnostic, which Dr. Lightman created.
      Cal: Have you ever had any specialized deception training?
      Ria: I've dated a lot of men.

    • Gillian: (to Cal) Congratulations. One liar bound. Six and a half billion to go.

    • Student: He talked a bunch of crap about Miss McCartney.
      Gillian: Really? But what did he say?
      Student: Kid's a freak. I mean, I can't remember exactly but, I'm sure I heard him say something psycho about her.
      Gillian: You wouldn't just be saying that because you got suspended for hitting him in the face?

    • Hutchinson: Personally, I think what you do is a joke. It's a frigging carnival act.
      Cal: I get that a lot. You know, a moment ago, I saw you smile at your colleague, flash her a glance and shift your gaze. She responded by raising her chin boss, revealing deep embarrassment. I'll take another 'wild guess'. You two had a fling. She doesn't want a repeat performance because, you know, what with your wife and all... But you want to move on.
      (Hutchinson rubs his nose.)
      Cal: Oh no, no. Keep your fingers off your nose. Men have erectile tissue there. Itches when they're hiding something.

    • Hutchinson: I thought you could tell if somebody is lying just by looking at them.
      Gillian: The question is never simply if someone is lying. It's why.

    • Hutchinson: The kid was at the scene of the crime. He had motive, means and he resisted arrest.
      Estin: And he failed a polygraph test.
      Hutchinson: It's murder one.
      Cal: Well, I guess we're all here. Someone wants the truth, somebody who wants to be right, and us, the idiots in the middle.

    • Cal: What is that?
      Gillian: Chocolate pudding.
      Cal: Who eats pudding at ten in the morning?
      Gillian: People who like pudding.

    • Cal: These expressions are universal. Emotion looks the same whether you're a suburban housewife or a suicide bomber. The truth is written on all our faces.

    • FBI Agent: (talking about Cal) A friend of mine said this guy's a total nut-job. He spent, like, three years in the African jungle with some primitive tribe, studying their eyebrows.

    • Lawyer: He's not going to talk.
      Cal: That's okay. That's okay. I don't have much faith in words, myself. Statistically speaking, the average person tells three lies per ten minutes conversation. And granted, just regular people. We haven't studied people planning to fire-bomb a black church. Could skew differently.

    • Eli Loker: I have no chance with you. No, ... do I have any chance with you?
      Ria Torres: You always tell the truth?
      Eli Loker: Always.
      Ria Torres: How good are you in bed?
      Eli Loker: Fair.
      Ria Torres: Fair is better than most.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Show Titles:
      Czech Republic: Anatomie lži (Anatomy of Lie)

    • The Signature (or Theme) tune for this show is Brand New Day by Ryan Star.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: Febuary 5, 2009 on TEN
      Sweden: February 25, 2009 on Channel 4
      Belgium: March 9, 2009 on 2BE
      United Kingdom: May 14, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Denmark: June 14, 2009 on TV2
      Latin America: July 20, 2009 on FOX
      Thailand: August 30, 2009 on True Series
      Finland: February 15, 2010 on MTV3
      Czech Republic: March 7, 2010 on Prima
      Germany: March 10, 2010 on Vox
      Slovakia: September 2, 2010 on JOJ
      India: October 12, 2010 on Star World

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Radical Honesty:
      Eli states that he practices "Radical Honesty"; Radical Honesty is the name of a self improvement program developed by Brad Blanton that challenges people to give up their addiction to lying. The Radical Honesty technique includes having practitioners state their feelings directly and in ways typically considered impolitic (the technique is sometimes confused with the person having functioning autism or Asperger's due to the practitioner's brutal honesty).

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