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The Mentalist - Poor Imitation of Psych?

  • Avatar of piehouserat


    [1]Jul 28, 2009
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    I've never watched any of the Mentalist and I don't intend to but I was watching this interview of James Roday and Dule Hill on the Today Show and they pretty much made it seem like the Mentalist was just a poor imitation of Psych. What surprises me most, however, is that Psych premiered in 2006, a whole 2 years before the Mentalist first came on air meaning that CBS must have known about the show and yet still went ahead and started airing it despite the fact that the show's core concept is exactly the same as Psych's. Ok, I'm sure there are various sub-plots in the Mentalist that are completely different to those that feature in Psych but come on, the main idea is exactly the same as Psych's.

    Is there anyone here who has watched both shows? I'd be interested to see your take on the whole Psych/Mentalist concept theft that seems to have occured.

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  • Avatar of vicstic


    [2]Jul 28, 2009
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    Well apart from the obvious with Psych being a comedy and The Mentalist a drama, they take the opposite view of the subject. I'm sure Jane would have a few choice words for Shawn's fake psychic. I would compare The Mentalist much more to Criminal Minds or even Lie to Me. Jane and the gang solve crimes by studying and manipulating human behaviour.
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  • Avatar of danharr


    [3]Jul 30, 2009
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    First off actually watch an episode of the mentalist and draw your own conclusions. Second of all a poor imitation that's in the eye of the beholder for me the production values and characters are way better than psych and as has been already said. Psych is a comedy and The mentalist is a drama and just because the main characters use similar methods I don't think a rip off claim is fair.
    Edited on 07/30/2009 7:49pm
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  • Avatar of nychau


    [4]Aug 7, 2009
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    I've never watched Psych before the Menatalist but I keep hearing people campare to the two so i decided to give Psych a try to see what the big hoopla is about. After having watching both here's what I have to say;

    If movie terms, Psych is like a "B Movie" where as "The Mentalist" is a "triple A" title. Comparing the Mentalist to Psych is like comapring the NFL to the Candandian Football league.

    Mentalist has a better cast of characters (more fleshed out), better production values, better direction, better dialogue, ect. ect.

    However, maybe my comarisons aren't fair because I've watched a whole season of the mentalist but only 3 episodes of Psych. But let me say this, it only took one epsisode of the mentalist to get me hooked and to get me caring about the main character, Jane. Where as by the third episode of Psych, I still don't care about the show, and would probably stop watching now. I feel like I wasted my money renting the first season.

    People should really stop comparing the two, they're in totally different leagues. What I find interesting is that the people who compare the two for the most part....haven't even watched both.

    It's always..."I heard this from..." or "I read on a forum...."

    That's kind of silly don't you think?

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  • Avatar of gibbs4me


    [5]Aug 8, 2009
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    Kind of like you, I have only watched a few episodes of "The Mentalist" but have watched "Psych" since it started. I can't really make a comparison, because they are totally different kinds of shows. I said the same thing, when I heard that CBS made a show about a cop that was like a psychic, but wasn't. "Oh, they stole Psych!!"

    But when I watched an episode of "The Mentalist," I realized that "Psych" is rather fluff. They do an awful lot of rather unbelievable things, (the main one being not having a real job in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.) get away with very illegal things by being cute and charming, and even though it's funny as hell, it is just not the same type of show.

    "The Mentalist" is made to be more serious, believable and "deep" (for lack of a better word on my part.)

    Nothing that wasn't said below, I guess; but I'm not sure if it was a knock-off or an expansion of an idea...

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  • Avatar of gibbs4me


    [7]Aug 9, 2009
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    Oh--Vicstic--I meant to tell you that your avatar makes me long for the days of Mulder and Scully!! The X-Files in the early days....nothings' better!!!
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  • Avatar of JimRolighed


    [8]Aug 14, 2009
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    Why not just watch a few Mentalist episodes for yourself and find out for sure? =)
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  • Avatar of bex2000


    [9]Aug 15, 2009
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    whatever this shows gr8 i dnt care if its lyk another show. I see loads of similarities in shows.

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  • Avatar of dragonfly_pat


    [10]Aug 15, 2009
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    I came on this forum after having seen the latest of a whole bunch of Psych commercials about the Mentalist being a rip-off of Psych. Last September, I was upset with The Mentalist before its season started, because I was a fan of Psych and thought that it was a rip-off. But I watched The Mentalist and I love it. I am not as much of a fan of Psych now. I have had a whole season of The Mentalist to enjoy. The good news is that the two programs don't overlap that much as far as the time that the first run episodes are shown. Season premiere for Psych started in August during re-runs of The Mentalist. It will end in a couple of months. Psych doesn't have as many episodes as The Mentalist. As someone else said, Psych is more fluff than The Mentalist is. I really started and continued watching Psych because it came on right after Monk.
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  • Avatar of dinavah


    [11]Aug 19, 2009
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    I just thought I'd throw in with the same opinion and advice - Watch some Psych and form your own views instead of counting on what others say. Maybe spoilers ahead!

    I greatly enjoy The Mentalist. Robin Tunney and Amanda Righetti are just great in their respective roles. Great support from Tim Kang and Owain Yeoman.

    I mean, when you hear Tim Kang deliver the a line like: "banging your wife like a big bass drum." and he just deadpans the delivery in the interrogation - that's something!

    Psych is, by far, the much lighter side of the scales. It's littered with obscure 80's references and that buddie play between Roday and Hill. The bad guys are 'bad' but not in the league of what Jane deals and is dealing with.

    So, there's plenty of room for both shows in my opinion.

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  • Avatar of BabyKitten199


    [12]Aug 20, 2009
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    If James Roday really thinks "The Mentalist" is a ripoff of "Psych," he needs to have his head examined 'cuz it's obviously gotten too big after achieving some success with "Psych." I am a big fan of "Psych" (although I must say I'm disappointed in this season thus far) and I really enjoy "The Mentalist" precisely for the fact that they are both very different shows. Anyone with even minimal intelligence can tell that "Psych" is a comedy and "The Mentalist" is a drama. Shawn pretends to be a psychic when he's just an extremely keen observationist, whereas Patrick Jane is very blunt about psychics being fake & is upfront about the things he observes that no one else sees. He's not pawning himself off to be a psychic, which is the whole premise of "Psych." There was a scene in "Psych"s season opener where Shawn said "The Mentalist" was fake & it was really annoying. How anyone can claim "The Mentalist" is a ripoff of "Psych" is beyond me. Sound's like sour grapes on James Roday's part since "The Mentalist" is getting actual critical acclaim & not just some cheap laughs.
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  • Avatar of _Khalek_


    [13]Oct 5, 2009
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    I watch both shows, and i love both shows. They are completly lead is American, the other is Australian
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  • Avatar of lemae_27


    [14]Oct 8, 2009
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    I couldn't even make it through one episode of psych so I can't really say if it's a "rip off" or not. If it is a ripoff then kudos to them for getting it right because The Mentalist is an awesome show. Doesn't even compare in quality IMO.
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  • Avatar of Ace_o_Diamonds


    [15]Oct 20, 2009
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    In Psych, Shawn's mentioned The Mentalist about 3 or 4 times, saying that he watches it. When he said The Mentalist was fake, he was trying to prove he was a real psychic unlike Jane, an admitted fraud.
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  • Avatar of sh3109


    [16]Oct 21, 2009
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    I have watched all the episodes of both shows and love both shows. Like others have said, Mentalist is a drama and Psych is a comedy. Both are a different spin on the same concept: a very observant person that helps the police solve crimes. In Psych, Shawn actually pretends to be psychic, while in Mentalist, Jane openly admits his disbelief in psychics and that he used to fake being one. I can understand why James Roday feels that Mentalist is a rip-off, but who knows who else in the past has already come up with the same concept. Besides, other than the abilities of the main character and his using those abilities to help the police, the motivations for the characters is very different. Jane helps the police because he wants in on the case involving his wife and daughter, while Shawn helps them because this is probably the thing he is best at doing and enjoys it and gets paid for it. I don't know... I wish ppl would watch both and consider the actual differences before they start comparing or saying that one show is better than the other or a rip-off of another. Both shows are really enjoyable for what they are.
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  • Avatar of mimisc2009


    [17]Oct 22, 2009
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    Well if you're not watching the mentalist you do not know what you're missing. The show is brilliant and I wouldn't miss an episode. As for Psych, I've never watched it and don't know anything about it but if it's like the mentalist I'll be watching it tomorrow coz it's gonna be great.
    Edited on 10/22/2009 5:59am
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  • Avatar of dheadley


    [18]Oct 22, 2009
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    I really don't think the two can be compared, with one being a comedy and the other a drama. I would have to say that unlike a lot of the posters in this thread I believe that Psych has way higher production standards than The Mentalist.

    The writing on Psych is also far more intelligent and superior to the mentalist. Psych is not trying to take anything serious, especially the show itself. The attention to detail on Psych is what makes it really shine.

    The flash-back scenes paint the background for why father, son and best friend have grown up to be who they are and give much more depth to the characters than anything on the Mentalist, and that includes Jane with his back-story of swiddling people to the death of his family.

    The way Psych lets you see the things that Shawn picks up on and then try to figure out how it fits into the mystery is really nice. Jane often just walks into a room and decides without even looking at the surroundings or talking to the people what happened and who did it, like he really is sycic, then the rest of the show is about catching them with some mind trick fake out.

    People say Psych is outlandish for what they get away with, but Psych is supposed to be a comedy and be absurd. The mentalist has Jane do things that he would be locked up for period with no chance of being saved by the department. He breaks the law in more serious ways all the time than Shawn and Gus ever do. Like locking the guy in the barn and dumping flammable fluid on him. Most of the arrests made on the Mentalist could be thrown out of any Court with the defendant representing themselves there are so many breaks with procedures and rights violations. Its so over the top in its own way its absurd too, which while fine in a comedy that is trying to be absurd is not fine for a crime drama.

    The attention to detail like changing the opening and closing theme music to fit the episodes, the much more intelligent dialog, and the fact that all the characters are just plane likable on Psych makes it a much more enjoyable series to watch. I've watched both series from the beginning and think Psych is one of the best series I have ever followed (age 44 so I have followed a lot of series over the years) and the first series that I have ever purchased every single episode for (Amazon VOD / Roku player), where as the Mentalist is getting old already and Janes attitude and character when dealing with even his fellow team members is beginning to seem like House without the redeeming parts...that sums it up nicely...House has no redeeming features to his personality and he is still more like-able than Jane.

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  • Avatar of Placebo_obecalP


    [19]Oct 23, 2009
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    Didn't we do all this a year ago?

    Sherlock Holmes was the first hyper observationalist detective, thus Psych/Mentalist is a rip off of a 120 year old fictional character, the end

    Edited on 10/23/2009 3:38am
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of JordanFolsom


    [20]Oct 24, 2009
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    Dheadley's post basically sums up everything I would like to say. I like The Mentalist but I love Psych. Both shows are very unrealistic but Psych claims to be. The Mentalist on the other hand is supposed to be believable, which it is not. If I had the choice to watch only one of the two I would pick Psych every time. And just for the record I think The Mentalist did rip off Psych and just changed the genre of it.
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