Lie To Me (series 1-3) * Samuel Baum (2009-2011)

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Meet dr. Cal Lightman, a scholar who through study and investigations in the field (being “primitive cultures”, gangs, war-situations and what not) became an expert in body-language and what he came to call “micro expressions” (unconscious facial movements). He wrote a book, became rich and started the Lightman Group together with the psychologist Gillian Foster. The Lightman Group is an investigation unit of “deception experts”, in other words, they get hired to find out if someone is lying. The reason that I got these series was that in spring 2012 in one of New York City’s Barnes and Nobles my eye fell on a DVD box with Tim Roth on the cover and later read good reviews of the series. It looks like the series never left the USA since I cannot find much on it here in Europe. In any case, the series are mostly a drama with very (sometimes too) many explanations of the technique. You will keep hearing about “deflection” (looking away), the pitch of the voice, etc. and facial expressions that give the clue are usually accompanied by photos of famous people with the same expression. The Lightman Group involves an unknown number of employees, but a few of them are featured lengthy. The “natural” Ria Torres (hired in the pilot episode), Eli Loker (the tech guy) and in the second series Ben Reynolds, an FBI agent. The series do not really have a red thread. Most episodes contain two cases, a big one and a secondary one. The only continuing elements are Lightman’s past, his relation to Foster and his relation with his adolescent daughter Emily. Lightman himself is a fellow who likes to play mindgames and whose body-language shows little more than ‘I know it all’. He can be both very funny and pretty annoying. The series just stop after the third, but this is not too bad. I am no fond of ever-continuing series and “Lie To Me” does not get better in the third series. The stories get (sometimes) more original, but Lightman really seems to try to blow up things in the third series. Overall I found “Lie To Me” enjoyable, but not brilliant, instructive (but not all that much) and there are some very good episodes, enough laughs and chuckles for sure.

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