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Friday, June 15, 2012
12:23 AM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
Preferences are interesting when it comes to the hero/leading man in fiction. My husband and I have very different opinions on who we like to watch when it comes to television, for example.
There was this show, called “Lie to Me” which featured this guy who had the science of reading people down to such an extent, he made a living on discovering who was lying. Not just for justice, but for money. He was a bit obnoxious. One of the ways he’d provoke a reaction to analyze was to get into people’s faces, say nasty things, bob around and get too close for comfort to the face.
This bothered the husband. He found Cal Lightman, played by Tim Roth, endlessly annoying. He lacked charm. When he was working his mojo, Lightman could be a real ass.
I found this refreshing, much as the character of House struck a chord with a great many viewers because he acted without filters. (Reminds me a bit of several characters we’ve read of. Those with aspergers, for example.)
Anyway, I liked Cal Lightman. I liked his passion and interest in what he was doing. He had a young daughter, an ex-wife, issues with those who worked for him. The show fascinated me.
It was cancelled.
Now, there is another show on television, that husband really enjoys. “The Mentalist” which stars Simon Baker. Patrick Jane had a very successful life as a fraudulent ‘mind-reader’ – until his own arrogance caught up with him and he lost his wife and son to serial killer. Now he works for the California Bureau of Investigation.
Husband loves Jane. Finds him charming and witty. He uses similar techniques. Same level of arrogance, just coached in a softer package. Jane dresses sharper, is nicer to his co-workers and is seldom directly insulting. He’s also deeply wounded and emotionally stunted. And bent on revenge. Only reason he’s working for the CBI is to find the killer and take him out.
Cal does what he does for money and because the truth matters. Nothing really personal involved, though being television, it occasionally strays there. Or did.
“The Mentalist” is still going strong.
The thing I like about the show is the supporting cast. I find Jane annoying.
Two heroes, two leading men. Similar shows, similar techniques. In fact, interesting that I see another coming our way staring Eric McCormick, called ”Perception.” Man with mental problems which give him a unique way of viewing how diverse elements make a pattern…helps catch bad guys. Might like it. Not sure yet.
Jane (Patrick Jane) is disarming, soothing, non-threatening. Cal Lightman is odious, grating, confrontational. When it comes to who I’d rather write, it’s Lightman, 100%. Attend a party with? Jane. Read about? Lightman. Though Jane might be interesting since a writer can delve deeper into the thought processes…might make him interesting to write about, too. Not as much as Lightmanm though! ;-)
Both characters are heroes, both do similar jobs, both are nice to look at…but oh, so different!
Anyone else know these shows? The characters? Any preference? Which character appeals more to you? To read, to write, to watch?