Lie to Me has all the stuff I love in a show, a team who solve mysteries, lots of running around, a strong and complex central character, so I couldn’t figure out why I stopped watching at the end of the second season.
I returned to the show, because I have to have something to watch on the treadmill (if I don’t, I can’t do it. I have to distract myself) So I went back and I figured out my problem. It’s a problem the writers created from day one. Empathy.
It’s a classic writer’s technique. Elicit empathy for your characters and people will love them and care about what happens to them.
One of the most basic ways to create empathy is to submit a character to unfair criticism.
Cal Lightman is the hero of the show. He can be arrogant, but I still like him because of the many rooting interests the writers give him, other people like him, he’s good at his job, he’s very active. But, Lightman is always picking on one character, Loker.
Because of this constant unfair criticism (and, I have to be honest the actor is handsome. I know it’s shallow. Don’t judge me*g*.) which is barely explained, Loker is my favorite character on the show. Now, we have a situation where the hero is always bashing my favorite character. Therefore, making me like the hero less and care less about what happens to him and…I stopped watching. I’m not saying characters an’t have conflict. Dean and Sam are always fighting. Sean and Gus fight. But, their relationships are equal. Loker is Lightman’s employee, not his brother or his best friend from childhood. What do you think? Are you a fan of Lie to Me? Am I way off base? Are there other shows you can think of that have a problem like this?
I’d love to hear. And I’m not lying*g*…