Lie to Me (TV Series 2009–2011) Poster


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Amazing Show. I think I found another favorite besides House!
vastlypro21 January 2009
An amazing show. I have always been a big fan of Tim Roth so when I heard he was doing a show I was very excited and I was hoping he would have strong writers to back him up. Lie to me is an excellent show with a highly original idea. It has it's own category. Numbers deals with math, House deals with diagnostics, Bones deals with forensic science and great character development for the most part, and Now Tim Roth is the human lie detector. The film is well acted and the chemistry between Tim Roth and his partner is excellent. The dialog is very strong while having slight moments of sarcastic humor. Blunt honesty tends to be very funny at times as well. The writing in the show makes the show seem more on edge as well and I am anxious for more. Lie to me is a wonderful show so far And I can't wait to see where they go with it this season.
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Excellent show with a great cast! I'm not lying!
fred-kolb7 March 2009
Lie to Me is a very interesting series, with a lot of humor and a very interesting premise in my opinion. In addition the 4 Cast members all play their role very good and add to the show's freshness.

Tim Roth (great as always!) plays Dr. Cal Lightman, a human lie-detector, who's able to detect any lie from people's body language. That ability comes in handy when catching criminals, but it also provides him with the misfortune of always knowing when someone is not honest with him, sometimes leading to unfortunate situations. Lightman is a cynic and unpleasant character, who's willing to do anything to find out if someone is telling the truth or not.

The series also features a strong supporting cast, including Kelli Williams as Dr. Gillian Foster, whose husband is cheating on her, a fact everyone of her colleagues is aware of, except herself. Brendan Hines' character is always telling the truth no matter how embarrassing and Monica Raymund starrs as Ria Torres, who has the natural ability of seeing if someone is lying. That often leads to conflict with Lightman, who refuses to believe her ability is as accurate as his, since he needed years of training, while she was just born with her talent.

Yes, there are parallels with other series, especially "The Mentalist", but those are pretty much limited to the ability of the main character being able to detect the truth from people's movements and voices. Besides "Lie to Me" is focused on the science of detecting lies, something completely ignored in "The Mentalist". For example, it will take a person who's telling the truth longer to respond than one who's lying, because the one telling the truth needs to think about the answer.

The only real flaw after 5 episodes is in my opinion that not enough character history is provided. We literally don't know anything about the characters, except a few details. I have no doubt we'll eventually find out more, but it's about time they start. All in all, the series is great fun and entertainment, and maybe you'll be able to pick up one or the other lie in the future, thanks to Lightman's group.
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Downhill slope from the brilliant Season 1.
littlebleue6 August 2011
It started off as a brilliant premise. The first episode gripped me with its ingenuity - it's a fantastic idea to analyse the body language and verbal nuances of not only criminals but regular people. Maybe a little far-fetched at times but incredibly interesting. Cal was eccentric, a British 'House' maybe, but I enjoyed his acting and although I usually don't like mixing British and American actors in one cast I thought that in Lie to Me, it worked swimmingly. It's somewhat reminiscent of the show 'Psych', but with better actors, fewer jokes and a different target audience.

Now I'm watching season 3 and I'm considering not watching the rest. It's almost as if the writers assumed that their viewers all watched from the very first episode. No more clever observations with body language, no more quick zooms to show the audience what emotion the accused is showing, no more focus on the original premise. Not only do I find that there's less and less observation going on and more focus on guesswork and 'gut feelings', but it seems the range of emotions being detected has literally been reduced to the recurring 'guilt', 'fear' and 'shame'. Where is the broad range? Where is what we saw in season 1? It feels like the writers assume that their viewers already know the whole shtick of being shown exactly how a character displays a certain emotion, skips that part and goes straight to the diagnoses. Not only that but it seems that the characters are manipulated less and less and it's become more about tricking the characters into coming to the Lightman Group and being interrogated in the box.

I've also noticed that the 3 supporting characters are constantly being berated by Cal Lightman. He seems to give less and less weight to their opinions and it always silently criticising them. This wouldn't bother me had it been that way from the start - but as the character of Cal becomes less likable due to his now highly exaggerated eccentricity, his two subordinates are reduced to bumbling, guessing idiots in his presence. They rarely make intelligent observations - in fact...where did the science even go in this program?!

Another thing I don't enjoy generally in programs, something that has been used here, is the emphasis on Cal's shallow subplot. Just as the science is mentioned less, so the back story of Cal Lightman is emphasised. Granted, he and the actor who plays his daughter have incredible on-screen chemistry and she is rather likable with her ability to call her father out on his faults, all while flashing her big doey eyes. But in my opinion, her character is overly mature for a 16- year-old girl and it's becoming irritating that she constantly barges into her father's office demanding to know what he's up to. The others respond to her as if she were their boss, not as if she were a 16-year- old girl with no business being around the office. And...can someone tell her to change her facial expression? Pretty please?

Overall I enjoy the show but I really wish the writers would stay true to the original intent of the show - to play around with the fascinating science of human behaviour and come up with mysteries that can be cleverly unwoven by behavioural observation, rather than simply interrogating every single witness and showing a gros plan of their apparently scared faces. I'm giving this a 5 because the first season was brilliant, and as its quality decreased, so did the score.
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Fantistic start.
stelstargirl22 February 2009
This show remains episode in nature while keeping you fully intrigued by the characters and wanting to discover more about their back story. Tim Roth is intense, engaging and brilliant... kind of a milder version of House - he's willing to stop at nothing to get to the truth, and doesn't feel the need to over-rationalize his choices.

The other characters compliment each other well, and use their personal characteristics to colour their judgments/choices, which is true to life.

Very intelligent show so far.

Hope it stays on the air.
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Well done!
gort-822 January 2009
So far I've only seen the pilot episode. I admit it. I've got a mad man-crush for this show.

The show's about Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) as a sort of a superhero. He's a human lie detector. He looks for dozens of subtle tells in the face and on the body. He's studied human communication so intensely that he always knows if someone is concealing something.

His company, so far, is involved with police and political matters. There's some significant room to bring in lots of personal interplay as well (we've seen a glimpse of that already).

This is from Imagine Entertainment, the company that does 24. I hope that, as the show evolves, that the fate of the planet doesn't rest on everything that Dr. Lightman does and says. One Jack Bauer is plenty, thanks.

I also hope that the show doesn't become driven by an overarching nemesis. Shows with a strong internal mythology and skin-tight story arcs can be fun, but we've seen so much of them lately that I wouldn't mind seeing the episodic adventures of a flawed hero trying to do something right.
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One of those rare T.V. Show's
lopcar19936 April 2009
Lie to me is a true rarity and gem among T.V. show's, it hasn't been done a million times over. Lie to me stars Tim Roth as Dr.Cal Lightman a doctor who specializes in body language and vocal patterns; together with his team of specially trained associates he helps the police and U.S. Government solve there toughest crimes. Lie to Me is a great show because it capitalizes on a whole new field of television, all you see on modern T.V. today is cop show's more cop show's and medical drama's. But this is refreshing it's much different then any show out there, yes it involves the police but in a small role there only around to keep things under control or to make arrest's. This show has a style and mind of it's own. It doesn't follow the extremely(and I mean that lightly) worn path of other show's that maybe similar or try to be like it. Take Castle for instance, it's a show about a murder mystery writer who helps' the police solve there case's; Now how many times has that been done? Lie to me is a completely original and highly entertaining show that I know that people will just love if they give it a chance.
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Please, please bring this show back...
david-56915 December 2016
I know. Pie in the sky request. But for whatever it is worth, felt the premise of the program to be most excellent. Scintillating. Tim Roth's performance was spot on. Just enough quirky, just enough over the top, just enough. Supporting cast also excellent.

But in hopes that someone hears this... please bring this back. Given the recent election cycle, there is more than enough mendacity to supply a plethora of scripts and story lines. We need Dr. Lightman now more than ever today. And no problem to bring along Lightman's sub plot of his daughter who would be in her 20s.

It would be the berries to bring this back.
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So far, so good...
FlyingTriumph22 January 2009
Last night I watched the premiere of Lie to Me on Fox. I'd seen the previews for months, and when I saw that Tim Roth was coming to television, him being one of my favorite actors, I was both excited and dubious at the same time. Another of my favorite actors, Christian Slater, had made an awesome TV debut on My Own Worst Enemy. But the show had been canceled, and I honestly didn't want to see the same thing happen to as great an actor as Tim Roth.

But last night's pilot delivered many great performances, not only from Roth, but the supporting guest cast as well. The episode itself had a pleasant mixture of drama, comedy, and sharp dialog.

Despite what some may think, it is possible to tell from a show's pilot whether or not the show will succeed. From what I saw last night, I can see this show going a long, long way. The formula that the show's staff have come up with is, yes, still in its conceptual stages. But they're definitely on to something, and I hope to see a rising popularity in America for Dr. Lightman and his team.
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An excellent beginning...
kevinpoirier71221 February 2009
Disregarding Reservoir Dogs, I think this has to be Roth's best work. Roth is extremely in touch with Dr. Lightman and you feel as if he truly enjoys playing this character. The show leaves you in total disbelief at points and instills a hunger for more and more episodes. I strongly suggest this show to anyone who is interested in an incredibly engaging and entertaining drama series as well as to anyone who is interested about Dr. Paul Ekman's work on facial expressions, and body languages as it relates to emotion. Solid television series. I look forward to the next few episodes. For anyone who has missed the first few episodes, the television series is now online at Highly recommend hulu as well.
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Canceled and for good cause
amitjusc17 May 2011
This show burst out of the gates in the first season with some of the best television I had seen in a long time. This was a fantastic drama with great characters and a great concept. Unfortunately, the viewers for the pilot were over 12 million people, but had dropped by 4 million for the season finale. After that, the show started going off in new directions that did not mesh with the way the characters were being developed. One can only guess that Fox had a hand in this, pressuring the writers to bring in more viewers at all costs. AS you would expect, the results of that were not good, to say the least.

The second season was flawed, but still entertaining. The third season, however, was a complete disaster. It needed to be canceled at that point as it was no longer salvageable so, dare I say, Fox made the right choice. If you haven't seen this show before, do yourself a favor and watch the entire first season. You won't be disappointed.
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Smart TV!
igor-zalenski26 February 2009
If you haven't seen this series, get yourself to Hulu really is a terrific show by any standards but especially phenomenal for a Big 4 broadcaster.

What makes it unique is its documentary-style cuts; showing how to spot deceptions using real-life examples -- Clinton, Rumsfeld, Nixon, etc. The storyline itself is adequate but these extra insights stand the show apart from anything ever broadcast before. In this age of dumbing down broadcast TV to the point of being unwatchable, its "Smart TV" approach really is worth supporting...maybe it will start a trend; kind of an anti-Survivor.

Murdoch will probably kill it so enjoy it while you can. On the bright side, if it does die maybe it will find a home at one of the cable stations that'll show it more love.
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p-m-p-o134 June 2018
An absolute masterpiece that was canceled way before its time.
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One word: Awesome.
poprocks22-16 February 2009
I think this show is awesome and is now my favorite. I've never seen anything like it, really. I've watched it about a zillion times and can't wait till every new episode coming up. I was actually starting to get tired of all the re-runs and boring shows on T.V. I don't know if it's the science behind the lies or just the idea of it, but I've simply fallen in love with it. But I don't think it's just the lies that interest me, I'm also very in love with the actors and characters. Especially Tim Roth. Aka Dr. Cal Lightman. If there were words that could explain my interest and love for his work I'd use it, but as far as I know, there isn't. Even in the new "Incredible Hulk" I was struck by his talent.
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Revealing Hidden Lies out of Expressions
CihanVercan17 December 2009
When FBI hires a psychological specialist to derive benefit from developed interrogation techniques, detectives decide to cooperate with this specialist and his team. After a couple criminal suspects are interrogated within the usual method, Dr. Cal Lightman reveals his own method. Specifically focusing on facial expressions and gestures of the suspects, Dr. Lightman's techniques receive approval. Thus he takes his partner and a new trainee with him to settle down at the police head-quarters.

The rising star of villain roles from '90s, Tim Roth, had shone through "Reservoir Dogs(1992)" and "Pulp Fiction(1994)" on the silver-screen. Though he was passing over poor years of his career recently. Here in "Lie to Me" he's being precisely rediscovered as a leading actor, playing Dr. Lightman. Under Samuel Baum's screenplay and character development, Roth has brought himself to perfectly fit within his role, the way we know him. Wasn't he the one, who reveals that the traitor in the gang team in Reservoir Dogs, just with using his glowering glances? Then there is Kelli Williams who plays Dr. Lightman's partner. Together with Roth they have an excellent chemistry having opposite characters with each other. Dr. Lightman's new trainee Loker also adds more fun to the film, where the mood begins to get boring. Loker has made himself known as being extremely straightforward at the office, so his straightforward behaviors seem like earning him the credibility he desires to have. In fact, he's afraid of Dr. Lightman's psychological techniques which always work as effective as a lie detector.

Despite the interesting script and successful characterizations, story development is very weak since the plot doesn't draw any benefit from using any subplot. It's of the crime/thriller genre for a TV-series, and the story is very plain, thus leans its back against the actors. The mood gets boring through repeating the display samples of how to catch people lying; and only a bad sense of humor comes to rescue after that. If we analyze thoroughly; Dr. Lightman first explains his theories, then shows the proof of each one with a live person sample, finally he reaches a conclusion and adds his thesis as a new rule every time. His theory depends on a basis that says: "A person's body contradicts his words, when he's lying". If you've watched the film "Analyze This(1999)" ; you might consider one important fact that if somebody, whom you're talking to is unstrung for the moment, acts as if he/she is calm; then Dr.Lightman's thesis would deny itself; just like Robert De Niro did while talking to Billy Crystal. Dr. Lightman shakes hands with the suspect two times at his interrogation. After his second hand shake, Lightman gets the idea that the suspect was lying; since his body temperature dropped leaving him a cooler touch in the palm of his hand. In Michael Douglas's "Basic Instinct(1992)" ; Douglas was under interrogation at the beginning of the movie with three detectives and a lie detector. He used the same method that De Niro used in Analyze This, even fooling the lie detector; which works with a similar idea: Depending on the change of blood pressure in suspect's body between hearing and answering questions.

After the first couple episodes, I hoped we'll be seeing some criminals who can fool Dr.Lightman; to offer more tension and suspense. Yet, I was disappointed with the same formula used in the following episodes, lacking tension and suspense. There are questions of justice coming to mind; such as the lack of evidence and the ultimate question of how influential can Dr.Lightman's methods be in a law suite, if the suspect is supported by his/her lawyer. Overall, "Lie to Me" is a good choice for sharing an evening with your whole family. Only sex-related dialogues and mild language cannot be suitable for children at all.
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People lie, and it can be detected
heppionkeppi16 November 2010
I have to say that my expectation were high. Partly, the show did fulfill them. The main character is very good actor and believable. Side characters fill their part adequately.

Pros: Show main idea is fresh and interesting. Acting is generally good and episodes vary in content.

Cons: I wouldn't go as far as saying that Im an expert in body language, but it is safe to say that I know what Im talking about. Its absolutely idiotic to say that someone lies, because they touch their face. It is very general mistake to take one gesture and misread the intention. One needs to study the normal behavior of certain person. To study how they react to different situations. If this cannot be accomplished, one needs to "normalise" the situation. Meaning, to decide how would a person normally act in certain situation. Moreover, one gesture DOES NOT reveal anything. Experts are generally looking cluster of gestures (meaning several clues, this can be compared to police investigation). Body language only amplifies the feeling. This really takes the edge of this program.

When they discover certain gesture they directly jump to conclusions, like in CSI. They wont even consider other possibilities. After watching six episodes, it gets really unreal and repetitive. As an example, they go and search a person's house, just because the person closed her hand-palm, when a question was asked. In real life it needs a warrant, which needs a probable cause. Not a hunch of a person, who is not even a police. It simply undermines peoples intelligence. "You are lying" "Now you are telling the truth"; thats mainly and unfortunately only what this show is about. There isn't ongoing plot, and character development is one to two minutes per episode.

Summasummarum: Its good way to kill an hour, but only for four or five hours, then one has seen it all. (hopefully my English was understandable)
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Great series ... but starting to drift
Vic_max28 January 2011
When this series appeared in 2009, I'd have rated it a notch higher than today. As it stands, it is kind of a "face-based" CSI show. It's based on Paul Ekman's work on universal facial tells ("micromovements") which reveal what a person is subconsciously feeling.

It has pretty cool story lines and is very well acted, but the characters are starting to drift into dangerous territory.

The lead character, for example, is turning into a superhuman that is always smarter than everyone, always right and no matter the dilemma, always "playing" (cleverly conning) everyone.

None of the other main characters can challenge him - even his business partner has been watered down in power.

Instead of experts using an amazing tool, it's becoming about an amazing person using a tool.

If you look into this issue, you'll find that Roth's contract allows him "right of refusal" on any script. Writers have complained, but this is one of those situations when the actor has storyline control.

Hopefully, we'll see the show move back to having problems that "can" baffle the expert(s) and show how they can brilliantly deal with situations when the science only takes them part of the way - which is what makes the CSI formula so successful.
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Not convincing
Thorsten-Krings28 October 2010
I find this show rather weak. Roth's performance is somewhere between hyperactive and self-satisfied so for me there was no way to emote to his character. The story lines are rather confused and try to pack too much into a short period of time. All in all there seems to me a lack of focus in the writing and direction of the show. It's also difficult to understand what he actually does as he reads body language but we never really get a full explanation as to what he deduces from which gesture or facial expression. I'm not sure if maybe the format of a TV show is too short for such a complex topics or if it's really the overall issue of too much plot for too short a time.
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Rubbish premise which undermines everything
melwyn14 January 2010
I wanted to like "Lie to Me". I really did. And I have tried, many times, but every attempt is thwarted by the ridiculous premise on which the show is based.

Fact: humans are all different, and the same gesture can mean different things depending on age, cultural background, life experience, health, state of mind, current circumstances, whether or not you're thirsty or preoccupied with something, etc. Put simply, you cannot look at someone and "know they are lying".

In every episode I've watched, just as things start to get interesting, we get a silly scene of painful exposition where we learn about another "tell", ie "he looked down when she looked at him, he's feeling guilty about something", and "she bit her lip, that means she's lying". On the basis of such tiny, simple gestures, they will set out to hang someone.

The only thing more ridiculous is the fact that there are people out there who believe this ignorant stupidity.

I've made three attempts. That's enough, life is just too short.
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susannaoktavia28 July 2018
I really enjoy this series. Most genius... I still wondering why they cancel it.
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It is not fair that the series is canceled
misz_lola22 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
i'm so mad at Fox for canceling the show.lie to me is one of my favorites crime TV shows. i'm from Norway and i watched and enjoyed every episode of it. i love Tim Roth and he made this whole show phenomenal. i want the show back. it doesn't mean if USA does not watch it much so that Europe doesn't watch it either. i watched this show and i waited everyday to find a new episode of it online. To find out that the show will not return is so devastating. i hate Fox , and i hate everyone who had someone to do with canceling it. i do not care if there are view Americans watching, we do watch it. We even love it. and let me tell you something, this show is not only aired in Europe and USA , it is even aired in the Middle East, it is popular and should come back with a storm. If you want to make money then give us this show back. I want Tim Roth NOW!!!!
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liann-1319 July 2010
Lie to Me is certainly a one of a kind show, that brings together certain qualities of other well loved shows and wraps them up beautifully into one. The lead character, Dr.Lightman may remind you of "House", when it comes to his decision making and intelligence and the show's dynamics perhaps a little of "Criminal Minds" when it comes to profiling, and "CSI" as far as applying science in law enforcement...

However, the idea behind this show is quite revolutionary, for it centers around the science of lie detection and applying it in so many fields including but not limited to law enforcement. Even though body "language" may be culture specific, Lie to Me exposes the fact that there are "micro-expressions" that we make involuntarily as our face responds to different emotions, whether fear, contempt, arousal, or even when telling a lie, that is universal to all... The show even inserts real images of real people (mostly well known politicians, athletes or felons) that have the same micro-expression the character they are interviewing does, which makes the show that much more credible and interesting.

The actors are simply brilliant, Tim Roth who plays the lead Dr.Cal Lightman, is excellent, and Kelli Williams who plays Dr.Foster his partner at the Lightman group makes the show that much more enjoyable as she plays the role of the intelligent yet well balanced and well grounded woman, that is perhaps the only one that can keep Cal in check, and they have incredible on screen chemistry.

Long story short, this show is extremely entertaining and thought provoking, and every episode is better than the last, I'm sure it will stay with us for a while, and I must say, I can't wait to see what more they have to show us.
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Entertaining, if you want to give your mind a rest
clotblaster22 December 2011
Modestly entertaining, but as with so many contemporary crime shows there just has to be a distracting, hard-to-believe gimmick. Unlike House, to which a reviewer alluded, the protagonist has a "special gift" that makes it easy for him to solve crimes. Yes, I said easy and I mean it. Not that House is free of an unbelievable gimmick--that being his knowing everything about medicine and his infinite knowledge springs into action when it is time to solve the medical problem. However, in House, there is just a glimmer of credibility and truth that his genius intelligence and remarkable intuition can solve medical mysteries. In the 8 episodes of Lie to Me that I endured, I hoped for improvement. Nada improvement. Lie to Me's premise is simply a subset of the supernatural. Many people want to believe that there are special powers that enable some people to solve crimes and do other wonderful things. Boring show.
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This show is good. Now that's a Lie.
jonnygs23 February 2009
"We're not magicians, we're scientists" Oh, so 'Lie To Me' would like us to believe. Unfortunately for us, the new FOX show is undone partially by the silliness of its own premise. Considering the amount of lies told and believed, it is hard to imagine a person, let alone four, can tell a lie, within a few seconds and 100% of the time. Stories about a man who has an uncanny ability to tell lies from the truth defy reality in such a way that it alienates the viewer.

The problem with 'Lie To Me' is that it feels so fake. They way it is filmed, and the way the characters easily figure out complex problems without much time, gives the audience a feeling that their being duped. Each episode appears to be complicated but somehow it always wraps up into a neat package that's supposed to be easy to digest. As a result there is no suspense and the show feels flat. Normally, films or TV shows about remarkable people work because of the obstacles they must overcome. However, in 'Lie to Me', there simply aren't enough obstacles the characters need to overcome and everything seems so easy. There is no pleasure watching someone figure out problems when they always get it right.

"Lie To Me also suffers from the complexities of its premise. In order to make the show feel authentic, a good portion of each episode consists of the characters explaining things and this gets quite boring.

As each new episode airs, the show's formula becomes more and more obvious, to the point at which one cannot find an ounce of reality. And the clichés keep on coming.

The characters are quite stale and are caricatures. They lack any complexity and emotional depth and are thus hard to believe.

As a result, it is slick and unsatisfying.

'Lie To Me' feels exactly like that: a lie.
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It's really bad
Silfiriel16 October 2015
It seemed really fun at the beginning, the first 3-4 episodes, and than it quickly turns into a crime procedural show.

The acting also gets worse by the episode, once you realize how shallow the show is. Maybe there's some real science behind it all, but come on, what happens if someone just doesn't admit the crime? Basically these people are human lie detectors, and mind you one of them is a 'natural', born with the ability to tell if someone is lying, or acquired that ability naturally, without studying. Anyhow, the show goes a steep way down from interesting to boring and predictable in the first four episodes.
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One Question, Why Aren't More People Watching This!!!
jwhitleymail7 April 2009
I, for whatever reason, didn't get the memo about the Pilot episode, and started watching this at episode 2 "Moral Waver" and have since been addicted! I find it fascinating how they show real life examples of what they study, how much detail this show has, and every week I continue to be impressed with the perfect balance of Drama and Comedy, the excellent acting, the hugely creative character development and story arcs, my friends have even gotten angry with me, because I keep trying to analyze their emotions, so I am now left with one question, why are their ratings dropping!?

The shows pilot episode attracted a fairly sizable audience (13.19 million), but now I see that every week their ratings are dropping farther and farther, and have now even gotten below 10 million viewers! All I am hoping is that sooner or later, people will realize that this is a show worth watching, and one that will hopefully be around for a while.
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