Monday, September 29, 2008

TV Time: CBS and Simon Baker Continue Their Co-Dependency Into "The Mentalist"


You guys know who Simon Baker (above) is, right?

He's that hottie Aussie actor (aren't they all?) who fell in love with Sanaa Lathan in "Something New" and whose eyebrows ate up the screen in "The Devil Wears Prada" (seriously, what was up with those eyebrows!? They had a life of their own!).

Well, Mr. Baker has also been on the television for a few years now but it's how that has all been going on that has been getting on my nerves.

The thing that irks me is that Baker and CBS seemed to have the longest development deal in history at work or they are just so co-dependent that they can't let the other... go. See, Baker stars in a new show called "The Mentalist"...


...With Robin Tunney (above; who else fondly remembers "The Craft"? Not just me, right?) on CBS. I watched some of it last Tuesday. Basically it's like watching "Psych" and "Criminal Minds" at the same time but being less bored.

Now I'm not begrudging the man a paycheck, and I do hope that this show works out for him... it's just that... I've seen this all before!

This is not the first time I've heard about some new CBS project starring Baker that does well in the ratings at first... before it peters out and the channel cancels it. I'm not saying that's what's gonna happen now but let's consult past evidence...


In 2001, Baker starred in CBS' "The Guardian," which was a show I liked for the sole reason that Baker played a lawyer addicted to coke, which was at least a shake-up from the boring storylines of other shows at the time.

Costarring Dabney Coleman (above), who also made the rounds looking for TV shows at the time, "Guardian" started off strong, lasted for three seasons, and then was canceled for some reason. Not enough coke, I guess...

Then, CBS put Baker in the verrry short-lived Ray Liotta crime caper "Smith" (Baker below with Liotta and Amy Smart)...


The cast was good, the show itself was a little dull, but it didn't matter anyway as it was canceled after one season. Well, I'm glad I didn't print hundreds of those "Who Loves Smith as Much as I Do!" t-shirts I had made up.

Again, I hope I'm not reporting to you in a few months that "The Mentalist" was canceled, but if it is, I urge CBS to LEAVE SIMON BAKER ALONE! IT'S TOO MUCH! JUST TOO MUCH!

The problem here is that they keep trying to make him a leading man, and I don't know if that's the best fit for the understated Baker.

While I think he's a great actor, nothing about him makes me want to pick up my remote and turn the channel simply because he's on the screen. He's not compelling enough.

Instead, I think he should leave CBS and join an smart ensemble similar to FX's "Damages."

Something where he can be paired with other talented actors who aren't always solving crimes in dimly lit rooms (seriously CBS, how many shows like this are you gonna make!?)

Maybe he can take the brilliant Holly Hunter (right) off that "Saving Grace" show and they can co-star together on a project... Hmm...

What do you think? Is Baker a leading man? Do those dark crime dramas get on your nerves? Will nothing ever top "Law and Order: SVU"? When will I stop asking so many questions? When will I stop asking questions about asking questions!? Seriously, when do you think?

p.s. If you missed the premiere of "The Mentalist" check out a preview below...

12 comments:

Lex said...

I, too, love "The Craft." Every time I see Robin Tunney (or Fairuza Balk, or Neve Campbell, or Christine Taylor, haha), I think of it. :)

Junior said...

LOL, I know Lex! Every time I drive down a street with a lot of traffic lights, I do that scene when they're all in the car and the lights all stay green.

"They won't always be green..." LOVE IT! Plus, you can't forget Rachel True! I hated Christine Taylor for months after I saw it!

sooperserial said...

Blessed be, I loved The Craft, too!

My friend and I both like "Psych" and thought this show was going to be a rip off, so I am avoiding it on those grounds.

xoxo,
Lauren

Junior said...

Hi Lauren! Yeah, and guess what, you don't have to watch it as it is totally a rip off of "Psych" except less funny.

KELLY UK said...

JUST STUMBLED ACROSS THIS SITE..NOTICE NO COMMENTS ABOUT SIMON BAKER FOR THE PAST 2 YRS..COULD THAT BE YOUR FOOT IS STILL STUCK IN YOUR MOUTH LOL

David said...

Baker's a brilliant actor who gives nuanced performances. Many great stars were in canceled shows;that's no measure.
Mentalist unlike Psyche hdoesn't involve psychic poseurs but someone who ONCE WAS. It's drama, not comedy, closer to Lie to Me, except a Mentalist uses cold-reading not scientific theory. Sorry for those missing out because of silly prejudice. I enjoy both shows. Neither invented idea of pyschics aiding investigations. Medium aired a year before Psyche.

Junior said...

KELLY UK, what part of "and I do hope that this show works out for him..." didn't u get? I never said I thought "The Mentalist" would fail... I actually said I hoped it didn't and it didn't so what's the problem? Thx for commenting although you didn't really read the post...

David, I agree with u completely, but you have to admit "Psych" and TM have verry similar themes... And I LOVE Baker too! That's why I wrote a post about him!

Anonymous said...

Hi Junior,
I also did not watch TM for almost a year because I thought it sounded like a copy of Psych, but people kept telling me TM was great so I gave it a try. It's a fun show and Simon Baker is really, really good. Also hope the show continues to do well, but the scripts went a bit downhill towards the end of S2. Hope it can return to great stories for a great cast. All the best to you--great blog!

kelly uk said...

hi junior

well if nothing else i woke this part of your blog up again..i did read your post, but i was just annoyed with your comments regarding simon as a leading man..the remote control bit,you did agree that simon was a good actor,,which first and foremost he is,,he can`t help being cute.. as is now apparent,the mentalist is a hit across the world,which is in the most part solely because of simon baker,i don`t kmow if you have seen any of his other films apart from the devil wears prada and la confidential,the latter being a small role at the start of his hollywood career,,simon is so versitile, his movies span romance,SOMETHING NEW> comedy SEX DEATH 101,thrillers THE LODGER,also land of the dead, lead role,NOT FORGOTTEN, lead role,costume movies AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE,,whilst you may argue these are not block buster movies, they have held their own,,,simon is now getting the exposure he deserves,across the globe, i`m sure like all mentalist fans he doesn`t give a fig what psych fans say about him or his show, and as pointed out both are good shows in their own right,,as you have gathered i am a fan of simon baker and have been since his guardian days,,he`s a hard working guy, happily married with 3 kids,and not like some of the loud mouth womanising celebs in hollywood..so it`s to be expected that we his fans will always jump to his defense,if we feel he`s being put down,in any way,which may not have been your intention,but your blog did stop one person watch a dam good series for a year.thanks for replying to my post,believe it or not i don`t usually post on sites i don`t know,,but i was just a little teed off..bye for now have a look at some of simons films,if you have a lady get her to watch somethng new, and not feel the heat,,from mr baker..lol

Alice said...

The Guardian had a good run.
Smith was cancelled because it was too expensive and didn't get good enough ratings. In these times, too, it's hard to get people to feel sympathetic to criminals. We're all getting ripped off, so, not so much love there, y'know?
The Mentalist is pretty good. Baker does a good job and the show should be around for a while.
Thanks for the props for Baker, Junior!

Junior said...

Hi Anonymous, I didn't watch TM not because I thought it was a copy of Psych but because I thought it was a copy of every other crime show on CBS, but glad you found it entertaining and took a look for yourself! And thx for commenting!

kelly uk, okay I give you that. What I wrote may have made someone think twice about watching the show, but I never write anything asking people not to do something because I don't like it. Everyone is free to agree or disagree and enjoy whatever they want. I personally like Baker and I know him most from "Something New" actually which as you said is a good movie that should have been more popular, but don't watch TM. Obviously, I'm one of the only ones as the show is doing great. Again thx for commenting and bringing a different view...

Alice, I totally agree with you that TM will stick around and thank goodness because this post was less about TM and more about how tired I was seeing this good actor leapfrog from series to series. While I still stand by my opinion that Baker would be great in a more ensemble show, he can do that after TM ends in many years... And he listens to me... We're like thisclose.

Alexandra said...

For those other Psych fans who at first refuse to watch Mentalist cause it's supposedly a rip-off of Psyche watch this great vid, which captures the very different Mentalist plot/tone:
http://www.cbs.com/specials/ultimate_look_back/video/?pid=QvXX_8Pxnt8DbK9cXaGcx2CiXKL37JEg