Third-episode verdict: Lie To Me

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

Time for a third-episode verdict on Lie To Me, in which Tim Roth stares intently at people and acts like House Jr in his Bones office with his Bones team to find out if they’re lying.

After an extremely generic first episode, the series settled down a bit and almost found some character for the second episode, in which a soldier is accused of rape and Dr Roth decides to chat him up.

Unfortunately, it lost it again for the third episode, which not only had a dumb plot and dumber sub-plot that made it spectacularly easy to guess whodunnit, it had some of the worst acting yet seen on US TV – as lovely wife put it, "Is Tim Roth really expensive? Because they don’t appear to have any budget left and so they dragged some people in off the street for the rest of the cast."

Tim Roth remains as fantastic as always and his character does almost touch on being interesting at times. And the show does have some interesting ideas – what would it be like if you knew for sure whenever anyone, even your family, lied to you? And what if you had someone like that for a partner, a father or a boss?

But it’s been saddled with a truly atrocious format, designed purely to cash in on the familiarity of existing Fox shows. The vague hints at bad deeds in Roth’s past are so much tease and little pay off.

In fact, the only noteworthy bits are the science and the use of photographs of famous people demonstrating particular aspects of body language explained by Roth or his plot-explaining assistant.

Worth watching only for Roth – otherwise, steer clear of it.

Carusometer rating: 3
Predictions: Should die within a season, but then Bones should have done, too, so it’ll probably last forever


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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