Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame tells us about a new show on CBS that appears to have a skeptical protagonist:
Simon Baker will star as The Mentalist, a man who uses his keen abilities of observation to solve crimes. He can pick up small clues and then synthesize them, allowing him to see the big picture in a case. It’s a bit like “House”, but for a detective and not a doctor. The CBS website has clips and background info on the show, and there is also a clip on YouTube, but for some reason — CBS, this is the 21st Century, hello! — they have disallowed embedding.
[…] It looks like The Mentalist will be all about this. The main character, Patrick Jane, once made a ton of money pretending to be a psychic, but has since reformed. Given the preview clips, I have a lot of hope that this show will mainstream the idea that the so-called psychics you seen TV are either self-deluded or frauds. It’s amazing to me to see these performers fish for information, doing a very sloppy job trying to fool the public — yet succeeding so well that they make millions of dollars. It’s very aggravating to see people allowing themselves be fooled so utterly.
I’m going to have to set up the DVR to record this as I’ll be in class when it airs. Given the bad taste Fringe left in my mouth with its portrayal of skepticism being completely wrong perhaps I’ll find this show to be much more palatable in tone.
[Update:] The behind the scenes clip is not embeddable, but the teaser is: