At the beginning of this past summer, I decided to binge-watch a show called, Lie to Me. The story’s about a deception expert, Dr. Cal Lightman, and his organization aimed at exposing liars. Which they do by looking at facial expressions, “micro-expressions” and body language. I found this show, again, from Tricia Helfer, who guest-starred in an episode in season three. If I haven’t made it obvious before, I’m a huge fan. More than that, I’m that fan that goes through an actors’ entire IMDB page to see what they’ve been in. And that ultimately is how I discover (older) TV shows.
But after I watched that one episode, I was intrigued. So I came back to binge-watch it all a few months later. And honestly, I really loved it. It only got more interesting when I found out the science of micro-expressions is real. Plus, Dr. Lightman is based on someone real as well: a clinical psychologist, Paul Ekman, who really is an expert at deception.
The Premise of the Show
It’s fascinating that there’s so much someone could be telling you, just by looking at their face. In the show, Dr. Lightman has clients that range from the FBI to average everyday people. And I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things from this show, which is just a nice touch. I think my favorite episode would have to be “The Core of It”, the first episode of the second season. Erika Christensen from Parenthood (which is also a really great show to check out by the way) guest stars as someone with a dissociative identity disorder.
However, one of her personalities, Trisha, comes to Dr. Lightman saying that she saw someone get murdered. However, she can’t quite remember it all. So Lightman and Dr. Gillian Foster, a psychologist that works with him, try to help her figure it out. It’s interesting because it’s not like other shows or films that look down on mental illnesses like multiple personalities disorder. Even though that’s fortunately been changing in the last couple of years. Instead, Gillian works within the disorder and uses hypnosis to get the information out of Sophie (her actual name). Through this, she talks to her other personalities, who each have small parts of the memory. They don’t call her crazy or dismiss her case entirely. Even though they easily could’ve. But Cal can tell that she’s telling the truth, even though she’s only saying some of what happened.
That episode is just one out of many interesting stories that come from this show. All of them revolve around solving some type of mystery and dealing with liars. And it’s interesting that people think they can get away with fooling the world’s best deception expert. Part of what makes this show so intriguing is figuring out who’s lying and who isn’t. And the educational part comes with discovering how someone’s face can deceive others.
Have you ever watched the show, Lie to Me? If you haven’t, is it something you’d be interested in watching? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @mzsnguyenthai.