The second week of the official TV season is usually around the point where I start dropping shows that either aren't doing it for me or are in a brutal timeslot war. After the jump, some thoughts on whether I want to stick with, in order, "The Mentalist," "90210" and "Worst Week."
"The Mentalist" might get a few more weeks from me, but really only because I like Simon Baker. In that way, it's sort of like the early stages of "Life," where the show bored me but Damian Lewis was interesting enough that I kept watching until the show caught up with him. I don't necessarily see "The Mentalist" doing that -- there's a ceiling for how good and/or unconventional CBS procedurals can be, I think -- but unless last night's "Fringe" (which I won't get around to watching until later today) was dazzling, it won't be like there are other shows in the hour that I really care about.
This one felt very much like an episode of "House," with the team jotting down the potential crime theories on a white board (differential diagnosis), various potential suspects seeming obvious and then immediately being cleared (I thought for sure the Xander Berkeley cop character did it, under the Most Recognizable Guest Star theory), and the continued suggestion that Patrick stretches things out because he enjoys testing out his theories. "House" was, of course, an attempt to translate CBS into a medical show, so it makes sense that an actual crime procedural might seem like it, but the structure here was so familiar I kept waiting for Simon Baker to pull out a cane.
I think Brenda leaving "90210" for good and Kelly possibly joining her (Jennie Garth still isn't signed for additional episodes) that now is as good a time as any to bail. The characters are too thin to care about (even when I want to pretend that Dixon is really Michael from "The Wire," I have to squint a lot), the morality and storytelling too simplistic, and the humor (which I expected Sachs and Judah might make into a saving grace for everything else) not funny or prevalent enough. Maybe I'll check back in later in the season, but life's too short to watch this one every week.
It's also too short for any more of "Worst Week." There were a couple of gags in the pilot that made me laugh, but they were born of innocent mistakes and/or misunderstandings. Here, Sam just kept making things worse and worse by refusing to tell the truth, and I have no patience for that -- especially since every episode is likely to follow this template. I didn't think they could pull off the elaborate farce of the pilot every week and make it watchable; this one suggests I was right, and I don't care enough to come back in the future to confirm.
What did everybody else think?