• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 80
    Stunning opening suggests the potential. It's Baker's show, and he excels. But guest stars impress, too.
  2. 80
    In its solidly crafted premiere, the CBS drama demonstrates admirable restraint while still telling a reasonably interesting story.
  3. Psychological sleight of hand can't fill an hour every week. For that you need complicated, interesting crimes and complicated, interesting characters solving them. The Mentalist seems prepared to deliver just that.
  4. This role is tailor-made for Baker, who has a flair for playing irreverent characters who are crucial to the success of the system even as they tweak its authority figures.
  5. The Mentalist is safe, predictable, manufactured crime drama … and it works.
  6. The tricks he performs are overshadowed by the glee with which Baker performs them. Like any good grifter, he gets a genuine thrill out of entertaining, manipulating, or confusing people.
  7. 75
    The Mentalist may be a copy, but it's a well-done copy sparked by an actor who has come into his own as a TV star.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    The formula--must find murderer of beautiful woman before last commercial break--predates the dinosaurs, but also incorporates some satisfying twists.
  9. 70
    Because as much as Baker's suavely sly version of a gotcha artist is a welcome addition, thanks to a few not-so-hidden laws of character-actor placement, you'll guess the pilot scenario's killer before anybody else.
  10. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  11. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    Its detective plots are cozily formulaic, its defining twist cheerfully preposterous. As cop-show comfort food, it's a kind of California fusion cooked up to appeal to people fed up with techno-beat lab scenes.
  12. Its semi-psychic hero is intriguing enough and confident enough--not everybody can sneak a hypnosis-inducing trance into an exchange with a reluctant witness as deftly as he can--to bring viewers under his spell.
  13. 70
    Baker and his wily line readings and intimidatingly sly stares can snap the show out of occasional stupors.
  14. 70
    The CBS show has very little dramatic heft or distinction, but it's wily and brisk enough to engage you for an hour.
  15. The Mentalist is anything but irksome, proving once again that watchable television isn't so much about originality--if something hasn't been done before, there might be a reason--as it is about execution.
  16. It's not groundbreaking TV, but the pilot does a good job of introducing the characters, their relationships, their potential relationships.
  17. 60
    The results are satisfying, and suspenseful, yes, but also a little bit stupid and predictable, too.
  18. Baker has an unforced masculinity that allows him to play likable bastards like this, and with the other regular characters (played by Robin Tunney, Owain Yeoman, Tim Kang and Amanda Righetti) so far ciphers at best, he's able to carry the show by his lonesome.
  19. 50
    Too many serial killers threaten to overwhelm The Mentalist, whose charismatic lead character can stand on his own, if the show's producers would only realize that murders committed singly can be just as interesting as serial murders, and just as difficult to solve, too
  20. There's an old-school feel to the storytelling (shades of "Columbo") that makes it feel comfortable--perhaps too comfortable, or at least too easy.
  21. 50
    Patrick dramatizes his sense of superiority, intimidating and irritating just about anyone who comes in contact with him....The Mentalist does offer its own charms, chief among them Baker’s low-key, apparently complicated sarcasm.
  22. Smart guys from the outskirts of society have been solving tough cases entertainingly at least as long as Sherlock Holmes. The Mentalist simply presents another, along with no compelling reason either to tune in or turn off.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Baker does possess a certain roguish charm, and writer Bruno Heller ("Rome") and pilot-directing guru David Nutter mine that--as well as the central character's slightly menacing backstory--to try and invest the series with a bit of depth, mostly to little avail.
  24. 50
    As the lead, Simon Baker is too one-note smirky for me.
  25. 40
    The smirky cynicism, savage mockery of New Age verities and prickly atheism of its lead character could have made The Mentalist fascinating (if not altogether pleasant) viewing. Instead, it turns down the same formulaic path as CBS' other police procedurals, a sort of CSI-with-a-fake-crystal-ball.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 46
  2. Negative: 5 out of 46
  1. LordofFood
    Dec 29, 2009
    10
    Brilliant. Bruno Heller really thinks out the plot of the next episode and eventually makes it great. Simon Baker makes a good, sometimes cocky, smart, and observant Patrick Jane. Greatest show i've ever seen. Full Review »
  2. Debbies.
    Sep 30, 2008
    5
    I want to like it, because I really like Simon Baker. But I do not think it is exciting enough. I do not care for who the show has as the murderer(s). So far the murders really do not make since. Full Review »
  3. BrandonN
    Sep 28, 2008
    10
    The first episode gave me me new hope for television.