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On Perception and other TV Crime Drama Series with Genius Yet Problematic Characters



Perception starring Eric McCormack and Rachel Leigh Cook.

Perception starring Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook.

UPDATE: PERCEPTION has been renewed for season 3!!!

Turns out I like my men (on TV) quirky, cute, brilliant and nice at the core. A sense of humor won’t hurt, a traumatic background will up the stakes and I’ll be sold for some good crime-solving and decent acting.

With House, I settled for hospital drama since he approached cases with a CSI attitude and the brainstorming tactics of a creative professional, and I gave up on nice for a uniquely irritating yet intriguing personality. But with Lie to Me, I didn’t have to settle.

And I didn’t have to settle with Perception (starring Eric McCormack) either. To get a feel of how good Eric McCormack is, you should see Will and Grace, Trust Me and Perception episodes in a row. From the handsome gay lawyer with OCD tendencies (Will & Grace) to advertising golden boy (Trust Me) to schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist (Perception), Eric McCormack gave me the perfect rebound show. You know what they say…to get over one tv show, get under another. No, wait- that was for dating.

But hey, just like sometimes rebound relationships can offer something more given a little time, this TV show is drawing me in, and making me get over (a little) my indignation that Lie to Me was over in 3 little seasons.

Maybe I’m drawn to these shows because I am often not considered normal by a lot of people I meet. Most of the time I take it as a compliment, and most of the time they do mean it that way. And when you are a writer, that (manageable) quirkiness is a perk.

But sometimes the line between taking pride in not fitting in and the seldom frustration of not being able to fit in, choice vs. obligation, get blurry, and I find deep solace and extreme entertainment in characters (and stories) that not everyone relates to, is jealous of (yeah, you bet I wouldn’t mind being a top lie-detecting expert) or wants to have created such shows/characters oneself.

So I like Perception. And hey, it is good that there’re shows that remind us of each others’ premises. Some will work for you, some won’t. I fell in love with The Mentalist (the first 2 seasons), but Psych annoyed me.  But I loved Lie to Me and I am currently busy enjoying Perception.

Oh, what the hell is Perception about, you ask?

As I mentioned earlier, Perception centers on the brilliant neuropsychiatrist college professor Daniel Pierce who’s a hit with students but not exactly well-perceived in the outside world when people face with his “differences”, and being a schizophrenic with hallucinations and weird set of habits to manage them.

But one of his fans include ex student/current FBI agent Kate (Rachel Leigh Cook), who asks for his help with her investigations. Now, they could be closer friends or maybe even more, but hey, Daniel has issues and he’s not exactly trying to bond with anyone- he is afraid of the possible consequences.

In each episode, we get a murder case with not-so-tired plots, Danielesque crime solving tactics, some lecture moments we wish we had in our school, some funny situations related to Daniel’s quirks/interactions/reactions and good 40+ minutes of fun.

You see, if you think Jane is so similar to Lightman or Daniel is like Lightman, you weren’t paying attention. Or maybe you really want a character obsessed with catching a serial killer who seems more and more implausible by the second (The Mentalist).

Or you are like me. You enjoy each show for what they have to offer, and the very obvious differences between characters and storylines.

Give Perception a shot if you enjoyed one or more of these shows: House, The Mentalist, Lie to Me.

P.S. Yes, I am aware of House is a medical drama. But hey, House has to be mentioned for his brilliance, tendency to break all rules and authority with obsession to solve cases and well…his own highly problematic personality. And bluntness.



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