Tag Archives: television

Lie To Me

One of my favourite TV shows is Lie To Me. Tim Roth plays Dr Cal Lightman, an eccentric expert in deception detection who runs his own consulting business primarily assisting lawyers and prosecutors get to the truth. There's always a story behind the story, and the trick is to work out who's lying about it. His techniques combine reading of facial microexpressions, body language, gestures and human behaviour to discern the true emotions of everyone involved; often including his own staff.

Having learned the art of stripping away people's facades to reveal what is really going on underneath, Dr Lightman has an arrogant edge about him, which is tempered by his paranoia and the painful dysfunctional relationships that he finds himself in. He sees through the white lies that other people spin to soften the real truth from him, and relies on his ability to cut through the protective … Continue reading…

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Wife Swap

I love the TV show Wife Swap. If you haven't seen it, the premise is that they get two families from middle America who volunteer to have their wives swap places for two weeks. During the first week, both families run by the usual rules so the "new wife" can learn how they normally operate; but in the second week, the new wife gets to make whatever rule changes they want. Each family volunteers on the basis that they agree to abide by whatever rules the new wife chooses to set.

Invariably the producers choose two families at the opposite ends of some spectrum, be it religious, political, economic, traditional/progressive, or whatever. Today's episode featured a real estate executive who was always on the phone and had no time for her kids, swapping places with a suffocating obsessive-compulsive stay-at-home Mom who home-schooled and controlled her whole family.

I always … Continue reading…

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Dr Phil

Dr Phil is on TV again, using big words like "maturity" and "responsibility", and talking about relationships. I like Dr Phil; he's charismatic, compassionate and assertive with the people who come on his show. He doesn't take crap from them, and calls them on their blind spots when they try to spin some story on him. But I can't help wondering about the people who agree to go on the program. There is something voyeuristic about watching another person's personal problems being aired before a mass audience, and surely something exhibitionist about wanting to go on the program.

Some of the people are clearly at their wit's end and don't know what else to do; perhaps they think that going on Dr Phil and exposing the lies and the secrecy that keeps them bound will release them from whatever is keeping them trapped. And maybe it does; but not everyone … Continue reading…

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