Dudes in Distress and Girls in Shining Kevlar
So I just started watching the Mentalist a couple of weeks ago, and it intrigued me for several reasons. I will admit that I initially began because of the glory that are Simon Baker’s curls, but soon other extremely cool stuff came into view .
But first, Simon Baker’s Curls.
Aaaand done. Moving on - the one thing that irks me about most shows is that the two leads can never be just friends. I mean, it’s almost formulaic. You have:
1. Castle/Beckett in Castle
2. Shawn/Juliet in Psych
3. Booth/Brennan in Bones
4. Mulder/Scully in X-Files
To name a few. In all of them, you have this going on. The cool thing about the Mentalist is that it manages to subvert quite a lot of these tropes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s the best show in the world. There’s tons of stuff that could improve with regards to editing, and cinematography. But the good things going in the show, whether intentional or not, deserve to be highlighted.
- What does being Feminine mean to you?
- Dudes in Distress and Ladies in Shining Kevlar
- What do you mean No One Takes their Shirt Off?
The thing with most cop dramas with leads of the opposite sex is that they all tend to follow the cliche plot line of “Let’s throw in some UST and see how it goes from there”. Admittedly, this works. I mean of course it does. The whole point of most TV shows is to get the viewer invested in the character, and let’s face it.Nothing gets a viewer hooked like UST.
The Mentalist neatly sidesteps this - by dumping the UST on the secondary leads. This leaves the field open for a very interesting phenomenon - the two main leads are friends. Jane and Lisbon are honest-to-God-friends who have no Hidden Pining from each other whatsoever.
That being said, I realise that the reason for this is that Jane is emotionally crippled and Lisbon is sensible enough not to want to go near that. Even so, it’s still somewhat heartening to see a girl and a dude genuinely care for the other’s well-being without wanting into the other’s pants. Jane is genuinely interested in Lisbon love life (i.e. Walter Mashburn). There is, of course, no parallel for Lisbon being similarly interested in Jane’s romantic life, because well - Jane has no desire to have said romantic life. But it is played out very well in her frequently risking a lot to save Jane from socially and bodily damaging situations. It also says a lot that she is capable of giving Jane the space he requires, and equally capable of calling him on his destructiveness when she has to. That, my friends, is a true sign of friendship.