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Monday Night TV

By admin Published: September 28, 2009

New: "Trauma" (NBC)
Returning: "Lie to Me" (Fox)

After the jump, some notes on "Trauma" and "Lie to Me."

"Trauma" is the latest of this season's earnest medical shows, this one being about paramedics dealing with problems like big ugly car wrecks. The title refers not only to the situations they face but to the paramedics themselves, since several have been part of an emotionally wrenching disaster early in the series premiere.
It's the definition of an unnecessary show: I felt as if I had seen just about everything in it before, that every emotional note had been played all too often, that as much as we were meant to care about the characters, they were not interesting enough to bring me back for a second week. Not badly acted, it is still superfluous TV. And when I consider how many things there are that I want to watch, this is not something worth making room for on the DVR.

"Lie to Me" begins a second season in a similar vein to the end of the first, with darker stories and a strong focus on the trouble in its lie-detecting characters' lives; it's a function of having "The Shield's" Shawn Ryan having joined the show as an executive producer. "Lie to Me" is still slicker and less crazed than "The Shield" -- it is, after all, meant to keep the audience from "House" -- but the rough edges and grit are a little more evident.

The season premiere finds the team dealing with a woman (guest star Erika Christensen) who believes she has had the psychic image of a murder. It turns out to be more complicated than that, though not much more entertaining. A subplot involves the vetting of a potential Supreme Court justice. And there are some changes in the personal lives of some characters, also building on events from the first season.

I like the show, and really enjoy Tim Roth, but I haven't gotten beyond liking. While I am curious about where Ryan will take it this season, the premiere still has me stuck on like.

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