Why More Than 15 Million Viewers Watch “The Mentalist” From 2008 Until Now

“The Mentalist” is a US TV show that tells the story of a man named Patrick Jane, a con man who made a name for himself pretending to be a psychic. But when his wife and daughter were killed, he abandoned his job and went on to help the CBI track the killer who is known only by the name of Red John.

Red John is a serial killer who murdered Patrick Jane’s family because the latter humiliated him on national TV. Red John is still at large, and while Patrick searches for him, he helps the CBI solve cases through his great observation skills.

At the start of every episode, viewers are given the definition of what a mentalist is.

Mentalist, noun. Someone who uses mental acuity, hypnosis and/or suggestion. A master manipulator of thoughts and behavior.

“The Mentalist” started airing in the US on September 23rd, 2008. It is currently on its fifth season. It stars the charming Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, and Amanda Righetti as the CBI team that Patrick helps solve cases.

According to Wikipedia, “The Mentalist” is watched by an average of 15 million viewers. I’m not an American, but I love this show, and I watch it on the Internet. And this article is my attempt to explain why 15 millions people watch it.

First, “The Mentalist” is a refreshing show that’s different from the usual formulas that CSI clones employ. “CSI” and “The Mentalist” are both detective shows. “CSI” wowed the audience with the characters’ excellent forensic skills, something that’s never done before, and the other CSI-clones try to copy. But with “The Mentalist,” a fake psychic makes the police his assistant.

I don’t know if this is possible in real life, but the subliminal message is that it’s possible to extract the truth (in this case, in criminal cases) through the power of observation and deduction. The show does not rely on state-of-the-art equipment nor a genius IT who uses his / her computer skills to get information. Sure, there’s Grace Van Pelt, but I’m talking about a Penelope Garcia kind of IT. That said, you can’t help but be amazed at Patrick Jane’s skills. In every episode, you try to do the same, but for some reason, you can’t.

Second, Simon Baker is — OMG — “charmingly annoying” and he plays the character so well. Patrick Jane can be a pain in the butt a lot of times, but admit it, ladies, you want a man who is challenging. You want a man who annoys you, yet someone who cares. Yes, someone like Patrick Jane! Every week, you want to see his facial lines when he smiles, and you want to see how Elizabeth Lisbon reacts when he annoys her.

Third, the killer is always the least expected person. You want to apply Jane Patrick’s techniques, but just like the rest of the CBI team, Jane never reveals. Instead, he manipulates not just the CBI team but also you, the audience, into watching the episode until the end.

How many times does Lisbon tell Jane, “You knew all this time, didn’t you?” You can say the same thing to Jane. But as what he always does, he just flashes his charming smile and you forgive him for the next episode. So you watch again…and again…and again.

Start your addiction of “The Mentalist” here: the Complete Episodes of Season 1…