Asians on TV 唐人做電視

Rant Against The Mentalist

A short while ago, we stopped our channel-surfing on an episode of The Mentalist, “Bloodhounds” (s3e12) because it was a familiar procedural crime show we could leave on in the background and soon we saw Linda Park on-screen as she was guest-starring as Dr. Montague, an FBI profiler.

Why did she look so darn familiar? Oh yeah, I watched her short-lived (but it still had four-seasons) series, Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s been a long time since there was a Star Trek series!

Given the level of Park’s character’s involvement in an interrogation, I wondered if she had joined the cast as a regular or recurring character but she’s only listed for one episode. (Sad.) Then there were scenes with Park and Simon Baker (who plays Patrick Jane), butting heads but it seemed to me one-sided, where he was deriding her ability to solve crimes being a “Decision Science Consultant”, a statistician who models criminal behaviour.  Because he’s such a big hot-shot, huh, as the titular Mentalist using fail-proof and ad hoc methods?! I haven’t even sat down to an episode of the show because something about the Patrick Jane character puts me off: swaggering, arrogant, reliant on his damn senses and such.  Then I just read the Mentalist Wikipedia article for a summary and that confirms everything I’ve sensed about the Patrick Jane character and why I don’t watch that show.

It was funny how I felt a rise in me when Jane mocked Montague’s methods. Until recently, I worked with modelers and it’s a hard fight to get your evidence heard so I guess I’m a little more defensive of the issue. Still, it probably means the Jane character would eschew scientific evidence for his intuition and whatever, which I do not advocate.

The Mentalist is one of those shows where an Asian actor, Tim Kang, seems to have had steady occupation with a major character. I might even leave that show on in the background and grow to learn about the Kimball Cho character but I just can’t stomach Simon Baker/Patrick Jane. When the show has run its course and Kang gets another gig, I’ll happily check that out.

4 thoughts on “Rant Against The Mentalist

  • Let’s watch the mentalist :)… The Mentalist!!!!!.

  • Hahahahaha….good review but i can’t simply digest the fact that you really dislike the character Jane..even though it is the only Character that’s keeping alive the show…or may be you are also swaggering, arrogant, reliant on your damn senses…who knows!!

  • Speaking as someone who does enjoy The Mentalist, I thought this episode was, erm, “problematic” in its portrayal of an Asian character. Her defining trait is being “good with numbers” and frankly that is disappointing and smacks of lazy stereotypes.

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