The Mentalist works because it's such an elegant example of its kind; if it's comfort food, it's prime-grade meat loaf. Much credit goes to the sly scripts, overseen by Bruno Heller (HBO's Rome), which take the viewer to familiar places by clever routes, providing a jocular corrective to the relentless noir gore of CSI et al. The mysteries are engaging but not byzantine; you can probably figure out the culprit just a step before Jane does. And who doesn't want a handsome man to make him or her feel smart?
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