3 Striking Similarities: Crews and Jane


So this season I have really got into two shows: Life, and more recently, The Mentalist, and I can't help but notice that Patrick Jane and Charlie Crews are incredibly similar.


1. They both have tortured pasts: Crews was wrongfully put in jail for twelve years, that's right, TWELVE! He lost his wife and his entire life before he was exonerated. Jane, on the other hand had his wife and daughter murdered because of his involvement in the Red John serial killer case (as a fake psychic).


2. They are remarkably calm: Crews has a very zen way of looking at things, he takes his cases lightly but still gets the job done. He talks about things completely inappropriate (like what the last thing a murder victim saw as he was being suffocated - his breath would have fogged up the plastic) but gets away with it because he is just so likable. Jane, on the other hand, is a consultant so doesn't need to follow policy on anything. He has some beer and plays chess with a suspect, and breaks into a house for a case he shouldn't even be working on, he gets away with it because he is always right about these things (though I think he is pretty likable too).


3. They want revenge: Crews spends all his free time trying to figure out who framed him and sent him to jail. He is consumed by this, searching out people who could give him information, bugs peoples cars, and generally gets himself into trouble; he can't life his life until it's done either (he doesn't even have furniture!). Similarly, Jane wants to catch and kill (as we found out not to long ago) Red John, the only person he can't find; he also doesn't have a life and works around the clock solving crime for just the hint of a clue to who Red John is.


Even though the shows' protagonists are so similar, the shows themselves are very different so I am definitely not complaining.

Comments

7 comments

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Mar 11, 2009 1:29PM EDT

Kudos for mentioning this!because of these two characters these are the only shows I watch regularly.There's that contradiction between their attitudes and what they've been through.
They are different shows so I have no complaints either.

Large 1323446677 14042011110
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Mar 16, 2009 10:41AM EDT

My three favourite shows at the moment - Life, The Mentalist and Lie to Me, with Criminal Minds a very close runner up.All have strong, vibrant casts, good strong scrips and superb leading (men). I particularly like Jane and Crews - two of the best male leads over the last ten years.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Mar 19, 2009 1:22PM EDT

Jane is definetely my favorite of the two and his cast has a great dynamic. I haven't followed Life so much but I definitely liked Crew the few times I saw him. Both are very likable indeed!

Large tumblr mln6m7ekr91s3yy25o1 1280
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Mar 30, 2009 9:22AM EDT

I think you're right, they're pretty similar. Anyway, they are both so great that I couldn't choose among them: so I follow them both and eagerly await every new episode! :-)

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 25, 2009 1:52PM EDT

I think the "zen sleuth" is our new Sherlock Holmes.
The common opinion among television writers seems to be that it takes some life-shattering event to produce such a person-- because they not only have to be incredibly observant and divergent in their thinking, but they also have to be driven (obsessed with some overarching goal-- e.g. revenge).
In a more superficial way, there are similarities in the casting of Life, Castle, and The Mentalist.
All have a fair-haired oddball or eccentric as the sidekick to a dark-haired female detective.
The female detectives, in all instances, seem to barely tolerate their partners' quirks, but grow to admire and depend on them.
All three women are diminutive in comparison with their partners.
In the case of Castle and Mentalist, the female detective is in charge, orders men around, and is a no-nonsense kind of personality.
In both of those shows the oddball is a consultant as well-- a consultant who chooses not to stay in his role, stay in the car, follow the rules, keep his mouth shut, etc.
In both Castle and the Mentalist, the consultants have an uncanny ability to generate the insights that close cases.
In Life, in keeping with its over Zen references, the solutions to the cases seem to simply "emerge" from the evidence, often just falling together on their own, even before Crews can verbalize them. Or if his insight is verbalized, it is in a completely oblique "beginner's mind" kind of way.
In all three there is an important daughter figure:
In Castle she is alive and provides a sane counterpoint to her father's excess.
In Life she is Crews' dead partner's daughter and she is one of the few pieces of the puzzle of his past life that he has been able to fit back into his new one.
In the Mentalist she is Jane's murdered daughter. His memory of her is triggered often by the cases he works and to speak to this memory has a powerful effect on him-- when a "fellow" psychic told him that she had not suffered, that she had died immediately, he couldn't help but feel relief from a pain that he had been carrying.
I'm sure there are further similarities. And dissimilarities.
Dani Reese is definitely a departure from the "calm, together" female figures of the other shoes. Or, in her case, we are allowed to see that her personal life is completely unglued. She has a vulnerability that is familiar to female protagonists. This causes Crews to become the more powerful, decisive figure, although the plot might have turned the other way.
Food for thought.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 25, 2009 7:59PM EDT

Come to think of it, In Plain Sight has the same setup as Life, just with the hair colors reversed and no traumatic back-story for Marshall. Oh, and in that one the female character takes lead.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 29, 2009 4:50AM EDT

WOW WOW WOW!!! there are 2 character from different tv shows with a tortured past, want revenge, and are calm and collected. Sounds like almost every central action character i knowThese amazing similarities are just the same show set up which has been proved over and over again.

Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!