Two Hollywood concepts that prove the people in charge just don't get it are the high concept and the reverse. The first is a shorthand way of describing something "new" in terms of two (sometimes more) things that are "familiar" (read: “profitable”), thus Fringe is like "The X-Files meets CSI." The reverse is "just like something else, only different." (The most successful reverse in Hollywood history is perhaps Friends—"It's just like Living Single, except they're white.") So this television season—

—Take Psych (about a guy with keen powers of observation solving crimes while pretending to be a psychic) meets (name of ensemble cop shop), throw in a reverse (he constantly says psychics are not real, and unlike Colombo, who always appeared to be bumbling, this guy is always confident, even smug) and you get The Mentalist (9 PM EST, Tuesdays on CBS). Simon Baker is a John Edwards-like "psychic" who becomes a police investigator after a serial killer he insulted murders his family because of the slight. So far the deductions are nothing (name of TV detective goes here) or you the viewer couldn't have worked out. Some of his deductions are obvious, or ambiguous (I mean, could you/how could you determine a guy was gay just because he had a pedicure?) Most often when asked, "How did you know that?" he just answers with a smile. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this from getting old.

Take "Jason Bourne meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and you get My Own Worst Enemy (10 PM EST, Mondays on NBC). Actually, here Bourne is Jekyll and Hyde: Henry Spivey has a wife and two kids and lives a comfortable life in the suburbs. His job takes him out-of-town frequently, and that's when Edward Albright takes over. You see, Henry (as in Henry Jekyll) is Edward (as in Edward Hyde)'s a manufactured alter-ego, kept totally unaware of his spy persona by a computer chip implanted in his brain. Except SOMETHING GOES WRONG and suddenly, Edward becomes Henry at inopportune times—like right in the middle of a mission. The series is fun because you never know who's in charge of Henry/Edward's body or who really knows the truth about his dual identity. But any dedicated spy could do the job (say, the members of The Unit) and the infrastructure that developed and maintains the agency Edward works for seems to exist solely to generate this premise. It's a little too "complex" to be believable, but it may be just a page from the Monk playbook, where the crimes being solved are secondary to watching the lead do his "thing."

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