We’ll admit it took us a little while to
warm up to The Mentalist, airing Tuesdays on CBS, probably because of the
name — it sounds as if we might have to do actual thinking. Couple that with
the fact the lead character is a dude named Jane with a penchant for
three-piece suits, and this had “yawner” written all over it. But now we’ve
seen the error of our ways, and we’re hooked like a grouper on some chum. So
call your friends and neighbors; we’re thinking about throwing a party!
Setting the scene:
Decorate around a crime scene. Hire a local
college student to play the dead body in the middle of the room. It’s almost
always a woman (isn’t that weird?), so have her in a cocktail dress lying on
the floor beside a spilled tray of hors d’oeuvres. There’s a little blood
been poisoned, but how? And by whom? Leave clues throughout the rooms where the
party is taking place. For example, a note threatening the victim written in
crayon, photos of the victim in an embrace with someone at
the party, an invoice for rat poison with another guest’s name on it, etc.
Guests can also take part in a trivia game for the show. Questions can be found
on the show’s CBS Web site.
While almost anything is appropriate for a
crime drama, encourage everyone and his mother to wear a vest.
On the menu:
Since our victim was killed during her own
dinner party, serve what she was serving — shrimp cocktail, petite pork loins
served over mashed potatoes in a martini glass, hors d’oeuvres of bruschetta,
sushi and hummus, and for dessert, jelly doughnuts with the jelly spilling out.
(The red helps drive the murder home.)
On the hi-fi:
CBS isn’t exactly breaking new ground when
it comes to the “Internets.” That means the show’s site doesn’t list music that
appeared on the show, so you’ll need to wander into the fan forums to see what
But we recommend a British group called the Mentalists.
Local laws may vary, but we recommend filling
your front yard with used police cruisers — lights flashing. You’d be surprised
how many are available for sale at Used-Police-Cars.com.