The Mentalist it is a serial about the crimes of Red John, a serial murder who once killed wife and daughter of Patrick Jane, a known psychic. After this murder Jane does not tell anymore that he is psychic, but instead tells everyone the truth, that he was just acting. He knows he is intelligent and most time more intelligent than others and he also knows that with this intelligence he led the attention of the serial murder Red John to his family. They were only murdered, because Jane said in an interview, that Red John is a simple serial murder and has nothing special about him.
Now having lost his beloved ones he attends the CBI team that is in charge of the murders of Red John. He tries his best to solve the crimes and find Red John, because there is one thing he absolutely wants: Revenge.
Now in season 3 the last episode shows the murder of a man that claims for himself to be Red John. We know, there is a fourth season (and a fifth and sixth) so it is easy to guess, that he is not the murderer but one of his accomplices. I watched the first three seasons a while ago and on Monday started with the fourth season, but because of an lack of time did not watch it that far. Now I started to watch the fourth season and already started with the fifth season and I like the events coming up. The „normal“ crimes of other murderers show Janes ability to watch other people and to observe their motions. A single blinking makes him know things that we would not expect him to know, a slow hesitation makes him solve crimes.
The Mentalist is often compared to Psych, another crime serial about a man who acts as a psych and with this ability solves crimes. The huge difference is that in Psych the protagonist Shawn Spencer tries to convince the police of his abilities while in The Mentalist Patrick Jane says he was fooling other people and now explains his „magic“. Shawn Spencer fools the police and makes the series being a crime comedy, while The Mentalist is rather more serious and deals with the crimes as being expected. Of course sometimes he is more comical when he shows his tricks and fools other people, but he does it to find the murderer, not to fool the police and make himself being a person with credibility. Yes, those two serials can be compared with each other, because both protagonist observe people in the same way, but still those two serials are totally different – and for a different public. I prefer the Mentalist.