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It's no mystery to her

March 29, 2009

Who could foresee a hit ["Who Could Foresee a Hit?" March 22]? Anyone with a good long memory, or a large portion of the female population of this country. We have been subjected to reviews and raves by what are predominantly male reviewers who seem only to like the shoot 'em up, bash 'em, destructive-car-chase movies.

As to that memory: Many years ago the usually canny Louis B. Mayer, who headed MGM, tended to follow that pattern regarding his male stars. Hair-on-the-chest big tough guys were in; anything else was strictly second bananas.

The advent of handsome Simon Baker in the sensitive role of a man with brains and a sense of humor who does not carry a gun reminds one of the phenomenal success of Nelson Eddy against the odds of studio choices.

Tough man Clark Gable was the leading male performer; Eddy was just a mostly unused contract player until Mayer needed a male to supply his favorite female star with a love interest. He also needed to be able to sing. Eddy could. The rest became history. In modern parlance, he was "hot." Women have always confounded men when they show a preference for such men who are considered by most men as "non-men" or in the parlance of the times, "pansies."

The simple fact that a man is shown to be sensitive, kind and thoroughly likable is almost guaranteed to arouse feminine interest. Add to that good looks of the blond Anglo-Saxon variety who can obviously act, and if there is an interesting plot and a good script writer, there is your formula for a successful show. Word gets around.

The phenomenal success of "The Mentalist" is no surprise to women, only to male reviewers and apparently newspaper writers. .

K.T. Ernshaw

Los Angeles

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Regarding the main article on "The Mentalist" and its popularity this season: It is because of Simon Baker's gorgeous face, adorable mannerisms and the way the writers have made him intriguingly sensitive. (Hence, 60% female audience).

Before this show I never even noticed him in anything else. Now, I won't miss my Tuesday night "rendevous" with my newfound sweetheart.

Sure, I'm old enough to be his mother, but he doesn't know that!

Jeanie Adams

Lake Forest

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