Monday, 29 September 2014

TV Series Review: Criminal Minds

We actually finished watching the Criminal Minds a couple of weeks ago but I reviewed The Persuaders first, then scheduled my ‘Limbo’ post last week so it’s taken me a little while to get around to writing this.

Warning: Contains spoilers for the first seven series of Criminal Minds!

I got Criminal Minds for Christmas last year from Mr Click. It was actually a show I’d heard of before, having seen it advertised and I noticed it for Mandy Patinkin and Thomas Gibson, who played Greg in Dharma and Greg. When I actually had a TV that showed programmes other than those you watch on DVD Criminal Minds was on later than I usually stayed up, or it clashed with something else, or I thought it looked too similar to all those other crime procedurals that I used to watch. Whatever the reason I overlooked it.

Mr Click presented it to me with a comment about how on Amazon it said that this was recommended by people who like CSI, and I like CSI so it had seemed like a good fit. Long before we started watching it I read up about it online, and I liked what I read. I was so excited when we finally started watching it.

And I’m so glad that I didn’t watch it ‘live’ when it was on. I loved being able to marathon two or more episodes on an evening (sometimes a few on a Saturday) and it seems that nobody does series finales the way the Criminal Minds does. I honestly don’t think I could’ve stood the strain of having to wait a week to see the second part of an episode, or worse, several months or more waiting for the next series to start! The occasions where we had to wait a day or two to find out what happened next were excruciating.

Some series have their weak points, but I didn’t really feel that way about any of the series of the seven in the box set I have. Each series had its outstanding, strong episodes. Sure, some of the episodes were weaker than others but honestly, even when they introduced a junior character, Seaver, to the team after Emily’s ‘death’, who wasn’t the most appealing character, I didn’t mind. That said, I didn’t notice until the end of the first episode of series seven that she’d disappeared, but she didn’t affect the quality or tone of the episodes she was in.

I was a little bit worried during the first series when I learned that Elle and Gideon were going to leave. I’m not a huge fan of change so when casts undergo shuffles I’m not always happy with the result, but it was all done in character and it had a ripple effect on the other characters. I hate it when shows have a big change and everyone is moved on within a couple of episodes. Stuff in Criminal Minds has knock on effects and they get referenced weeks or years later. I like that.

The resulting cast is awesome. I think I love each and every one of them in different ways. One of the main things I really love about the series is that it shows the characters interacting outside of work. That’s one of the things I always loved reading fan fiction about; I like to know who goes out for pizza with each other, who babysits the others’ children. In real life people do interact outside of work and I like that the BAU team is like a big family who just hang out together.


Without a doubt two of my favourite characters are Garcia and Reid. Garcia is so much like Abby from NCIS that I couldn’t help but imagine crossovers as I was watching the first series. And I think that Reid should really spend some time with Brennan from Bones because he’s as smart and clueless as she is. Oh, and I love Shemar Moore because, well, I’ll let this speak for itself:

*ahem* Where was I?

The subject matter itself is often pretty dark. They’re a team dealing with serial killers and profiling so it’s kind of a given. I’m glad that we’ve kind of swapped around the programmes we watch while we eat our tea and the programmes we watch in bed now. I prefer something lighter right before I go to sleep. As we usually watched the episodes in pairs I noticed that for each really dark and serious storyline, there was usually one which allowed for a touch of light-heartedness, which I appreciated. As I mentioned above, I did not appreciate the cliffhangers, particularly when it involved leaving members of the team in peril and having to wait to find out what happened to them. I must have ‘NOOOOOO’d so many times at the end of two-part or season finale episodes.

I’m really glad that series seven ended where it did. With JJ and Will getting married. Sure Emily is contemplating leaving, but as it stands, it ended with a party with everyone dancing together and having a good time. I’m looking forward to getting the next series, but I’m waiting for them to come down in price a lot, besides, in the meantime we’ve got Ripper Street and The Mentalist to keep us going as well.

And the longer we wait, the more likely are are to need to go back and rewatch the first seven series again. Something I’m really looking forward to.

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