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Review: Criminal Minds 2.1

Posted on September 21, 2006 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Criminal Minds

In the US: Wednesdays, 9pm ET/PT, CBS
In the UK: Season one currently on Five. Will probably air on Living in 2007.

Characters re-cast: 0
Major characters gotten rid of: 0 (1 soon)
Major new characters: 0
Format change percentage: 0%
Cast members looking seriously older: 1

Criminal Minds was one of those shows I rejected as stupid over a year ago when I saw the screener. I've caught an episode here and there since, and while it's not that bad, it combines massive over-seriousness with completely preposterous storylines.

The thing is, most serial killers, psychopaths and sociopaths are really dull. They're not like the serial killers in books and movies. So when you make a TV series about them, you either have to come up with some completely unrealistic serial killers or produce a dull show.

So I tuned into the premiere episode of the second season, which picks up from last season's finale, The Fisher King (Part One). My, they've gone for “interesting” killers in a big way, haven't they?

Clearly, since this is a two-parter, I won't spoil things for UK viewers by revealing what's going on. I will say you don't have to be too nervous about anyone dying off (although there are a couple of close calls) and the Fisher King is eventually tracked down. The motivation is typically silly, but masked with so much psychological jargon, you could almost believe it true.

The characters are the same, the set-up's the same. Mandy Patinkin is criminally under-used, however, in favour of nerdy bloke, which is clearly a mistake since Patinkin is absolutely the only reason to watch the show. Although the ratings say otherwise, I think they're mistaken in retreading the path used by NBC's Profiler during the 90s. And if you can't get me to watch a crime show featuring psychologists, you know you're doing something wrong.

New viewers: stay away
Old viewers: you'll probably love it, but it's still not very good.

Related entries

  • October 13, 2006: US TV news from Mr Ausiello
    Criminal Minds is now beating Lost in the ratings.
  • September 28, 2007: Five brief reviews for things that don't deserve an entire entry to themselves
    Reviews of Criminal Minds 3.1, Flight of the Conchords 1.1, Shark 2.1, Bionic Woman 1.1 and Highlander: The Source
  • March 13, 2009: Review: Castle 1x1
    A review of the first episode of ABC's Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic
  • February 22, 2011: Review: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 1x1
    A review of the first episode of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
  • February 28, 2012: Review: Those Who Kill (Den Som Dræber) (ITV3) 1x1
    A review of the first episode of Those Who Kill on ITV3

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