Review: Criminal Minds 2.1

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.