What is it? Criminal Minds is a US crime drama that follows the FBIs Behavior analysis unit as the tour the country chasing serial killers by working out a profile and understanding the killers? behavior. There are currently 9 series in total with over 20 episodes in each. Why do I watch it? I already liked US crime dramas such as C.S.I New York and Las Vegas so I thought I would give criminal minds a try and I was instantly hooked. I like the fact that a lot of the time the crimes are far more deadly and intense, as they are almost always serial cases it is often a race against time to save possible victims so you are kept on the edge of your seat more than you are in other crime dramas. The main characters are all geniuses in their own fields are and all have a lovable and human side to them despite their job. I personally can?t pick a favourite character but I certainly love Penelope, the technical analyst. She is an ex-hacker turned good guy who uses her computer knowledge to track don suspects in seconds. She avoids the field and can?t deal with the horrible sights like the rest of the team, making her far more human than them, however she is loved by the whole group. My other favorite has to be the child prodigy, Dr Spencer Reid, he is in his late 20s but has a whole host of degrees and an eidetic memory, but he is sweet and kind and a little insecure, he never lets his genius go to his head. Why should you watch it? It is a gripping drama that you can pick up and put down at any point, although it is nice to follow the main characters stories it isn?t difficult to watch any episode in all of the 9 series even if you don?t know what the situation of each character is at the time. Warning You have to have a strong stomach as a lot of the crimes are very gory, so it probably isn?t for everyone in that sense. Also I have found that it probably isn?t a good idea to watch it late at night as I often end up quite jumpy after watching them. Don?t watch it with young children wondering around even if they aren?t properly watching it, I gave my 12 year old brother nightmares for weeks because he walked in during a killing scene.
WHAT IS CRIMINAL MINDS
Criminal Minds is a police procedural programme. The show focuses around a team within the FBI's BAU (Behavorial Analysis Unit), which is a real unit within the FBI, based in Quantico, Virginia, USA, as is the show.
The BAU are a unit which consists of people who are trained within behavioural science, which is a form of psychology. Many real BAU specialists can tell you the basics about your life just by watching you for 5 or ten minutes. They are asked to assist in violent crimes, typically murders, where they will examine crimes scenes and can depict the killer's personality, age, job, lifestyle etc. just by what they see at a crime scene. They then work to find the killer, again based on other aspects of psychology. They aid the police by giving them a profile of a killer so they are able to whittle down suspects when police have no leads.
The show is basically about what it is titled, the workings of the mind of a criminal and why they commit such crimes.
It was created by Jeff Davis, who has never worked on anything before Criminal Minds and has just created the new series of Teen Wolf.
The show premiered in 2005 and has just finished its 7th season and is currently producing the 8th season, with another 2 season's scheduled.
Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) - 'Hotch' is the unit chief of the BAU team, basically the team's boss. We know a lot about Hotch's private life straight from the first season, where his wife gives birth to a son in one of the first episodes, and appears very often throughout the show. Hotch is one of the most experienced BAU members, and at times can come across as snobby, yet as we get to know him over the seasons, you get to realise he is easy-going, he is just very professional. He cares about his team and is supportive of them whenever they need it, but is also tough on them at the same time, which is always a good thing when it comes to Hotch.
David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) - Rossi is a Senior SSA, which is a Senior Supervisory Special Agent, and takes his place just below Hotch in the team's ranks. He is very experienced, working within the BAU even before Hotch, and took early retirement. He only comes into the show in series 3 when the previous SSA leaves, the story being of him coming out of retirement. Rossi is one of the softer members of the group when it comes to his personal life, and I have loved him from the start as he is just a really nice guy.
Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) - Morgan is a SSA, a Supervisory Special Agent, who is the most confident member of the team. He loves his job and can get quite hot tempered and wound up when he doesn't get results. Despite this, he is relied upon whenever Hotch or Rossi are on leave, and is a very experienced tactical fighter, who is usually the one member to physically tackle a criminal. He is also very likeable and has a very interesting and lovable relationship with the team's Technical Analysts. He is also the eye candy of the show!
Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) - Prentiss, a SSA, only appears in season 2, and is the daughter of an Ambassador. She is the only member of the team who can speak many different languages, including Italian, German and Arabic. She is likeable, but, we only get to sympathise with her and find out about her past in a very big storyline in season 6.
Dr Spencer Reid (Matthew Grey Gubler) - SSA Reid is the youngest member the BAU has ever had. He is an actual genius, having graduated from high school at 12. He has a PHD in Maths, Chemistry, Engineering and a BA in psychology, Sociology and Philosophy. He has an eidetic memory, which means he can remember absolutely everything, has an IQ of 187 and can read 20,000 words per minute, making him very valuable to the team. The team are intimidated by his knowledge sometimes, but he is a very sweet guy. We know a lot about his personal life straight off the bat, which makes us like him even more. His Mum suffers from schizophrenia and is in a mental hospital, we often see Reid visiting her very often.
Jennifer Jerau (AJ COOK) - SSA Jerau, known as JJ is also the communication liaison, which means she has the hard job of choosing which cases to take on and which to pass up give press conferences and is often the one to sympathise most with victims' families. JJ is very likeable, as she is girly, yet tough. We don't find out much about JJ until around season 5, where she becomes pregnant and gets married, and we get to see her relationship blossom.
Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) - Garcia is the team's technical analyst, who I mentioned earlier is a very good friend with Morgan. She is basically a hacker, who the FBI traced and gave her a job due to her advanced technical skills. She is very bright and colourful personality, and is the one character who adds humour to the show sometimes as she is very erratic at times. She and Morgan have a close relationship, which at times makes you want them to fall in love with each other, but so far this has never happened, and probably never will. One of the best characters on the show.
There are a few other recurring characters such as Reid's Mum, JJ's Husband and The Chief, but I won't write much about them as they only really appear briefly in random episodes.
None of the actors in the show was very well known before it, they have appeared in a few films or odd TV appearances, but nothing major, yet they are all very talented. You connect with each character and their personality, and each actor plays their character perfectly. I wouldn't say I'd rather see anybody else paying them and if any of them decide to leave, and they bring in a replacement actor rather than a character I really think no matter who they bring in, even if it's someone well known or really talented, they would not be able to do the character a much justice as the original actor.
The best actor and one of the actors that does stand out is Matthew Grey Gubler. He is a brilliant actor and plays Reid perfectly. He is constantly praised each and every season by critics with how much better he is. He really does fit the part perfectly and really fits the character of Reid. Reid has a lot going on mentally, and I think it can only take a strong actor to actually play him, and nobody could do it better than Matthew Grey Gubler.
Each episode usually starts showing someone being killed in some way, and then the team get briefed by JJ, and fly out to where the crime takes place to meet with local police force's to find out more information. Each crime is very different, and as the show goes from season to season, you seem to learn what certain things mean, and you end up giving the killer your own profile! Before watching this, I knew there were different types of killers but the range of personalities and the lifestyles of people and the way they reflect their actions, is just so interesting to watch. They can tell by the way the person was hit what job the killer does. It is a very advanced job to do, which I personally would love has the SSA's really get into the minds of killers. I have watched DVD extras on the DVD's before who explain each episode and storyline is read over by SSA's from the BAU to make sure everything is correct and there are no mistakes as to how the team work, so the show really does do its homework.
Every season ends on a cliff-hanger, and they are very annoying as they really are gripping cliff-hangers that make you really not want to wait until the next season to find out what happens. I have cried so many times watching this when it comes to storylines involving the team, as we are introduced to each of them individually throughout the first season or two, and you end up really getting to know them and sympathise with them. This is down to such brilliant writing by the crew, as I have never watched a show where I like every character for a very different reason each. The storylines are so gripping also, that you find it hard not to turn over or miss an episode as you really want to find out that the killer is and if the profile was right, which it usually is.
There is also a lot of references throughout the seasons of infamous killers such as Ted Bundy. This happens when they come across a 'similar' killer and the characters will state facts about these killers and how they link with the one in the show. Again, this is a good thing on the writer's part, as it makes the show much more real.
Some episodes do get you, with me it is when they involve children. Of course, they work closely with the FBI, and these are cases that the FBI have to solve each and every day. They are never too graphic, but some people may need a strong stomach for some 'killing' scenes and pictures of victims etc, as they are quite realistic.
WHY I LIKE IT
It's different to other crime shows, as it focuses on the killer rather than the killing, and is probably the first crime drama to do this. If you think Without A Trace, Bones, CSI, these focus mainly on the crime and how it is worked out, whereas Criminal Minds is all about catching the killer.
I love how we are immediately able to get to know the characters on a personal level, some much after others, but we can sympathise with them all in some way as each season has featured a storyline which either links a member of the team or includes a member of the team. As I mentioned earlier, I have never come across a show yet where I like each character for their own different reasons.
I love how each season ends by gripping you and making you want to watch the next season, I'd be surprised if they ever lost viewers, as it always makes me want to watch the next season to see what happens. Each episode is interesting, and I have never yet watched a 'boring' episode as they are all so different. You may think how can they make so many episodes and have each killer different. I mentioned earlier how I thought there were a few reasons why people kills and what personality traits they have, but there are so many factors involved, it is truly interesting.
Another thing I really like about the show is the quotes. As each episode starts, one of the characters always says a quote by somebody famous, which links into that episode. These are usually inspiring and meaningful quotes, and they will finish the quote at the end of the episode. It is brilliant how they link in these famous quotes with the storyline, and makes you realise just how true these quotes are. It sets the base for the episode at the beginning and at the end it closes off the episode neatly.
I really would say this show has the best writer's, alongside Supernatural I have to say, but that is a different review! They really do do their homework in terms of the facts and personalities of the criminals. I think for a young guy to create such a brilliant and hit series on his very first project, just proves how much talent the show involves. Each season brings in more viewers and episodes smash previous records in terms of overall viewers and ratings, it is cinstantly outdoing itself with each season. It really is one of the best TV shows ever made. The talent, logic, storylines and viewability are all fantastic.
I really would recommend this show if you have never watched it, especially if you enjoy crime dramas. It is the first crime drama of its kind, coming completely from a different angle to shows prior to it; it is nothing like any other crime drama out there.
WHEN TO WATCH
When on TV, you can catch Criminal Minds on Sky Living on Friday's at 9pm. It currently repeats the seasons with 2 episodes a day at 5pm, but this would be useless at the minute as it is currently repeating season 6, so if you want to catch up, then I'd buy or rent the DVD's, the first season is £9 on Amazon marketplace. You can also watch it for free on watchseries.eu.
Criminal Minds is a police procedural drama that focuses on the workings of the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU for short). The team are based in Quantico, Virginia but often fly out to states across America in a bid to find the killers in question. The show is now in its 5th season which airs on CBS in the United States and Living in the UK and is expected to be renewed for a 6th season and there's also a spinoff in the works tentatively titled Minds 2.0.
Each episode begins with the team choosing which case to take on and can range from arsonists to serial killers to kidnappers. The team fly out to the location of the murders before visiting all of the crime scenes and looking into the victimology of each crime before composing a behavioural profile of the killer (or unsub as s/he's known which means unknown subject). Each profile, at the beginning, is like a wide net that shrinks as the team close in on their killer(s). A new addition to the later seasons (which began in season 4, if I'm correct) has been to show us who the killer is before the team work it out for themselves. It's a very clever trick and I have to admit I was worried it would take away from the show itself but it really hasn't; if anything, it makes it 100 times more intriguing.
The original cast of Criminal Minds was as such (Season One up to Season Two/beginning of Season Three): Jason Gideon played by Mandy Patinkin, Elle Greenaway played by Lola Glaudini, Aaron Hotchner played by Thomas Gibson, Derek Morgan played by Shemar Moore, Spencer Reid played by Matthew Gray Gubler, Jennifer Jaraeu (JJ) played by AJ Cook and Penelope Garcia played by Kirsten Vangsness.
The current cast now consists of (as of Season Two/Season Three - present): David Rossi played by Joe Mantegna, Aaron Hotchner played by Thomas Gibson, Derek Morgan played by Shemar Moore, Emily Prentiss played by Paget Brewster, Spencer Reid played by Matthew Gray Gubler, Jennifer Jaraeu (JJ) played by AJ Cook and Penelope Garcia played by Kirsten Vangsness.
Let's start with the two cast members who have now left Criminal Minds. Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) was the best profiler the BAU had and was also the Unit Chief before Hotchner took over. Gideon was thought to have suffered a nervous breakdown after sending 6 of his agents into a warehouse which ended in the death of them all. The reason for the exit of Gideon/Patinkin is because Patinkin told the media that he loathed violence on television and some of the scenes in Criminal Minds made him uncomfortable. He was subsequently written out of the show and replaced by David Rossi (Joe Mantegna). Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini) came from a family of cops - her dad was killed in the line of duty. However after being shot herself, Elle was quite unstable and came back to work far too quickly culminating in the shooting of a suspect and the handing in of her badge (which was not an admission of guilt, I may add). Elle was replaced by Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster).
Aaron Hotcher (Thomas Gibson) is the leader of the pack. He's the one everyone turns to whenever they're in need. He's had some troubles himself - notably the break up of his family - and more recently, found himself at the mercy of one of the suspects they were profiling. David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) came out of retirement to join the BAU and is usually the voice of reason within the group. His main reason for coming back is revealed as the show progresses and we also learn he likes to stay away from his home town of Long Island for reasons unknown until Season 5. Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) is the confident and assertive member of the BAU. He has a tendency to blow a fuse in pursuit of a suspect. Morgan has/had a secret in his past that comes back to haunt him during the first two seasons of the show. Dr Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) is a bit of a braniac (he graduated public school aged 12). In an episode of Criminal Minds, Spencer is kidnapped by an unsub and subsequently becomes addicted to painkillers for a while. Jennifer Jaraeu (AJ Cook) is the media liason for the BAU and often gives press conferences while the team are searching for an unsub. Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) is the second newest member of the group and for a while it seems she only got the job because of her family connections. She was also implicated in Chief Strauss's plans to get rid of Hotchner but decided not to go through with it. Finally we have Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) who is the computer technician at BAU. She usually stays in the office sending though files and records for the team when they're out on a job. She hates the fact that she works in a place of many dead bodies and brightens up her office with fun knick-knacks to make it a little easier to swallow.
And that's what really makes Criminal Minds the fantastic show it is: the cast. Even during season one, two and three with all of the changes being made and the newness of the show, it still managed to balance the different personalities of the characters. It's safe to say that the current cast balance each other perfectly and the chemistry between them all really is fantastic. The premise of a show can only take it so far and the fact the Criminal Minds cast is so strong is a credit to whomever it was that cast all of the roles. It's rare for me to watch a TV show and love all of the characters but with Criminal Minds I do as they're all so different and interesting. The only question mark I had was when Paget Brewster joined the cast as Emily Prentiss. I've only ever seen her in Friends and I really didn't like her (she cheated on Joey AND Chandler) but she's really grown on me and she's an integral part of the team. I would fear for the future of the show if any of the characters left as it would be difficult to replace any of them. I mean AJ Cook left for a while to go on maternity leave and it was weird without her there to be the media liason!
I must also credit the whole idea of the show as it truly is fantastic. Each episode is unique and none of the actions that lead us to the unsub seem forced. Whereas the CSI's seem to have gone down the route of predictability and unbelievability (I've actually given up on CSI & CSI: Miami - they just got too far-fetched), Criminal Minds sticks with it's formula and still manages to come up with new and interesting episode ideas. Most of the episodes are stand-alone episodes but every once in a while comes along a killer that's a bit harder to track than most. Or one that disappears every now and again before reappearing a season or so later. All of the season ending episodes end of cliffhangers (as most shows do!), too, to get you ready for the season ahead. It drives me insane but it definitely keeps me hooked.
Criminal Minds truly is one of the best American dramas on TV. It ranks very high on my list of favourite American TV shows and believe me, I watch a lot of American TV. To have a show that manages to get better and better as the seasons progress is fantastic and, even better, Criminal Minds has not yet jumped the shark. Something that can usually happen to a TV show particularly as the seasons rack up. I look forward to finishing season 5 and can't wait for season 6 as well as the Minds 2.0 spinoff!
Criminal Minds is an American series very similar to CSI but this one looks deeper into the criminals themselves than CSI does. It revolves around a team of FBI agents who are all criminal profilers. In each episode the team are usually called away to different cities in the USA to investigate a series of murders. The team look at the cases and profile the killer which leads them to finding out who the killer actually is.
The team is made up of some great and very different characters which makes the series much more interesting. There's Gideon, the very intelligent head of the group, Hotchner, who is constantly trying to balance work and family life, Morgan, the burly and confident young guy, Reid, the geeky genius, Prentiss, a female nerd and agent, JJ, the pretty one who deals with the media, and Garcia, a computer genius. Although all the characters are very different in every way, they all seem to fit together brilliantly and make a great team.
I prefer Criminal Minds to CSI as you find out much more about the killer and the reasons for them becoming a murderer in the first place. It looks into the killer's mind and is more about catching the killer through psychology rather than just from leads and evidence. The action and drama is just as tense as it is in CSI but I think this has an edge over CSI as it's more in depth and more involved.
It can get a little bit unrealistic though like CSI sometimes can, where the profilers end up doing the job of the police and actually catching the killer every time, which isn't supposed to be their job.
I love Criminal Minds and any CSI fan should give it a watch if you've never seen it before.
Criminal minds is another of those american crime dramas but with a difference. The characters are fantastic. The endearing ,geeky Dr Reid. The flirty relationship between Garcia and Derek Morgan. The personal aspects in the programme help you to relate whilst still using gripping and exciting storylines. Basically the programme is based around the FBI's behavioural analyisis unit and the crimes they help to solve, by profiling perpetrators of crimes, usually serial killers. Its always exciting, it keeps you guessing right to the end. I have fallen in love with the characters. The show often ties in the agents personal lives to the stories each episode which makes you want to watch the next one and ties each episode together but it is still easy to pick up if you begin watching it in the middle of a series. Definately worth a watch if you like american crime dramas like CSI.
As you will probably see from some of my reviews I love Crime Series, but my most favourite of them all is Criminal Minds. I love how the team all work together how you only get snippets of their personal lives and how they piece all the clues together in a very different way to any other police series. They actually focus on the criminal's mind (hence the title) rather than the crime and they try and figure out what sort of person would be behind this crime in order to find the suspect.
They are a team of profilers based in Virginia. They work for the FBI in the Behaviour Analysis Unit. Although they are based here they are so good at what they do they are called for all over the USA. They even have their own private jet!
When it first aired the program was focused around Gideon (Mandy Pantinkin) and his team and I really liked Gideon. After the third season started the actor asked to leave (due to creative differences and his dislike for some of the more violent scenes) and was replaced by David Rossi (Joe Mantegna). Now it took some getting used to not seeing Gideon but I am slowly getting there.
The other main characters are:
The very very clever Spencer (Matthew Gray Gubler) Dr Spencer Reid is a walking encyclopedia genius. He graduated from High School at just 12 and has many doctorates. His mother is a schizophrenic and in a mental hospital and Spencer worries that he may lose his mind the same way. He almost always does the geographical references and is often used for this dictionary mind.
Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) is a bit of a cold character to me and is definitely driven by his job. He was married and has a child which he mostly saw by videos being sent to him. He does try and balance work and home life but in his role within the team he couldn't really do both.
Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) is a loveable character and I just love the relationship he has with the woman in the office, Garcia, who he calls 'baby doll' they have a great banter. You can tell they have a great working relationship. Morgan had a tough upbringing, watching his father being shot. He was helped by a youth centre leader and he turned his life around. Although you later here it wasn't as clear cut as that and this man did some terrible things to Morgan.
Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau is the team's media link and also liaises with the local police at the time. She is not a profiler. She is engaged to a detective and has one child Henry who Garcia and Reid are godparents to.
Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) is also a great character. She is based in the office doing all the techno babble and hacking into all sorts of things to find background information. She is extremely quick at what she does and also the most jolly of the whole team although she hates what she comes across sometimes. Her personality brings a bit of light into the show.
Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster)replaced Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini) in the second season and is the daughter of an ambassador, first put there to be a mole and help get rid of Hotch but later she refuses. She seems to be much snobbier than the others and is fluent in a few languages (well they had to have one in there didn't they?)
Well you know from my opening line that I absolutely love this show. The characters all fit well together, the plots are great and so different to all the others. They can be a little harsh at times but these things do happen it saddens me to say. It gives you an insight into how profilers work and it really intriguing. I would say if you like CSI, Without a Trace, that sort of programme then you should definitely give this one a try, you won't regret it.
I love crime drama shows and Criminal Minds is one of my favourites. Criminal Minds is currently in it's 4th series.
Criminal Minds centres around a group of profilers at the BAU - Behavioural Analysis Unit in Quantico, USA. As profilers, their job is to look at a crime and find out as much about the criminal as they can They use this to then build a profile of that criminal to aid in their capture. In the show these profiles are often extremely detailed, stating the criminals age, ethnicity, job type, where they come from, mannerisms, how they may speak and interact with other people. Even though I know it's a made up show, it's still fascinating to watch the characters build up a profile.
The fact that Criminal Minds focuses on the criminal rather than the crime helps it to stand out from the many other crime dramas on tv.
FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent/Unit Chief Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner
Hotch is the leader of the BAU and is played by Thomas Gibson (Greg from Dharma and Greg). Throughout the first few series Hotch struggles to balance his demanding job with his life at home. He has a wife and young son who it is often mentioned he rarely sees. Hotch seems to bear the weight of the world on his shoulder and very rarely smiles during the four series Criminal Minds has been on tv. In most shows it would be difficult to like a character like that, however for Hotch it works. It seems to make him more believable as a character doing an incredibly difficult job and seeing the worst of people every day.
FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan is played by Shemar Moore. Before joining the BAU Agent Morgan worked in the bomb squad and this comes in handy during some of their cases. Morgan has a very affectionate relationship with FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia. He is often flirtacious with her when he phones her for information, frequently calling her 'baby girl'.
Derek Morgan's father was a police officer and was killed when Morgan was just a child. Becasue of this he started to turn to crime and ended up with a juvenile criminal record. This seems to make him more able to understand and want to help the juveniles that appear in the show.
Morgan is the tough one of the group and as a bonus he's not bad to look at!
FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid
Played by Matthew Gray Gubbler. Reid is my favourite character, he is so interesting. Reid is a genius, having graduated high school at the age of 12. He has PhDs in Maths, Chemistry and Engineering. He had a very troubled childhood - his mother suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and as a result his father left them. He was severely bullied at school. Reid also has an eidetic memory which means he can remember ridiculously large amounts of information. During the series he is shown scan reading pages of information in a matter of seconds and then being able to recall every detail. Reid is certainly the brains not the muscle of the team, at one point failing his weapons test. He seems quite socially awkward but that just makes him more endearing.
FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau
JJ is played by AJ Cook. JJ is not actually a profiler, instead she is the media liason. It is JJ who is nearly always seen making press conferences. It is also usually JJ who initially brings the case to the team, having received requests for help from local police agencies. AJ Cook took maternity leave at the beginning of series 4 but thankfully was back by the end of the series.
FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss
Played by Paget Brewster (who can also be seen playing Kathy in Friends). Emily Prentiss joined the BAU during the second series with the departure of Agent Elle Greenaway. I feel she is definitely a welcome addition. She is a very interesting character and has taken the show in some interesting directions. Prentiss is far tougher than I thought she would be and she has made strong bonds with the other characters, especially Morgan. This is important for the show as the characters often risk their lives for each other so their bonds need to be believable.
FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia
Played by Kirsten Vangsness. Garcia is the computer know-it-all of the team. She is based in a tiny little room surrounded by lots of computer screens. What she doesn't know about computers just isn't worth knowing! When the team travel on cases, she stays at her base keeping phone contact with them. She is who the team go to when they want any sort of information. She has a flirtacious relationship with Morgan and thinks of the team as her family. Her parents were killed by a drunk driver when she was 18, and as a result she does voluntary work counselling families of murder victims. Garcia's character often brings some much needed light relief during some tense episodes. Her little computer room is surrounded with colourful toys and teddies and she likes to joke with the rest of the team. We often see her getting very upset during cases especially when she thinks any of her 'family' are in danger.
FBI BAU Senior Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi
Agent Rossi is played by Joe Mantegna. Agent Rossi joined the team during season 3 after Jason Gideon left. At first I was sad that Gideon had left as I thought he was a very good character and couldn't imagine the show being the same without him. However, the casting people made a wise choice in Joe Mantegna as he has filled the void very well. His character has the same air of mystery that Gideon had. We can sense Rossi has a troubled past and that something in his career has really disturbed him. Various things are revealed during season 3 and 4, which I won't reveal here for risk of ruining it, but I'm sure there's much more to find out about him.
What I especially like about this show is that it has a good mix of weekly crime story as well as looking more at the team and their lives and backgrounds. I think finding out about the character's life is important as it helps make them more realistic and also makes us care more about them.
I like a lot of shows that deal with the police and how they catch murders, and Criminal Minds may just seem like another police drama, but it has it's own unique point of view: it's not about forensics, or bones, but instead looks at the psychological aspect of profiling.
As a psychology student this really appealled to me. It centres on a team of six behavioural profilers who each have they own area of speciality. To help the police solves crimes, they are called in to look at all the evidence and use behavioural profiling to determine what the suspect or 'unsub' as they are called in the show are like.
The first season of this was very good and opened up the doors to get to know all the characters and the cliffhanger ending really got me wanting more. From the moment i started watching this show i was hooked. Its interesting to see how the team solve the crimes by using psychology and behavioural techniques, but also lets you get an insight into each member of the team.
Some of the storylines are also very good. They deal with many different subject areas such as cults, family murders, psychopaths and many many more.
Season two in my opinion was very good and had very interesting and gripping storylines. It also saw the departure of one of the main characters and the introducting of a new member of the team, which allowed you get to know them. This season i think was the best.
Season three was also in its own way another very good season with yet another cast member change and more explosive storylines. I am very looking forward to season four which has just started and although it is slow at parts it is still very good.
I would definitely reccomend this entire show to anyone who likes police dramas and even if you don't like them then give it a try. It offers a new way of catching criminals from the norm, has intriging, gripping plots, and characters you want to like and know more about.
Criminal Minds is an American cop drama now in its fourth series in the UK. For those who have never seen the show, it follows an FBI Behavioural Analysis Unit ('BAU') team who are brought in by local sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies to solve violent crimes (usually, although not always, serial murders) by psychologically profiling, and thus identifying, the psycho from his/her patterns.
The team we follow was originally led by Jason 'Gideon' (Mandy Patinkin), one of the FBI's top profilers and an intriguing character who I really liked. Sadly he left the show at the start of the third series under the storyline of stress/guilt, and was replaced by David 'Rossi' (Joe Mantegna), a rather private and quiet individual who has a few unsolved crimes from his past eating away at him - as per usual with these kinds of shows. I haven't taken to this character as much as I did Gideon, but he's still interesting.
The team co-leader is Aaron 'Hotchner' (Thomas Gibson), a more cop-style character, and another profiler. The rest of the team consists of Derek 'Morgan' (Shemar Moore), your more macho (but thankfully not stupid) FBI guy who's nice eye-candy for us girls, Jennifer Jareau ('JJ'; A.J. Cook), who does all the press-related work, Emily 'Prentiss' (Paget Brewster), who doesn't have too many defining characteristics to be honest, and my favourite character Dr. Spencer 'Reid' (Matthew Gray Gubler), a slightly socially inept genius with an IQ off the scale and a photographic memory full of every fact you could ever need (handily for his team). Reid could easily have come across as an annoying know-it-all but luckily is very non-judgemental and self-effacing enough to be a sweet and likeable character. Working with the team is Penelope 'Garcia' (Kirsten Vangsness), a kooky IT expert at Quantico who used to be a hacker, and who now helps nail-down the killers through their bank/hospital/work records, email or IP addresses, security camera footage etc. Different episodes start to reveal a bit more information on the background history and mental make-up of these team members, so that you come to feel you really know them and their personal foibles.
Each episode is an hour long and is a complete story in itself. The format usually starts with footage of a brutal crime being committed, followed by the BAU being called in by the locals (who can't cope, or want experts) and reviewing all the evidence. Often a couple more murders may be committed before they finally work out 'who dunnit' using their profiling capabilities to narrow the field of suspects to a likely few, who they can then check out more thoroughly, and eventually to the actual killer. Finally they catch the killer and justice is served - usually!
I personally really enjoy Criminal Minds; it's one of my favourite shows and I've avidly followed all of the series so far. The plots are usually in-depth and convoluted, keeping you guessing along with the team who the likely criminal is. I love the psychological analysis side of things although, as with CSI's evidence findings and deductions, this can get a little bit far-fetched at times. Usually the guilty party is not obvious and the twists come as a surprise, but I have found the first few episodes of this new series (4) a little bit predictable. Hopefully, this will iron itself out and this series will be as absorbing as its predecessors.
Criminal Minds is a little known show in the UK, but is one of the flag ship shows in America right now and is, in my opinion, currently the best show on TV. The show centres around the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit, better known as the BAU in the show and follows them around the world as they try, and usually suceed to capture the greatest criminal minds out there by studying behavioural patterns rather than the preictable use of DNA that is so evident in CSI and such likes. The blend of characters is absoultely spot on for all viewers and the way the stories unfold varies greatly from week to week. We learn more about the characters as each episode unfolds but they tend to focus on one at a time. The range of criminals in the episodes is vast and the way the team go about finding them is breathtaking to watch. Sometimes, the killer is even already caught and they have to get him/her to confess. Compelling stuff.
CBS and ABC produce the US crime drama Criminal Minds in association with the Mark Gordon Company. And what an amazing job they do too! I love it. The show follows the agents of the Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU), department of the FBI apprehend some of the worst criminals. In the UK, Criminal Minds is aired on Living TV, Friday at 9pm.The show is set at Quantico, Virginia and follows the FBI agents around the country, solving the crimes by analysing the unsubs behaviour.
Aaron Hotchner - Thomas Gibson: Hotch is the person in charge of the BAU. He is probably the character who you know least about, despite him be of great importance in the team. He is a very private agent who is so passionate about his work that he tends to, unintentionally, neglect his wife and son. At one point in the show, he begins to put his family first, handing in a transfer request, however, he stays against her wishes and unfortunately loses them as they move away. I really like Hotch and could not imagine the show without him. He is somewhat detached and solitary; however he creates a perfect balance as there are bigger characters in the team.
David Rossi - Joe Mantegna: David Rossi replaced Gideon after Patinkin requested to be released from his role. Rossi joins the BAU despite having retired to lecture. It is only a few episodes after his introduction in the instalment called 'Birthright' that you really get an insight into David Rossi and the type of person that he is. I'll be totally honest, I didn't really want to give Rossi a chance because I absolutely loved Gideon, however he has now settled into the team and I quite like him, although he's never going to be my favourite.
Derek Morgan - Shemar Moore: Morgan is drop dead gorgeous. He is also self-assured and can sometimes come across as being forceful, but is this not why he is so fantastic. He is definitely a favourite character of mine, as he has made something of his life despite coming from a tough background. He takes the opportunities that are given to him. He banter with Garcia is the relationship that you want in your own life. He focuses greatly on the unsub's body language in the show. To be honest I would watch the show, just to watch him.
Spencer Reid - Matthew Gray Gubler: I would love to have this guy's brain. He has a photographic memory and remembers everything. Reid is a doctor who is so bright, he graduated aged 12! You learn throughout the series that he was bullied as a child and this only makes you warm to him more. He has been through extreme lows with some of the unsubs that he deals with, leading him to get an addiction to drugs at one point.
Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau - AJ Cook: JJ is the BAU's connection to the media and other police departments they have to liaise with. We know that she thoroughly enjoys the job, as she turns down the opportunity to become an agent. She is a very pretty, sweet character who you can't help but like. At the end of the third series, you are so pleased for her when you find out she is pregnant with the police detective she is having a relationship with baby.
Emily Prentiss - Paget Brewster: Prentiss is the replacement for Elle after she goes off the rails. She is from an extremely privileged background and the daughter of an ambassador. Nonetheless, she is hardworking and passionate about her job. She refuses to sacrifice Hotch's career and climb the career ladder, and I respect her character a lot for that. Not one of my favourite characters, but essential to the team.
Penelope Garcia -Kirsten Vangsness: Along with Morgan, another of my favourite characters. She makes some of the episodes for me. Garcia was recruited to the FBI after being caught as an internet hacker. She chose the alternative to become a computer technician and work with them, rather than go to prison. She is eccentric and kind and it is her chemistry with Morgan that works so well. I love the way she calls him Sweet Cheeks! Sometimes I think that her job is one of the hardest, as although she doesn't have to attend the crime scenes, the images and footage she views is horrendous. What is good about her character, is that she doesn't hide the fact that she hates the abhorrent images she sees, she is a person.
Former Characters (Not forgotten)
Jason Gideon - Mandy Patinkin: Gideon was the wise, father-figure within the BAU. He had such a wealth of experience, that cracking cases that they were solving often came down to him. He helps all of the team through their struggles and breakdowns. He leaves the BAU by leaving a letter for Spencer Reid, ultimately showing how fantastic a profiler he was, by knowing that he would turn up to look for him. I adored Gideon, and was gutted when he left. I'm still holding out hope that he'll return.
Elle Greenaway - Lola Glaudini: Elle's expertise lay in sex offences. I think that Elle was the best character to relate to; a normal, hardworking BAU officer. She was a pretty key character in Criminal Minds in the first two series, particularly as she was shot in one of the episodes. It was after this, the downhill slope of Elle's character began. I even, towards the end of her role in the show, started to dislike her, in particular when she sought revenge on a serial rapist and killed him. I believe her exit was slightly delayed.
In my opinion, Criminal Minds is totally unlike any other programme that is on telly. If you enjoy watching TV shows such as Bones or CSI the chances are you will love Criminal Minds. I love the fact that unlike other crime programmes, it centres predominantly around behaviour of the unsub. If you've studied criminal psychology at all, this is a great show to watch and enjoy. I can't even narrow down a favourite episode so my advice is to watch them all! The only possible negative about this show is that some episodes are particularly hard to watch, but would the show be as good if the storylines weren't so awful... I don't think so. Watch it yourself and make your own mind up. And let me know if you agree?
I have to make up with my reviews, I think I mess up my reviews and topic. So I have to do some catching up and be sensible now, to start of I will write something about a show that I'm once crazy about. This is Criminal Minds.
The Show: Criminal Minds
The series is about a FBI special team called Behavioral Analysis Unit or BAU ,the crimes that they solve is usually serial killings Mostly they study about the serial killers pattern of killing, behavior and there minds, how they think, what they feel and the serial killers lifestyle.Profiling is what they usually do, the team is not just assigned in one place they go in different parts of the U.S to solve crimes. The show is on CBS.
Agent Hotch or Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner
The character is played by Thomas Gibson, he is the leader of the group. His trying to balance his career and his family life, but later on he has to sacrifice one to have the other one. His character is describe as a cool headed and a soft spoken chief of the group.
Agent Jason Gideon
His the prime profiler of the team, since his the senior among the group he knows how to handle everything, the psychological aspect of there job, the nightmares, and the effect of there jobs to them as a person. The character is played by Mandy Patinkin, like Agent Hotch, he too is very soft spoken but because his the senior in the group his more wiser than them.
Agent Derek Morgan
His the black macho agent of the team, when he was young he lost his father and struggled when growing. He was once involved in a crime but later on cleared his name. Shemar Moore played this character, Morgan has been abused by a man who helped him. His the confident agent in the group.
Agent Dr. Spencer Reid
A simple description, his the genius in the team. He always finds answer in almost everything, he has a memory that can memorize large amount of information. Because his a nerd, he has experience being bullied, he grow up reading books. His mother was sent to a mental institution but he always send letters to her for the reason of not visiting her frequently. Agent Reid is the puzzle solver of the team, also afraid that he might inherit her mothers illness.
The technical support of the team, she is also consider a genius,but not like Agent Reid she is a computer genius. She always have contact with Agent Morgan because his the one always doing inquiries about the unsub's identity. She has all the high tech computer gadgets,all the access to public or even confidential government files. She's just sitting in her office but she can see the world.
Agent Jennifer Jareau
The pretty blond media relations officer of the team. Basically he handles press conferences, he wants to be the member of the team but Agent Hotch told her to take some classes. The role is played by AJ Cook
Agent Elle Greenaway
The lady agent of the team,she was assigned in sexual offense crime. She was a great agent but later on became a criminal as well, because of a tragedy involving her life and being abused by a killer.
The first time that I saw the series primer, I was instantly got interested with the show. With its tittle I was really got hook, I was really looking for a show that is like crime puzzle solving show. Yeah CSI is there but this show is basically about crimes that happens recently. While Criminal Minds is about profiling, getting the unsub's identity and the serial killers pattern of killings. As the tittle said, its about the minds of the criminals,there behavior and about serial killings
I like to be Agent Reid and Garcia, I like Agent Reid because his like the funny character in the group. His genius but his looks is way out to be an agent. Garcia obviously because she has all the computer gadgets and all the access in everything and get the result in just a minute. The job is very critical because she has to be very fast and very accurate specially with location and the unsub's (unsub is short for unidentified subject) identity.
As I became busy with things I haven't watched some of its episode. Not like before I really wait for Friday night to watched the show and be able to see every episode. The last time I saw it was, Elle killed a serial rapist because she became the reason why the mission failed, so she can't take the situation of letting the rapist go. She killed the rapist but she got out of the crime and told the police that it was a self defense.
I read on the net that there are some changes and added characters in season 4 of the series.The story also is not just about the crime that they solve anymore, its also about the agents personal life and struggled as an agent.I haven't watched it but I'm looking forward to see it again.
Criminal Minds is an above average American TV drama. In style it is similar to shows like CSI and Without a Trace and in this show the focus is on the FBI Behavoural Analysis Unit which exists in ral life and is used to track down serial killers as they are skilled at building profiles of the killers.
There have been a number of changes to the cast over the series however the main characters are played by Joe Mantegna and Thomas Gibson as two of the main special agents however there are a number of others who make up the team and each brings a different personality and role to the show.
What I like about this show is that while there are some self contained stories in some episodes there are also cases that carry over and provide a theme throughout, I like the fact that it is not always a nicely packaged one hour show where everything is worked out in that time. he action is fast paced and while like every US drama most of the characters look like fashion models of either persuasion the performances are good and the plot action works well.
The other factor I like is that the focus is very much on the criminal and this gives the show a nice slant that makes it a little different to other such dramas. This is not something I watch religousley although I did watch quite a few shows in a row but it is good entertainment.
Personally, I initially overlooked Criminal Minds as I am such a fan of CSI; having grown accustomed to a forensically driven drama, I didn't really have a lot of interest in another profiler show. However, I am eternally grateful that my younger sister continuously hounded me to give this show a chance. Now I have to warn you, if like me you find the show a little overly scripted and directed (how rehersed does it look when they all say their piece in perfect synchronised order when giving the local PD a profile..!) and sometimes find amusement by guessing who the famous quote will come from (personally, I'm still waiting for "Homer Simpson once said: 'D'oh'") this will take a few episodes to get over. But bare with it, because this show has what so many before it have lacked; thorough and interesting character development. The cases are interesting and varied enough, and there are spine-chilling, edge of your seat moments in abundance, but it's the characters themselves that really push this show beyond the boundaries of "just another run of the mill profiler drama".
3 word review: Grower, keeper, winner!
What is Criminal Minds?
Criminal Minds is a procedural drama, maybe a bit like the likes of Bones, Without a Trace or CSI but in most people's opinion it's a whole different show on its own. The show premiered in September 22nd 2005 on CBS, the show is based on the BAU or of the FBI, Criminal Minds follows the lives of these different 'profiler's' and the criminals they have to catch day in a day out.
The jobs of the people in the BAU or Behavioural Analysis Unit, is to study criminals minds or watch the behaviour of a certain person to study and analyse if they have anything they are hiding.
Why is it different to CSI?
CSI or any other procedural shows like that, focus on the actual crime itself. They go into depth on how the murder has taken place, the finger prints etc. However Criminal Minds, like the name suggests focuses more on the criminals, this helps the profilers come up with a profile of the criminal, which helps them find them quicker.
I think one of the greatest things about the show is the quote said at the start of every episode and at the end of every episode. Each quote has a particular meaning to each episode and I think this is a great credit to the writers. Quotes do have a way of making an episode in my opinion; it really sets the base for the episode.
Who is in the show?
An insight into the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit:
SSA Jason Gideon
Played by Mandy Patinkin: He was the boss, very very stoic, even more so than Hotchner. He is the help of the group, when the other's have breakdowns he's there to help. He began to feel as the BAU was taking over his life, so he left.
Unit Chief Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner
Played by Thomas Gibson: Hotch is my least favourite character, he himself seems to be very stoic and I know this is how the writers have wrote him but you just don't seem to feel any connection to him like you do the other agents.
I've watched a few episodes of Dharma & Greg before I watched Criminal Minds and have to say I didn't make the connection. He looks so much younger and cuter. It's amazing what a smile on a character can do.
SSA Derek Morgan
Played By Shemar Moore: This man is gorgeous, a god if you will. Just joking. You don't know much about him, you know he grew up in a tough neighbourhood and had a bad childhood, and previously was in the bomb squad unit until he joined the BAU as a profiler. Watching him walk around in a Kevlar vest is good enough reason to watch the episode ladies.
SSA Emily Prentiss
Played By Paget Brewster: Emily is new to the group, but I think she fits in perfectly. Much better than Elle, who just peeved me off a little. Emily had a 'silver spoon' kind of background as her mother is the Ambassador.
I was amazed when I was looking through her biography to find out she was actually in friends. Yup, she played Kathy who had a relationship with both Chandler and Joey in season 3 I think it was.
SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jereau
Played by AJ Cook: She is the media liason, so she is the go between the team and the outside world. Not much is known about JJ, she's simply the nice one on the team. She isn't a profiler like the rest of the group, but her boss Hotch believes she could be.
The only other thing I knew her in was her role in Tru Calling.
SSA Spencer Reid
Played by Matthew Gray Gubler: As the youngest agent on the team, this genius who has an IQ of 187 is the know it all. His intelligence sometimes makes him an outcast but also helps the case a lot.
SSA David Rossi
Played by Joe Mantegna: I don't know much about this character as he is relatively new.
SSA Tech Analysis Penelope Garcia
Played by Kirsten Vangsness: She started off on the FBI's hackers list, but was hired due to her skills. She's pretty cool character, she makes the team seem human, especially her chemistry with Morgan.
SSA Elle Greenway
Played by Lola Glaudini: Didn't really relate to this character at all, I didn't really even notice when she left. Emily Prentiss is her replacement and I think she does a much better job.
This is probably one of the most common used phrases by the characters. It means unknown subject.
The Opening Credits
The opening credits feature mug shots of real life serial killers and mass murders, the likes of Theodore Kaczynski, Richard Ramirez, Charles Mason and John Wayne Gacy are shown in the opening credits.
I think to watch this show you do need a strong stomach, I watched an episode last night and the reality of the storyline made me feel ill. It does delve into things that maybe have happened before; the show is very realistic, which makes it even more frightening to start with.
The episodes to look out for in my opinion are the one with the two brothers who let there victims out into the woods and hunt them down for fun. It's a very good episode and I can watch it again and again. The Big Game and Revelations in Season 2 are also good episodes; see if you can see for yourself who the serial killer is. I was amazed to say the least.
I think this show is fantastic; it's got everything needed for a procedural show.
They are showing season 3 on living tv at the moment, be prepared for some amazing episodes. :-)
Thanks for reading