Newest Review: ... 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... more
~Into The Mind Of The Criminal~
Member Name: StazKilly
Advantages: Great characters, actors and storylines, keeps you gripped each episode and season
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.
Summary: Brilliant show not to be missed