Friday, September 24, 2010

Misc. Reviews- Criminal Minds Season 5

So this past week was the Season 6 premier of Criminal Minds....well actually it was more like the finale of Season 5. I do not understand why they decided to play the second half of Season 5's final episode to kick start Season 6. The episode wasn't all the great in the first half and I'm sure most people forgot what happened four months later when they finally got to see the second half. What a let down. This finale/premier was so lame, it made me forget why I love this show so much. Season 4's finale was done well because they were able to wrap up the case in two episodes but still left a cliffhanger that would go into Season 5 AND it was an incredible episode. To tell you the truth, all of Season 5 has just been a big let down for me. My review will go over why I think Criminal Minds is a great show and why I think Season 5 fell short.

Among the mist of a whole heap of Season premiers this past week, the only one I was looking forward to was Criminal Minds. This is probably the only show I've ever kept up with on T.V. When it comes to T.V. shows, I typically wait for the DVD set to be released, and then I snuggle in my bed and rot for the next four days. Criminal Minds actually makes me feel eager each week to see it, so I make sure my 9:00 hour every Wednesday night is open. Anyways, if you're not familiar, here's what the show is about in a nutshell. Criminal Minds isn't your everyday police crime drama on T.V. Unlike shows like Law & Order or CSI, the show doesn't focus on one particular crime itself, but rather on one criminal committing a series of crimes; so yeah, it's a show about serial killers. The team that the show centers around is a group of FBI profilers who have a almost god-like knowledge on human behavior. Together, they observe acts committed by the "unsub," as they call it, and compile a "profile" based off of these observations. The team uses this profile to determine the unsub's physical and mental characteristics in order to determine what their next move might be.

One of the reasons I love this show so much is all of the dark, disturbing content it does not shy away from. For a major television network like CBS, it doesn't seem likely for it to take on a show like this; I mean, watching a show with axe murders and cannibals isn't really mainstream. Think of every single serial killer story you know of, real or fake. Think of Saw, Hannibal, Changeling. Whatever you think of, there's probably a CM episode that is very similar to it. Not every episode revolves around a serial killer though; sometimes they throw terrorists, kidnappers, or religious fanatics into the mix but no worries, it's still as good as the Hacky McHack episodes. I could go on and on all day about individual unsubs that were so creepy and terrifying that they gave me nightmares for days, but I'll try to keep this as short as possible so I don't bore you to death. In case you were wondering, my favorite unsub was Tobias Hankle.

I'd say, probably the strongest muscle this show has is it's cast. The ensemble in this show is stupendous! The characters are all very likeable, each with their own unique traits, and their interaction with each other is even better- almost like a family. The team is the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and it consists of seven team members. First there’s FBI Unit Chief Aaron Hotcher, better known as Hotch, who’s an uber serious, work obsessive guy who cares dearly for his team. Then there’s second in command SSA David Rossi, who honestly, is my least favorite and I think most boring character. He replaced the legendary profiler Jason Gideon, who was much like the father of the team, back in Season 3 much to my much disappointment. Then there’s SSA Derek Morgan, the smoking hot hottie who does all the man handling on the team, SSA Dr. Spencer Reid, the adorable genius kid on the team, and SSA Emily Prentiss, the only woman profiler on the team who’s adept in several languages. The other two team members are in fact not profilers but the team’s Media Liaison, Jennifer Jareau, or JJ, and the team’s Technician, Penelope Garcia, a quirky, fun loving hacker girl. I love the interaction the team has with one another especially the platonic, flirtatious relationship Morgan has with Garcia and his big brotherly relationship with Reid. My favorite episodes tend to be ones where the case gets personal with one of the team members because these tend to show how far their colleagues will go to help them and the amount of love and devotion they have for one another.

This brings me to my first point regarding the let down of Season 5. The Season started off with some good stuff. The end of Season 4 left off with Hotch being cornered by The Reaper in his apartment. The Reaper is a serial killer in Boston who went off the grid awhile back but came back and developed some sort of obsession with Hotch. Anyways, without getting into details, The Reaper ends up stabbing Hotch, throwing him in a hospital, then haunting him for the next few episodes. Season 5’s episode “100” (titled for being the 100th episode) is when the shit finally goes down between Hotch and the Reaper and it’s a nail biting episode! Whoo wee! So what now? We’ll, everything goes kind of downhill from there. Truth be told, after episode 100, it seemed like all the personality was drained out the characters; like the show shifted positions and focused not on them anymore but on the cases. It’s not like the series has never done this before, but the problem is, the cases and unsubs were boring in this season! None of the serial killers were very interesting. I feel like the show has hit this point where the writers have thought of any and every type of serial killer there is and now they can’t come up with any good material. One episode, for example, was about some financial con-man who was doing away with some of his “clients” because they were catching on to his sketchiness. The whole thing reminded me of something my mom would like to watch on CSI Miami or something. I don’t care about idiotic con-men! I want to see Dexter out there saran-wrapping people and cutting them! Blah, and that unsub in the Season finale. Tim Curry plays the unsub who breaks into people’s home during blackouts and rapes and murders them. He does this because his mom was a hooker and it disturbed him as a child. Okay seriously guys, can you get any less creative than that, especially for a whole TV show that’s about serial killers and on top of that, it’s the season finale?? Oh and the actors too in the finale! What’s wrong? It’s like everything was being forced out of them. Just seemed so odd.

I’m just curious now on what the future holds for this series. You may have heard word that the show’s producers are making some changes regarding the female cast in the show. A.J. Cook, aka JJ’s contract wasn’t picked up for Season 6 so we won’t be seeing her anymore. I think this was done because the show’s producers felt she was the weakest and least liked character on the show. In all honesty, JJ’s character is the weakest and most uninteresting one on the show, but seeing that she’s just the team’s media liaison, I don’t think it really matters. I’d rather keep her character then introduce a new one! I don’t want this tight knit family to change! The second change is regarding Emily. Apparently her episode numbers are being cut! Boohoo! I love Emily! It’s hard to find a female character on a crime show that is written well and Emily is one of those few! Why, why are they doing this?? And now a spin off is coming and as I understand it, Garcia will be the Technician for this other team as well. Mehhhmehhhhh! I don’t want no spin off!! I feel like the show is just becoming more and more commercial. Now I’m just scuuurd to see this new female cast member. Please don’t make her some hot chick who’s a total bitch with a IQ of 200 and a black belt in Tae Kwon Doe. I see too many of those in Hollywood films. Oh, and word in the wind is Justin Beiber may be coming on the show......I'll stop right there (and I'm being serious). Nevertheless, with the show’s previous track record, I still think it’s one of the greatest shows on television right now.

Final Score- 9/10

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