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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From My Watchlist --Criminal Minds

News of previous series item: Glee Season 1 ends with the Clubbers going to Regionals. Slot will be replaced by Ugly Betty Final Season. Now for the topic on hand.

Criminal Minds is an FBI police procedural crime drama, that deals with the elite Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) of the FBI, based in Virginia. Their job is to analyse the psychological status of criminals to determine their next exploit and eventually facilitate their arrest. However, many cases have had twisted outcomes, surprising to both sides of the television screen, which leave no room for the offender(s) to be brought to justice.
Once again, I shall not go into details of character and plot, as it is available on http://www.starworld.in/shows.aspx?sid=54.
The show is fast-paced, and they usually have very less time to correctly identify and profile the Unknown Subject or 'UNSUB'; more so because most of their cases deal with extreme crimes which are intellectually challenging to solve. Though a lot of the show consists of fast-paced reasoning in rooms full of white boards and paper, there is enough action and SWAT break-ins to keep the action-loving viewer at the edge of the seat. The out-of-the-box idea, of portraying the psychological analysts of crime, itself is a huge quality of the show. As the wikipedia page puts it, it's specialty is in 'focusing on the criminal rather than the crime itself.'
Episodes usually begin with a preview of the crime or its effects, usually without revealing much information; or with a Virginia HQ scene where they are alerted about the case. Alternately, sometimes the agents going about their daily lives get news of them being called in. Usually after this they are shown in the team's jet or cars, travelling to the crime scene. Each episode typically begins and ends with a saying relevant to the case. The cases, being psychologically intense, are often high on emotion for both the team and the viewers.
Though every episode can be treated as a stand-alone case, a timeline runs in the background, with people coming and going, and the lives of the agents changing. Some intermittent episodes or parts are dedicated to situations in their lives, and these show forth the individual sides of the agents. Sometimes difficult personal situations run for a long time in the background, even involving the team at times, as in the case of Agent Hotchner's enmity with Foyet that leads to his stabbing and his wife's murder; finally Foyet is killed by Hotchner, in a dramatic ending to the murder episode. On the whole, it is fun to follow the workings and lives of the team.
The agents are all portrayed as quick, talented and witty, and the camaraderie within the team is enjoyable. The games and jokes of relaxed moments add to the flavour of the show. There are emotional moments after a success, when they talk about the consequences of their work, and come out of their professional seriousness to look at the last case emotionally and philosophically; and when they receive gratitude from all those benefited by their work.
I was introduced to the show in its fifth season, but I fell in instant love with it, and it was not only about my general love for crime drama. I love the intellectual challenge, the action, the emotion, and the people in the BAU--all of them. I would recommend it to all lovers of crime drama, wit and excitement, as until the screen blacks out after the end of the episode, I'm sure you won't be able to think of anything else. The ending will surely serve to leave a strong mark on your thinking side, and you will ponder over its relevance in real life for a long time after the show, just as I did.
The Season 5 2h finale airs on Star World @ 10 pm IST. The slot will be replaced by another crime drama, the Emmy-nominated Bones Season 5.
A/N: This time I took a more systematic view of the topic, with less campaigning for it; partly because I didn't watch it from scratch, and also as this genre enjoys a bigger fan base.

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