Monday, September 03, 2007

CRIMINAL MINDS FANATIC'S QUESTION OF THE DAY.


Criminal Minds: Sherlockette started a wonderful discussion about the level of violence on Criminal Minds on the Criminal Minds Fanatic Message Board and Nebula has also discussed it on her wonderful Lifejournal. What's your opinion? Is there too much violence on Criminal Minds? Is the violence shown necessary? Are we seeing more brains or brawn?

55 comments:

jen said...

I don't think that CM shows too much violence at all. The crimes are of a violent nature and we have seen death and rape and such but very little of the gore you could expect on another show.

anne said...

I would love it if we never saw anymore rabid fang snarling dogs wanting to eat JJ again but violence in general is tame on Criminal Minds. People have to die but they don't make us sit and watch the blood pool. We did not see bits of Frank being washed off of the train after he jumped infront of it.

katie said...

I think the question is being asked because of the interview Mandy gave in Monte Carlo which people are now saying was the reason he left the show which is just plain lame.

No. I do not think the show is too violent. The crimes that have been commited are violent but that is to be expected. The show is about profilers solving crimes and finding unsubs. It isn't a show about finding lost bunny rabbits. They use their experience and profiling skills and guns are always a last resort for them when confronted with a looney.

tan said...

There are scenes that I have to close my eyes for because I just don't want to look but as a whole I think CM has a whole lot less guts and gore than most crime shows. I like the balance they have found. Good job.

annie said...

I've never felt that anything on the show was put into an episode for shock value. I really feel that way with lots of other shows. I think all the CSI shows have more violence in them.

lynda said...

I was more upset with the drug storyline than any of the violent scenes on the show.

julie said...

Well some of the crimes are chillingly frightening. I do think that. I think Ashes scared me and Derailed when the guy killed the crazy unsub. Somebody's Watching scared the crap out of me. I mean there is violence. Lots of it. It is dark story matter. I like watching them use their minds to solve the crimes so I guess I must not mind the violence too much.

cory said...

I think the level is just perfect. It hardly has any violence at all. We hear about the crimes most of the time and see a pic or two.

simone said...

Real profilers deal with cases like these everyday and I think what they see would not even be allowed on the tele.

shades said...

I get more chilled by what they don't show than by what they do show. They let us imagine so much and my mind knows where they are taking us and I freak out myself. I like how the writers do that to us. They take it just so far and expect that we will know the level of grossness the crime was, if that makes the slightest bit of sense.

beth said...

It is a very dark show. I love it but the crimes are horrible and it could have been very depressing to someone delicate like Mandy.

heather said...

Brains solve the crimes and help find the unsubs for our team. They aren't big on guns and they don't go to anything close to the extreme showing us the yuk factor of the crime itself. I wasn't thrilled with kids being burned alive on the show but they showed it only up to a point and then moved on. It is dark yeah but crime is dark.

celeste said...

I have no problem with the violence level on the show.

angelninjagirl said...

There are moments when I've cringed or looked away, but I've seen worse in other shows. As Ed stated before, what they show is tame to the crimes in their "red" book that they use for inspiration. I think that majority of the time we see more brains and them figuring out the crime than the actual crime.

I agree with Anne, though, no more rapid dogs please! :)

Rach

aimee said...

I agree with Anne and Angel...NO more dogs trying to eat peeps on the show.

They use their brains but sometimes they need to use their guns. I don't think they overdue it with shooting perps. The violent nature of the crimes they are investigating has to be shown to some point to show the enormity of the situation.

I think they balance act very well. Our writers are the best.

merlin's friend said...

I'd be lying if I said that the darkness didn't sometimes get to me. Some of the episodes have been really hard to watch. I love the show. It is one of my favorites but the crimes against kids really bother me. I don't blame the show. I know that it is just my own hot button. I think that this show is way tamer than almost all the other crime based shows on the air today.

kara said...

I love Criminal Minds and one of the reasons is because they are so careful about the violence quotient.

bobbie said...

The dog scenes are definately scary as hell. I almost came out of my skin when J.J. had to face down with those dogs in the barn. That was some kind of scare. I agree with everyone who said that we have had enough dogs. I hardly notice the blood, guts and killing on the show. I don't think it is the focal point of any of the episodes.

nicole said...

Perfectly balanced in my opinion. My love for the show is all about watching them piece it all together to stop another crime and stop the unsub. I love watching them use all their individual talents to get the job done.

debbie said...

Criminal Minds is dark but not violent. There is a difference. I'm sitting on pins and needles for season 3 to start.

courtney said...

Violent crimes have to be shown. The FBI BAU in real life handles very violent crimes. I think Ed and company really hint more than show the truest horror of the crime.

Anonymous said...

The violence is pretty much masked in the scenes where they show the brutality. Natural Born Killers, for example, showed a bad head double, but only showed the torture when Parada was talking. He pulled out those teeth, but all we saw were the teeth already on a tray. So it wasn't a total Marathon Man ripoff.

For me, the ep with the crazy guy who owned a slaughter house and made the woman go through the buliding was the worst and also the reason I do not watch SAW or those kind of movies.

LOCILOCO

blaire said...

I agree that they mask most of it. I remember the look of horror in the eyes of the victims the most when I am watching an episode. You can look in their faces and know just how bad it was. The terror and fear they express in their eyes fills in many of the blanks.

emma said...

I can't help but laugh when my friends call the show violent. I don't see it at all. There are so many shows on right now that go out of their way to show us the carnage of crime but our show does just the opposite. They show us as little as possible.

parker said...

Reid has shot a few people but never without a great reason like saving a life.

rayna said...

CM is a show about using your mind to solve the mystery and not using brute force or wasted violence.

michael said...

Rape, arson, murder, serial killers, etc. What do people expect from a show that revolves around profilers dealing with those topics? Mandy using the darkness of the show to excuse his leaving the show during a contract term is at best laughable though I doubt anyone involved in the production of the show finds it funny.

Anonymous said...

"Ashes & Dust" was as bad as it can get in my humble opinion. What could have been worse than to see whole families reduced to crispy critters and even then we really did not see that. We saw gasoline being poured on a car with a dad and kids in it. We saw the sheer horror beyond any words that could have been spoken on their innocent faces. Then the scene ended with their screams. Arson happens and it is not a pretty scene at all. I think Andrew Wilder went out of his way, brilliantly, to show us the horror of what arson is without making us really watch it. He used our minds instead of his own words. The show is a showcase for the worst in humanity and the best in writing. I applaud all the writers for their sensitivity and their brilliance. The show is great.

kimmie said...

No. I do not think their is too much violence or even darkness on the show. It is perfect. Come on Sept. 26th!

stephanie said...

The show has heightened my awareness of being careful of my personal space. I watch the people around me more than I used to which is a good thing. I am more careful in parking garages and locking my car doors. Stuff I probably did not do enough of before I started watching the show. I think more now and that comes from watching a show that is based around thinking and from seeing the real life situations that the bau deals with in the episodes.

joshua said...

One episode of CSI Miami has more violence in it than a season of Criminal Minds.

david said...

I think the level of violence on the show is really low. I don't think they try to get us with the same shock system lots of shows use. It never seems like a guts and blood show to me. I like the show and how they show us the incredible mental challenge faced by the bau members.

allie said...

I feel that in the majority of the episodes what we are watching is the aftermath of the crime and the efforts of the profilers to find the unsub before he/she commits another crime. I think we deal much more with the psychology of crime than the actual blood and guts of the crimes themselves. There is angst all over the place. The chase of the profilers, the suffering of victims and the mental history of the unsubs. That is a lot of angst but in terms of actual violence there is very little of it. We are sometimes shown enormous amounts of fear and suffering and that is not always easy to watch but it just may be relative to how much is too much for each viewer. What might exceed my personal tolerance level may be perfectly fine for another person. Our society in general has become very used to watching crime on the news, on tv and in the movies. I'm not sure of how much is too much anymore. I think at this point it is a matter for personal reflection and decision. Criminal Minds handles the violence and angst level very well in my opinion but like everyone else I do close my eyes or turn away once in awhile. Human nature to do so I think.

erin said...

I wish they would show us more residual emotion or side effects in the characters. I realize FBI agents are tough and all but how do you witness all these crimes and not have it ever effect you at all???

I'm all for a new independent episode every week but we never get to see any toll these crimes take. Even the drug storyline, which I personally loathed, was dropped dead cold on the sidewalk.

There are times after an episode that I have a hard time going to sleep. Don't the characters ever have a hard time sleeping.

Violence level is fine. Dogs are bad!!

Anonymous said...

Gideon laying on the bed looking out the window and putting himself in the victim's place to see and feel what she had seen and felt sent more quivers into me than someone getting shot.

How do you measure violence? I don't let my kids watch the show but I also don't let them see PG-13 movies.

The Boss said...

Actualy of all the 'crime' type shows, violence wise i think CM is quite tame. I think the writers and producers have found a good balance. There has to be some level of violence due to the subject matter, but they don't just include it for the sake of it which is good. It is more psychological & quite cleverly done. Which is what makes it such a good show

arianna said...

I could cite at least a dozen shows on tv this season that made CM look like a cooking show in the violence department. Start with all three of the Law & Order and the three CSI shows and you are half way to the dozen.

I don't like tv shows that show violence for the sake of ratings. They turn me off. I love CM because it does the opposite thing. It shows the the flip side to crime which is the profilers and police who work hard to sort out the information and catch the unsub. Victims die in horrible ways but on our show it is usually shown but in a way that makes you take it that last step forward yourself. We do see people get shot, jump infront of a train, run through woods like deer and all that but the amount we see is so little by comparison to other shows. I'm satisfied with the balance the writers have struck between the need to know and lets suck them in ways of tv.

PAOLAFROMPARIS said...

I like it as it is.

rose said...

Reading the newspaper online is inviting much more violence into your line of sight than watching Criminal Minds. I love the give and take between good and evil on the show. I also like that they don't show us more than they do. I hope they always keep the line in sight. They know how to tell a story using words and emotions rather than resorting to showing flesh and bones flying about. Great talent!

Elizabeth Bear said...

I think the show is quite visceral and disturbing, but not because of the level of violence it shows. It's much tamer than many television shows in terms of the visuals.

What the CM guys do very well is make what they show real and horrible. The violence is not glamorized and is never played for amusement value. Rather, we see people suffering, and suffering the aftermath of the terrible things that happen, and I honestly think that's far more humane and honest than the CSI/NCIS-style violence, which is more graphic and less disturbing.

The fact that in CM, there are no butt-chinned heroes manfully enduring torture or suffering prettily is one of the things that makes it a TV show I will watch and love, because it's honest about the effects of trauma, and if anything, that's more likely to make people take a little care than "What kind of interesting gore can we come up with this week?"

Elizabeth Bear said...

I should say that I disagree with Erin: what I love about the show is that they *do* show us the toll this job takes, and the toll on the victims, over and over again. There are some harrowing scenes with victim's families (In "The Fox" and "Open Season," among others.) We've seen Gideon and Elle both break because of the stress of the job and their trauma; we've certainly seen JJ, Garcia, Reid, and Prentiss show signs of post-traumatic stress, and Hotch and Morgan have what you might call issues, as well. I can't be the only one who's noticed that Gideon hyperventilates at crime scenes!

Not every kind of damage shows up as a drinking problem or a panic attack.

The characters are constantly changing and evolving, and they have grave doubts and very real post-traumatic reactions. *g* (And I personally don't think we've seen the end of Reid's post-traumatic stress. Or anybody else's, for that matter.)

lisa f. said...

I haven't noticed Gideon hyperventilating but now that you have brought it to my attention I have a reason to rewatch a few episode. lol.

I have to agree that most of the characters are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Personally, I think the entire BAU is one stone's throw away from a collective nervous breakdown. I think Reid and the drugs is over. I think it was something that the writers were trying but they never intended to take it to any extreme. I personally liked the storyline. I think it is about time one of them throws a nutty.

The violence on the show is tame. Very tame and left almost always up to your own imagination. There have been few cases of us actually witnessing the actual violent act. We see before and after. Not always but most of the time.

The writers have a winning formula they stick to and I think it works well and I hope they continue it in this next season. If it ever gets here!!!!!

elaine said...

I like the phrase "nutty". I will use that one myself.

We have so many open storylines heading into this season:

1. Getting rid of Gideon- No matter how they write him out it is going to add to the stress of all of them. Reid probably more than anyone.

2. Bringing in Rossi- I have no idea what his relationship will be like with the team but working with a new person has to be stressful.

3. Reid and the drugs- There is no way that I am going to believe they are not bringing that one back. They need to finish it. More stress anyway they write this one on the whole team.

4. Hotch and Prentiss and the whole mole storyline equals stress, stress and more stress.

Add to the above 22 new crimes this season and in my opinion the season three finale is going to be the seven of them all trying to setup cots in Reid's mom's room at the Nut House while they are being medicated by a fleet of doctors.

I really love the show, the characters and the level of non-violence on the show. Season 3 is going to be so wonderful. I can hardly wait for it to start.

betty said...

I like the show and how little violence they show. It is really good.

Ambra said...

I've never thought the show was too violent or graphic. We have to see a certain amount of gore and/or disturbing images in order to understand the horror of the crimes.

gracie said...

I agree with almost everyone and that drives me nuts. I don't think the show is too graphically violent. I do think the Reid/drugs/whatever it was is not over. I do think they are all damaged and getting worse and I really want season three to hurry up and start. I miss having new episodes.

Lee said...

One of the things I love about this show is that a lot of the violence is simply alluded to. We have to make up what really happened in our own minds. They show the beginning and maybe the end, but rarely the during. The only time I have an issue is when they harm small children, like in Ashes and Dust. That makes me uneasy.

Lee

respectanimals said...

I think it depends entirely upon the individual episode. I can handle a head in a box, blood on the walls, disturbing photographs, quick video flashes of the violent crime, people getting shot and blown up, and numerous other examples of violence, however when they make me watch the victim suffer for longer than a few minutes, they lose me. In the majority of the episodes in Seasons One and Two, I think that the violence level has been at least within reason, if not entirely necessary.

Having said that however, there were a few episodes that crossed the line from being a psychological thriller to resorting to using blatant shock value tactics. And you can not tell me that paying homage to the film SAW, was leaving it all up to my imagination. The DVDs that were sent to the parents in Perfect Storm were incredibly difficult to watch as well. Open Season was another example of making me watch the suffering of the victims for way too long. So for me, overall I think CM does a good job of walking the line, but occasionally they do cross it.

With regard to the brains or brawn question, can't I have both? Especially if the brawn is in the form of Derek Morgan. LOL!

Jan and Quentin said...

I've seen as much, and more, violence and gore on other shows. It's just that times have changed and the standards for violence and sexual content have changed. Some people are not pleased with that, and IMO, they have the choice to watch something else.

Elizabeth Bear said...

One thing I do notice about CM--when they focus on the victim, it's almost always to focus on the victim *fighting.* --whether the victim is a team member (Hotch, Gideon, or Reid taken hostage)--or a civilian.

And that goes all the way back to the pilot. The victim in "Extreme Agressor" lives because she bides her time and puts up a fight, and gets out where Gideon and Elle can save her.

Which does my heart good, let me tell you. I'm always surprised and pleased by how this show portrays women, and I hope they keep doing as well as they have.

SweetThang said...

I don't think that Criminal Minds is all that violent. However, it is a dark show. There were a couple of scenes that were disturbing to me.

I don't remember the names of all the episodes. But the scenes I found disturbing was when they mailed that head to Gideon in a box. I saw a picture of that head in a box in one of the earlier posts on this blog. I had to hurry up and scroll past that picture.

Another scene that bothered me was in another episode. This girl was trapped in an old meat packing plant. The unsub put her in a room where the floor was covered in broken glass. In order to get out of the room, she had to walk barefoot across that broken glass. Cutting her feet every step of the way. I had my eyes covered an was squirming in my chair.

Angel said...

there have been a couple of episodes that I think have been over kill (pardon the pun)on the gore. But over all it isn't any worse than say CSI and in many cases it is tamer.

CindyH said...

Its a practical impossibility to have a show dealing with murderers, etc. like CM does without showing some violence. To not show any would keep the show from being realistic. So no, I don't think they are showing too much violence.

Kimberly said...

Criminal Minds iswhat I like to call"Real life violence" its Violence that is to be expected if something like that would happen to our chracters in real. The crimes are not pretty yes theirs blood, parts etc but what do you expect thses unsubs are unstable, obsessive killers so their gona shed as much blood as they want. But if that kind of thing bothers you then you can choose to look away from those scenes thats thebeauty of tv

Jasmine* said...

not really...i wanted to watch CSI but there were too many dead bodies and the whole thing was just about violent scenes..i like CM cuz they follow a certain line i believe