Monday, April 21, 2008

CRIMINAL MINDS QUESTION OF THE DAY:


Criminal Minds: What makes Criminal Minds different to you than any other TV show on the air today? What hooks you week after week?

53 comments:

mona said...

The characters are interesting and I want to know more about them. I feel like I have watched them develop and grow and I love it.

The writing is first rate. No cheap audience grabs. Just good solid plots.

I've been hooked since the Super Bowl!

ivyhamster said...

I really like that the episodes are mostly self contained. We rarely have a two-parter and I enjoy the cases and the team dynamic of the characters.

mauranewman said...

Criminal Minds episodes have wonderful plot-driven episodes that allows for character growth. That is not the case with most procedural series. It all boils down to great writing.

buffyaddict13 said...

I think the writing is excellent, and I'm often surprised by the story. I've come to really care about all the characters and even though the episodes are mostly stand alones, I appreciate that we're allowed to see into the character's personal lives at times.

The acting also sets Criminal Minds apart for me. Especially Matthew Gray Gubler and Thomas Gibson. Brilliant.

Mnemosphere said...

Well I like the serious, even dark side of the show, the depth of psychological elements and researches. It remains quite realistic for a tv show, I always enjoy the path that the team takes to get to the right profile... it's not even about suspense, it's about that mind maze...
And the family-like team is great, love the characters, the cast is just great. Plots are always interesting, support characters are important and touching, they do matter, they're not just therre to get killed or something!
I'd love of course to learn more about the main characters (Hotch's backstory!!!!!!) but always in that serious, well written way, and not in the soapy fashion that gets so popular in TV shows... serious, emotional, dark, documented, with a unique style... what can I say? I'm so hooked I forget to eat or breathe or sleep when I think about it...

Anonymous said...

I like the characters...it's a good ensemble...an interesting mix. Overall solid plots, every now and then a not very plausible resolution but it still makes for a good show.

Anonymous said...

I started watching not quite sure as to whether I would like it, but week after week I have become more and more involved. I love the stories, the team and their relation to each other is probably what really hooks me. I like the importance given to their interpersonal relations and the help they give each other.
One other BIG thing is the writers. They seem to care about the opinions of the viewers and that always impresses me. I like the way storylines have continuity and I am never left feeling like I was cheated out of a conclusion like it happens on other shows I might watch.
And to finish it off, the acting is great. The team is wonderful together and the whole ensemble works so well. I enjoy watching all the team.
I am totally hooked and my week is planned according to when the show is on (or when I get to watch it)

Anonymous said...

It's just a completely different show. I first watched Broken Mirror (Season 1, Ep.5)and since then i'm hooked to CM. The cast is just gr8, especially MMG and Kirsten Vangness,the show cannot run without them both. I'd really love to know more about JJ, but other than that CM rocks!

Anonymous said...

The writers!!!!!!!! They are amazingly talented!
and the Actors are the best on TV!!!

Alena said...

i started watching when i cought it on tv and thought that matthew was beautiful, than i got into the plot, i love fbi's work, its very facinating.
and finally i fell in love with the team, they are like my tv family.

Jan and Quentin said...

Tight, well-written, unusual-yet-believable plots, unforgetable ensemble of characters and the interaction between them, truly great acting (including guests), good balance between the BAU plot lines and the characters' stories....

What's not to love?

Anonymous said...

Shemar Moore does it for me each week.
Okay, Okay...
I love the entire show; including the GREAT writing and the other cast members.
BUT...
I would love to see more of Mr. Moore. :) :)

Anonymous said...

Many things...cause american tv shows are much better than german ones.
Then I like all the characters,sometimes I'm a little bit scared to go outside when it's dark,ehm...I learned much about body language,it isn't unrealistic...oh man there are so many more reasons I can't write down.

It's the best show in my oppinion!

Elizabeth said...

It is dark and sometimes downright disturbing, it makes you think, the plots are (mostly) convincing, it is nicely paced and builds tension very well and it is clever. CM doesn't patronise viewers or assume that all we are looking for is attractive people to bring us happy endings.

There is moral ambiguity and great character development. The only complaint would be that the episodes are too short. 60 minutes worth of hour would be good.

Tamara said...

What sets CM apart from the multitude of crime shows? For one, there’s almost always some catastrophe to stop, or someone to save. The stakes are high because it’s not about solving a crime, it’s about stopping another one, and that’s part of the reason that the pace of the show really races, too.

Most shows are ‘whodunnit’, and the CSI writers and producers brag about their ‘howdunnit’ approach, but CM has this ‘whydunnit’ question to ask and answer, and it’s so much more interesting when the meat of the story is about the limits of human experience and what it takes a person to get to that point than when it’s about, say, forensic facts.

Then there’s the characters, and they get approached with a certain amount of that ‘why’ question, too, and I think that’s part of what makes them so fascinating. We’re slowly learning who they are and why they became who they are, and it’s been a really wonderful exploration. We’re still waiting to learn about some of them (JJ!) but hopefully the characters will only get deeper as the show goes on. It’s not new for a crime show to reveal characters through their reactions to the cases they work, but I think the idea of the heroes being the other side of the coin of the bad guys, and the idea that damaged people go one way or the other, that’s pretty new and pretty powerful. That’s a great message about choice and responsibility, too.

I guess these are the main elements for me. The life-and-death stakes, and the depth involved in asking ‘why’. The show does have great production values and great actors and directors, of course, and there’s lots that I could say about each individual character, but I think those things are true of a lot of shows.

Claudia said...

Shemar *gg* It's all the relationships between the characters and I'm so excited every week to hear another phonecall between Derek and Garcia.

JoJo said...

The first thing that attracted me, as a viewer, to Criminal Minds was its scripts and the actor who act them. Both are done and written with such grace.

I also have to give credit to the guests on the show like the det.'s and the unsubs as they are A-class.

The team dynamic also helps viewer feel at ease when watching the show. Oh! gota mention the music! whoever picks it is a genius! Some shows sound cheesy with the song choices but Criminal Minds, as usual, finds the perfect balance.

The main thing for me that makes Criminal Minds a far better show than any other out there (and thats saying a lot as I watch everything lol) is the fact that it makes the viewer think. Think about choices, think about consequences, think about good/bad issues, just think! Most shows lose that touch after awhile. On the same line of thought, the show also doesn't treat you like an idiot. They believe the fans have brains and treat them accordingly which I believe is also a rarity with some crime show nowadays.

I sound soooo very bias but I do belive that Criminal Minds, 100%, is the best show out there.

xxJoJoxx

Lori said...

What Tamara said! She hit on every detail! I love "whydunnit"!

The show is smart, interesting, captivating--everything that a great show should be and that shows how well they are written.

This is the very first show that I have actually bothered to find out the names of the people who write the episodes and it has been an education to hear about their writing processes. The writers on CM rock.

The cast works so well together--they have great chemistry, and that makes you want to come back week after week to see their interreactions.

Nate said...

The most fascinating thing on CM is the dealing with such dark subjects and I really appreciate that the show looks into these things and make people think about the things that happen in their own neighborhood. That's not usual for a tv-show.
The writers of the show are incredible and always take us beyond our imaginations and the actors are amazing. Because english is not my native language I really appreciate that they speak so clearly that I'm able to understand everything. That's really rare.
You can also see the love everybod put into the episodes. Everything fits in the episodes and is perfectly done.
The characters are also really different from any other tv-show I know. They're deeper and you're dying to know more about their background.
Everbody is doing such a wonderful work at this show and you can feel by watching the episodes that everybody loves working on that set.
Please keep up that great work. It's really really appreciated by us fans.
Thank you for that wonderful tv-show.
Renate

Anonymous said...

Aside from the fact that I think Matthew Gray Gubler is totally hot? I like the fact that it's about more than "lets find the bad guy". You get to find out about the killer and why he is killing (as well as why he kills who he kills). It's also interesting finding out about the characters. Most episodes seem to be based around one of the characters, although there hasn't been too much about J.J. or Prentise yet. I watch every week, even when it's a rerun!

Memoh said...

I particularly enjoy the stories that have richly devloped characters. The best stories always blend insights into psycho-social background, emotional development, and psychological motivation We, the viewer wind up caring about the characters, whether they are unsub, victim or profiler.

PAOLAFROMPARIS said...

Reid.

Anonymous said...

I think for me it's the team and how well they work together and how they each bring something different to the team. Also, I want to learn more about the characters, what makes them who they are. Plus, the writing and acting are amazing!

Angel_The Original said...

For me three things:
1) The intelligence of the show. So many times I think shows like CSI are talking down to me. Like I don't understand what a bullet traveling through a brain looks like.
2) The characters are really well written. They are lovable and easy to relate too.
3) The episodes are shot in such a way that allows the audience to get a glimpse of whatever tragedy, without over kill, and allows our own imagination to fill in the rest. I do not know who to thank for that, weather it be writers, directors whatever, but I love it. I guess to me it adds to the intelligence and intrigue of the show.

Angel_The Original said...

I read everyone else's posts and I agree with them all. There are so many reasons to love the show. I did forget to mention in my previous post, I can't believe I forgot to mention, the hotness of Dr. Reid.

Fallen said...

So many reasons! I have always been fascinated by profiling and the questions of why people can commit these crimes.

It also seems to be reality based. It's not like other shows where no matter what happens nothing seems to affect them. I was really impacted by Reid at the Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

Lastly, I always look forward to finding out who they are going to quote this week.

querida said...

Reid.

Lee said...

Honestly for me its Dr. Spencer Reid. I know, I know...but I just can't help myself. That character just keeps pulling me in and I can't look away nor do I want to. Thank goodness(and Ed Bernero)for Spencer, I couldn't do without him!

Lee :)

Anonymous said...

because only on TV can you watch a team of FBI profilers this attractive, this young, and this talented... thank you, CM, for making law enforcement strong and sexy every week.

wilma said...

The show looks at more than the crime and shows us how the unsub became what he/she is and I like that.

love2teach said...

What keeps me coming back? Reid!

I'm not sure what keeps me coming back really. I'm just hooked. I started watching it, as I watch all the CSI's and cant stop watching it!

Cheri said...

I love the cast and the writers! There's nothing that hasn't already been said that I can add. The shows just phenomenal.

A.P. said...

The writing first off. It's darn fantastic. I have hardly ever seen anything so wonderfully put together, the dialogue isn't unrealistic, and it all flows so nicely.

The cinematography. I love how the directors put the episodes together each week. How they frame the shots, etc. It really adds to the emphasis of the show.

The actors. They're all fantastic. How can you NOT love them? I was drawn to the show first and foremost because of A.J. Cook. I had seen her in Tru Calling. I liked Tru Calling.

The stories keep you entertained throughout the whole episode, no real "blah" spots, where you want to leave the room. All pure "edge of your seat" material.

This show is genius.

JoAnn said...

What has really gotten me hooked on the show is not just the characters and the actors, it is the writers.

I like that the writers assume that the audience is intelligent. They don't feel the need to have blocks of exposition around each character. They know that the audience will pay attention to the bits of information they provide and put them together with the other bits to form a clearer picture of the character.

The plot lines are also written in such a way.

I like that this is a show that assumes the audience is intelligence. It is a pleasant change from the multitude of shows that would rather assume the audience is stupid and has to be told everything.

Mickle said...

They way that each episode is both self-contained and yet part of a larger arc and the fact that the arcs overlap and layer upon one another, rather than being episodic themselves. Which works because of....

....the fact that the arcs are character driven rather than plot driven, and the way that the characters are neither stereotypes nor "exceptions to the rule."
Which is partly due to the fact that the writers, actors, directors, editors, etc. are very adept at giving the characters a lot of depth while spending very little time telling us about their lives outside of work. And they can do this because of....

....the abundance of metaphor and theme and other storytelling devices that aren't often found in television - at least not to the extent that CM uses them. But CM uses them a lot because....

....it's very obvious that the writers and producers consider us - their viewers - to be at least reasonably intelligent.

And they manage to pull this all off because it's quite obvious that the entire crew is extremely awesome at what they do.

On top of all that, the writers (etc.) show a lot of empathy for the range of human experiences, without forgetting that justice does serve a purpose. That's usually even harder to pull off than the rest of it.

Plus, our BAU is full of geeks. I love geeks.

slashgirl said...

Hotch. /shallow

Seriously, though, I've watched CM from the first ep (I saw commercials for it over the summer before it started and thought it would be interesting.)and it was around Derailed that it became my absolute favourite show. It's now the only show I won't miss and that I will not take phone calls during.

I think it's different because, as others have said, it focuses on the "why"--which is based on the "how" and leads to the "who". They're often racing against time to stop the next crime. And they don't always win--yeah, they probably get a few more in the win column than in RL, but hey, it's TV.

I like that they assume their audience is intelligent, it's rather refreshing. They also don't hit us over the head with violence--more is implied than is shown. And our imaginations can come up with stuff that's much worse than anything they could show us on screen.

What hooks me? Well, in the last little while before Elephant's Memory, it was waiting to see if Hotch and Reid would have a scene together... Kidding. Mostly.

I love most of the characters. I love the stories the writers chose to tell us--and the fact that they often tell them from a slightly different POV. It makes it a lot more interesting. Of course, the writing for CM is excellent, overall.

I love the cast--they do such a fabulous job of bringing the characters and the stories to life.

I like how they show us, through the team and, sometimes, the victims/survivors, that you can be damaged and still go on, still survive...It isn't easy and never pretty, but yes. You can survive.

I love my show.

Anonymous said...

the charadters are really good.the writeing is very good. this is the first show i ever got hook on,don,t always watch thease types of shows, but this one did, been hook ever sense.

babruin said...

Everyone has already summed up what I wanted to say so I'll just put in one word,
Reid. :)
Alrighty then, it's the well-written indelible characters that I've grown to really be invested in. The other shows' characters always feels forced and cold to me. The scripts are interesting and intelligent. We do appreciate the cookies, too!

Anonymous said...

The cast, the writers, and the stories. The stories are very enticing. I enjoy the mild shock I get once in a while from watching this show. I love the characters/actors. Watching a CM episode is like watching a drama/action/suspense movie -- except it's obviously shorter.

I have to admit, I started watching this show because I've been a big fan of AJ Cook since her Higher Ground days. But now, I can definitely say that I watch this show because there's nothing like it.

EnigmaticZero said...

Others have said the same, so I will just echo...

First: The writing. The thorough research, the thoughtfulness, the continuity, the flashes of humor, the depth of characterization. The writers are GREAT.

Then: The actors. Each one gives their all week after week, and you cannot help but grow to love them...or hate them...but you ALWAYS grow to understand the characters better. (Even Unsubs.)

EnigmaticZero said...

Also wanted to say that every week, I go to bed after the show THINKING THINKING THINKING. You need a brain to appreciate a smart show like Criminal Minds!

Other shows, where the writer/s pull storylines and new characters out of their behinds every week...It's no wonder they have to go find a new time slot. :)

Liska said...

Week after week my father was watching CM and what at first look looks like "another investigation show" truns out to be pretty catchy, well balanced show(I mean time dedicated to drama vs. humor, case investigating vs. bits of characters lives and relationships, action vs. psychology).
I like the variety of cases, which they are in, the way they deal with it, the reasons, why does it all happens. And for me, one of the best sides of this show is, that everybody in it (the main characters, the antagonists, the "people around") are true humans with normal human's errors and not heroes.

elgrey said...

I think for me there are many factors but a huge plus is the interaction between the teammates, and the attention to characterization of the regulars. They are not just there to be ciphers for the Case of the Week; the cases are always interesting in their own right but particularly (for me) as it affects them. I have found from the pilot onwards that it feels that the writers really love these characters and care about what happens to them, which is unfortunately very unusual in procedural drama. They even seem to enjoy hurt-comfort without being self-indulgent, which usually one only gets in fic written about shows, not the shows themselves. (I am a big fan of the Reid in Peril episodes in particular.) The family dynamic between these characters is definitely what first pulled me in and what keeps me watching; the cases they solve are the most interesting to me for the impact they have upon the regular characters. (I really enjoyed seeing everyone rally around Garcia after she was shot, and supporting Rossi in his quest for closure, for instance. I find their loyalty to one another and affection for one another very touching.)

Also, the writing is so intelligent and humane. It never feels as if the writers are sensationalizing the mystique of the serial killer. The writing is always on the side of the victims (and is complex enough to make the serial killer the victim, too, on occasion).

Another big plus factor for me is that there are so many opportunities in a show of this kind to exploit women and dress it up as entertainment, and the show never does that, it always takes the high road.

I think this is just an excellent all round show where everyone involved seems to ask a little more of themselves than is usually the case and where it shows in the quality of the writing, acting, directing, editing and casting. Long may it continue to run.

uli-riga said...

I like the way the characters developed from rather flat to round ones. Plus I believe that the way they are shown is a really realistic one(divorce, trauma, leaving...).
And well, it helps to be interested in profiling...

Anonymous said...

I started watching to see Mandy; I try to catch all his work. I like L&O Criminal Intent also, because we get to know about the criminal and his motivations. While CM is grittier than most shows, in terms of violence and unusual crimes, I like to see the leaps and stretches the characters have to go thru to solve a case. Sometimes, the cases and solving them are more believeable than others. Now, I am into the characters as well as the crimes.

LOCILOCO

Dr. Kris said...

The acting is top-notch. Good writing helps with excellent character development without being soap-opera like. Please no soap opera in my crime dramas...

Memoh said...

Here is a quote that sums up what I think is so unique about CM:

"There's no such thing as a faceless stranger. Every strangers have a face."

Margaret Atwood
Bodily Harm

Or as the character Gideon once said in an episode: "we try to humanize them..." (something like that)

Mickle said...

"
Or as the character Gideon once said in an episode: "we try to humanize them..." (something like that)"

I believe it was:

"They dehumanize their victims, we humanize them."

With "they" and "them" referring to the unsubs.

And yeah.

Keren said...

I haven't read anyone else's responses but I'll give it a go.

I watch Criminal Minds because of the excellent writing. Most shows I see on TV, I can predict the entire episode within the span of the teaser. By opening credits, I get bored.

With Criminal Minds, you never know what's going to happen, who is going to say what, if the bad guy will get away with it, or whodunnit.

The time of intellectual shows is almost gone. It's really sad. Criminal Minds writers don't treat their audience as if they are stupid, which rocks all kinds of hard.

I love that all the actors have such great talent, don't over do it, and have a working chemistry with each other.

Plots aren't left dangling without resolve, everything is done for a reason.

And of course, the interactions with the fans...that the writers and some of the cast and crew take the time to speak with us, answer questions, and welcome our input is this huge phenomenon that is almost overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Ditto x 40..... and add to it the 'cookies' the writers and directors give us.......

And "Hotchalanches" lol

redwingsgirl514 said...

Like Mona said, I've been watching since the Super Bowl, and I'll be there until the end of the series.

The writing is great--there's none of those "oh no didn't do that!" cringe worthy moments like in a lot of shows. I can actaully sit down for the full hour, even with my short attention span! I'm pretty picky with what I watch...there's a whole lot that I've gotten up from b/c it just wasn't interesting to me.

Also-love the actors. They make the characters believable, they seem to work well with each other, and they just do a teriffic job!

redwingsgirl514 said...

let me add something else--

Just read the ones over mine...I totally agree with Keren-the interaction between the fans and those who make the show makes it all the more great. :-)

Drusilla said...

The show is extremely well written and the acting is quite exceptional. I have grown to care about the characters and what happens to them.
I love the way we get to see what has shaped the characters and made them the people we see on screen.
Quite often the acting has reduced me to tears-especially Reid's drugs issues and him opening up to Morgan.
Even my husband who doesn't watch much TV loves this show.