Thursday, June 24, 2010


BY: Sarah Winchester

What I don’t think people realize is how important it is to have Paget Brewster on Criminal Minds. She, and her character Emily Prentiss, are integral parts of both teams i.e. the cast and the BAU team. She is not the one who ‘makes’ the show what it is, but without her it wouldn’t be as strong or as good.

Paget Brewster brings to us every week one of the best female role model on television. I cannot find a similar character in terms of values, morals and dignity in another television show on CBS or not. Emily Prentiss is a strong woman, but not the stereotypical overbearing woman we sometimes see. She is silently strong, confident in herself, knowing who she is and what she can do. She doesn’t have to shout it out to the world; we all see it in her. How many actresses can do that? To portray a quality that doesn’t even need to be spoken about? In addition to being a strong woman, she portrays an incredibly intelligent woman who can hang in there with all the other men and handle herself. Again, we know these women are out there in the real world, but how many do we see on television? Hardly any.

She shows us (us being the millions of woman who watch the show every week) that you don’t need to be a man to be in certain careers; that you should be proud to be a woman because we can do anything, which includes being an FBI profiler. Also, she gives us hope. Hope that we can all make something of ourselves and to step out of the boundaries we, as women, usually put ourselves in.

There is another reason why Emily Prentiss is so important. She is the only female profiler. The BAU team needs that balance. She has certain understandings that a man just might not get. Most of the victims on Criminal Minds are women; most in the world are women as well. So how can CBS reduce a vital part of the team to a few episodes? She has so many talents to bring to the team that can’t be easily dismissed.

When I found out that AJ Cook was being cut, I was terribly sad. When I found out Paget Brewster was being reduced I was furious. What kind of message is that to an audience full of women? That they [women] are dispensable, reducible and forgettable? Obviously that fans do not think so, which should be a compliment onto the cast of Criminal Minds (and foremost Paget Brewster and AJ Cook) for creating characters that people are so attached to. It makes no sense to me of replacing AJ Cook, and furthermore cutting down the ONLY female team member.

I cannot say if I will continue to be a fan of Criminal Minds. With the cast changes, I do not see how it can continue to impress me every week. I am sure the male cast will do its best, but without the female presence of the cast it will not have the same effect that it usually does. It will seem to me like a broken team with terrible dynamics that isn’t worth watching because it is so awkward it’s painful. I truly hope these decisions will be reversed, before it’s too late for CBS will realize how much damage they have done to a solid performer television show.

As James Brown once sang, “It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world. But it would nothing, nothing, without a woman or a girl”.