“Criminal Minds” is a crime-drama television show which premiered in 2005 on CBS. Currently the show is running on its sixth season, with new episodes being broadcast on CBS every Wednesday at 9 pm ET. Each episode is one hour in length.
Created by Jeff Davis, “Criminal Minds” differs from most other crime and punishment TV shows, as it focuses on the inner workings of serial killers versus the external nature of the crime itself. With an appealing cast and clever dialogue to wit, this show is both entertaining and informative, while it refreshingly doesn’t follow the common guidelines of other related shows like “CSI” and “Law & Order.”
The show typically opens with a brief glimpse of the crime that’s committed, with or without showing the face of the killer. Then from FBI headquarters in Quantico, VA, we see the case presented to the team of profilers, who then go to whichever city in America the crimes have been committed. Here, the team works up a profile of the “unsub” (unknown subject of an investigation,) trying desperately to track his or her next move before they murder again.
If you’re still not convinced to check out this series, here are five more reasons:
1. The Cast
The current cast of the show, who play the profilers from the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI, consists of Thomas Gibson (Hotchner,) Shemar Moore (Morgan,) A.J. Cook (J.J.,) Paget Brewster (Prentiss,) Matthew Gray Gubler (Reid,) Joe Mantegna (Rossi) and Kirsten Vangsness (Garcia.) Actors from previous seasons included Mandy Patinkin (Gideon) and Lola Glaudini (Greenaway.)
Perhaps what makes this cast so appealing is that each actor was virtually unknown before the show premiered, or at the very least only appeared in other television shows. Each actor gets relatively the same amount of screen time, and each has their own idiosyncrasies to bring to the table; from Dr. Spencer Reed’s insane genius to Aaron Hotchner’s control issues, and Penelope Garcia’s eccentricity to Derek Morgan’s good looks.
Besides a fantastic cast, “Criminal Minds” boasts a unique array of guest-stars and supporting actors, consisting of both famous actors and actresses, and familiar, if not forgotten faces of television’s past.
Previous guest-stars included Jason Alexander, Lukas Haas, James Van Der Beek, Meredith Monroe, Jane Lynch, Aaron Paul, Michael Masse, Jeannetta Arnette, Chad Allen, Dennis Boutsikaris, David Aaron Baker, Ian Anthony Dale, Frankie Muniz and more.
In almost every episode, typically at the start and finish, “Criminal Minds” features a variety of excellent music, from little-known gems of the 60s to recent radio hits.
Previous episodes included music from Ray Lamontagne, Cage the Elephant, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Gavin Rossdale, The Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Tom Petty, AC/DC, Jane’s Addiction, Billy Joel, Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley, Band of Horses, The Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Butterfly, Billie Holiday and tons more.
In addition to the music, this show provides a poetic, literary touch as well.
In the beginning an end of each episode, a character states a famous quote which somehow pertains to the case at hand, and typically makes the audience read deeper into the episode’s overall message.
People who’ve been quoted on the show include Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Carl Jung, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Abraham Lincoln, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Plato, T.S. Eliot, Leonardo Da Vinci and more.
5. Relation to Real-Life Crimes
While all the plotlines of each episode are entirely fictional, it’s easy to see where the show drew some of its ideas.
Many of the “patterns” of the murderers mirror those of real-life serial killers, such as Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, Son of Sam, BTK, the Cleveland Torso Killer and more. They’ve also made episodes related to arson, poisoning, satanic killings, anthrax, schizophrenia and more.
Essentially, there’s something for everybody.
For more information on “Criminal Minds,” click here.