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My Two Cents – Criminal Minds Spin-off Disaster?

JD – Associate Staff Writer
jd@thetwocentscorp.com

A lot of you who follow Criminal Minds may already know that there’s a spin-off planned. If you didn’t know, you do now. The characters are going to be introduced in an episode this season, just a few episodes after the show comes off of its Olympics hiatus. To tell you the truth, I’m far from excited about it.

The team on the new show (which still doesn’t have a name, by the way; how crazy is that? Even Criminal Minds was called Quantico before it was put on air!) is a group of profilers that work “outside of FBI bureaucracy”. Sounds a lot like the A-Team, doesn’t it?

So they aren’t supposed to profile you, but they do? And they’re not profilers, but… they are? Can someone please explain to me how this is even supposed to work? The whole idea just sounds cheesy to me. They’re ninja profilers, apparently. They swoop in, secretly profile the stuffing out of you, then lock you away. Sneaky little things they are.

And speaking of locking people away, I’m just assuming they do. Because otherwise, why would they bother profiling? But why is there no information about where they actually work, other than outside the FBI bureaucracy? Do they work as cops? In an FBI field office? In a McDonald’s taking down McCriminals with their mad McJustice skills?

Seriously, if they were going to do a spin-off, they could have taken some of the other interesting characters that were already on the show and developed them more. There are a lot of interesting people that BAU deals with on every case. I would have loved to see what happened to Kate Joyner’s team after last season’s “Mayhem”. She died, then what happened next? I liked the supporting characters in that episode too, and it still would have been an FBI show. I realize that was the first episode of last season, but I think if you ask the fans, they could come with other examples of people they would have liked to follow beyond their short appearances on the show. What about you guys?

The premise just seems weird, so let’s take a look at the characters, shall we? We’ve gotten some rough info from various sources about them, so here they are:

The team is lead by “Cooper” (who will be played by Forest Whitaker), a man who’s “fierce in his loyalty and mysterious in his daily life”. So he’s a bit like Hotch in his loyalty, and Gideon in his “mysteriousness”? He is all things a leader should be, obviously. And there’s the bit about him being a former BAU star and having been off the radar for a while, “leaving only a trail of rumors and legend in his wake”. Oooh, what is he running from? Every silly cliche there is in crime dramas? Dear Cooper, they caught up with you. Sorry about that.

Then there’s “Gina”, a “tough chick” who got straight A’s and was recruited to the FBI out of school. I guess she’s a cross between Elle in toughness and Reid in the brains department? Granted, straight A’s is a bit dumbed-down for Reid, but how tough can she actually be if she’s also a nerd who spent a lot of her time studying? Ten bucks says they drop the straight A’s thing.

Next in the lineup is “Mick”, a “a Cambridge-educated British ex-Mercenary, formerly of the British Special Forces, an expert sniper and a ladies man.” So this is Morgan and… Bear Grylls? I wonder if he’s going to tackle things. Maybe he’ll tackle a plane. Or a tank. That’s something Morgan hasn’t done (yet)!

And finally we have “Prophet”. He is a former gang-banger who found Jesus in jail and is “dexterous at quoting scripture”. Dear God, please tell me “Prophet” is a nickname. For the love of all things holy, please let it be a nickname. Also, haven’t I seen this criminal-converted-in-jail character before? Yep, I have. A lot.

Let’s move on. I think my biggest beef with this is what it means for the future of the show I already love. My loyalty is with Criminal Minds. We already lost several good writers last season, and now the creators are going to be dividing their attention between two shows. It doesn’t look good. Honestly, if the talent is spread thinner, it may spell disaster, and not just for the spin off. I don’t want the quality (and reputation) of my favorite show to be damaged because of this.

I know there are a few fans who aren’t so down on the show, but the numbers boil down to a few. In a poll I posted on my LiveJournal, almost 80% of people who voted think the spin-off is a bad idea, for many of the reasons I’ve listed above. But the few who remain open about the idea of the spin-off are just that: open. No one really seems to be excited about it. A few people are just willing to give it a shot. Really, does anyone think this is going to be great? Has anyone been wowed by any of the information we’ve received? It doesn’t seem to be that way. Will I give it a chance? Yes, probably. I’ll watch the planned episode of Criminal Minds in which the new characters are introduced, and if they have any tiny bit of promise, I’ll give the new show a shot. Am I expecting to like it, though? Not really.

That’s my two cents and I’m sticking to it. Anyone want to try to convince me otherwise, go for it. Of course, I’m not against people agreeing with me either. Either way, give me your two cents!

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