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Genre: TV series, Crime, Drama
Country: United States
Starring: Kristen Vangsness, Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Kelly, Beau Garrett, Matt Ryan
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
CBS really has no one to blame but themselves for the cancellation of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The only reason this show was canceled was that…it was created in the first place. There was nowhere to go but down from there. First off, they didn’t really bother creating a cool new title for the show. Suspect Behavior is, after all, what Criminal Minds is all about. They’re basically calling the show Criminal Minds: Criminal Minds. Not that NCIS: LA or CSI: NY or CSI: Miami are that much more inventive, but at least they aren’t redundant.
The thing is, I LIKE Suspect Behavior. Yes, it’s exactly like all the other police procedurals out there, exactly like the original Criminal Minds. But with Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofalo and a very cool cast, it actually manages to be better at doing the exact same thing. I think.
Then again, it’s a moot point. After all, the show WAS canceled, and all we will ever have is this one DVD volume that ends with Garofalo being kidnapped and Forest Whitaker about to blow some guy away. I would call this a cliffhanger, but does anyone really think something crazy was going to happen? They did plan to make a second season, which is why they would end with a cliffhanger. So for the uber-fan(s) of this show, know this – Garofalo would have been saved, Whitaker would not have shot the guy, and Episode 2 would have been right back into more of the same.
That, really, is the only real problem with Criminal Minds: Criminal Minds (aside from the title). It’s more of the same. In the second-last episode of the season, the team deals with a case of a murdered marine. I found myself thinking – wait, that’s a marine! He’s a navy guy! Shouldn’t…NCIS be handling this? Or, failing that, if they needed anti-terrorism experts and more explosions, NCIS: LA?
And there it is. CBS (formerly Columbia Broadcasting System) found they had a major hit with CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). So they decided to spin it off into CSI: Miami (Crime Scene Investigation: Miami). THAT show was an even BIGGER hit, so they spun off again into CSI: NY (Crime Scene Investigation: New York). All this spawned a ton of video games, board games, action figures, backpacks, lunchboxes and CSI-themed children’s birthday parties.
Of course, it was the acronym that was making these shows successful, so they moved on to NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). Soon, that one was a hit as well, so the spin-off had to come. NCIS: LA (Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Los Angeles). Soon, CBS may run out of cities. Perhaps they already have, not wanting to brand their new spin-off Criminal Minds: Spokane.
But that’s it – they have achieved critical mass. The already-bloated prime time police procedural drama slate could not handle even one more spin-off, whether it was good or not. Blue Bloods is out there too, taking up a little bit of CBS real estate with another cop show (but a new one, with a new idea, that amazingly doesn’t cover the exact same ground as all the others). But once you’ve hit the limit – there it is. CBS should have been tipped off when they couldn’t think of another city to put after the colon in the show’s title.
So it’s done, and we have the one season, which I DID really like. And it’s on DVD now from Paramount Home Entertainment, and that is where it will stay forever, consigned to the dustbin of Failed Spinoff Prime Time Police Investigative Procedurals. Something tells me that dustbin will be very full, very soon.