michelel72: (SGA-Rodney-GI)
michelel72 ([personal profile] michelel72) wrote2010-11-07 08:04 pm

Criminal Minds 1x01 - 1x06 and then some

"Criminal Minds" didn't interest me enough when it first came out to bother catching it. You've seen twelve police procedurals, you've seen 'em all, etc. But [livejournal.com profile] violetcheetah started watching it in syndication, and then my mother turned out to like it too, and I think [livejournal.com profile] writerjc, so I've been hearing dribs and drabs.

Then when we were in Vancouver, my mother found it airing all the time during our evenings, so we watched a good dozen episodes, maybe more, in a nearly random assortment. I don't like watching shows out of order, but I'd picked up enough that it worked out all right — and oh, Morgan and Garcia in 3x09 "Penelope", so very much love for that moment! The teamy goodness in general had already hooked me, but that sealed it forever.

I'm concerned about the cast changes for the current season and what they say about the showrunners, but that doesn't mean the earlier seasons aren't worthwhile. My mother had sent me the DVDs of those prior seasons, hoping to have another show to chat about with me, and I've finally sat down to watch the first six episodes.

I saw the last 15 minutes of the second one ("Compulsion") in Vancouver, actually, as well as all of the fifth ("Broken Mirror"), and [livejournal.com profile] violetcheetah had spoiled the sixth ("LDSK") for me in the mutual expectation I wouldn't remember because I never do. (And yet.) I really like that the characters have measurable personalities and interactions even early on — I mean, the flirting between Morgan and Garcia is there in the first or second episode! Most of the focus is on the cases, but the characters come across as real people. The cast could be more diverse, but it does have some nicely used diversity, and the supporting roles are often intriguing.

My only complaint is that the pacing is sometimes weird. They labor over revelations that I have already figured out, at odd times — I mean, a Pet Rock would have made a better FBI agent than Mark Benton of FlashForward, so it was no surprise that I (a programmer with writerly pretensions, with only TV as "training") could have wrapped up his torturous investigations in an afternoon with time to laser-toy the cats, but why did the CM team take so long to put together what the conflicting patterns in the very first episode meant when I guessed it as soon as they listed them? Sure, that's a pilot-itis symptom, but it's cropped up in random episodes throughout the series; they'll be rocketing along at a normal pace and then suddenly spend five minutes processing the concept that, say, the UnSub's meticulous methods mean he has control issues or something.

It's not all the time, but it's random, and it's weirdly tin-eared of them. But otherwise? I do like it, and I love the teamy goodness. I adore that they acknowledge the generation gaps, too — one of the syndicated episodes had Gideon (I think him and not Rossi) mentioning that the "Stranger Danger" concept was the single most harmful innovation he'd seen in his career, and Reid leaned forward and mentioned he'd been drilled in that same concept in elementary school. I love that they account for that!

I haven't yet felt the fic bug — I connect to Reid, of course, but I also adore Garcia (even though she likes clothes and handbags and shoes and makeup, which is pretty impressive, since I really don't), and Hotch is nothing like the distant robot I'd been led to believe by out-of-fandom osmosis, and ... I dunno. Nothing's clicking yet.

But I need to pace myself, and maybe that will help. I know I ended up shotgunning A:TLA in the end, and I think that did impair my connection to the characters; their story is over, in a sense, so it never had the chance to plant hooks in my fic brain the way SGA did before it ended. We'll see.