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07 November 2010 @ 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 violetcheetah started watching it in syndication, and then my mother turned out to like it too, and I think 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 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.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth | Comment | comment count unavailable comments
WriterJC: Hotch with splotchwriterjc on November 8th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Guilty. :)

I came into the show not unlike you appear to have. But it was my son, who got into it because during downtime in an English class (in high school!) the teacher played episodes of criminal minds. He had seasons 1, 2 and 3. He kept telling me it was a good show and that he thought I might like it. Then my daughter mentioned it. I really didn't need another fandom so I still didn't watch.

Somewhere in the summer of '09 while I was trying to find excuses NOT to work on my SGA Big Bang story, I decided to watch the very first episode. Didn't hook me. But, I was still procrastinating, so I watched the second, and the third and by LDSK, I was VERY interested. So I watched ALMOST all of the episodes up to the last two episodes of season four To Hell ... and Back. Mainlined them in about a month. Finally got up the nerve to watch To Hell and Back shortly before the season five premiere. Glad I waited ... that was a pretty ugly cliff.

I've read lots of fic - this fandom churns out quite a bit. Gen, though can be pretty tough to find. But I don't feel driven to write for it like I did (and sometimes still do) for SGA. I think I fell for SGA within the first 60 minutes.

Glad to see someone else likes the show. I'm a little worried about where its going too. The previous dynamic worked for me. But, I'm trying to have a wait and see attitude. Welcome to the fray!

michelel72: Cat-Suzie-Yawnmichelel72 on November 8th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's promising so far.

I don't usually read fic for fandoms I'm not yet in, but I've actually read a couple of gen CM fics — plane fluff sorts of things. Not actually sure how I got there, though. Heh.
Amy- ninja extraordinaire, bad monkey: Castle Indiana Jonesninjamonkey73 on November 8th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
This is totally a show I would watch, presuming I had any control of the remote when the Mr. is home. I actually watched one whole episode solely because Wil Wheaton played a killer on it, and really liked it. Although it was kind of a gimme that I'd like it; I own a pretty good amount of FBI profiling true crime books. Unfortunately, the hubster claims to not like procedurals (we watch House and Castle, which if I had to choose only one medical and one police show, I would choose), so I don't push. After all, we spend only about an hour and a half alone together after Meg goes to bed, and I certainly can't watch murder-y shows with a 5 year old!
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-LaserEyesmichelel72 on November 8th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it'd probably be right in your wheelhouse, but it's totally not Meg-suitable. But if ever you find yourself bored, with tons of free time (hysterical laughter), I can pass some DVDs along.
sings and wanders: butlervioletcheetah on November 8th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Akshully, I think I spoiled you on LDSK back before you had gone to Vancouver, when you didn't seem to have any plans to watch the show. So I plead not guilty (or innocent, if the local paper is covering the courtroom).
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-Fingermichelel72 on November 8th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
No, I didn't mean to imply that was post-Vancouver; I know that was ages ago. And it was in fact a mutually agreed spoilage.