Friday, June 23, 2023

Criminal Minds on Disney Plus: A Review

Disney+ has many shows I enjoyed in the past that I wanted to revisit. Sometimes it takes me a while since most of my favorites usually lasted more than half a decade at least and with around twenty or more episodes per season, it is a lot of episodes to go through. There are shows I sometimes avoid watching again because they would be just too much to see. Fortunately, I’ve had this habit of letting shows play on TV while I work out, so I have been able to start and finish all 16 seasons of Criminal Minds, the revival season included.

As a fan of crime procedurals, I have always enjoyed watching Criminal Minds. I guess in a way it’s a bit creepy that I love watching criminals doing their thing, but I find it fascinating how someone can evolve into that kind of person. It makes me curious about what makes people like these criminals think and what led them to become like that.

First thing I noticed while I was re-watching the show was how young they all looked when they first started. They all looked like babies at the start of the show! And the technology! Even the phones and computers were very old-school during the first few seasons! I don’t know how Penelope did it! I thought all the earlier seasons were amusing to see considering how different tech-wise the latest (revival) season is. 

I found it nice to see how each character entered the show (and how some of them left) during the series. It was so long ago that it wasn’t something that I remembered. Seeing it again was a nice throwback. This is one of those shows that had a great combination of actors and a good ensemble cast, no matter how many times they switched actors with some coming and going (and coming back again). 

As far as the characters go, I have always been a fan of Reid and Penelope (and her dynamic with Morgan). But, given my blog name, I of course have a special place in my heart for Matt Simmons, who was played by Daniel Henney. It’s too bad that during the revival season, Daniel couldn’t reprise his role because he was already working on Amazon’s Wheel of Time. The same goes for Matthew Gray-Gubler (Reid), who was busy working on his book, and Shemar Moore (Morgan) who was also on another show, SWAT. I hope that this revival will go on for a few more seasons so that I can see those three guys back in the show.

I don’t think that many people know that this show had an official South Korean version back in 2017, which had characters that were similar to the ones in the original series. Some actors were clearly the Korean Penelope, Morgan, JJ, Reid, and Hotch. Not sure if the other actors were meant to be like the other characters from the original because I couldn’t tell (not for lack of trying). One of them was probably meant to be Prentiss only because she was the only one missing from the dynamic, but I wasn’t sure. 

The only reason I’m mentioning the South Korean version is because as I was re-watching the original I realized that even the criminals in the South Korean version were the same as the ones from the US! They did not do it in the same order, and they probably picked out the ones that they could adapt to the Korean market, but I found myself having constant “aha” moments once I recognized which Criminal Minds episodes were remade in Korea. It blew my mind to recognize the episodes that were the same.

One of the things that I appreciated from Criminal Minds was how they were able to combine the stories of the characters outside of their jobs with the crimes they had to solve. The stories came out naturally, without it feeling forced or taking away from what the show was about. There were stories about Penelope’s dating life, Morgan’s love life, Matt’s family life, along with JJ falling in love until she later got married and had a family. It was those things that helped balance out the negativity that you got from the criminals that they had to catch and bring to justice. 

The revival season was good, but I wish that the whole gang of profilers could be together again like they used to. I heard that there would be a second season for this (2nd for the revival, but 17th for the entire series), but that the show hasn’t started filming yet. I hope that doesn’t mean that there is still a possibility of it not happening because I would love to see this show again. Even if the missing cast members don’t appear the entire season, it would be nice to see them in guest roles at least.

I am really hoping for another season. I would love for them to say “Wheels up” again. Even if it’s for one last time.


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