DVD Review: Criminal Minds (Season 9)

Police procedurals have been the rage in television for about a decade or so, ever since CSI became the sort of show that networks found easy to emulate. All you needed was a character from the movies that had no qualms with a television show, a cast of relative unknowns on the big stage and pseudo-science and investigative police work that wouldn’t happen in the real world. It allowed for networks to delve heavy into the police procedural, like they have in every decade, but do it in a more exotic way. Instead of just cops and robbers/criminals dominating the show, ala Hill Street Blues among others, it took a scientific approach to the formula.

While Law & Order had revolutionized the way we looked at legal shows, using both lawyers and cops in the same show to mass appeal, CSI opened up a new aspect of that formula. It wasn’t cops and lawyers; it was policemen and the scientific analysts/experts they use to help solve cases. Criminal Minds explored the world of the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit and might be the best representative of the ever changing nature of the police procedural show on modern network television.

Almost more noteworthy for its ever changing cast, Criminal Minds follows a team of behavior analysts (and their support personnel) as they tackle any number of things that go bump in the night. The show follows a fairly simple format: the analysts are tasked with tracking down a monster of the week type criminal. Throw in some long form character development and you’ve got a steady, if unmemorable, show because it follows a fairly predictable format.

And that’s the show’s problem; after nine seasons the only intrigue or interest left is on casting changes as opposed to what’ll happen in the show itself. This is a show that has found a groove many seasons ago and is now coasting on a proven, successful formula. It’s still interesting and entertaining but it isn’t compelling anymore.

A handful of EPK pieces are included with nothing else of note besides deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Paramount Home Entertainmentpresents Criminal Minds (Season 9). Starring Joe Mantegna, Shermar Moore, A.J Cook, Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster. Released: August 26, 2014.

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