4.6.11

Suspect Behavior is Over

Well, that's the end of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior!

I claim no responsibility for the demise of this show, its faults were there for anyone to see, and enough people saw them that they fled from the show in droves. Sure, we could blame CBS for scheduling SB directly after CM, thus asking fans to watch Criminal Minds, and then immediately watch a worse episode of the exact same show immediately afterwards. Personally, I like to blame the show's complete lack of a voice or personality of its own. I've often joked that with a simple reordering of a few lines, ten of the scripts could have served as regular Criminal Minds scripts, but I think the utter lack of anything unique about the show kept it from feeling like essential viewing.

Just look at the flat, uninteresting characters - a sniper who never shot anyone, a murderer who was no less jovial or sympathetic than the rest, a woman who was a complete cipher until she started complaining about her daddy issues and then gave someone the worst advice I've ever heard, and Janeane Garofalo, who was never given a character to play.

Look at Forest Whitaker - he was a twitchy creep who mumbled, wore too many crosses, and was forever sketching in a notebook when he should have been solving murders. This guy could have been an avenue in to a different kind of show, his brilliant profiling moving intuitively and rapidly, Frank Black-style, solving crimes in a completely separate way from the regular team.

Yet there he was, trying to sound comforting when talking to victims, examining evidence like he was on CSI, and sitting around waiting for Garcia to solve the case for him, just like Greg and Joe do.

For the love of god, show, there was an episode where he and a serial killer discussed the possibility that this was all happening because of demonic possession - and yet you couldn't ever make the leap and take the show into territory that Criminal Minds wouldn't cover. Why not? What's the worst that could have happened - you'd be cancelled?

Well, look at that, your insistence on being the exact same show as Criminal Minds wound up getting you cancelled anyways. So what was it all for?

And that's not even getting into the hubris necessary to end on a cliffhanger - I know that the first season of Criminal Minds did the same, but there's a difference - that show was already a hit when that episode was written and the plan was mapped out. This whole 'Suspect Behavior' thing was mostly shot before the first episode aired - so what's their excuse?

The one saving grace? At least, like Chris Carter with Millennium, Ed Bernaro has a second show on television, and he can start off the season of Criminal Minds with a quick wrapup of Suspect Behavior's storyline.

Unless he hates his audience. Which isn't an impossibility, given the level of care put into Suspect Behavior.

1 comment:

Danny G said...

I had a thought. I know the Ian Doyle arc was poorly thought out, but central to that story was a team of profilers that tracked down international terrorists. So it gets me thinking: why couldn't Suspect Behavior have been about that profiling team than the one they cooked up? It could have saved CBS a lot of face, being a natural transition point for JJ and Emily Prentiss, and it gave us a more plausible "second team" than the Red Cell team proved to be. Doyle could have even been the spinoff's first case, and have been better thought out. Who knows if it would have been successful but I think it would have been better than what we actually got.