RE: Criminal Minds – “The Good Earth” #S8E5 [babble]

Criminal Minds has been on for a while. If you haven’t heard of it, its a police procedural-type show following a group of FBI agents with the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit). Their job is to hunt down and arrest serial killers.

Some episodes raise questioning eyebrows. Some episodes are definitely worse than others. But on the whole it’s an interesting show.

There are some memorably good episodes, such as Season Eight’s fifth episode, “The Good Earth”. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but even on second viewing its still fascinating.

The summary does not do the episode justice:

Summary: When four men go missing in rural Oregon, the BAU searches for a common link among them in order to track them down. Also, JJ becomes upset when her son Henry doesn’t want to celebrate Halloween this year.

The nice thing about Criminal Minds is that the episodes largely focus on the case, telling things from the perspective of both the victims/unsubs and the FBI agents. There have even been several times when I’ve wished to hear the “And then…” story of the victims – the “10 years later and I’m doing fine” accounts.

And that’s neat.

I guess I’ve just gotten tired of so-called procedurals that focus on the lives and families of the main cast to the detriment of the show’s quality. If you’re trying to pack a whole storyline into an episode, you have to cut something when you begin including the personal life dramas of the regular characters.

I used to love CSI: Crime Scene Investigators. There was plenty of pseudo-science, interesting crimes being solved, and the main characters were a somewhat blank canvas on which fanficcers built a thriving fandom.

Then the show got a bit TMI. People began turning away from the canon material. The fandom lost its luster and the show its viewing audience.

Same with Scandal to a degree. I devoured the first season and was raving about how great it was. Then there got to be too much sex and not enough story. Then too much of “Olivia meets Huck” and clumsy spy stuff and I was done.

In some instances, less is more.

Don’t ruin the characters we love by giving too much detail about things we don’t care about.

Plot over porn. Storyline over fanservice. Quality over quantity.