Posted: 08 Jun 2011 02:56 AM PDT
Ihereby declare that Criminal Minds is now on top of my personal crime procedural podium; knocking all three CSI shows off the top, breaking Bones, and leaving NCIS behind in the water.
I have to admit – I only started watching Criminal Minds about three months back, but in that short period of time, I managed to finish all six seasons of the show. Yes, it's that compelling.
Of all the crime procedurals on TV right now, Criminal Minds has to be one of the most psychologically and intellectually compelling. It revolves around the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit, or BAU, as they jet around America solving heinous murders and catching deranged and psychotic serial killers by analysing the behaviour of the unknown subject (or 'unsub', as they are referred to on the show) and essentially, going into the criminal's mind.
Yup, no high-tech gizmos to analyse DNA, no lab coats, and certainly no Horatio Caine-like strutting to be found here. The entire show is about the psychology of the killer, and the mind games and strategies the BAU uses in going about catching these killers is a far cry from all those conveniently-placed hairs and threads the CSI teams are so fortunate to find all the time.
If you've managed to last until now, you should know that the cast of the show has been through several changes since the first season – Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) was replaced with David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) as the senior BAU agent in the third season; Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) replaced Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini).
Season Six is an especially confusing time for the show, with old characters leaving and coming back, new characters making their appearance, and even the introduction of another BAU team led by Forrest Whitaker that would have it's own (ultimately short-lived) spin-off series called Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.
Before the season had even started, a big fuss was made about A.J. Cook (who plays BAU media liaison Jennifer "JJ" Jareau) leaving the show; while the introduction of cadet agent Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols) didn't really contribute a lot to the show, to be honest.
Thankfully, the most interesting characters of the show are still there – unit leader Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), the socially awkward young genius Dr Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler); and the flamboyant technical analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness).
Oh, and the tough Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) is still there as well, though his presence isn't really as essential to the show as the other three, in my humble opinion.
Equally important to the show are the strength of most of its unsubs, many of which have proven to be more than a match for the team more often than not (one of the most memorable unsubs ever was Tim Curry's maniacal 'Prince of Darkness' and C. Thomas Howell's chilling Boston Reaper). Without these formidable homicidal characters as a foil, the BAU would be really bored indeed.
The cast may be changing constantly, but at least the show itself hasn't changed much throughout the six seasons. The hallmark of the show has been its consistency and unwavering dedication to its format and structure. The cases it features are well-written, and the pace has been no less gripping.
And just to hammer home the fact that these are really serious cases, the BAU team goes around with their foreheads furrowed constantly, as they deal with their cases. It's a far cry indeed from the lighter moods of the CSI and NCIS franchises.
If there's one bad thing I can say about the show, it's that watching too many episodes in a row can be rather depressing. Most of the cases featured in the show are as evil, and as sick as they get, with each serial killer seeming even more depraved than ever.
Then again, that's just a minor gripe. At the end of the day, there's just something about Criminal Minds that keeps me going back for more. Being a largely episodic series, with episodes that stand alone most of the time, I don't have to keep watching it, but somehow I am drawn back again and again to watch Hotchner not smiling, to listen to Reid's incessant chattering, and giggle at Garcia's infectious cheerfulness.
Yes, I'm addicted to the show, and like the serial killers the BAU hunts, the real reason for this addiction remains an unknown subject for me.
■ Criminal Minds: Season Six airs every Saturday at 9.40pm on Fox (Astro Channel 710).Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Posted: 08 Jun 2011 02:54 AM PDT
TO announce its grand arrival in Malaysia, Disney Junior is throwing a big party at Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, July 2.
Disney Junior Ahoy To Never Land promises to be a fun-filled experience for children and their parents. Participants will be able to enjoy the magic of Disney Junior as children's favourites like Jake And The Never Land Pirates, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are brought to life. It's a bash tailored to inspire imagination, creativity and learning.
Here's the good news: the channel is offering 50 lucky readers of The Star a special pass each that admits a family of four to the event.
All you have to do is answer the questions that follow. The first 50 correct and most creative entries will get the passes.
1. When will Disney Junior (Astro Channel 613) launch?
2. Arrr! I am all set to join Jake and his crew of Never Land pirates on their treasure hunt because ... (in not more than 20 words).
E-mail your answers to email@example.com, together with your name, age, IC number, address and contact number (and the names and ages of your children), with the subject header "Disney Junior Ahoy To Never Land". Closing date for entries is June 17, 2011.
* The contest is open to Malaysians with children aged two to seven years old.
* Winners will be notified via e-mail or SMS.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Posted: 08 Jun 2011 02:53 AM PDT
DISNEY Junior, a new channel devoted to children aged between two and seven years, launches on July 11. Check out what's in store on the day:
The Hive (8.30am) – A fun-filled animated series about children's activities including playing with friends, spending time with family and discovering how the world works. Told through the adventures of the Bee family (comprising Pappa Bee, Mamma Bee, Buzzbee and Rubee), who lives in Honeybee Hive.
Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue movie (11.30am) – During the fairies' summer visit to the flowering meadows of England, Tinker Bell develops a special bond with Lizzy, a curious child in need of a friend. As her fellow fairies launch a daring rescue to keep their existence a secret from humans, Tinker Bell takes a huge risk, putting her own safety and the future of fairies in jeopardy.
Jake And The Never Land Pirates (1pm) – This interactive treasure hunt series introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – in their Never Land adventures to outwit Captain Hook and Smee – two infamous characters from Disney's classic Peter Pan. The series teaches children problem-solving and physical activities.
Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! (2.30pm) – An animated series starring Dr Seuss' beloved cat. At the request of Sally and Nick, two very inquisitive children, Cat in the Hat, along with his zany mop-haired helpers Thing One and Thing Two, whisks viewers off on amazing natural science adventures.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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