A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this gritty crime drama can tread into psychologically violent territory in terms of the types of cases it profiles, which can range from murder to kidnapping to sexual assault. And although violent acts aren't typicaly shown, the main characters do carry and fire weapons as part of their jobs. Language is light overall but does include some audible words like "hell" and "damn."
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What's the story?
CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR, a spin-off series of Criminal Minds, closely follows a group of FBI profilers working for the agency's Behavioral Analyis Unit on their daily hunt for suspects across the country. Led by unit chief Sam Cooper (Forest Whitaker) and reporting to FBI director Jack Fickler (Richard Schiff), the team consists of special agents Mick Rawson (Matt Ryan), Gina LaSalle (Beau Garrett), Jonathan "Prophet" Simms (Michael Kelly), and Beth Griffith (Janeane Garofalo). And occasionally they get help from technical analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), a crossover character from Criminal Minds.
Is it any good?
The primetime marketplace is so flooded with crime dramas and police procedurals that audiences certainly aren't clamoring for another, particularly if it's got nothing new to offer. But in the case of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, the network's thought process might have been that, based on the success of Criminal Minds, the world wanted -- no, needed -- a spin-off.
Not so, if you look at the results. Despite the presence of Oscar winner Whitaker, who's already proven himself an acting powerhouse on both the big (The Last King of Scotland) and small screens (The Shield), Suspect Behavior feels hopelessly gray and flat. So much so that not even the ominous cloud of violence hanging over each episode -- or the show's reliance on cases with convoluted "twists" -- inspires you to set the DVR.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence and the way this show portrays the world around us. Does the series reflect reality in terms of the number and nature of crimes committed in the United States? Does any aspect of it seem exaggerated?
How believable are the main characters? How do they measure up as role models?
Does the show take a position when it comes to good vs. evil? Is the outlook generally positive or negative?
For kids who love thrills and drama
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