|Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 12:48 pm Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Day 13|
|The Fandom Snowflake Challenge
Day 13: In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book) and explain why you love it so much.
[Warning: The show I'm about to rec is about FBI agents that profile serial killers. There's a lot of murder (and other bad things) that happen on this show, and I've heard more than one person call it torture porn. I don't get that feel from the show, myself - and while I'm not a huge fan of crime shows, I've seen enough that this show doesn't really faze me, or make me feel like it's more OTT with violence than any other cop show. Still, if you are sensitive to these things, this show may not be for you.]
Okay, so, I love Criminal Minds a lot. It may be obvious from previous days in this challenge that it's not one of those fandoms that I'm really fannishly active in (like, say, The Losers), but I love the source material so so so much, and here's why.
1. Good writing. Man, there's so much good stuff in this show, and the first is that it's smart. I don't feel like I'm always smarter than the folks solving the crimes, I'm engaged in what they're doing, both because I love the characters and because I feel like I'm learning stuff. Also, their characterization is (usually) subtle and doesn't treat the audience like they need to be hit by bricks. A lot of characterization happens off camera and is only referenced on camera (this leads to things like my theories of Reid's wardrobe being influenced by the girls he's dating). My favorite episodes for the way they unwind are Fisher King part one and part two, which just happen to be the Season 1 finale/Season 2 opener. On top of the writing/team/everything (REID!), there's Jane Lynch as Reid's mama. I love her.
2. Amazing characters and a sense of the team as family (and there you hit one of my major narrative kinks). I'll admit I prefer Gideon to Rossi, and Prentiss to Greenaway, but no matter who is on the team, the team is AMAZING. One of the reasons there aren't any runaway 'ships is because everyone has chemistry with everyone. I can think of scenes that would work for Reid/anyone (sorry, but I think you all know my preference for Reid), Morgan/Garcia (they flirt outrageously all the time and are good friends IRL (with MGG too), Morgan/Greenaway, Rossi/Prentiss, Gideon/Garcia (I think this would be kind of cute, if I didn't sort of make the D: face at Gideon 'ship fic), Prentiss/JJ, JJ/Garcia, and the thing about Hotch is that he's so buttoned up and everyone clearly loves and respects him so much, it's not a stretch to pair him with anyone (but this is the exact reason I don't). Morgan is super-hot and also gets paired with people because, well, hot. Myself, I just love the team as family and really just want them all to be happy together. Some of my favorite episodes for team are Secrets and Lies (FBI vs. CIA, ha! - Season 1 Ep 21), The Big Game/Revelations (okay, this one is Reid-centric, but all the members of the team have their moments - warning for non-con drugs - Season 2 mid-season cliffhanger, Eps 14/15), and Seven Seconds, the team being competent in a child abduction case in a mall, Season 3 Ep 5.
3. Delightful acting and great chemistry. The reason that I can't really decide on a 'ship is because of this. They all get along and are brilliant together. I prefer to see them as family, as I don't really want any more out of their relationships, but I do read ship fic from time to time, because I want more of the characterizations. It's so subtle, I can't figure out why people aren't chomping at the bit to write the offscreen stuff that's referenced onscreen. I'd have to link every episode ever for this one, so if #2 and #3 are the things that convince you, best to start at the beginning and inhale them all.
4. Great guest stars - Jane Lynch as a recurring character (Reid's mom, naw!) and Nicholas Brendan as a recurring character (Garcia's boyfriend, naw!). And everyone else in the world, too! CKR, Gina Torres, Wil Wheaton, Sienna Guillery, Tim Curry, James Van Der Beek, Elle Fanning, Frankie Muniz (True Night, one of my faves), Anton Yelchin (Birth, Sex, Death (another fave), Jackson Rathbone (Conflicted, another fave)... the list goes on and on!
5. Dr. Spencer Reid. I love him a ridiculous amount. Partially because he is physically right up my alley (skinny, tall, long hair) but also because character-wise, he is right up my alley (genius, awkward, geek). Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Reid, is also all of those things (with a bonus helping of dorkiness), and holds the honor of being the only Twitter account I follow in the whole wide world. I could go on about Reid for ages, but let me tell you a bit more about my favorite Reid episodes before I show you a few pictures, hm? L.D.S.K., where we learn about Reid's difficulties with a gun and some about his childhood (Season 1, Episode 6), Derailed, where he uses sleight of hand to fake out an unsub (among other things - Season 1 Ep 9), Elephant's Memory, where he sympathizes with the unsub a little too much (more about his childhood as a genius in the Las Vegas public school system - Season 3 Episode 16), Memoriam, where we learn more about his family and he works out some issues with his dad (this is my favorite Reid episode, I think - Season 4 Ep 7), Amplification, anthrax scare with Reid!whump (there's a lot of that, and a lot of Reid as damsel in distress, another of my favorite things - Season 4 Ep 20) and the list goes on. For me, my favorite seasons are 3 and 4 because it's what I call the Dr. Reid Show! There's some great Reid in Season 1 and a little in Season 2, but Season 3 they seem to catch on that he's a hit, and that stays through Season 4. Season 5 they back off Reid a little (because MGG wanted a breather - he also directs an episode) and Season 6 is the Emily Prentiss show! There are issues (MAJOR issues) with Season 6, but it is all about Prentiss, which is amazing (except for why they were doing it). I have not yet seen Season 7, and I am withholding judgement until I do.
But I did say, Seasons 3 and 4 are my favorite, because ( It's the Dr. Reid show! (Also, this is when his hair is the longest and unruliest.) (13 pictures, some quite large.)Collapse )
And that's why I love Criminal Minds so very very much. Me and soleta are in the middle of a rewatch right now so we can catch up on Season 7. We're at Season 5, and we're watching three to four episodes a night (all day on weekends we're not otherwise occupied), and I am just reminded constantly about how much I love this show and these characters and how much I wish there was more love for it on the internet. I don't do much on LJ anymore (and I know there are a few communities over there), but on DW, there's criminalminds (which I hadn't known about until a few seconds ago, but just posted - oh, looks like it's mostly fic), agents_and_unsubs and hotch_reid_rossi (which are mostly dead), and gubler_daily and pageturner, (for MGG and Paget Brewster, both of which are completely dead). I can't believe there's not somewhere that's just about squee for the episodes (there are a few episode reactions on criminalminds but not many) or meta for the show. I wish someone could explain to me why it just isn't a fandom for that. (There are a ton of MGG fans - I had a lot of stuff on my flist originally, but, much as I love him, that's not what I'm looking for, really, you know?).