CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR “Two of a Kind” Season 1 Episode 1 – After guest starring on an episode of Criminal Minds last year, Forrest Whitaker and his team have spun off into their own TV show. Is it any good? Well…not really.

It sure gets started up quickly, though! The original Criminal Minds had small scenes introducing each member of the team when it debuted 6 years ago, which was a great way to let us know what kind of people they are and what their motivations might be. This show however, it’s like we’re just picking up in the middle of the season. No introduction, no getting to know the team, the camera just pans across the room where they’re all meeting about the case. All that we learn about them is that they’re the “Red Cells” branch of the FBI. It seems like they’re trying to separate this show from the original by making them less “by-the-book” as the original cast, but it just ends up making them look less professional. Oh, and throwing in Garcia doesn’t help at all, it just makes the show seem like an impostor. She doesn’t even seem very happy to be there!

The cast looks good on paper, with Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker being backed up by Beau Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, and the dude from Dawn of the Dead (Michael Kelly). However, they all seem pretty boring. They just don’t seem to gel the way a team should that’s been together for years. Michael Kelly’s Agent Simms is the only one who really emerges with any kind of individuality, but that “individuality” is just that he really dislikes child abductors. Real original, dude. Oh and his line at the end? “I’m proof that redemption is there if you just reach for it, brother”. I don’t blame the guy for shooting himself after that one.

Here’s the thing, you guys. I feel conflicted. On one hand I’m a strong believer of reviewing shows on their own merits and not letting outside sources or hype cloud your judgment, but on the other hand it’s impossible to review a spin-off show like this without comparing it to the original. Especially when the original show is clearly superior. While I didn’t enjoy the first episode of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior very much, it’s possible that the show just hasn’t found its individual voice yet. Maybe with some time, they can focus on fleshing out the cast a little more instead of just going straight to the uninteresting cases. All I know is that if I were to review this show without having seen the original, I still wouldn’t have liked it very much, but being a fan of the original seems to make it that much worse.

Let me know what you all thought! Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Man, is it just me, or is Janeane Garofalo almost unrecognizable? She had a very unique, intriguing look on the Ben Stiller Show and Mystery Men. It made her kind of hot in an alternative, hipster kind of way. Now she just looks like any other middle-aged woman. I guess she needed a job after those Ben Stiller Show residual checks stopped showing up in the mail.

– Shouldn’t the library run background checks of the guys that they hire to do “Storytime in the Park”? Maybe registered sex offender Drew Leland isn’t the best choice for reading to unsupervised children.

– Does Kirsten Vangsness (Garcia) get a paycheck for Criminal Minds and this show? That’s got to be the greatest gig in showbiz. You sit at a computer, pretend to type some stuff and speak some witty dialogue into a headset. Cha-ching!