Crossing the TV-appropriate line

CBSs Criminal Minds portrays a team of agents who track down vicious serial killers.

Courtesy of Flickr/ BattleQ

CBS’s Criminal Minds portrays a team of agents who track down vicious serial killers.

Zoey Becker, Online Opinion Editor

Like the majority of many teenagers today, I can too often be found glued to a computer screen while watching some constantly streaming Netflix show. Recently, I’ve become a huge fan of CBS’s “Criminal Minds.” The show is an often-graphic police-procedural show depicting the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) of the FBI and their quest to figure out the minds and motives of serial killers.

The BAU, while although not a fictional department, is portrayed vastly differently on TV than it is like in real life. Many aspects, such as “profiling”, where on the show agents create and report a profile of the unidentified suspect, do not usually exist in real life. Profiling is a huge part of the show, so it came as a shock to me that they wouldn’t have this in real life. However, in both reality and on the show, the mission of the agents and doctors never fails to be disturbing.

Many people argue whether the show is appropriate for viewing on TV and streaming on Netflix. While some episodes are mild enough, like a kidnapping where the victim is found in the end, some of the cases may have gone too far. For example, while some twisted minds enjoy watching fast-paced cases about the team racing to find the guy who is dislocating all of his victims’ joints, or close-to-home episodes about teenagers being stalked through social media, it can be too much for some people. Many think the show has taken some of the episodes too far, and has perhaps crossed the TV-appropriate/morally sane line. Even former cast members have left the show for the same reason. Actor Mandy Patinkin, a former cast member who was a huge part of the show in the early seasons, left the show because he felt it was “destructive to the soul.”

I enjoy watching the show, and most of the time I can stomach even the gross episodes. But even I tend to avoid the episodes involving young children. When I am watching the show on Netflix, this can be as easy as simply skipping over the ones that have graphic descriptions. I think that the show can sometimes get a little too intense for TV, and sometimes the content  can cross the invisible line of what is okay and what is not. However, with the many police and crime shows that “Criminal Minds” has to compete against on TV these days, how else can you really make the show be the best and most-watched without crazy episodes? There are many people who like the show, even the most disturbing parts of it, and those fans are what keep the show, and others like it, in such high demand.

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