Friday, April 9, 2010

Watched "Criminal Minds" last night - ramblings on TV violence

Thursday night games was cancelled last night so I stayed home and found that "Criminal Minds" was on TV. It is one crime drama that I have not really watched properly (i.e. never seen a full episode from beginning to end) so I thought it would be a good chance to watch it. I was particularly curious as some months back actor "Mandy" Patinkin was in Auckland and he was interviewed on a Morning Breakfast show (I think), and was asked why he left the show at its height. He made some interesting comments (what they were, I'll share later).


BTW, I listened to the interview because I happen to like his portrayal of the Dr. Jeffrey Geiger character in  Chicago Hope - the piano playing doctor! Also the promos for the TV series on TV were rather intriguing ...


So I watched and it was to me a disturbing episode yet at the same time it almost sort of did not bother me. I did a quick google and I found it was episode 15, season 4, Zoe's Reprise ... The team pursues a copycat serial killer who is recreating the techniques used by past famous murderers.


And looking at the episode recaps on the show's official website, I think this was actually a mild episode...


Here's some interesting info from the Wikipedia entry for "Mandy" Patinkin about why he left the show.



In September 2005, he debuted in the role of Jason Gideon, an experienced profiler just coming back to work after a series of nervous breakdowns, the result of six members of his team's deaths - which he feels responsible for, in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.[1]
Patinkin was absent from a table read for Criminal Minds and did not return for a third season.[7] The departure from the show was not due to contractual or salary matters, but over creative differences.[1][8] Many weeks before his departure, in a videotaped interview carried in the online magazine Monaco Revue, Patinkin told journalists at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo that he loathed violence on television and was uncomfortable with certain scenes in Criminal Minds. He also spoke of having planned to tour the world with a musical and wanting to inject more comedy into the entertainment business.[9] In later episodes during the 2007-2008 season, Patinkin's character was written out of the series and was replaced by Special Agent David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna.

Back to his comments in the interview. He said (I am loosely paraphrasing) that to play his character in the TV show, he had to delve deep into the criminal mind and it reached a stage where it really affected him. It was all about senseless violence and being exposed to this everyday trivialized the evil of violence till he was becoming unaffected by it. He finally felt that he could not do this anymore. Not good for his "soul"?
I think he is spot on and I commend him for making his personal stand even if it cost him a good salary. I think that my watching too much violence on TV has desensitized me to the reality of this very real evil.
Interestingly I used to be a big CSI fan BUT for a very long time now, I have not been interested in CSI anymore. I guess in part that "Grissom" is no longer there. But also, it's as if I have had too much of an overdoes of over realistic graphic violence. So is it because the story lines are no longer interesting to me? Is it because I crave more creative story lines of creative crimes and violence and if it is not there, I get bored so I quit? *shudder* 
Crazy but the other day  I watched the final scenes of Arnold S's (can't seem to remember how to spell his name) old action movie, Commando and found that while there was so much blowing up and killing of people (very unrealistic) and the story line was pretty cheesy and predictable, it was a different kind of feel to the violence. There was at least a hero who quit violence to spend time with his daughter but goes back to extreme violence, only because he has to save his daughter. Lots of violence but at least it did not delve too deep into evil?
 Ok. just ramblings. I have no well developed answers, just questions.

Got to go - lots of things to do today.

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