Thursday, March 15, 2012

CM_SetReport Chat with Executive Producer Janine Sherman Barrois - 3-15-12

JSB: Hey guys, so what’s up? I’m ready to take your questions.

Hannah_CM: Hi Janine :) do you have a favourite episode?

JSB: Riding the Lightning and Bittersweet Science.

Hannah_CM: Soooo happy to hear about the renewal :) have the writers already started to think about what to do in season 8?

JSB: We are so excited. The show is doing extremely well. We keep going up in the ratings and yes, the writers are working on the first five episodes for next season! They're fantastic.

Marrymedunkle: What was the inspiration for writing the episode "I Love You, Tommy Brown?" I love female unsubs/their conviction.

JSB: So there is a big epidemic in this country where female teachers are abusing their male and female students. It's not talked about but it's so dangerous and upsetting that I felt it was something the show could do well. Teri Polo rocked it by the way. She was super creepy.

JJHotchner: Hi Janine! Solid episode last night! You have proven that it's okay to show the unsub's face as long as much is still left to be discovered through the profiling. :) In some of the episodes this season, it felt like viewers were always one step ahead of the team and some have been complaining the unsub is getting too much screen time. How do feel about that?

JSB: We are listening to the fans. Internally, we decide that some episodes will be filmic if we see the UnSub early and in others if we hold their identity back. We are definitely trying to mix it up.

hotchsscruff: Hi! I was wondering how you guys are planning on having Paget leave?

JSB: Whenever it happens, it will be exciting and dramatic. She is an amazing member of this team and family. I need to get some tissues.

JJHotchner: Can we expect any more female unsub's this season?

JSB: Not sure but we definitely want to do more. It helps to keep the show fresh! And we always get positive feedback when we do it.

TodaysMadness: How do you balance showing the unsub and the creepy things they do with integrating the personal lives of the team?

JSB: We break the story in the room and then when you're writing you sort of weave it in and out and depending on how it feels. I really wanted to deal with Garcia and Kevin and their placement in the show just came organic.

TodaysMadness: Who do you imagine is the bride for the wedding at the end of the season?

JSB: Wedding? There is gonna be a wedding?

Hannah_CM: When will the season finale air?

JSB: May 16th.

htlex: Is it just ep 23 that is JJ centric or ep 24 too?

JSB: They are going to be all hands on deck.

tabularossi: We've heard 7.22 is a Rossi-centric episode, and it's called "Profiling 101." Are we going to see Rossi in "expert" mode?

JSB: Yes, it's a very clever episode and you guys are going be very surprised by what it uncovers!

laurenreynoldsisdead: If you were an unsub, how would you kill?

JSB: I take of the first layer of skin of a persons entire body then put them in a pizza oven. I love pizza by the way.

iceprnce1: Are you going to write another episode.

JSB: I am working on episode two for next season. It's creepy and weird.

Hannah_CM: Any clues as to what might happen in any of the remaining episodes?

JSB: People will die. Bodies will drop and if I give it away you guys will be mad.

Amplifigaytion: Next week we apparently see Morgan drawing on some painful elements of his past - are we going to need tissues?

JSB: A Costco load. Like 18 boxes, seriously.

Hannah_CM: What kinds of shows do you like to watch yourself?

JSB: This is my favorite show but I also love Breaking Bad, Homeland, Dexter, Boardwalk, Nurse Jackie, The Slap, the Wire... still watch it on my DVR....Sherlock…

MattyBangBang: Hi JSB, can you tell us why you had Morgan be so blatantly rude to Kevin?

JSB: Morgan wasn't being rude, he didn't want to get involved with their relationship. I think he was privy to Garcia's feelings. It was a guttural feeling he had and wanted Kevin and Garcia to deal with their feelings together. I think he felt awkward but loves her! They had a lot of fun doing this. Garcia was amazing and we are going to continue to peel back layers of her character.

ComeOnPrettyBoy: Do Garcia's issues with getting married have anything to do with her parents (since we know the father that gave her her surname is her stepfather)?

JSB: Yes, I think it definitely has to do with her parents and I think she's scared. Really scared of that level of commitment. But the rate we are going we will have years to delve into her issues.

laurenreynoldsisdead: If you could have anyone guest star on CM, how would it be?

JSB: Angela Bassett, John Waters, Brian Cranston, Camryn Manheim...

HotchGlare: We hear so much about the other characters.. When do we learn something about Hotch or get a Hotch ep. He seems to miss out far too much lately.

JSB: Hotch has had a lot this year with his relationship with Beth. He has some great stuff coming up and you guys will be clapping for it. Seriously.

Sergiocushion: Which unsub would you least like to run into in a dark alley?

JSB: All of them. Everyone brings such fresh ideas that they are all scary.

TodaysMadness: When you write about the character's person life, do you have to go back to previous episodes to make sure the content is consistent?

JSB: We are all consistently looking at prior eps. Everyone in this company is a part of critiquing all the eps and making sure they are true to our show. We all feel ownership of the entire season because we make are mark on all the eps. That includes writers, staff, production... People are constantly working overtime to make this show one of the best in the world.

Hannah_CM: Why do you think Criminal Minds has been so successful?

JSB: I think people are secretly serial killers! And I also think everyone has a fantasy of being part of the law enforcement so we are all heroes too. So Criminal Minds does both!

criminalmindsfan93: Do you know when the episode that Matthew Gray Gubler directed is going to air and can you give us any hints as to what it'll be about?

JSB: We just saw the cut the other day. It airs April 4th and shall I say it is a masterpiece!

TodaysMadness: Do you consider what the fans opinion when you work on an episode?

JSB: Yes. A lot of you are extremely passionate in your criticisms so we listen but we have to write to the characters and not to everyone's feelings about them. It's a balance. Some of you have us in therapy!

htlex: How much input do the cast have in their character development?

JSB: They have a lot. We are constantly talking to them in the room or we go to their trailer. We all have the same goal and that is to make a fantastic show.

Hannah_CM: How long does it generally take to write an episode?

JSB: You get two weeks for the first draft then you have about two weeks of two or three more drafts. Prior to that you get a week to write an outline based upon how we broke the story in the room.

ComeOnPrettyBoy: Do the rules and wants of the network restrict the vision the writers have to CM?

JSB: Not really. CBS has been very supportive of our creative vision and knows that they have something special on their hands.

laurenreynoldsisdead: Which actor is most like their character?

JSB: They all have some traits that parallel! I can't call them out they are going to read this. I have a mortgage!!

htlex: Thanks for answering my questions... one more... any Morgan/Prentiss awesomeness coming up ;)

JSB: You are going to die!!!!!! LOL!

LLALALALA: where do you find out what the fans think of an episode?

JSB: I no longer read the blogs. The assistants let us know the pulse. The good, the bad, the ugly, the positive. It runs the gamut!

cm: CM's episodes this season are not good and the ratings and viewers sink a little deeper at each passing week. How did you guys got renewed?

JSB: Okay, we are doing amazing in the ratings. We are one of the best shows in the WORLD!! CBS loves us. The fans still love us. The show this year has been amazing. We got an early pick up. Shut the front door. WE ARE GOING TO BE HERE forever!!

ComeOnPrettyBoy: Are you excited about the fan video challenge the CM Set Report has up? Who is going to be judging it?

JSB: Yes, thanks to you guys... we are still standing STRONG!!! Trust me there are going to be some pretty famous judges involved... It could go American Idol style. Submit.


laurenreynoldsisdead: Has CM made you super paranoid or more concious about people?

JSB: You guys make me paranoid!! No seriously the show definitely makes you more conscious of your surroundings.

jimmysulllivan: What is the hardest part in creating an unsub?

JSB: There have been so many done on the show that what's hard is trying to make ones that are different and fresh.

elle: Except...the numbers have gone down a bit. And CM has lost ground in key demographics. The numbers may still be high, but they aren't as high as they have been in the past. We get to see the numbers too.

JSB: I think we were top ten last week and we went up last night! You guys, people are happy. Stations are happy all OVER THE WORLD!!

tarynpreston: Do you ever feel sorry for an unsub (or maybe even attracted to them)?

JSB: I felt sorry for Jimmy Hall in the Bittersweet Science and I loved Ian Doyle.... Should I say I stole a photo of him from props!!

TodaysMadness: Is there an episode that you find is just too hard to watch?

JSB: They are all hard to watch. Especially the ones that deal with kids.

hotchsscruff: A lot of people have been rooting for Morgan/Reid (relationship wise). How do you feel about this?

JSB: We are going to delve into more character dynamics next year. We love Reid and Morgan and their friendship!

Amplifigarytion: What can CM do to remain different from all the other crime shows currently on the air? Is that a hard challenge, to avoid just doing the norm?

JSB: The show is inherently different then the other "Cop" shows. We deal with profiling and also get into the mind of the criminal while our team is trying to figure out why it happened not what or how it happened. I think that's why the show weekly feels fresh because they are all mini-movies.

Hannah_CM: Do you have a favourite line that you have wrote?

JSB: My favorite line last night was: "Look, you are Penelope's boo. And she is your baby girl, and what I'm about to embark on takes the keen insight of someone who knows her inside and out." You guys we have to rock and roll and get to breaking more stories. Thanks for being the best fans eva!

CuriousKitty73: This was my first live chat & I enjoyed it very much. CM is FAB! Thank you, Janine!


  1. Ahh, Janine? Since Kevin is the one proposing, shouldn't HE be the one that knows Garcia inside and out? Or maybe Morgan should be the one doing the proposing!! (They do have incredible chemistry)

  2. I agree with the previous post. Maybe JSB did not intend for Morgan to seem rude, but many fans have commented that Morgan seemed to be rude to Kevin. Sure he didn't want to get involved; but why didn't he just say up front to Kevin that he was late for a meeting instead of just staring at him blankly?

    Why was Garcia calling multiple times about a personal matter and Morgan was ignoring the calls? He should have told her to cool her heels and let him focus on the case and he could talk to her about it later. It was unprofessional and really detracted from the story.

    JSB can spout all she wants about how the ratings are still high. It's because fans like me are still attached and don't want to let go yet. We keep hoping it will regain at least some glimmer of its former glory. Seasons 1-4 were excellent. Fun fact: Less than 35% of the episodes in those seasons showed the unsubs up front. Season 5 had more than 50% of the episodes show the unsubs early and it was really when the show started to decline. Season 6 had over 75% of the episodes showing the unsubs early. This season has already exceeded 75% of the episodes showing the unsubs early. I personally am sick to death of seeing the unsubs early. I want to learn about the unsubs through the profile. I don't want to watch them. I want to watch the team getting into their heads and learning more about what makes them tick until they finally do the reveal.

    The unsub's narrative was absolutely awful in last night's episode. I seriously almost turned the TV off. I felt like I was watching some crap program on Lifetime instead of CM.

    I loved this show, I still love the cast, but I'm starting to hate the writing. I already disliked it from season 5. The only thing keeping me watching is the cast but I don't know if even they can keep me loyal if this downward spiral continues.

    I understand that JSB doesn't like being criticized and that maybe she disagrees with the fans, but to tell a fan to "shut the front door"? Yeah, nice euphemism for STFU. That isn't a nice way to talk to the fans who keep the ratings up by tuning in and hoping against hope that maybe the show will actually be good and then being disappointed.

    I'm sure she is a nice person and she seemed sweet in the video, but if she can't handle constructive criticism, maybe she should find another line of work-- or maybe she should go write for a movie/show in Lifetime and leave this show alone.

    Is Chris Mundy available? It would be great to have him come back.

  3. I forgot to add that the character focus has really been uneven and hasn't felt organic or fit in naturally.
    The profiling and dialog have been weak. Go back and listen to the dialog in "Revelations".

    We don't need an info dump from Garcia in act 3 to find out who the unsub is.

    Notice how in the earlier episodes the team did more legwork and worked with the police more.

    In "The Instincts" instead of using Garcia to look something up, Reid went to Bennington and had his mother's doctor contact other mental facilities and give a rough profile to see if anyone fit that had been released.

    We didn't know right from the beginning which character would be the focus and now we do-- and the personal stuff isn't related to the case like it used to be.

    I liked when we got personal info about the characters through the case-- like finding out Hotch collected coins as a child or about his father's cancer. Or finding out about Reid's goalpost incident in "Elephant's Memory".

    The team moment at the end of "Proof" was beyond cheesy and seemed a bit out of character.

    The contributions of each character and their expertise used to be more evident. Now the lines they are given doesn't speak to each character's personality. It's generic and could come from anyone. Reid's fact spews suggest he's taking speech lessons from Speed Racer and he talks much faster than necessary given the pace of the scene and the emotion. I could see him talking that fast if it were urgent or he was very excited, but he's not.

    I don't know if it is the writing or directing or what, but the personalities of the members just doesn't come through as much anymore.

    Going back to "Revelations" again, we saw something personal from each member of the team. We saw how each of them reacted to the situation and it wasn't just one character getting all of the focus.

    I wish the current writers could figure out how to balance that out and recapture the magic.

    The show seems to have been dumbed down and lacks subtlety.

    Maybe they can't afford the green screen effects anymore, but I loved when they would be talking to the police or each other and would talk about previous examples and would show them at the scene. Or it would show them speculating about how things went down and we would see a nondescript person doing things rather than the actual unsub.

    I miss the mystery. If I had tuned in to this show in season 5, I would have changed the station and never looked back. If I had tuned in this season for the first time, I would have made a note to avoid it like the plague.

  4. Very cogent and intelligent points, Anon. I do agree with a lot of what you said about the show itself, though I did enjoy last night's episode.

    The dumbing down and Reid's cranked-up wpms are two complaints I see time and time again that I happen to agree wholeheartedly with.

    WHERE are scenes like in "Memoriam" where the team files out to leave JJ and Spence with a warm, touching conversation about Henry and his future? Or like the scene where Hotch profiles the team to Strauss, gently accepting of each member, revealing how he genuinely cares for them, despite or perhaps because of their flaws.

    My show used to have heart. And depth. I miss it. We cared about these people once. I still do and still want to. But it's because of our history, not because of what we're seeing now.

  5. i don't think the writers are good they ruin er andi wish they bring back the old writers back.what is wrong erica

  6. I hope JJ and Will are the ones who are getting married at the end of the season (if the spoilers about an upcoming wedding in the season's finale are true).

    I personally enjoy the Hotch/Beth relationship, I think they make a really cute couple.
    I also think it's great for Hotch to have lighter storylines. Out of all the team members he's the one who had the more 'angst'. He's a little bit more relaxed and less edgy, even if he's still as professional as he ever was. It's a good thing. Deep down, Hotch is a family man, so that progression seems natural and is most welcomed (at least by me).
    I think Rick Dunkle said that Beth would make another appearance before the end of the season, I suppose that she'll be with Hotch at the wedding (once again, if the spoilers about the wedding are true).

    I hope Prentiss's departure won't be too dramatic. Apparently she's going to leave because she wants to pursue other opportunities, which is a good thing in my opinion. I don't want her exit to be surrounded by drama and tears. Please, we already had the quite lengthy Doyle arc for that !

    Relationship wise, I miss the Hotch/Reid interactions, they used to have great dialog and they shared great moments (mostly during the first three seasons). I seriously miss those moments.

    Not that I have a problem with Morgan/Reid scenes, I like their friendship too and I really love the idea of Reid being gay - I can't help but hope that one day the writers will let Reid have a boyfriend, outside of the team of course, or that we'll meet a former boyfriend of his - Ethan maybe ?.

    As for the finale, I hope they can give Reid great scenes during the season's finale (instead of trivial/funny moments) because there hasn't been much for him to do during the entire season.

  7. I'm firmly in the 'JJ needs to dump Will and marry Spencer" camp. Oh and Henry is definitely Reid's. ;)

    I'd have no trouble with Reid being gay, except that Matthew isn't and I don't think he'd be up for opening up that aspect of Reid's life this late in the game. If they would've established Spencer as gay, or had him discover it about himself earlier on (like noticing that when he kissed Lila in the pool, it did nothing for him), it would've been a better reveal.

    There does need to be more Reid. And slow him DOWN! His lines are interesting and he has a uniquely appealing way of speaking (including how he uses those hands) that is completely lost in the speed-demon delivery, and is distracting and smacks of "hurry up and talk so we can get to more UnSub.

    Less UnSub, More Team please.

  8. I'm not saying that Reid is gay, just that I wish the writers would go down that road. I'm not holding my breath though, I know it's not likely to happen, CBS isn't open minded when it comes to that kind of storylines.

    I don't think Matthew being straight has anything to do with this though. Lots of straight actors don't have a problem playing a homosexual character, but that's beside the point. There would be no need to show us Reid and his boyfriend kissing, the writers would just need to make us understand that they're in a relationship with a few words, some innuendos or a sweet scene. No need to be graphic about it.

    Personally I don't think that seeing in the past a girl interested in Reid, or Reid trying to see where it could go, preclude the possibility of Reid being gay. Reid very recently said himself about a man who was married that it didn't preclude the possibility of him having homosexual desires.

    I'll repeat once again that it's just my opinion and that I'm perfectly aware that chances of that happening are more than slime. I'm not trying to convince anyone here, just stating my own opinion. No need for anyone to try to prove me wrong, I'm aware that this is just something I would love to see and like I said, I'm not holding my breath. I respect people thinking differently.

    As for Reid and JJ, I really don't see them as a viable couple for so many reasons. But I like the fact that Reid is Henry's godfather, it's a nice touch and a testimony of their friendship and mutual respect.
    And I do enjoy JJ/Will and hope they do get married. Once again, just my opinion.

    About there needing to be more Reid I agree. I loved how they used his brain often in the first seasons, there were many scenes where he would use his intelligence in a very unique way, and I often miss him lately.

  9. I miss the profiling. I miss the element of surprise as we rode along with the profilers, seeing how they put the pieces together to discover who was responsible.

    I can see how it would be easier to show the audience the unsub up front, show us all the info the team doesn't know, because we'll (assumably) accept the leaps the team makes to discover who the unsub is as normal, when in a lot of instances, there's not much but a computer saving the day, or a leap being made that doesn't actually make logical sense.

    I understand that it's a lot harder to have the team profile to the unsub, yet still make that profile, how they get there and what we find when we finally see the unsub come together as a cohesive whole. The problem is that we KNOW this show and its writers are capable of doing that.

    Seasons one through four are amazing in their ability to bring interesting cases to a close while keeping the audience mainly in the dark about what was going on until the end. We come to know the unsub as the team does. That mystery, that journey, was the essence of Criminal Minds and what set it apart from all of the other procedurals out there.

    It pains me to watch early episodes and then see what's happening now. It's turned from a procedural into a character drama. The overly personal storylines can't hold a candle to those little bits of info shared with us during a case. Investigating their personal lives isn't why I started watching Criminal Minds - I started watching because I liked to see interesting, intelligent characters solve complex cases. I liked to see how their thought patterns and brains worked, what they imagined as they prowled a crime scene.

    In short, we need a return to form. I have been so disappointed with the last few seasons - and I don't think I'm alone in feeling that things have taken a turn for the mundane.

    I want to see the show I loved return to its former glory. There is so much potential for this show to be great again, and I really hope that returning to form and making a successful show exciting again is what the powers that be want.

  10. Number of episodes where we saw/knew the unsub either from the beginning or early in the episode by season:
    Season 1: 18.2%
    Season 2: 26.0%
    Season 3: 40.0%
    Season 4: 36.0%
    Season 5: 56.5%
    Season 6: 75.0%
    Season 7: 76.5% (so far)

    The writers have gotten feedback numerous times that fans do not want to see the unsubs up front or early on in the episodes. This was the feedback for season 6 and continues to be brought up, yet the writers have chosen to increase the episodes like that rather than decrease them.

    To me, this indicates that the writers are not truly listening to the fans.

    It isn't even so much about the unsubs being shown early so much as it is about what the unsubs or doing or how they are shown and that it cuts in to the time spent profiling so that the profiling-- which used to be the main point of the show-- is now merely an afterthought.

    Also, Reid's dialog has really been dumbed down. Now instead of really analyzing things and using good diction he says inane and sometimes factually incorrect things and is used to spout facts without really having much intelligence to the facts.

    There used to be more intelligence in the lines in the first four seasons.

  11. I'm going to use this space to say something that it has been bothering me for a while now, hoping that at least someone from the show will read this.

    I would like to express how deeply disappointed I feel everytime I hear from the executive producer and writers how a Reid storyline keeps getting left aside because Jane Lynch is not available.

    Now, I have to say that yes, Jane Lynch was terrific as Diana Reid and we would be lucky to get her back however, she is the lead on another tv show from another network, so what are the odds that you will get her back?
    Last time she was on the show was season 4 and we are on our way to season 8.

    I love Reid, no offense to any other character, but he's my favorite and it pains me to think that he doesn't get a well deserved storyline because a guest actor is not available.

    So I'd like to come here and plead with you to get over the Diana character and move on with his character and give the actor more to do, because he's amazing as Dr. Reid and deserves his own storyline independent of supporting characters.

    Thank you for reading this, if you did.

    1. I am in absolute agreement with you . They have had episodes in the past that focused on Reid without an appearance from his mother why do the seem to need her so much now . I don't think he gets the credit he deserves and is under used

  12. I know ratings are great, but that does not mean the show is still great. We love these characters, but not what you're doing to them. We want more profiling. We want to see the team solving the case, bringing us with them. We want to see evidence that the writers have actually viewed earlier seasons and know these characters. We do not want to see graphic violance; we'd rather see the characters' reaction to the violence. We want Reid to be the amazing character he used to be, the one that made many of us begin to watch this show in the first place. And don't get me started on what's been done to Garcia....

  13. I agree with the above comment. Ilove Diana and Jane Lynch but it's time to stop hanging on to the hope that Jane Lynch will become available and give Reid a decent storyline that doesn't involve his mother. I only watch CM for Reid these days and the lack of any Reid storylines is fast pushing me to quitting the show altogether. The reason why I only watch for Reid these days...count me in with the many fans who are fed up with always seeing the Unsub so early. Now that we see the unsub upfront so much and now that there's so little actual profiling (imo the writers nowadays just don't know how to write the deep, psychological profiling scenes we used to get in earlier seasons and just give us copious Unsub scenes instead)the show has become just a generic cop show for me these days. And I have no interest in generic cop shows.

  14. Wow "ratings are better than ever??" The ratings are showing the show's loss of intelligence with very low ratings for this last ep. I don't know what the writer is smoking, but such blatant BS that they "continually watch past eps" and are "doing better than ever" is hilarious. This show has gone downhill fast since she came on board - horrible writing, up close images of torture, ridiculous scenarios, and characters who are cardboard cutouts - and that's an insult to cardboard cutouts everywhere.

    CM used to be my favorite show. Now? These "elite profilers" cant' think their way out of a wet paper bag.

  15. Jane Lynch has stated that she would love to come back and reprise Diana, but that CM "hasn't called". So, either she's missing their messages (unlikely), or they just haven't tried to get her and are lying to us (far more likely).

    Incidentally, the fact that she is on Glee shouldn't matter one whit. She does commercials, promos, she tweets regularly, she emceed the Emmys, for cryin' out loud.

    Pretty sure this woman can do whatever the hell she pleases.

  16. I agree with the first person and with all of you. I also want to add, I think an engagment is a big mistake. I understand if they never go there with Morgan and Garcia--that's fine--but to kill that chemisty between them (and an engagment or marriage would make that flirt rather gross, if you ask me), that fun unresolved sexual tension that has been there since season one that makes you wonder will they/won't they, is nuts.

  17. Wow, look at all the brave "anonymous" people attacking the writer.

  18. The special focus on individual characters you've given us this season simply has not worked. In most cases, you've just clumsily tacked on a few minutes of cringe-inducing drivel at the beginning and end of the episodes. If you really did go back and watch episodes from seasons 1-4, you'd see how character development should be done. Are any of those writers available?

  19. I do tend to use 'anon' when posting on any board to avoid spam, though I think you're missing the point.

    Nobody seems to be 'attacking' Janine personally. We're complaining about the overall decline in the writing quality of the show, and backing up the complaints with statistics and examples of when it was stellar.

    These are serious, valid, and intelligent posts, and if it takes you knowing my name to take us seriously? It's Tari Lynn. I was author of the 4th, 7th, and 'Lynn' posts above.

    Does that make this any more palatable for you?

  20. It has nothing to do with it being palatable. It's about believing enough in what you've got to say to own it. There's just something cowardly (to me) about puffing your chest out and making some seemingly bold statment anonymously. If you're unhappy by all means speak up, but you should name yourself and be sure that when you lodge your complaints you remember to add that it is "your" problem with the show and not assume that 12 million people share your point of view or that 12 million people continue to tune in because they're hoping things will improve. Is the show the same as it used to be. No, it has changed. The question is whether or not that change is good or bad. For some of you the answer would seem to be BAD, but what the answer is for the majority remains to be seen. Yes the ratings have taken a hit, but it goes up against some very stiff competition and with the exception of the previous episode it always manages to be the most watched non AI show on Wednesday nights. Until the season is over and average numbers for the entire season can be compiled it's impossible to say just how bad or good the show did this season.

    In all fairness though, these issues should be addressed to Erica Messer, not to the one lone writer who agreed to give some of her time to the fans and a somehow got caught in the unfortunate position of having to answer some uncomfortable questions.

    This last episode wasn't one of my favorites. It was too much unsub and too little of the main cast, but there are always episodes in every season that I don't care for. I just skip over them when the DVD box sets are relesed. : )

  21. I'm sorry, but what is the difference between using "anonymous" and using a pen name like "sf81387"?

  22. By using a pen name you are at the very least identifying yourself in some manner and showing that when you state an opinion, you aren't ashamed or too cowardly to own up to it. I wouldn't suggest anyone ever use their real name on the internet, but give yourself some sort of identity and stick with it.

    1. I use anon because I don't have any of the accounts listed, and when I try to use the option to put a name it glitches and won't let me post.
      But complaining about people posting anonymously just seems like an attempt to draw people away from the real issues. The real issues being that this show has seriously declined, the writer was rude to fans who pointed it out, and the producers/writers seem to think that nothing is wrong.

  23. If "anonymous" fans hadn't told the writers/producers (you know this writer is also a producer, right?) last year that they were very unhappy with the direction of the show, with the firing of AJ and Paget, with the character of Seaver, with the ridiculous plots and hammy writing, do you think AJ and Paget would be back and Seaver would be gone?

    Speak up, fans. Call the producers and writers on blatant errors and lazy writing. If you don't don't blame the CM powers that be for not changing anything.

    1. Perhaps no one's speaking up because they don't agree with you about "blatant error" "lazy writing" whatever, not because you're right. They spoke up with AJ, Paget, and Seaver because that WAS a problem they felt was really going on.

    2. I completely agree with you, madeupname. People need to make themselves heard. A lot of people have been complaining about the errors, inconsistencies, and things that just scream of lazy writing. It seems as though they just aren't willing to take the time to make sure they get their facts right or get the continuity right- and sometimes all they would have to do is look at an online wiki for the information. It wouldn't be that hard. If they have time to do these chats, then they have time to look at the wikis.

      It seems that the writers just ignore the constructive criticism and hide behind the ratings still being acceptable even though the ratings are dropping.

      I think a lot of people have given up. If more people thought that the writers would actually listen, they might speak up. But time after time the writers just blow people off.

  24. If the comments and complaints are valid, well-written, and frankly RIGHT, it shouldn't matter one way or another is someone takes the time to attach a fake name to it.

    The showrunner, ERICA MESSER, should pay attention. Janine was just the latest face in the room, that we could all associate with the show. No doubt she will share our views with the other writers in some capacity. They do have the ability to bring us back our show. Especially if they also share our concerns with EM. Skirting the issues by screaming that we are all idiots for being anonymous is a diversionary tactic designed to make us defend ourselves instead of LISTENING to what we had to say.

    They should LISTEN.

  25. Okay, I’ll start with feedback specific to this episode and this chat. Yes, JSB, Derek was rude, very rude in fact, and it was noticed by many of the shows viewers. Instead of saying, “I can’t get in the middle of this,” or “I’m late for a meeting,” Morgan just looked a Kevin like, “Why are you even moving your mouth?” and walked away. I know Morgan and Kevin might not be best buds, but to see Morgan dismiss him so disrespectfully was out of character and reflected poorly on Morgan.

    As for Garcia freaking out the whole episode and Morgan completely ignoring her, neither of those things worked for me at all. It was unprofessional on her part and again, he could have just talked to her briefly & been done with it.

    I’d love to see Kevin & Garcia get married, but whether they do or don’t isn’t why I didn’t like Garcia’s response. What I didn’t like was that we’ve already seen commitment issues with JJ (First she couldn’t admit she was dating Will and then she was hesitant to admit she was pregnant. He asked her to marry him & she apparently said “no”. I’ve heard the excuse that she’s a modern woman who doesn’t need to be married or whatever, but based on what we’d seen between them up to that point, it seemed to me that it was more likely she just couldn’t commit. Despite the fact that Will gave up his job, moved to be with her and Henry, and appears to be very supportive, she’s always seemed to have one foot out the door. Maybe she'll finally commit at the end of the season and that would be great). Point being, I don’t see the point in having another female team member with commitment issues. It’s been done and is repetitive. Hopefully one of them will get over it this May.

    JSB said, “Okay, we are doing amazing in the ratings. We are one of the best shows in the WORLD!! CBS loves us. The fans still love us. The show this year has been amazing. We got an early pick up. Shut the front door. WE ARE GOING TO BE HERE forever!!” The lady doth protest too much, methinks. It’s not that I’m unaware that CM has good ratings or that I’m surprised that it got renewed, but I also know that a lot of viewers are holding onto a show they once loved in hopes that they will love it again. I know I’ve been extremely disappointed and increasingly frustrated this season and I’ve read on multiple sites that many fans feel the same. A lot of fans don’t still love you, CM. I honestly haven’t looked forward to, or remotely felt excited about, a new episode in months. I actually Expect to be disappointed when I tune in. How sad is that? So just because people are still watching, for now, doesn’t mean they’re all happy or even satisfied. More on some of this later.

    Regarding showing the unsubs so much, JSB stated, “We are listening to the fans. Internally, we decide that some episodes will be filmic if we see the UnSub early and in others if we hold their identity back. We are definitely trying to mix it up.” Clearly, this is not the case. The numbers supplied by others here demonstrate very clearly that there’s very little balance regarding this issue, despite the fact that fans have been complaining about the unsub-heavy plots for months. I don’t think the viewers minded the occasional unsub-focused episodes in the past, especially when they had some kind of interesting slant or unexpected twist. Some examples that come to mind are “True Night” and “Normal”. Back then, though, it was different and a twist on the normal format. Now it’s just another boring week where there’s less time with the team on screen, more time watching the unsub waiting to see the team again, less profiling, less mystery, and more frustration. I think CM has really lost its original focus, which is what made it a success in the first place. TBC

  26. JSB also stated, “We are all consistently looking at prior eps. Everyone in this company is a part of critiquing all the eps and making sure they are true to our show.” Wow, I actually laughed. If this were true there wouldn’t be so many continuity errors, some which are blatantly obvious, and so much out of character writing.

    Now to elaborate further on points not specific to this episode and chat. Let’s start with the decline in writing. I’ve seen a noticeable downturn in the writing over seasons 6 and 7. There’s the unsub-heavy plots, continuity errors, and out-of-character writing that I’ve mentioned. Also, even when the writing has been in character, it’s often inconsistent. For example, in season 6, Reid would go from being depressed or miserable in one episode to happy-go-lucky in the next, flipping back and forth through much of the season. At various times, either could seem in character for Reid, depending on what’s going on in his life, but to have such a big change in a short time seemed odd and inconsistent. I think that speaks to another issue, which is that there doesn’t seem to be much flow between writers and episodes anymore. There should always be someone overseeing the overall flow and continuity not only within, but between episodes, but CM no longer seems to have that.

    There’s also the dumbing down of the dialogue, especially for Reid, but overall as well, and the decrease in actual profiling. This makes me question if the current writing staff simply lack the skill to write the profiling scenes that were once a staple of the show, as well as the intelligent dialogue that once made it clear that Reid was a genius. I’ve seen people who came into the show in the last couple of seasons write, elsewhere, that they didn’t even know Reid was a genius for a long time.

    Then there’s the soap opera storylines. I don’t actually have anything against Hotch/Beth, but we’re seeing far too much of it given how disconnected it is from the rest of the show. It seems CM also has to find ways to show Morgan in a towel or to do something else to make Garcia freak out for entire episodes. Again, things that have nothing else to do with the team. Don’t get me wrong, Moran in a towel looks good, but it felt like just an excuse to garner attention for the show by putting out those images of Shemar in a towel, as opposed to a legitimate storyline.

    I don’t mind being shown a bit more of the team’s personal lives, but I want it in a way that feels natural, organic, and ties in with the show as a whole. I used to feel that. When we saw Hotch’s family life with Haley, we saw how it was woven into the Fisher King case, we saw Haley with the team at the beginning of “The Big Game” (which was an amazing example of a great team scene that felt genuine, not forced like the pasta party scene), and how his personal life even came into play during the Foyet arc. We saw Morgan’s family tied in naturally in “Profiler, Profiled”. There were lovely, but brief scenes bracketing “The Uncanny Valley”, which gave a hint as to what Reid does in his down time and made subtle references as to how he coped with Gideon’s departure. These are just a few examples of how to tie in the team’s personal lives the right way. I was really excited when Erica Messer said that we’d be seeing more of the team’s personal lives this season, but I’ve been incredibly disappointed with how that’s been executed thus far. TBC

  27. I’m also sick of the oversimplified endings. Don’t blame it on CBS, because CM used to know how to let things play out. There was Reid’s drug use storyline. Granted, I’d have liked a bit more detail with that, but at least they didn’t have Reid have one conversation with Morgan or Gideon and then *poor* he’s all better. The same is true of the Foyet & Hotch arc. There was no magical moment when Hotch got over his trauma from being attacked or over losing Haley. In season 6, though, we have the storyline with Reid’s headaches that Rick Dunkle tweeted was resolved after “With Friends Like These”. Oh yeah? A heart to heart with Morgan and nap makes it all better? And what was “it” by the way? I’ll be back to this topic in a few. Then there’s the “pasta party makes everything better” mess in “Proof”. So, instead of devoting one scene to JJ and Reid having an honest conversation, which then would have made the pasta party scene make sense, we’re supposed to believe Reid just got over everything overnight? That they’re “BFFs again”, according JSB? There’s no sense of reality to this. Even “True Genius”, which I think is one of the best episodes of the season and I think was written by one of the best writers CM currently has on staff, had this problem to some degree. At the beginning, Reid’s questioning his life, but by the end he’s happy and feels so right being with the team again. What suddenly changed? Is it because, after months of having nothing to do (on the show anyway), he finally got to stretch his genius brain a little and that made him feel better? It really wasn’t clear and should have been explored or explained a bit more. The magic endings are a cheat and a cop out.

    Speaking of the issues happening in “Proof”, I believe it was Erica Messer who’d said, around the beginning of the season, that we’d be seeing the issues of betrayal and distrust in the team, which resulted from the secret of Emily’s “death”, play out over the entire season. Well, that sure didn’t happen, did it? It wouldn’t have been hard to work in a few reaction shots or comments over the course of multiple episodes to show there’s still underlying tension in the team. Too much effort to bother?

    Dropped storylines. I’m so fed up with them, seriously. First there’s the storyline with Reid’s headaches. Did the writers not bother to think of how they could successfully bring that storyline to conclusion before they started it or did they just figure they’d wing it? And the excuse about needing Jane Lynch to finish the storyline is just that, an excuse. If the writers and EM wanted to resolve the story, they would. Instead, they bring up another potential storyline, something going on with Reid’s mom in the beginning of the season, which apparently resulted in Reid taking a very vaguely alluded to sabbatical for unknown reasons, at an undisclosed time, and of ambiguous duration. Again, it’s apparently dropped. And again, if they wanted to clue the audience in without the presence of Jane Lynch, they could. Would I love it if she came back? Absolutely! She’s awesome! But it’s not a requirement for the storylines. CM staff blame it on her lack of availability, yet she was on Glee when both of these storylines began and she’s apparently even said she’s willing to reprise the role of Diana, so again I say that’s a lame and pitiful excuse.

    I agree that there needs to be more balance with the characters and that CM used to do this well. Within one episode, they could focus in on different characters at different points and do it in a way that made sense and felt natural. I don’t see that often now. TBC

  28. Now, I’ll be more specific. Reid has definitely been getting the short end of the stick this season. Though he is my favorite character, I know it can’t and shouldn’t be the Reid show, though that is certainly a show I would watch. It seems, though, that in many episodes he’s become set dressing. He doesn’t get good dialogue and he disappears from whole sections of episodes. Often he’s literally sitting in the background. From what I’ve seen on multiple CM fan sites (not ones devoted to MGG or Reid, but ones devoted the show and whole cast), when polls are conducted asking who the fans’ favorite character is, it’s consistently Reid. So, why would the showrunner and writers do themselves and the show the disservice of putting one of , if not the, most popular character in the background and downgrading him to a data spewing automaton for much of the rest of the time?

    I’ll be honest. Reid is the only reason I have left to watch the show. CM is no longer of sufficient quality to hold my interest on its own, but I’ll probably watch for as long as Matthew is there portraying Reid. The day he leaves, though, I’m gone. It’s not one of those empty threats, “If you don’t get Matthew to renew his contract, I’ll stop watching!” and then I go on watching anyway. It’s a fact. If Matthew were to choose to move on to something more fulfilling and challenging right now, I’d be saddened, but I wouldn’t blame him in the slightest. My reason for watching the show would be gone though.

    I also think that CM has the numbers it does right now because, as I mentioned before, its hanging onto long-time fans who are hoping for EM and the writers to finally stop their self-congratulatory back patting, telling themselves they’re doing so awesome, and instead realize that a large portion of their fan base is very unhappy. They’re hoping things will improve. The current CM staff, however, seems lazy and as if they don’t care about whether they put out a quality product or not as long as they have good numbers. Truthfully, though, if this current version of CM had gone up against Lost, I don’t think it would have made it and wouldn’t have developed the devoted fan base it has now. The same devoted fan base EM and the writers are disrespecting by putting out the poor quality episodes they’ve been giving us for almost 2 years, 3 according to some.

    (Now I'm done. Sorry for the TBCs...character limit.)

  29. I just have to say to the above Anon poster, these were some wonderful detailed posts about the many examples of how I also feel CM has gone off the rails.

    Also, thank you to the person who compiled the stats about unsubs being shown! Love to see actual stats to back up the argument.

    I, too, am often expecting disappointing episodes now. I am hanging on in the hopes that the show will come back to its former glory. But it's getting harder and harder not to change the channel, and that's really sad. I am hopeful that the writers reading this might either share some of these concerns or be open to hearing them and improving based on them.

  30. Honestly though...I think that back in the earlier seasons...people did want personal storylines. So that is what the writers are giving us. I've liked some of them...and disliked some. I agree that the profiling has kind of declined (s6-7 mostly), but the old formatting may have eventually annoyed us too (we'll never know I guess). I'm hoping we'll get more profiling and less unsub as well. even if just 50% of episodes didn't give an early reveal..the show would get better. Lower ratings are stemming a lot from AI. There's stiff competition in our time slot..but we are doing just fine. I'm hoping that in S8 we will have more profiling. This year, there's a lot of focus on the "BAU family" thing, but, with the wonderful Paget leaving, they can't keep hitting that the team will have to do more case stuff.
    Props to Janine though. Some of those questions, though containing some truth, were kind of harsh. I don't blame her for the stfu thing..I'd have said the same thing. Sans the too much unsub, she's a really great writer. She doesn't have to do the chats, so you guys should be more polite to her. As said above, if you want to complain about the show, take it up with Erica Messer.
    I'm not going to stop watching this show. It's my all-time favorite. Yes, the format has changed, and I'll admit the best episodes were in earlier seasons, but I have enjoyed a lot of them this season. Thanks to all involved with the show for giving me so much entertainment.

    1. Whether or not a writer does chats means nothing to me. I would prefer if no one from the show did any kind of interaction if it meant a better product.

    2. The thing that made it special about having personal stuff about the team was because it was rare and usually very well done and somehow woven into the case. It wasn't so much whole stories most of the time, but little tidbits-- such as Hotch admitting that he was "a bit of a nerd" and collected coins as a child. Or when he told the suspect in "Ashes and Dust" about his father's cancer.
      We got to see the cases affecting multiple team members.
      In "The Big Game" we got to see the team all out at a bar having fun but it was tied in because it showed what they were doing when they got called to a case. We did not really see much of the unsub and we didn't know there was only one person instead of three until the end. "Revelations" was a followup to that and we got to see Reid proving to be tougher than he looks by keeping his head enough to send messages to the team/Hotch. Even though he was terrified and was going through hell- he whimpered, cried, and shrieked like a girl, but he still looked down the barrel of the gun and said "kill ME" rather than pick one of his team members. Meanwhile we had JJ feeling guilty and being traumatized by the dogs. Morgan was upset and couldn't deal with her problems. Garcia was horrified by what she was watching. Prentiss was compartmentalizing (so we learned that about her). Gideon was doing his self-indulgent pouting in the bathroom. Hotch was clearly upset about not having taught Reid how to deal with emotions and was feeling helpless while unable to do anything for him, but he still got that Reid was communicating with him. So we had those great character moments all in one episode. There was time for every team member, even if not all of them got equal focus. Each team member played a role and that role was more distinct than the roles they play now.
      I was talking to some other fans on a forum and we wondered what "Revelations" would have been like if written by the current writers. There would probably have been a lot more flashbacks from Tobias. More torture scenes. More gore (probably would have seen the dogs holding prosthetic limbs after they ripped the woman apart). And probably would not have had something from each character.
      Janine's STFU to the fan in the chat was NOT ok. As a writer she should understand that it comes with constructive criticism. She is delivering a product and the fans are the consumers. Perhaps the first question could have been worded better, BUT the followup was stating a fact. She reacted poorly to that as well.
      She is also a producer in addition to being a writer so she is one of the people who needs to know what fans think/feel.
      If the chats are really so troublesome then they should stop having them-- or have them less often. Instead they should spend that time reading fact sheets on the characters, going over information about continuity, and trying to figure out how to recapture the magic.

      If they could balance the personal stuff and only give us small stuff from each character rather than big hunks in almost every episode, it might work. Less is more.

      Less unsub would really really help.

  31. Thank you to all the posters above who have articulated my thoughts exactly. The profiling has all but disappeared. I didn't come here specifically to bash JSB but I have to admit her comments were really annoying and her episodes are all on my worst list. It's so obvious that the writers have not reviewed the previous episodes. Her comments that everything is great and everyone is happy just show how out of touch with the viewers she is. Sure I lay the blame at EM's door. She made promises to the fans and failed to deliver on them. This show is a shell of what it once was. I'm glad I have my DVDs of the early seasons because I enjoy watching them over and over. Mention the name of an ep and I could tell you all about it. This season I'm hard pressed to find any episodes to get excited about.

  32. I'm a relatively new fan of CM, I just started watching during this season (yeah, I have no idea how I've missed out on this wonderful show until last fall), so maybe I would feel differently if I had been watching during the earlier seasons. However, I have caught up on the entire series now and I felt I should contribute a slightly different view...

    I really, really love this show--the psychological/behavioral analysis basis, the unique twist on a crime procedural-type show, the team and the dynamics between them, EVERYTHING. And to find out that so many others feel as passionately about it as I do is amazing. There are several things that have been brought up here that I would agree with, such as less focus on the unsubs and more on the team's discovery of them through their profiling/investigations (I'm not overly concerned with how soon we may see the unsub, but sometimes I feel that there may be a few too many scenes devoted to what they're doing during the course of the episode instead of what our team is doing--I like knowing/understanding what has shaped the unsub, etc., but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to see it only from the actions of the unsub, mostly I'm looking for a good balance in this regard--hopefully my explanation makes sense!), more *deep* focus on the characters (what they're going through/have gone through and how that continues to contribute to their actions/behavior, how a case may be affecting them, meaningful, emotionally-rich interaction between team members), and personally I could stand for a bit more Reid as well (:D).

    With that said, I'd also like to point out that there are many things that have been great about this season. I actually quite like Beth&Hotch. Morgan and Prentiss have both made me laugh several times each. I've enjoyed the lighthearted moments and the 'family' moments. I have so much love for Reid getting to use his (mathematically-derived, of course!) poker prowess. Maybe I'm too sappy for my own good, but all these things have worked for me, and I'd like to thank the writers/producers/cast/crew for working so hard to put it all together. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of season seven!

    I still think Criminal Minds is a fantastic program; it's not perfect by any means, but few things are. For me, I think it's important to acknowledge the positive along with the things that could be improved on. I'm truly not trying to be critical of anyone else's opinions, and of course not everyone will like the same parts of the show as I do. I just thought I would throw out this particular fan's opinion of the show. :)

    (Now, if the showrunners/writers/etc. wanted to make me an incredibly ecstatic fangirl, they would chock the rest of the season full of Prentiss/Reid friendship moments while we still have Paget. *hint hint* ;))

  33. Here's something for JSB to mull over.

    The ratings keep dropping-- and they tend to get lower when she is writing.

    I can honestly say that I think she is the worst writer on the series.

    1. JSB has nothing to mull over. Ratings aren't narrow-focused as as you're trying to make them out to be. They're dependent on a HUGE variety of factors. Your comment doesn't even prove people have stopped watching, presumably what you're implying. There's Live+7 day, not to mention online viewing - legal and illegal.

      And "Worst writer"? Uh...Rick Dunkle's written worse episodes IMO, and Janine's actually written some very good episodes. This last one wasn't all that bad.

  34. "JSB: Yes. A lot of you are extremely passionate in your criticisms so we listen but we have to write to the characters and not to everyone's feelings about them. It's a balance."

    Nice. I'm glad to see JSB doesn't go to the blogs anymore. Some of those people are scary (as evidenced by some of the comments on this very chat transcript), and like to overrun the more reasonable ones. Whenever I read them I wonder what show they're watching. It's certainly not the one I tune into. :D

    1. Blue Sunflower, I think the majority of comments here are very well thought out and articulated. This isn't hate speech, name calling, etc. Folks are giving examples of poor writing, inconsistencies in character, etc. These aren't the ignorant comments you find on Facebook or IMDB. These people are passionate, loyal viewers and they make their comments not with the intention to tear down but rather to salvage the show they love. The show was once fantastic. It is now average. And although I did not post it here, I myself did the research on when the unsubs were first seen in every episode and posted it on another board. I have since seen it pop up on several other forums. The writers need to know when something they are doing consistently displeases the fans. Of course they can't pay attention to stuff like character romances and the like, but ignoring or cutting the profiling is a serious mistake, as it is the one thing that separated CM from other crime shows in the early seasons. It is a show for thinking people and, as such, thinking people are going to notice when a plot element or timeline doesn't make sense. They're going to notice a contradiction in character. If the writers aim to please the mindless just to garner ratings, it will backfire because those are the kind of viewers who are drawn to the silly reality shows. They'll ditch CM once American Idol kicks in.

    2. I wonder what show JSB thinks she is writing for, because she does not stay true to the characters. Well, not just her specifically. One of the biggest gripes of fans (after the unsub shown early) is that the characters don't seem "in-character" and that they have become caricatures of themselves. Their contributions to the profile (when any profiling is even attempted) just seem generic and don't show the unique insights that the characters used to show. The lines given to them are all things that any cop on any show could say.

      I can understand if JSB doesn't want to read criticism that is not constructive, but that is not what this is. This is constructive. If she can't handle constructive criticism then maybe she should fine a new line of work.

      I don't think this show is even average anymore. It has sunk below-- but maybe because I am accustomed to the higher standards of the first four seasons.

      Maybe the cast weren't joking when they talked about setting the bar low, because it really does seem that the bar for quality has been greatly lowered.

    3. Anonymous, I do not think the majority of comments here are very well thought out and articulated. This is hate speech, name calling, etc. Folks are not giving examples of poor writing, inconsistencies in character, etc. They are only giving they're opinion of what constitutes these things, completely ignoring those that don't agree that there *is* any of the above listed going on within the show. These are the ignorant comments you find on Facebook or IMDB. These people are not the only passionate, loyal viewers and they make their comments with no consideration that other passionate, loyal viewers don't see any reason to tear down since no salvage is needed for the show they love. The show is still fantastic. It is not average. And although you did not post it here, your research which is based on opinion only and not an accurate fact - not to mention has no bearing on whether an episode is "good" or not - on when the unsubs were first seen in every episode which you posted on another board. I also have since seen it pop up on several other forums, because everyone loves a statistic, whether accurate or not. The writers do not need to know when something they are doing consistently displeases a relatively few of the fans. Of course they can't pay attention to stuff like character romances and the like, but ignoring or cutting the profiling would be a serious mistake if they were doing it, but not an issue since they are not; it still remains the one thing that separated CM from other crime shows in the early seasons, continuing on to today. It is a show for thinking people (no, it's really not, it's a procedural not Lost) and, as such, thinking people are going to notice when a plot element or timeline doesn't make sense, which luckily hasn't happened. They're going to notice a contradiction in character, which luckily hasn't happened. If the writers aim to please the mindless just to garner ratings, which luckily they are not, it will not backfire because those are the kind of viewers who are drawn to the silly reality shows. They won't ditch CM once American Idol kicks in.

  35. Heh. The people with their "statistics". I'm pretty sure CM has better statistics than the posters here, and can read them better - and not in a vacuum. The ratings ones are particularly amusing me in their lopsidedness.

  36. I don't think they need to make any of the characters gay at this point in time. If they had done so early on it would make more sense. But they have established all of the men as being attracted to women and the women as being attracted to men. That doesn't preclude bisexuality, but Reid has never shown any attraction to men so I don't think that would make sense.

    I really miss the old interactions among the team. I know that things have changed, but Garcia actually used to care about Reid and have nice moments with him. Now all she seems to care about is Morgan or whining about gore.

    JJ used to envy Prentiss for her ability to compartmentalize, and she used to prank people a bit. I remember the story to freak out Morgan and Reid in "The Boogeyman". That scene was hilarious. And I remember an obnoxious reporter trying to get info from JJ and she leaned in closely as if she were going to tell the person a secret and then told him he should reconsider his tie.

    I know Prentiss is no longer so awkward, but she used to talk to Morgan about books and Garcia teased her about her high school photo.

    There used to be so many little character interactions and those things seem to be missing a lot. In the quest to break Ed Bernero's rule about limiting personal stuff, they have gone overboard.

    I still want to see all of their homes inside, but it doesn't have to take a lot of time.

    We could see all of them on a day off or middle of the night getting a call.

  37. Hey, really appreciate Janine coming on and giving her insights. It's cool when writers or other associate with the show will come talk to viewers. I'm a relative newcomer to CM, but even still am a little stunned by the negativity, as I don't see all that much difference from season to season (I've been catching up on all the seasons!) I feel bad that people are disappointed, but I'm a firm believer in finding the good in the show and the characters, and letting them grow and change.

    1. I've noticed that newcomers don't seem as bothered by the changes, but there are some that are new who notice. Of course, there are some longtime viewers who also continue to enjoy things or even like it better.

      The majority of the people I've talked to see a definite change and not for the better.

      I really don't see a character growth so much as a regression in some ways. The characters are less unique and seem to show even less personality. It went from being a show about elite profilers who proved why they could do this and not the average joe police. Now the writers make it seem any average joe could do it if they had access to the stuff Garcia looks up. They use Garcia's computer stuff as a crutch far too often-- and even access info that wouldn't actually be on the internet.

      That's why I liked things like "Nameless, Faceless" where they actually had to read through the paper files. I know they did use Garcia as a crutch in earlier seasons at times, and some of the searches she put in were ridiculous because that sort of detail would not be available, but it seems they do it now more than ever in lieu of actually profiling.

      The constant factual and continuity errors show that they don't seem to be fact checking or taking the time to make sure they have things right-- and that suggests laziness. It is disheartening when it seems that the writers don't care as much as fans do. If a writer has time to take an hour out of her day to attend a chat, then she should have the time to look up something on a fanwiki that documents all sorts of details.

      Maybe they need to reduce the number of chats and focus on the research part and have everyone take notes about things.

  38. First thank you for the chat.
    I think it's really interesting to organize these chats with the writers after every episode, and it's even better to have the transcript posted afterward for those who couldn't attend.

    I have been a fan of this show since day one. After reading the comments here I really felt the need to express some of my own opinions.

    There are things I really enjoy and things I don't enjoy as much concerning Criminal Minds, but that's nothing new.
    Some things/storylines work for me, others don't.

    But I don't feel entitled to tell the writers how they should do their job and I perfectly know that my opinion is just that : it's my own opinion, nothing more, nothing less.
    I can only tell them what I like and what I don't like, and trust me when I say I'm just as passionate as the other posters about this show.

    Am I enjoying every change that has happened on the show ? No, but it certainly doesn't mean I think the show is bad.

    Do I think some cases aren't as interesting/good as others ?
    Yes, but I also realize that some of the episodes I didn't enjoy were appreciated by other viewers, and I respect that.

    Don't get me wrong, I know it's important for the fans to be able to express themselves. If they couldn't do so, it would be really bad for the show. I'm just trying to keep some things in perspective here.

    I sometimes miss Reid too, he isn't exactly playing a significant role this year.

    But there's something ironic here : some fans were really uninterested in Reid at first, they found him boring and replaceable, they are only finding him interesting now.
    Other fans preferred season 1 Reid, and didn't like his evolution.
    I have always loved Reid since the beginning : I love the Reid of the first season but I also enjoy his evolution.
    He's still Reid, still awkward and shy at times, but also a very competent FBI agent. He doesn't have a problem with NOT being an alpha male, something I love about him.

    I also agree with a previous poster : I can totally see Reid being gay. Just like that other poster I don't necessarily think it'll happen (and, as it was pointed out, CBS might frown upon that kind of storyline), but I can see it and I enjoy the idea very much. So, while I would love to see Reid acknowledging interest in men, I know the likelihood of that happening is not that great. I'll also be fine if the writers chose to not dwell on Reid's love life and decide to let the fans make up their mind (even if Reid getting a boyfriend would please me).

    All in all, I'm a fan of this show even if some things are bugging me. JJ as a profiler is not my favorite thing in the world for example. I preferred her as the media liaison.
    I know there are mixed reactions about it, some JJ fans like it, others don't.
    At least, since Prentiss/Paget will leave at the end of the season, maybe the writers won't feel the need to replace her now that JJ is a profiler.
    I would prefer the team to stay with six team members personally.

    1. I agree that they should not try to replace Prentiss. They already have so many characters they can't devote enough time to them. Introducing another new character or tying to bring back Seaver would just make things worse.

      I wish they hadn't tried to make JJ out to be great at fighting. I felt that was cheap and cliche. Why can't a show write a female character as tough mentally rather than having to resort to physical confrontation? As a profiler, it would have been nice to show JJ use her skills to profile the guy and talked him down or distracted him long enough for the rest of the team to get there.

      I know that wasn't JSB who wrote that one though.

      A lot of people really liked Reid from the beginning. I did. I just wish they were still using him and giving him lines that didn't sound retarded.

      I like that he has grown but I don't like that they dumbed him (and the rest of the team) down.

    2. I also agree about not replacing Prentiss. Now that JJ is a profiler, for better or worse, they already have an extra. I would much prefer to see more time devoted to the existing characters, especially this late in the series.

  39. I seriously hope TPTB take the constructive criticism laid out above into consideration as they prepare for Season 8. I love this show and want it to return to the high quality it once had.

  40. Was that an episode of Criminal Minds or a made for tv Lifetime movie?

  41. It´s so sad to see the fall of this show.
    The ep. 7x17 has been my last ep.
    The last season was frightful, the writing was poor, and it turned into a "gore " show. But the return of AJ and Paget (and the dismissal of RN ) gave hopes to me and I decided not to leave CM.
    But after 17 bad boring insipid chapters , I give up.
    I will check my dvd's of the 5 first season: there I will be able to see a big show written by good scriptwriters.

  42. Two more, two more - wait for Matthew's ep! Heathridge Manor is coming. We hear great things.

  43. It seems to me a lot of these comments are resembling what happened to Lost when TWoP allowed the Bitterness Fiesta to exist. I hope Criminal Minds sticks to its guns, just like the writers of Lost did. The show is better for it, and more true to itself.

    The entitlement attitude of some of the posters here just boggles the mind.

  44. Yes. Well everyone here has been logical, thorough, and correct in statistics and in representing the majority of concerns that are held within the thinking faction of the fandom.

    You, "Blue Sunflower" , on the other hand, have been dismissive without adding anything substantive on behalf of your own claims, and furthermore, have a notorious reputation for personally attacking anyone who dares disagree with you, no matter what the subject, on many other boards.

    Put forth something to back up your claims, as others here have, if you wish to be taken seriously. Nobody has time here for a narcissistic agitator with a personal agenda. We're trying to let the writers know that we care, that we want our show back. And we know that they can do it.

    I hope you listen, Erica. We really need you to. Please, we miss our team.

    1. Uh, I'm not the one complaining the show needs to change.

      Also, I'll let the personal attack on me slide. BTW - pointing out problems with statements (or for that matter, not accepting statements that have no solid basis in f.a.c.t.) does not equal personal attacks

  45. They ARE presenting FACTS. LOOK at the source material. Saying something isn't a fact doesn't make it so. Stop saying something isn't true unless you can back it up with opposing numbers. Follow the links... take the time to look it up... nobody's posting anything fake, dear. Do your research, the numbers are real.

    1. I'm guessing you're talking about the ratings, because that's the only "FACT" listed on here. Do you know anything about ratings? It seems you don't, otherwise you'd know the use of it here is totally without context. There's time delayed viewing, daylight savings, nonsweeps, March Madness, normal trends, yada yada yada, involved. I've done research. Been doing so for years. Definitely more than it looks like you've done. It's ludicrous that there are people here who actually think they understand ratings better than the show and the network does. They hire people specifically to tell them what the numbers mean, and they have a TON more data than we do.

      Also, saying something is lazy writing, out of character, continuity errors, etc. etc. isn't FACT, no matter how you try and spin it. Saying something is a FACT doesn't make it so.

      Sorry you don't like the show as of lately, but that's your problem, not theirs. The ratings don't justify your o.p.i.n.i.o.n. the show needs to change.

      BTW, the only "continuity error" I've seen is this season is Reid's MIT, and that's barely an error. A prop put on air for less than a second does not a problem make, particularly when given the character it's about probably tries to attend every university in the US, let alone the world.

      And yeah, I'm done, at least with this conversation. Like I said, you're making it embarrassing to be known as a CM fan. I'd rather be a "mindless" drone who knows the difference between an opinion versus a fact, than a "thinker" arrogant enough to believe they know better than everyone else, including the very people in charge of the show.

    2. Well, BSF, you're arrogant enough to think you are smarter and better than pretty much everyone else here, not to mention other forums where you've behaved in the same manner, so "pot" meet "kettle".

  46. Your reputation is intact. Rejoice.

  47. Thank you so much for doing these chats and giving the fans a voice.

    I love the show but I do agree with some of the others about a few things that are making the show less enjoyable than before.

    1) Too much unsub screentime and very little mystery left of who the unsub is. This was done in the past but a bit and I didn't mind it but it feels like it happens too often now. It was fun trying finding out who the unsub is with the team through their profiling. We didn't actually need to see the unsub, we would rather learn about them through the profilers themselves. That's what made this show unique and I think it's the reason most of us became hooked on to the show. Right now, we're seeing more of the unsub than the profilers themselves.

    2) Reid really seems to have become a secondary character which baffles most of us since he has a rather large fanbase. He seems to be a favorite to many. He had very intellectual lines but now they seem like long, factual rants that most of time seem like common knowledge. An exception was True Genius...that was well done and really showcased his genius. I know that even in the past when episodes weren't about him, he still always had very unique and intellectual lines. He was different from the stereotypical nerd that just spews out facts but sadly those are the type of lines he receives. MGG is far too talented to be given such simple lines. He definitely is receiving the least focus the last few seasons. Again I'm baffled because he's a huge fan favorite.

    3) I love personal moments of team members so I definitely don't want that to go away but there's something about the way it is executed that is off. Some personal stories aren't relevant to the rest of the episode. I didn't think the Garcia/Morgan/Towel storyline was relevant to the rest of the episode. I also didn't see the value of Kevin proposing to Garcia. I did like the episode with the Reid/Morgan prankwar since it seemed to tie in with the rest of the episode. Anyway I'd rather have these team moments than none but I feel like Reid has been totally been ripped off.

    My fear is that way too many loyal fans are complaining about this (on various blogs and forums) that I fear everyone will just lose interest and stop watching. I hate to admit it but if MGG leaves, I probably will no longer watch the show. The reason is that Criminal Minds has truly made a character (Reid) who is special and different than any other character out there. Matthew also plays him so well. I want him to stay and I want him to get the kind lines and writing that both the actor and the character deserves.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    1. I think the problem with Reid's character is that all of the writers who really knew his character and were adept at writing dialog for him are now gone from the show. Several of the current writers have said that Reid is the hardest one for them to write.

      So I'm wondering if they are just avoiding writing him because they know they aren't as good at it and only write some lines because they have to give him something to say or whether it is because they just don't find his character or his stories interesting. They dropped his headache story without even explaining to the viewers in the show why the headaches seem to be gone. The only reason I knew the story was supposedly over was because Rick Dunkle explained it on Twitter. We should not have to get an explanation of something on Twitter if that concept was supposed to be evident in the story.

    2. While I'm all for more Reid, Reid's actually had quite a lot of screen time this season. He's had two episodes devoted to him, plus a large part in the B stories of several others. He's also supposed to have a large part in the finale episodes. He's also this season had the most notable lines.

      Other characters have had far less, like Rossi and Prentiss.

  48. Janine, thank you for the chat. And thank you for picking out and answering some critical questions. Kudos!

  49. Blue Sunflower = Janine Sherman Barrois

    1. Naw. BSf has been posting long before Janine was even working on CM. And, as much as I don't like to give credit to a flaming a-hole, she does actually know more trivia about the characters than Janine. Her fanfictions have shown that she is somewhat better with dialog too.

      Her plots aren't any better though.


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