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on June 22, 2011
First of all, I love this show. I've never missed an episode and re-watch all five previous seasons on a regular basis. That being said, season 6 was a bit lackluster. This is due to the major casting changes that took place during the summer. Both AJ Cook and Paget Brewster's contracts were cut, and during season 6 both were written off the show. While the writing in those episodes were top notch, the rest of the season left a bitter taste in your mouth. After episode 2 (appropriately titled JJ), JJ's absense left a gaping hole in the fabric of the BAU. It was almost as if the heart of the show had been ripped away, leaving writers, cast and fans scrambling. Just when we began to settle into the new JJ-less reality, in comes Agent Seaver, played by Rachel Nichols. This was a horrific decision. This is nothing against Ms. Nichols, who did the best she could with what she was given. However, fan response was not positive, as Ms. Nichols bears a striking resemblance to AJ Cook, who we had just lost. Also, the writers and producers truly did Ms Nichols little justice with weak storylines and weaker impact to the team dynamic. Finally, Prentiss' "death" was long and drawn out. It was compelling to watch, but it was with a sense of dread, knowing that she, too, was about to leave us. "Lauren" (the episode where Prentiss left) was the highlight of the season. It was full of drama, angst and action- a fitting tribute to an actress who had entertained us all for years. Finally, the finale was just simply "eh". There was a decent case, but none of the cliffhanger endings that CM is known for. This could be in part that at the time of filming, producers and writers were not sure who would be returning, as Paget Brewster was in negotiations to come back, as was Shemar Moore (Morgan), and Thomas Gibson (Hotch). As of June 22, all three will be returning, as will AJ Cook, who returned briefly in the finale. Here's to hoping that with the cast back intact, Season 7 will be the kind of quality show we have come to expect.
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In its sixth season, "Criminal Minds" continues to be an outstanding police procedural about the agents of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. The show offers intense weekly drama as the agents track various serial killers and kidnappers.

A strength of the show is its superb ensemble cast, featuring Thomas Gibson as team leader Aaron Hotchner, Joe Montegna as veteran Special Agent David Rossi, Paget Brewster as Special Agent Emily Prentiss, Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, Shemar Moore as Special Agent Derek Morgan, A.J. Cook as Special Agent JJ Jareau, and Kirsten Vangness as computer whiz Penelope Garcia.

This season brought cast changes. JJ Jareau was involutarily reassigned from the BAU at the beginning of the season, then helped out in a mid-season case involving Emily Prentiss. Her brief appearence in the season finale suggests she will return. Rachel Nichols joined the cast as young Ashley Seaver, a new agent plucked from the FBI Academy for her specialized personal knowledge of serial killers. At season's end, a burned-out Penelope Garcia was contemplating a less traumatic career choice.

The highlight of the season may have been the series of episodes involving a man from Emily Prentiss's past. The charming, vicious arms dealer Ian Doyle, formerly the target of a Interpol undercover operation, stalked Prentiss over three episodes, in the process endangering the rest of the team. In a shocking climax, Doyle kidnapped and tortured Emily while the team raced to the rescue. In a stunning conclusion, a fight to the death caused the loss of a team member. The BAU dealt with that loss in the remaining episodes.

"Criminal Minds: The Sixth Season" is very highly recommended to its fans. As of mid-May 2011, "Criminal Minds" had been renewed for a seventh season.
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CRIMINAL MINDS grows and grows and this season is an exceptional one. While if continues to bring us smart television, the secondary subplots that continue through this season, plot that focus on the lead actors and their private lives or personal involvement with some of the created characters takes a major role in this season. While some may find this a bit disconcerting - as though emphasis on the diagnosis and capture of the criminal minds disconnects the viewer form the point of direction of the story. But at least for this viewer these subplots make us identify more with the agony of coping with the types of criminals these people must deal with every day. The dialogue may at some points seem like a roundtable dissertation on aspects of abnormal psychology, passing from one character actor in the investigative team to the next, but the information they disclose in these sessions is fascinating and makes sense to the viewer. Each segment begins with a significant quote and each ends with one and this seemingly small technique shows respect for the viewer. The cases more often than not are those of serial killers, showing us how these criminal minds are created by their background, what constitutes their behavior, and how examining that studied behavior as each new case develops leads to their capture.

The cast still includes the magnetic Shemar Moore, Paget Brewster, the intense Thomas Gibson, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler as the would be nerd but brilliant thinker, Joe Mantegna and Kirsten Vangsnes (often the brains behind the breaks!). What a team - with enough chemistry to keep us all involved over the weeks of each season. And then there are often surprise guest stars as the Unsub (Unknown Subject of an Investigation) to keep us entertained. This is a thinking person's show and a well produced one at that. Grady Harp, January 11
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on September 16, 2011
(There are -extremely mild- spoilers in this review.)

First off, the casting of season 6 was a fiasco. Dropping two of the strongest women on TV (to fund that terrible spin-off?) was the biggest mistake CBS execs made this year. The addition of of Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols) wouldn't have been terrible if the writers had time to give her a more in-depth look at her backstory or even just a personality.

But worse than the execs messing with a winning and beloved cast? The characterization of almost the entire cast is off all season long. The writers take Reid's five seasons worth of growth and regress him to someone even less confident, less socially aware, and generally less able than he was in season 1, which makes no sense at all. Garcia becomes a wilting flower who needs her hand held after every little thing after five seasons of being shown as very capable and strong. Morgan gets portrayed as a big black thug who is only good for kicking down doors (and, alternatively, holding Garcia's hand). Rossi and Hotch have next to no personality and as mentioned, Seaver doesn't either. Prentiss goes back and forth. JJ is the only character who is decently written and she's only in FOUR EPISODES.

Also, character interactions and team ups are lackluster. Hotch and Reid hardly even talk to each other. The writers have spent two seasons forgetting that Morgan and Reid are bros. You'd think that Reid had been pulled from field work with how often he gets relegated to maps and such. And pretty much, the only pair ups we get are Morgan/Prentiss, Rossi/Hotch, and Reid/maps, with Seaver randomly thrown in.

Then you've got the unbelievable storylines/moments that make no sense whatsoever in the context of the show. Like Hotch coaching Jack's soccer team when it's blatantly canon that the man has no time, is always on the road, etc. To add insult to injury, he picks Rossi, who will be out of town on all the same days as he will, to help him? That just defeats the purpose of having an assistant coach. I also can't understand how Garcia has the time to be a tech analyst to not just Hotch's team, but also the spin-off's team, and counsel victims' families AND rehearse for a play in which she has the main role. The Reid headache storyline was completely ridiculous (I've edited the next few sentences to be clearer on what I mean by that). They play it like he's got some BIG and SCARY issue going on (schizophrenia/mental illness, a mystery disease, demons/ghosts weighing him down, etc) when there's a very simple and obvious explanation that no one even mentions - migraines. Anyone who's had a migraine knows that they are triggered by not sleeping well and foods (such as dairy, which is specifically mentioned in an episode when he reaches for Tums because he ate too much dairy) and made worse by stress AND he exhibited all of the "classic" migraine symptoms, including auras, which only 20-30% of sufferers get. Reid knows a lot of things and I have a hard time believing that he doesn't know anything about migraines and I have an even harder time believing that his doctor didn't bring them up. Also, apparently Doyle has good enough aim that he can shoot a guy's wrist from a moving van.

And as someone else mentioned, the show has started "degenerating into cheap shock writing." The sad thing is they only watched the first two episodes, which are far less violent than later episodes. The Thirteenth Step is the perfect example of how the show has been sliding on the psychological aspects and relying on graphic violence instead. Worse yet, that episode sexualizes the violence, which is against everything the show is about.

Finally the season finale was boring. No cliffhanger, no drama. I get that they didn't know if they'd be able to bring Paget Brewster back and so they didn't quite know how season 7 was going to go, but c'mon. Look at the first five season three of them, we don't know if one of the teammates is going to die.

Don't get me wrong. I am in love with Criminal Minds, but this season suffered greatly from having the cast jumbled about and good writers fired and replaced with people who just don't understand what made the show successful in the first place.
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on June 26, 2011
Criminal Minds has been for six seasons a great TV show. The cast is unique and the writers are still doing a great job. The changes in the cast on season six were only temporary because on season seven Prentiss and JJ will be back (and agent Seaver fortunately says goodbye). I'm sure that this is the best crime TV show and I hope it will last for a long long time.
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on March 30, 2016
Very informative stories about serial killers. Learn a lot by watching the episodes. I didn't know a child under 18 couldn't be called a sociopath until I saw this series. Many of the episodes are close to real-life and the actors even mention some of the known serial-killers and their behavior in this series.
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on September 7, 2014
In the last six months I have become a total devotee of this show while watching reruns on Direct TV. I love the cast, the writing and photography. l love how each episode has a way of drawing you in right from the start. Some of the episodes are graphic and gruesome and I would not recommend watching them with small children or even young pre-teens present. Season 6 is excellent, except that JJ and Prentiss left. I don't know why this decision was made, but it was not a good one, as apparently they came back later. One star less is for the sound quality of the DVD. The background music gets incredibly loud at times, so that I have to work with my sound control all through the episodes, which is annoying. I will get the other DVD"s directly from amazon, instead from an authorized dealer as I did this time.
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on October 16, 2015
I love Criminal Minds. I have watched it so much that now I just listen to it while crocheting.. When our TV stations took off the weekly all day marathons of CM, I had to do something.... so I bought all the seasons to have my own marathon when I want it. The only thing I wish they would do is have it where you could select to play all.
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on October 4, 2015
Once again I am totally pleased by this wonderful tv show. The case is always a pleasure to watch, they really get the point of the shows across. They have been together for quite awhile now and are still going strong. Keep it up guys!!
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on April 13, 2014
REPLACES EARLIER comments, SEASON 6: Many of these episodes are too violent for me but some are great. My favorite episodes from Season 6 are "JJ"/D1/Ep.2. "25 to Life"/D3/Ep.3. "Valhalla"/D5/Ep.1. "Lauren"/D5/Ep.2. Some others would be attractive to me if the violence meant less than the profiling. I could've loved "Big Sea" (D6/Ep3), especially for Morgan and his aunt, but for that sadistic fisherman! Readers of this review should bear in mind that the more you like gore & violence, the more you'll like what "Criminal Minds" is in the process of becoming. You have that right and so do I. I do not like it! (See Season 7) Betty L. Willard.
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