Dr. Cal Lightman teaches a course in body language and makes an honest fortune exploiting it. He's employed by various public authorities in various investigations, doing more when the ... See full summary »
The Naval Criminal Investigation Service's Office of Special Projects takes on the undercover work and the hard to crack cases in LA. Key agents are G. Callen and Sam Hanna, streets kids risen through the ranks.
Criminal Minds (the original) is probably my favorite show on TV now, so when I first saw there was going to be a spin-off, I was so excited. And then I saw the cast. I was already put off when I saw Forest Whittaker as the lead, and then I noticed Jeneane Garofalo as well, and my suspicions for the show being a dud ramped way up. I watched, though, hoping that I would be wrong. I was, but only because I couldn't guess just how bad it would be.
Whittaker seems to slur his words a bit, making him a bit hard to understand, and even beyond that hasn't managed to create a credible seeming character.
Garofalo is just a seriously poor actress. She also manages to make things seem political in a very off-putting way.
Based on these two, the casting director should be fired and banned from the industry.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, another one of the characters is foreign with such a heavy accent that it's hard to follow what he's saying.
And then there's the guy with the inflated bad apple given a new chance past which also doesn't feel very believable.
Garcia (a character I love in the original) seems to be part of the cast for no other reason than because the producers could tell already they'd messed up with the rest of it and needed an already established and loved character to connect with the audience. Even this fails, though, because her scenes feel like inauthentic add-ons.
We're left with one member of the team (the other girl) who feels somewhat genuine, and unfortunately that's not enough to carry the show.
I also felt that the ultra-elite "red cells" premise was a bad idea, because it sets them up as being even better than the original characters. The situations don't seem any more dire or complex than those for the original, so it fails at establishing even why there's a need for a more specialized unit to deal with them, and the actors fail at creating characters that even seem equal to, let alone more elite, than those in the original series.
All in all, it is a thoroughly wasted opportunity to create a self sustaining spin-off (like SVU was to Law & Order)... and because this one will fail miserably, they likely won't ever end up trying again, let alone succeeding.
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