Criminal Minds

I’ve been stressed out about a practical matter in my life. This isn’t the time or place for details, but let’s just say that although the end is clearly in sight I’m feeling a bit like Hamlet in his soliloquy where he says that things like legal delays and irritating people have put him over the edge. (OK—I’m wildly paraphrasing, but you know what I mean).
So I’m watching trash. My old friend Miriam Bobkoff, a librarian, and sadly now deceased, always quarreled with my use of the word “trash” to describe what she considered “genre” in film and books. To take her point, I’ve always consumed a fairly steady diet of “genre”—preferences running more to spy and suspense plots than straight up murder mysteries.
However, right now, I crave the narrative flavor of wrongs that are righted—preferably within the hour. For over a year, my low rent television consumption was the entire series “House.” It wasn’t even really trash, and it hit many of my sweet spots—crippled protagonist on pain meds (yes!), rare diseases which are catnip to my inner hypochondriac, and longer lines of story/character development which I love.
Then I finished, life got more complicated, and I stumbled upon “Criminal Minds” which is basically composed of things I hate—violence, sex crimes, serial killers, menaced women and children, stock characters, no basic conflict other than generic good vs. generic evil…And I’m watching it. Quite a lot.
I feel better when those psycho killers are profiled as…psycho killers. And caught and locked up. I wish my own problems—both internal and external—were as tidy.

4 thoughts on “Criminal Minds

  1. Very much identifying with this … I’ve gone through lots of different periods of wanting that sort of perpetual narrative in an obsessive way (well that’s probably just me – you didn’t mention obsessiveness!). A couple years ago, when internal and external stuff were bubbling in a threatening way I became enamored of the series “Revenge” … Its a terrible soap opera really, but based on “The Count of Monte Cristo” (which I’ve always loved) and of course is filled with vengeance. My soul needed a little fantasy retribution about then, so it worked well. 😉

  2. Thank you for this post. I can relate. There is something about good conquering evil wrapped up in one hour that is satisfying. I find Criminal Minds too violent to handle, but I went through a phase similar to what you describe and got hooked on Star Trek Next Generation some years ago. It brought some semblance of relief to a scary and incomprehensible world at the time.

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