Navigating the vicissitudes of modern popular culture can be tricky.
I think it might be fair to say that for a long time I came off as a bit of a snob when it came to a lot of books and TV. (I mean, I used the word ‘vicissitudes’ just now…) I have always appreciated pop culture and how important it can be for reading mass culture at large, but when it came to TV over the last few years I didn’t watch too much of it, and with that limited knowledge, I assumed I never LIKED a lot of it.
That said, maybe some of you read that a while back I got sick and missed a week of work, and in that week I started a bit of an obsession with the early seasons of Law & Order. Well, coming out of that experience, I listened to the many, MANY people who told me that I should probably watch Criminal Minds as well. I tried. My amazing wife was pretty obsessed with this show and for months I tried to watch it with her, but each time I bailed. I would leave the room. I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief quite enough. Then, something happened. I decided that I WOULD watch this show.
I did, and, for better or worse, the same thing happened to me that happened with Law & Order. I’ve gotten rather obsessed with it. But believe me, I can quit any time. I mean, I know I watched the whole second season as well…
I must say that it takes quite a bit of disbelief suspending to believe that pretty much ever serial killer and mass murderer ever are out there now, doing their worst. It also takes a bit of disbelief suspension to be OK with Garcia’s supercomputer that can do anything/find anything, anywhere on the planet in less than five seconds and immediately send it to a mobile phone.
Even with all of those reservations I have to say, especially the first season (which starred the brilliant Mandy Patinkin as FBI profiler Jason Gideon), has some really interesting moments. Sometimes I run across things that everyone seems to be talking about. I sometimes shy away from those things. Maybe it’s me being a contrarian. Maybe it’s me being a snob. I don’t want to be a snob! I never want to succumb to the tired old idea that “if it’s good it’s not popular and if it’s popular it isn’t good.” I took the plunge with this show, and it was worth it. Give it a look, if you are so inclined!
–Eric (who is currently on *gasp* Season 3 of Criminal Minds…and has just discovered the brilliance of Burn Notice. Who knew?)