Friday, January 8, 2010

Criminal Minds - The "Mission Impossible" of our time

Howard Dicus of Hawaii News Now compares Criminal Minds and Mission Impossible

Our crying need for competence in government

It struck me today that the CBS Television series “Criminal Minds” is the “Mission: Impossible” of our time, and I think President Obama would heartily agree with me after the Detroit air terrorism debacle.

The comparison may not be immediately apparent. “Mission: Impossible” was about a team of penetration experts. “Criminal Minds” is about FBI profilers who catch serial killers. What could be more different? But hear me out.

“Mission: Impossible,” which ran for seven seasons, also on CBS, from 1966 to 1973, featured a team of men and women who neutralized mobsters, dictators and such. Everyone knew his job. Everyone got along. There was no weak link. They not only smoothly executed complex plans but ably improvised solutions when something went wrong.

In a time when the Soviets sometimes got the best of Americans and a crank with a gun could assassinate the president of the United States, it was comforting to watch these secret agents demonstrate such competence. You could come home from the office, frustrated with George who spends too much time gossiping and Mary who’s always stirring up trouble, and watch a team of co-workers who stick to business for crying out loud.

“Criminal Minds,” now in its fifth season and just past its 100th episode, has a team of about the same size, not a physical penetration team but a team of men and women who penetrate sick minds. Everyone knows his job. Everyone gets along. There is no weak link. When one has a problem, the others are there for him."

Even a subplot concerning a high-ranking official who thinks the Behavioral Analysis Unit should be broken up was concluded with the official changing her mind, telling the head guy the team can remain but none of them will ever be promoted.

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