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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Criminal Minds on CBS

By Josh Shirlen


On August 15th, CBS reran a grisly episode of Criminal Minds in the 9 o’clock hour of prime time (8 o’clock CT/MT).  The episode revolved around two sadistic serial killers spurring each other to wreak havoc on the city.  Guns, blood, death, necrophilia and graphic violence against women all played a strong role in this TV-PG LV rated program. 


The episode began with a family of three in a park enjoying family time and discussing the possibility of having another child.  While the husband takes his daughter to the playground, another man approaches the wife and asks for help finding his daughter.  He lures the woman into a wooded area and suddenly turns on her, punching her in the face and knocking her to the ground.  This opening scene is not only disturbing for its violence, but is particularly upsetting due to the way the program’s writer emphasized the hopes of the innocent family, gaining the viewer’s sympathy before shattering the family’s dream with a senseless crime.


The show continued with several scenes involving prostitutes, including one scene where a killer drives up to two female prostitutes and mercilessly guns them down.  They are left for dead, bleeding next to a dumpster in an alley.  Another particularly disturbing scene involves the killer from the first scene revisiting the body of the woman, which he buried under a pile of leaves.  He greets the corpse as if it were still alive, and proceeds to comb the woman’s hair.  After applying lipstick to the dead woman’s lips he leans-in to kiss her.  The killers manage to murder seven innocent women before police are able to catch them.


Besides being inappropriately rated as TV-PG, the episode is simply inappropriate for prime- time broadcast television.  Sadistic serial killers and the violent murder of women is what CBS is selling to the viewing audience, and we should acknowledge that reality.  The PTC is unwilling to accept this type of programming as appropriate for families, which is why Criminal Minds is our pick for Worst of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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