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The Family Dynamics of CRIMINAL MINDS

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Labor Day weekend, when I still had cable TV, as I was channel surfing Sunday afternoon, I ran across a marathon of Criminal Minds episodes. What made me stop was the almost unbearable hotness of Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner). It took me a while to figure out the team dynamics, as the marathon was of season three or four, but I quickly grew to love the main characters and the small glimpses the fabulous actors gave us into the characters’ internal lives as well as their relationships with each other. Since then, I’ve acquired the first six seasons on DVD (yay for coupons and gift certificates!!!); and when I’m doing something around the house and need something to keep me company, I’ll pull out a disc and let an episode or two run while ironing or folding laundry, doing dishes or cleaning out the fridge. For me, the cases are almost unnecessary, except for what they bring out in the stories of the main characters.

As I’ve watched this show, I’ve come to recognize the characters as fitting into familial roles, which is probably what not only makes the show continue to be popular but also keep rolling seven years later.

Character Familial Role
Aaron Hotchner: The exacting, overly demanding father who shows his love by holding his “children” to unattainably high standards
Jason Gideon: The nurturing but emotionally unstable, now-absent mother
David Rossi: The favorite, hard-drinking, have-a-good-time uncle
Derek Morgan: The protective big brother, always trying to live up to his father’s overly high expectations
Emily Prentiss: The fun-loving big sister with a wild side that she tries her best to hide from the rest of the family
Jennifer “JJ” Jareau: The over-achieving middle sister, Daddy’s favorite
Penelope Garcia: The flamboyant, non-conformist little sister who has her big brother wrapped around her little finger
Spencer Reid: The genius baby brother; annoying, but everyone in the family loves, coddles, and protects him
Elle Greenaway: The rebellious daughter who finally managed to estrange herself from the family due to her poor choices and unwillingness to adhere to family morals and values
Ashley Seaver: A foster kid who lived with them for a year and tried way too hard to fit in but never did. Was adopted by a nice family on the other side of the country.

  1. Ann Street permalink
    Saturday, April 21, 2012 3:22 pm

    Love this! This is my favorite show and I think you hit the family dynamics dead on. =)


  2. Saturday, April 21, 2012 3:32 pm

    Love it! Love the show, love the characters, love your analogy.


  3. Saturday, April 21, 2012 7:04 pm

    Yes, you pegged this one. I love this show and you are so right!


  4. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Saturday, April 21, 2012 7:20 pm

    Oh yes! That’s it exactly. I still only have season one on DVD. Need to remedy that.


  5. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Monday, April 23, 2012 6:19 am

    I’ve only seen a handful of episodes (my mom and two younger siblings are fans), but even I can tell you got Hotch, Derek, Penelope, and Spencer right (LOL, my favorite characters of the bunch). =)


  6. Monday, April 23, 2012 2:16 pm

    Love, love, love this show. And you nailed the characterization. Wow.


  7. Deewrites permalink
    Monday, April 23, 2012 2:25 pm

    Yep, you summed it up perfectly. LOL.


  8. Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:34 pm

    lol so funny. i love the show. actually about 20 of us watch it in real time on facebook.


  9. jennabennett permalink
    Saturday, April 28, 2012 5:23 pm

    Perfect. Except… can we not do the Morgan/Garcia as siblings thing? I’m a shipper. Sorry. (But I love the idea of Seaver being adopted by a nice family on the other side of the country!)


    • Saturday, April 28, 2012 5:55 pm

      I know, I know. At one point, I considered becoming a Hotch-JJ shipper, but I like JJ and Will together too much to go there now.


  10. raquel permalink
    Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:47 pm

    Yes. This is very very true. Especially the part about Seaver.. That lil *****.. She was evil i tell you!


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