Friday, December 2, 2022

‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Review: What ‘Criminal Minds’ Was Always Meant To Be

TELEVISIONPARAMOUNT+'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Review: What 'Criminal Minds' Was Always Meant To Be

After years of waiting, Criminal Minds: Evolution is right around the corner. A reboot of the original crime drama, Criminal Minds: Evolution picks back up with the BAU in the near future. The criminal profilers are facing their greatest threat yet — an UnSub who has built a network of serial killers. As the world opens back up from the pandemic, the network goes operational and the team must hunt them down one murder at a time.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the noticeable absence of Spencer Reid and Matt Simmons. While they do explain what they are off doing, it’s a tough hill to climb to get past it. Once you do, though, Criminal Minds: Evolution feels like what Criminal Minds was always supposed to be. Having crime shows on network television limits what they can say and show, but in this remodel, they don’t hold back on the explicit nature of what their lives are really like being criminal profilers.

The long-term appeal of Criminal Minds is that it served up a “monster of the week”; they would have a case per episode, though there were rare instances they stretched stories. This time, they focus on a continuous story that finds fresh ways to reinvent itself every episode. With a network of killers on the loose, it’s hard to get stale.

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Zach Gilford absolutely shines in his role as Elias Voit. Viewers’ perception of Gilford may be limited to his performance in Friday Night Lights as Matt Saracen or Riley in Midnight Mass, which makes this the exact opposite of something you’re used to.

The originals haven’t lost a step, either. Only being off the air for two and a half years, they stepped back into their roles seamlessly, almost as if they’d never left. We learn a lot about where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to, and they aren’t afraid to show off more of their personalities this time around. It’s refreshing seeing them behave as real people with genuine struggles; they’re more than just FBI profilers when they’re on the clock.

The title speaks for itself with this one. Criminal Minds: Evolution is just that, an evolution. Though the energy is much of the same, viewers will be wonderfully surprised at how much it fits. It’s not trying to be like its predecessor, it’s more of a distant sibling, but Criminal Minds fans will welcome it with open arms.

Episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution will drop weekly from November 24 through December 15 when the mid-season finale airs. They’ll pick back up on January 12 for the mid-season premiere, continuing until the finale on February 9.

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