Entertainment / TV

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

After the failure of their first spin-off, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, it seemed unlikely that Criminal Minds would try to produce another series. While CMSB had been a decent series, it received low ratings in 2011 and was cancelled after 13 episodes. The series ended on a cliffhanger that was never addressed in the main series and left some fans annoyed. Will the new spin-off, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, suffer the same fate? Probably not.


A.J. Cook and Daniel Henney from a still of Criminal Minds episode “Beyond Borders”

From the backdoor pilot, there are noticeable differences between both spin-offs. First, the functions of the teams are highly different. Suspect Behavior followed a team that was doing pretty much the same thing as its source series,  whereas Beyond Borders follows cases outside of the US and has somewhat the same feel as the series Without a Trace. By this I mean, that it centers around finding people, dealing with personal issues, and not just dead bodies tied to one psycho. Without a Trace focused on people trying to cope with what’s happened while the team tried to find their loved one(s). I believe that Beyond Borders will have the same feel. It won’t be about chasing down bad killers. It’s about finding answers, and restoring families while dealing with major crimes. This offers viewers a chance to have some of the old without feeling like they are watching the B-team.
Beyond Borders also has another advantage over Suspect Behavior, and it’s that its characters have more life written into them. The cast of Suspect Behavior seemed to have very little going on in their overall personal lives. This made the focus more on the cases and how they worked with each other. That was well and good, but part of the reason Criminal Minds works so well was because the team had a well thought out past that flowed into the stories well. They had issues and lives outside the job that they struggled to deal with. The Suspect Behavior team felt flat in comparison to that.

Kirsten Vangsness and Tyler James William in a still from Criminal Minds episode “Beyond Borders”

Beyond Borders has Tyler James William, who plays the Penelope Garcia of the new team, deals personally with all the family members, which means he has to find a way to ease their minds. Daniel Henney will play a husband and father of at least two children. Finally, Gary Sinise will be on the team as their leader. Many fans of CSI: NY may tune in just to see him in a new role. This is an interesting group of people, and I want to see how they all come together. It isn’t like Suspect Behavior, where the cases made the show watchable and the cast was just there.
So, will Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders be worth watching? Yes, I believe that the series will most likely have multiple seasons or at least least two seasons. It has depth and offers something new. There aren’t many TV dramas focusing on missing or troubled citizens in other countries and the struggle that comes with helping them while working with outside forces. This alone will make the series different than what is out now and will be a strong reason why people will enjoy it. This is a series to look out for.
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