The Gospel and TV… or Why I Watch Criminal Minds

It’s been too long. I know. For a while I didn’t have anything to say. Then I had too much to say. Now I’ll just ease you in. Yesterday was a politically charged day. I’ll save those posts for later.

In the meantime, television.

When I was first introduced to Criminal Minds (HT: KNS), I was not a fan. It was too intense, too gruesome, too much evil. No surprise I thought that since the show focuses on criminal behavior. But the more I watched, the more I liked it. At first I didn’t understand why. Had I become desensitized? Was my empathy broken?

Upon further reflection, I realized that I cared more about the regular characters in the show than I did about the primary plot lines. It is the relationships among the BAU team that keeps me watching. When I say “relationships”, I’m not talking about relationships like those on Grey’s Anatomy or any other drama in which the main cast of characters all have to sleep with each other at some point during the series. I’m talking about the community the BAU team has, the family dynamic they’ve created that is completely void of romantic relationships.

Here are some of my takeaway points about the attraction of their community (not the attraction of Shemar Moore… that’s something else entirely):

  • They spend most of their waking hours together pursuing the same goal: get the bad guys. They confront evil together, if you will.
  • They confront and resolve quickly. Conflict distracts from pursuing the goal, so they eliminate it as soon as it rises.
  • They function as one unit, but fulfill different roles: computer geek, genius, tough guy, PR chick, boss man…
  • They entrust their very lives to the others on their team and guard the lives of others on the team unconditionally. There is no one-uping or “you owe me’s”. It’s more like, “You saved my life today. Cool. I would do the same for you. That’s just what we do. We couldn’t do this job otherwise.” John 15:13 anyone?
  • They know each other’s hurts, habits and hang-ups and like each other anyway. When something interferes with the mission (drug addiction, alcoholism, former undercover spy stuff, etc.), it’s addressed… for the sake of the team as well as the individual.

Their team functions the way biblical community should. I like that. I’m learning to live that.

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