Leading up to the Oscars and Sunday’s premiere of Homeland Mandy Patinkin has been speaking with every news outlet under the sun and during one such interview maybe he talked about how working on Criminal Minds was the worst two years of his life and it ate away at his soul.

This is perfectly valid. While working on extremely dark subject matter doesn’t turn a person into a pervert or a killer it does make it easier for them to tolerate perverted and/or ultra violent subject matter and Patinkin strikes me as the kind of sensitive soul who would be bothered by that tolerance on a philosophical level.

Jeanne Tripplehorn on the other hand, has just come onto the show. Her first episode was last night and she was pretty fantastic even if I usually actively avoid the show.

She too has been interviewed about the outrageous level of violence on Criminal Minds and noted that the showrunners are, in fact, both women and that she feels there’s a real “feminine” energy around the show.

And let’s be real, while stories involving serial killers often must deal with misogyny it does not make the stories themselves or the storytellers misogynists. Patinkin specifically noted all the women they killed on the show. It deeply effected him. Tripplehorn, owing to be a different person with different expectations and experiences in life, noted that the show kills a lot of men, animals and blood packets too.

It also kills any memories you have of Gibson from Dharma and Greg.

Is she maybe supporting the show she just got hired on after its high-profile former star spoke out against it? Yes, yes she is. Is this a show that has a history of treating its female stars as disposable and interchangeable? Why yes, yes it does. Does that all mean we should ignore everything Tripplehorn is saying as Hollywood talk and write the show off forever?

Maybe not. Because behind the scenes the show is giving many women opportunities in an industry where much less than half of the writers and directors are women. That can’t be ignored.

Fans please feel free to chime in. Does the show take an honest look at the misogyny of serial killers? Is it reflective of the violence? Because the few episodes I’ve seen show it to have more in common with exploitative giallo films of the 60s then with Silence of the Lambs. That doesn’t make it bad tv it just doesn’t make it a bastion of femininity on my television.

Source [TVLine]

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