on the tube

February 17th, 2011 |
By Dean Robbins


‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ gloomily chases psychos


In the spin-off “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (Wednesday, 9 p.m., CBS), an elite team of FBI agents use unlikely behavioral analysis to catch unlikely psychopaths. Forest Whitaker sets the tone as team leader Sam Cooper: grim determination. So grim that it makes the original “Criminal Minds” look like a salsa dance-off.

Would it kill “Suspect Behavior” to vary this tone every once in a while? Couldn’t they, say, throw in some humor? Or rage? Or personality? “Let’s not indulge our anger here,” Sam says in his eternally hushed voice, as the weekly psycho runs rampant.

No, please, be our guest — indulge your anger!


Monday, 9 p.m. (MTV)

MTV’s drama about high school kids has gotten attention for its raunchy scenes featuring underage actors. You can see why the network decided to pour on the sex, alcohol and drugs, because without those elements the production would warrant no attention at all. For all its attempts to show what high school is really like, “Skins” is nothing more than your basic nobody-understands-me teenage melodrama. It features stagy acting, loads of sentimentality and dialogue that would never come out of a real teenager’s mouth.

The only time “Skins” comes to life is in the montages. It’s no surprise that MTV would get such mini-music videos right, with cool songs and snappy editing. Tune in for these parts and fast-forward through the parts where the characters make ill-advised attempts to talk to one another. CV