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Mindhunter: Season One

Review by CJ

Director:
David Fincher, Asif Kapadia, Tobias Lindholm, Jennifer Haley, Andrew Douglas

Writer:
John Douglas (based on the book by), Mark Olshaker (based on the book by), Joe Penhall, Ruby Rae Spiegel, Dominic Orlando, Jennifer Haley

Starring:
Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Cotter Smith, Debbie Gross

Other notable appearances:
Cameron Britton, Catherine Curtin, Lena Olin

Running time:
~60 minutes per episode

Number of episodes:
10

 

Young FBI hostage negotiator Holden Ford (Groff) and veteran agent Bill Tench (McCallany) work with consultant Dr Wendy Carr (Torv) to correlate the behaviour of violent offenders in order to identify patterns and predict potential threats.

Mindhunter is a fascinating look into the beginnings of the FBI’s behavioural sciences unit and profiling as a way of identifying violent offenders. It’s interesting to see, even if dramatised, the process behind creating words that are now common vernacular, such as “serial/spree killer”, “stressor” and “organised/disorganised killer”.

Jonathan Groff is outstanding in his role as the passionate but reckless Holden Ford. Holt McCallany is remarkable as the gruff and stubborn older agent. Their dynamic is incredible to watch with both agents having a different approach to their methods. Anna Torv adds an extra layer to the dynamic with her fantastic portrayal of Wendy Carr.

Not a lot of their lives outside the work is detailed — even the focus on Holden’s life is primarily based around the work — but what is shown gives a good insight into why the characters behave how they do in their professional lives.

If you enjoy Criminal Minds, Mindhunter is almost its prequel in terms of the development of the BAU, its processes and some of the practices employed by the modern day fictional FBI team.

Mindhunter is a great dramatisation of the very early days in criminal profiling. If you enjoy true crime, fictional crime or crime procedurals then Mindhunter is worth having a look. It has enough parts of each to make an interesting whole.

Rating:

“How do you get to be the President of the United States if you’re a sociopath?”
“The questions is, how do you get to be the President of the United States if you’re not?”

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