THE SERIES “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday night at 10 on CBS/2
WHAT IT’S ABOUT Chief of the FBI’s International Response Unit Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise) needs a crack multi-linguist anthropologist to help his team — comprised of former military man Matthew Simmons (Daniel Henney), smart tech analyst Russ “Monty” Montgomery (Tyler James Williams) and medical examiner Mae Jarvis (Annie Funke) — to find some missing American girls in Thailand. Old friend and colleague Clara Seger (Alana De La Garza) wants to help. This “Criminal Minds” spinoff follows cases overseas.
MY SAY The answer is “B Roll.”
You were maybe wondering how this spinoff travels to distant and expensive places like Thailand or Mumbai without depressing the CBS stock price in the process — and the answer is that it doesn’t.
The show collects some real footage, or B-roll, from real places, then sets up a green screen behind a fake car in a Hollywood studio in which our intrepid team sits. The B-roll footage then plays on the screen and . . . Yup, this looks about as cheesy as it sounds.
But then “cheese” is what this half-baked knockoff appears to be or — given the international flavor — specifically Swiss cheese. Lots of holes. Some mold, too.
There’s simply no other explanation for dialogue like Seger’s, when addressing the chastened bad guy in Wednesday’s launch: “You were happy and loved. You feel alone! But hunting these girls isn’t honorable.” (Maybe there is an explanation — maybe this is a comedy spinoff, which is an appealing possibility but an unlikely one.)
With feet of clay, “Beyond Borders” has taken a familiar formula, stoked the familiar paranoia, and stomped all over the familiar franchise. In other words, this will be probably be a hit.
BOTTOM LINE: Beyond comprehension, beyond silly, beyond words.