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Why "Criminal Minds" is darker than "Castle"- Comparison of the 2 tv show

Updated on May 21, 2012

While "Criminal Minds" and "Castle" are both cop-shows, they have a few striking differences. This article aims to point out how "Criminal Minds" is darker than "Castle", without making claims about which is better. (Read this article to see the similarities between "Castle" and "The Mentalist".)

  • The premise: In "Castle", mystery novel writer Richard Castle shadows NYPD detective Kate Beckett and helps her solve cases. "Criminal Minds"follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit who solve cases by focusing on the "UnSub".
  • The procedure: In "Criminal Minds", the unit studies the killer to catch him and solve the crime. It delves deeper into the twisted mind of the killer and his psychology. "Castle" solves the crime by focusing on the crime, the crime scene, evidence and witnesses, to decide who the killer is.
  • The killers: In "Criminal Minds", the killer is usually an "UnSub" with severe to moderate psychological issues. In most cases, they are serial killers, or have killed before. In "Castle", the killer is someone known to the victim, someone with a motive. In most cases, this is their first murder.
  • The victims: In "Criminal Minds", the victims are innocent people generally unknown to the killer, who had accidentally triggered some psychological reaction in the killer. In most cases, they kill without any particular motive. In "Castle", the victim is someone who had walked into a trap, or had chosen the wrong path, and ended up in trouble, somehow giving the killer a motive.
  • The murder/torture: "Criminal Minds" often has the UnSub take hostages, and depicts the brutal torture or the murder (in some cases, various murders) more clearly. "Castle" only shows the crime scene vaguely, and rarely shows the murder.
  • The characters: The cops in "Criminal Minds" are more serious, grim, focused on solving the crime. The cops in "Castle" have a girl/guy next door appeal, giving them a human touch. Castle is plain funny.
  • Interpersonal relationships: One of the main aspects of "Castle" is the budding romance between Detective Beckett and Castle. The characters on the show have a much closer relationship. Castle's family (mother and daughter) appear in many episodes. While the characters in "Criminal Minds" are shown to be friendly too, there isn't such focus on their relationships or personal lives.
  • Genre: According to Wikipedia, "Criminal Minds" is a "Police procedural, Mystery, Drama, Thriller", while "Castle" is a "Police procedural, Comedy-drama".


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