Review: Aisha Tyler Comes to Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds is not appointment TV for me, but when I’m channel hopping on Wednesday nights, I’ll often settle on it if nothing better is on. Please note that I live in one of the few markets that CM does not air opposite Empire since my CBS affiliate airs programming an hour earlier. I get CM at 8, not 9, otherwise I would never watch it because well, Cookie!

I was pretty happy to see that Aisha Tyler was going to be in a reoccurring role this season, filling in for AJ Cook during her maternity leave. Let’s face it, CM could really use some more diversity; aside from the very lickable Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan, CM is a pretty whiter shade of pale. Even the perps are almost all white.

Aisha made her debut Wednesday night and I was completely underwhelmed. Not by Aisha, she did great with her five minutes of screen time, but she only got about five minutes. CM continues with it’s grand tradition of not knowing how to use any female character who isn’t named Penelope.

The scenario was that AJ’s character is also on maternity leave and the BAU Team is short-handed since Jennifer Love Hewitt bailed at end of last season. Aisha’s Dr Tara Lewis was supposed to be interviewing for the open position, but she got only couple of lines before the before the head of the BAU, Hotch, was pulled away by yet another serial killer. We don’t see her again until Hotch is briefing the potential candidates on the case, asking for their help. Aisha gets to stand around and look concerned, which she does very well, but there is only so much you can with that scene, ya know?

We don’t see her again until the very end when she has to pretend to be the wife of the serial killer’s hostage on the phone. She handles the call in a very competent manner, which I would expect from a PhD/FBI Agent, but Hotch and Penelope act like she invented sliced bread.  Peeps, you need to up your standards there.

Anyways the serial killer is caught, after a struggle with Morgan in the dark (does the FBI arrest anyone during the day?) Hotch offers Aisha a chance to finish the job interview and we FINALLY see a spark of life in her character as she squeals that this was the BEST JOB INTERVIEW EVAH! It was a good scene, but Aisha is capable of so much more.

Aisha had enthused to TVGuide.com about her character “She’s smart, foxy and badass, so I’m definitely having a lot of fun playing her.” I hope we get see more of her. There was a definite spark there and the character definitely has potential, I just hope we get to see it soon. I was not feeling it watching the premier.

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