Binging through the outbreak

Nick Ulrich, Opinion Editor

Surviving a 14-day quarantine or a sudden start of online classes can be difficult without entertainment. That’s why I’m beginning a weekly column about different TV shows and movies to help you through your stay at home. All of these will be available on a basic streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.

For “Criminal Minds” fans, no show comes closer to scratching that psychological crime itch than Netflix’s new show, “Mindhunters.” Featuring Jonathon Groff as Holden Ford and Holt McCalleny as Bill Tench, the show tells the story of how the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit came to be. With the help of Wendy Carr, a Boston psychology professor played by Anna Torv, the two interview a number of criminals about their compulsive behaviors including the Son of Sam, the BTK Killer and Charles Manson.

The show begins with a powerful insight into the character of Holden Ford, as we see him use his psychological knowledge to negotiate with a man holding someone hostage.

Throughout the first season the writers — who also worked on “The Lovely Bones,” “House of Cards,” and “The Road” — pull the reader into the story. Incredible direction by David Fincher, known for “The Social Network,” “House of Cards,” and “Fight Club;” guides the viewer’s journey into the minds of some of America’s most infamous killers.

The show focuses on the interviews with killers, but that doesn’t stop Ford and Tench from investigating along the way, including an odd murder of an old woman with nothing stolen, a child who was seemingly crucified and the famous Atlanta child murders, which makes the FBI question their profile over and over again.

The writing also does a tremendous job of commenting on the struggles of the ’70s for women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. The characters constantly have to deal with the “men’s club” mentality of the FBI, while others struggle to deal with their sexuality. During the second season, Ford and Tench investigate a string of murders of young black men in Atlanta and work with the mothers of victims. A main character of the show, Wendy Carr, has to hide her sexuality as a lesbian to avoid being fired or reprimanded by the FBI.

When searching for a new show on Netflix, it can be difficult to find one that achieves the level of intensity and binge-ability that “Mindhunters” has. Fans of “Criminal Minds,” in particular, will be happy to find a show that details the origins of the Behavioral Science Unit and is able to highlight the psychological elements of crime that many find so appealing in “Criminal Minds.”

So if you’re looking for a new show to binge during this long quarantine, I’d suggest grabbing a bowl of popcorn and firing up the first two seasons of “Mindhunters.” Some episodes may keep you from sleeping at night, but at least you’ll have something to do during the day.