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A.J. Cook Says The Swearing On Criminal Minds: Evolution Was Jolting

From 2005-2020, "Criminal Minds" was a hit for CBS thanks to its compelling storylines, dynamic characters, and creepy "unsubs." One of the most intriguing aspects of the series was its willingness to push the boundaries of what was acceptable for network television. With all of the psychopaths and serial killers that were featured across 15 seasons, the program's late-primetime timeslot was more than fitting. Some of the most disturbing installments of the show consistently pushed the limits of its TV-14 rating. Who can forget Jamie Kennedy's cannibal serial murderer in Season 3 or John Billingsley's child killer in Season 4? The series was never shy about pushing the subject matter to its very limits.

But even with its gritty tone, "Criminal Minds" was still bound by certain rules for broadcast television set out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This includes adult-oriented content on network TV up to and including the usage of extreme profanity. With the launch of "Criminal Minds: Evolution" on the subscription streaming service Paramount+, these rules do not apply. For A.J. Cook (Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau), the ability to use strong swear words without censorship was a jolting experience compared to how things had been on the series before. Here is what she had to say.

Cook reveals that the swearing allowed on Paramount+ took some getting used to

A.J. Cook has spoken in the past about the benefits of streaming when it comes to artistic freedom thanks to the space and breathing room subscription television allows. This has long been the case since the arrival of original programming on pay cable channels. When it comes to the continuation of "Criminal Minds," the show is now reveling in its ability to fully show the dark side of its villains. In an interview with Collider, Cook was specifically asked by the publication what it is like to use swear words as JJ Jareau, to which she replied, "It was this interesting dichotomy of, 'What? We don't do that here.' It's awesome that we're doing it."

The actor then revealed how other cast members responded by sharing, "Rossi [Joe Mantegna] is a little bit disgruntled and going through some issues when we first pick up the show, so the first time you hear him drop an F bomb, you're like, 'Uh oh, dad just swore around his kids.'" She then disclosed how everyone on set has gotten used to being able to use strong swear words after years of avoiding certain words and phrases on the CBS series. But the early days of shooting the spin-off show were met with caution from her and the cast due to years of broadcast TV. A.J. Cook concluded by stating, "So, it's fun. I like the edgier version of our show."