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Jennifer Jareau: Pennsylvania Petite

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Oh! I just looked up on the wikia http://criminalminds.wikia.com/wiki/Jennifer_Jareau

I wasn't on crack! JJ did mention having a niece! In season 2 she said she had an 8-year-old niece. Since JJ was eleven when her sister committed suicide, she must have another sibling in order to have a niece that age. At the very least she would have been 16 when the niece was born. Unless it was one of those things where she had a good friend that had a child and she referred to the child as her niece, but I think that is unlikely given how distant JJ seemed to be from other people. She didn't appear to have any or many friends outside of the BAU. They never really established much of a personal life for her in the earlier seasons though, so its possible.

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Also posted on TWoP:

As wholeheartedly as I'm on board the 'please ditch JJ---and, yeah, she can totally take Morgan with her' train, I actually disagree that the JJ of these past couple of seasons is that radical a departure from JJ 1.0. As hard as I tried to like her,  JJ always came across to me as cold, flat, snotty, boring, somewhat self-superior, poorly defined by the writers and and played by a bad actress. And now she's...well, cold, flat, snotty, boring, a little more than somewhat self-superior, poorly defined by the writers and played by a bad actress ;) It's just that since she's a profiler now, she's more front and center, so her deficiencies (to me) as both a character and actress are more glaring, as is the fact that she has no special skills or background which would ostensibly qualify her to be an elite, eye-rollingly perfect profiler who had no trouble whatsoever adjusting to her new role. Admittedly, JJ 1.0 is easier to fanwank for me----I picture her as a 'popular', sheltered small town semi-Mean Girl who knows how to project a certain image to the public but finds it difficult to warm up to those close to her for reasons I pretend are intriguing. I merrily disregard that she was ever supposed to be the warm and empathetic one, because the actress just never effectively projected that to me.

A really minor example of many, but the one that's freshest in my mind: I just recently rewatched the episode where JJ tells Reid she will never go to a comicon with him (not that poor Reid had even asked.) In the hands of another actress like maybe Paget Brewster's Emily, that might---MIGHT---have come off as more cutely playful than rude, snotty and superior. When delivered by too-cool-for-the-room AJ Cook, it made me cringe.

Edited by mstaken
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That was on yesterday! 

Funny too, how AJ herself ended up doing exactly that in Toronto a couple of years ago. The Fan Expo is run by the Comic-Con people. 

So HA HA JJ! Joke's on you! ;)

Here they are arriving:


Being interviewed:


And at a panel:


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I'm hoping that in the finale we will get to see JJ's softer side and actually feel like it is real instead of forced. There have been times when she pulled it off but other times it didn't quite work out. But I do hope they remember that Hotch is the leader and balance the contributions of the team members out.


I wonder if they would ever consider having JJ do some of the media liaison stuff. I mean, Hotch had to do some of it and not only is he a profiler, he's the boss! Of all of the team members, I think that Hotch and JJ are the best with press releases.

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I'll have to go back and watch that episode. My memory has really been slipping lately. I remember liking the hidden passageway in the episode.


The footage of Matthew and AJ at that comic con was good. Poor AJ was getting ignored but Matthew was trying to make sure she was included. 


As for JJ, I still remember how shaken up she was in Revelations after the dogs attacked and she had a slight amount of PTSD. She was really questioning herself and thinking that the rest of the team blamed her. I wish Morgan hadn't been so dismissive with her, but the writer was going for Morgan being so worried about Reid that he didn't have it in him to deal with JJ's angst as well. Loved the hug at the end. 

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I loved JJ prior to season 8. I was so happy when they brought her back. I loved her role as media liaison. She did show compassion for the victims, their families and even her fellow team members. She wasn't gushy with it, but you could see it was there. She was sensitive to Will's grief at losing his father and his not wanting to let his dad down by being unable to solve the case. You could see some interest there. However, once they brought him back the interest never felt real. I liked the way she was able to stand up to the press under pressure. I liked her real concern for Garcia in Penelope. At the end when she said, "you do whatever it takes to protect your family" it was totally believable. I liked the way she handled the mom of the missing boy in The Instincts. It was never overly gushy, but you could see that her empathy was real. She had good relationships with everyone on the team, especially Emily and Reid. It's just such a shame what they have done to her character and especially that she and the writers actually think it's better. She comes across as cold, pushy and a know-it-all now. So sad.

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I wish they would stop this non sense notion and cliche that in order for a woman character to be seen as strong, she has to kick ass. She has to do these fight scenes and outdo men in those scenes.

The female characters I have admired most on television never really had to do those things. They used their brains. And yeah, also great acting skills by these female actors.

And yeah, I find AJ more attractive pre season 8. I think she over worked out and looks a little less feminine especially now. To me, she is too skinny. In two years, AJ aged more than 5 years in my opinion.

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I agree Independent Mind - fitness is all very laudable but she is starting to look too thin. In many photos she could be in her 40's. I often reflect that while she and Matthew are of similar age, he seems to get younger while she looks older than her years.

Edited by Old Dog
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Yes Old Dog. I was surprised to see how much she has aged. She almost looks to be Gillian Anderson's age who is turning 46 this summer. Who has had no work done on her face.

I think some people get too excessive and obsessive about fitness. And it is obvious because she has been trying too hard to be a sex symbol by doing sexy photoshoots. CBS is trying so hard to market her as that. And it aint workin.

It is not a coincidence that they have her as "Woman Crush Wednesday" with her in her workout outfit. Really? AJ isnt' Angelina Joile in "Tomb Raider" or "Salt". And wish she would stop trying to be.

Edited by IndependentMind
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IndependentMind, I do think it is working for some fans. AJ is being held up as a fitness example, and she is worshipped by a certain faction that is into that look, especially on tumblr.


I personally loved her softer, both in character and in physique, but that's just me. For some reason, my favorite JJ look of all, is this one:




Not that she's about to cry, but the slick ponytail, crisp white shirt look always looks so clean and fresh. This is also some of AJ's best acting imo.

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That's when I liked her - I thought she was so believable in Amplification. And that softer look was so much better on her. I know they like her new look on tumblr but I find it unsettling when you can count all the bones in her ribs and across her chest.

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So true Old Dog. When ribs and bones are potruding, that is not healthy in my opinion.

I think Rachel Nichols has a great body. On Continuum, she is fit and not skinny.

Same with Taraji P Henson. She is about AJ's height but look at the difference in their physique.

AJ is not a bad actress when she is alone in her scenes. But when she is with others, somehow she feels the need to overact to be noticed.

That is why I don't think she can ever be a kead on a show or a movie. She is fine if oart of an ensemble cast but to carry a show or the other half of a duo, she is not capable of in in my opinion.

Edited by IndependentMind
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I'm just glad she hasn't succumbed to 'Madonna Syndrome': i.e... ropy, veiny arms with zero fat ratio to balance it out. I hope that's not the path she ends up on. 

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Willowy, she might not be too far behind. I think a lot has to do with her hubby. He seems obsessed with his body and she seems to worship him just from her tweets. She wants to be as obsessed with her body as he is.

Madonna did not become this buff, veiny self until she was in her 40s.

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Makes me wonder what people that thin actually eat. Can't exactly see her chowing down on a burger, even a portobello mushroom burger if she's a vegetarian. 


You can see Matthew's bones in his chest too (even though he has nicely filled out in other areas). He's always got one of those green juice bottles in his hands, I wonder if that's how he gets most of his nutrients, and if AJ's doing something similar.

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I do think it's a shame that Kirsten seems to be trying to go down the same route. I used to love that she was an ordinary sized woman but over the last couple of years she has lost a lot of weight and seems to be trying to be another skinny blonde! Again, losing weight and exercise is a good thing but not if you take it too far. One of the things I used to like about Garcia was that she seemed like a real person amidst all the beautiful people. That's no longer the case and I dislike her new, thinner, comic book character almost as much as I dislike the super ninja whippet thin JJ!

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That's the thing; if they were gonna make JJ super-ninja, AJ pretty much had to whittle herself down to fighting weight to make those newer ninja abilities believable. You don't do that type of training every day and remain soft. Truth is, she does have a strong musculature, and may even weigh more than she used to, owing to muscle being heavier than fat. 


Still, I did like her rounded look a lot more. Not to sound sexist, but she was a lot 'prettier' then, in my eyes.  Still, the woman has every right to sculpt herself however makes her feel her best, and doesn't need our approval to do so. It's her body.


We however, don't have to like it. 

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I agree with you there Old Dog.

I remember a friend of mine complaining about how Mariska Hargitay has gotten big.

I told her I think she is beautiful.

She is a perfect example of a healthy woman. Even then, she was sculpted but she looked healthy. She didn't look gaunt like AJ.

Ask any man who is sexier between Rachel

Nichols and AJ Cook, I would bet most will say Rachel. Rachel has been on FHM abd Maxim more than AJ for sure.

I agree with you Willowy, about AJ looking more feminine then. And no it does not sound sexist at all.

I go to them gym and I cringe everytime I see a woman whose built is masculine. It is not sexy at all.

If I liked women, I certainly would not be attracted to one who looked like a man.

I don't even like men who are buff. Give me David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo. Haha.

Edited by IndependentMind
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Sorry to disappoint you Williowy. I like Matthew's pretty face but certainly, not his body.

I don't like skinny or lanky looking guys. I prefer men with bodies of a basketball player or soccer player. I actually prefer Thomas Gibson or David Duchovny's body over Matthew's. I was never attracted to skinny or lanky guys. I do like them tall but I like my man to have more muscle.

Edited by IndependentMind
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I love smart guys. It us why I am attracted to David Duchovny.

My favoite actors (male/female) and athletes have all been cerebral. I cannot stand those who don't have brains. Who only talks about their looks and fashion

Back to AJ, is it just me or do you guys also notice that she tries too hard to be funny or be liked?

Also, what does her hubby do? I remember reading they met in acting class. But I sure don't remember seeing him in anything.

Edited by IndependentMind
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He's an editor, and I really don't notice that about AJ, no. If anything, she comes off as a little self conscious and wary. I think everyone tries to be at least mildly amusing, sometimes. 


I feel sorry for her lately. It seems as though she's been really feeling the JJ backlash. The woman has a job to do, a family that needs her, and she's an integral part of a hit TV show. I'd be more inclined to give her a break than cut her down when she tries to be pleasant or funny. 

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I think alot of the backlash have to be blamed on her and Erica Messer.

She demanded to change JJ and Erica Messer decided that she be front and center in the last 3 seasons.

Her approach to how to play JJ now left bitter taste to a lot of fans and mostly Reid fans who is very popular.

Her self consciousness is what I think makes her bring the attention to herself. Like was there a need to brag about her being waterboarded? She came off arrogant by basically saying "She is the only actress who would do this." When in fact, there have been others who have done it before her. From what I have read in cast interviews, a lot of comments I have read seem to imply that she tries to take over it. To me, it would have been better if TG or MGG or SM or somebody in the cast mentioned the waterboarding. Rather than her bringing it up.

I remember when Paget was interviewed about 200 and AJ was next to her. When she said it was a JJ episode, then AJ cut her off and said don't say it's a JJ episode because JJ haters won't watch. The way she did it wasn't funny at all. It irked some and maybe even a lot people.

Paget is funny and ahe does it so naturally.

Edited by IndependentMind
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Aww, well AJ isn't Paget. Maybe she just doesn't have Paget's natural gift for humor. 


I just have developed sympathy for the actual person, AJ, because people have been so mean to her about JJ this past year. And she was just trying to ramp up her character, and make her more action-oriented and a more integral part of the team. They pick on everything about her from her character to her personally, and it almost sounds to me like they are jealous in some way with all the hatred they spew at someone they don't even know. 


Makes me sad.

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It ticked people off because season 7 was all about her already and then again, season 9.

The best thing for her to do was talk to Messer abd the writers to cut it down a bit.

Why not write more about Blake? She has been around 2 seasons and they cant even write decent episodes about her. That to me is what is sad.

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I don't have anything against AJ Cook personally; I just don't connect with her as an actress. :) I'm not sure I agree that she overacts, though---weirdly enough, my primary complaint about her is that she UNDER acts, often wearing the same distant expression and uttering lines in the same flat monotone. 


And I have no problem with everyone getting their turn to shine. In my TV utopia, I'd happily love ALL the team members, so it's not like I automatically resent a lot of screentime for JJ simply because it means less screentime for other characters. It's that, for me, that increased screentime has not only failed to illuminate anything whatsoever about JJ's character, but has somehow made her more unlikable and unrelatable to me than ever before. We're, like, a zillion episodes into the series, and I still can't even begin to describe her personality (does she have one?!) or name a single human flaw she might possess. I happen to see her as cold, self-superior, snotty and condescending, though I know I'm not supposed to, so it's not like I can give the writers credit for deliberately making her flawed in those ways! And, again, I pretty much always saw her that way. When she rushed to point out to Reid that she's never go to Comicon with him (she's FAR too cool, of course), I wish Reid had pointed out that he never invited her in the first place :) 

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As opposed to how Paget approaches Prentiss' reaction to Reid which turns out to be funny and adorable. 


I think that is what AJ is going for but fails to do so. Like when Reid would say something to Prentiss that she doesn't quite get, she gives this look and her delivery doesn't come off condescending or dismissive.

Edited by IndependentMind
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I'm an infrequent contributor here, but I've been reading through this thread and feel the need to comment. 


While I think the show missed a golden opportunity to study something really interesting---that is, the slow, uncertain transition of JJ from liaison to profiler, with all the meaty intra-team relationships that might have been developed and portrayed in the process---it's over, and done, and they blew it.  No matter whose fault it was or is.  The best we can hope for is that they won't perpetuate the mistake for yet another season.


Having said that, I would also say that I'm with Willowy in encouraging us to lay off AJ.  I don't know her personally, so all I can say with certainty is that, like the rest of us, she's just a person, with the gifts and personality given to her, trying to do her job the best she knows how.  She has family, and friends, and joys and sorrows just like anyone else.  Not liking the character doesn't mean we have to dislike the actress.  Nor would I rely on snippets of interviews, or press releases, or other publicity gigs to form an impression of any celebrity.  It's all superficial. 



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Yeah, I agree that my reasons for far preferring Prentiss to JJ has far, far more to do with the acting than the writing, because on paper both of them are, IMO, defined insufficiently and/or inconsistently. And you're totally right that Prentiss/Paget could pull off the teasing in a way that felt more affectionately playful to me than the genuinely snotty and 'too cool for the room'-ish air I often get from JJ. 

Not liking the character doesn't mean we have to dislike the actress.


We can certainly dislike her actual acting and snark accordingly, though :)  

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The roll of the eyes and the delivery are often the complaints that I have read about JJ.


This is the same problem I have with Sam Shaw on POI. The way Sarah Shahi plays her makes me not like her much. The ninja kicking butt, condescending and sarcastic personality irks me.

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I try and keep personal comments about AJ to minimum, but that is not going to make me like the character of JJ. After defending the new incarnation of JJ for two years, I despise that character completely and totally at the moment. And that is the fault of both the writers who have had JJ dominate this season and her scenes, even when she shouldn't, and it is a function of AJ's acting as JJ. Most of us were well aware of the "season of JJ" talk at the beginning of the season, and that really ignited the backlash in my opinion, though it has been growing in some circles for the past two years. Outside of hardcore JJ fans, I don't think many people were thrilled at having the season focus on her, not when she got so much focus in recent years. Those of us turned off by the idea of yet another season focused on JJ dearly hoped AJ just overstated things, but we were proven incorrect.

It is probably a good thing AJ's contract was not up for renewal this year, because if it was and they pulled the same stunt last year to try and drum up fan anger to get themselves a raise, I would be sorely tempted to beg CBS to fire her, because I hate the character so much these days.

The backlash against JJ can be laid squarely at the feet of Erica who seems to worship the character of JJ, the writers who have overused JJ to the point of overexposure, and AJ whose portrayal of JJ has gotten on many persons' last nerves.

I can only hope this backlash forces the writers to highlight other characters in season 10.

Edited by ForeverAlone
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What disappointment me most about Erica Messer and AJ is their dismissive attitude to the importance of what the "old" JJ was. When AJ came back, the attitude was "I don't want her to be the JJ before." Like a line from the movie Dirty Dancing "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." That's what I got from AJ.

I always go back to what Ed Bernero said in an interview, when he was asked who he thought was the strongest or most important in the team. He said "JJ", He said JJ has the toughest and most difficult job in the BAU because she has to go through files and talk to the police who calls the BAU about cases and she has to decide which one to take. JJ would sometimes find herself sleeping in her office because she has a difficult time deciding which cases to take and then come in early to prepare to present the case to the team. Ed Bernero made it a point of showing us how important JJ was. When she took her maternity leave, what did Jordan say? "I don't know how JJ did it."JJ also had the task of facing the media. She had the difficult job of answering questions.

And then all of a sudden, it made it seem that what JJ used to do was not that important because even with all the responsibilities that Hotch has, he still has time to look over these cases and then just have Garcia present it.

Strength is not just physical and the ability to drop kick a guy. More or less, mental strength is more important than physical. And that is what JJ had. Now her mental strength is, after being tortured and almost rape, she goes out for a beer with her BAU buddies the same night she was rescued.

Edited by IndependentMind
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I hadn't realized that Ed said JJ had the toughest job. That is interesting.


Willowy, I have to say that women do NOT have to get so slim the way AJ has in order to be fit. In fact, getting down to be that skinny can actually make someone less fit. It can rob people of their strength and energy. A lot of those bodybuilders with the huge muscles have done the exercises to have bulk and little body fat, but they are not as strong as people who are less-toned. There are different types of exercises to achieve different goals. Some people want to achieve muscletone and they do exercises for that. Others do exercises to build strength and stamina. And I know this because I used to be into martial arts and weight lifting. I was very strong but still had body fat (and nice healthy muscles). I did exercises for stamina/strength instead of appearance. Unfortunately there is this popular misconception that skinny/musclebound = strong.

I think her appearance is more out of the trend to push anorexic-looking women as the ideal. It's not healthy and its not pretty to me. I miss the days when people liked the body type of Lucy Lawless as Xena. 


I like this gif of JJ, although I have no idea what that expression was about. I like the soft hair.



These were also cute:







For hair up, I liked this style with the little pieces hanging down.




And AJ looked pretty while pregnant



I still remember how Hotch's response was "I'll get the car!" and it was all serious business. I do wish we found out who all stayed there while she had the baby. Hotch had been through that with Jack, but he might have waited outside. 


Not too fond of this look but I know Willowy will like the picture. Note that she is wearing a shirt with one of Matthew's modeling pics on it.



And LOL!



I had one more picture I wanted to post but I can't retrieve the url because my internet is slower than dialup right now. It's the one where JJ's hair is wavy and she looks like a porcelain doll.

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Those are really good pictures of her, zannej. And you're right I do love that one where she's wearing his face. I also love this one:




And for obvious reasons, I adore this one, even though of course it's a manip. It's my current fb cover.



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I'm over at a friend's house using internet now bc my internet at home was sucking. For some reason it didn't fully load all of the posts at home so I'm seeing stuff that it didn't show before.


I do feel badly for AJ getting attacked personally because people are upset about her character. I do partially blame her for the bad changes to JJ because it has made her character less likable, but she is not a writer and ultimately it falls on the writers/producers. They are the ones who decided to implement the changes rather than explain to her why the changes would not be good. I wish that I had a time machine to go back and explain why JJ was good the way she was and she just needed some more appreciation and maybe they needed to find more things for her to do within her job role.


It just boggles me that the writers actually brag about having JJ be a completely different character and they somehow think this is a good thing.


At least they didn't turn her in to an unsub though.

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