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Criminal Minds' A.J. Cook Says the Idea of JJ and Reid Still Makes Her Nervous

AJ Cook and Matthew Gray Gubler, Criminal Minds | Photo Credits: Screen Grab, CBS

For some Criminal Minds fans, the resurrection of J.J. (A.J. Cook) and Reid's (Matthew Gray Gubler) romantic feelings in the Season 14 finale and first part of Season 15 felt like a shot. For a dedicated group of shippers, known to the internet as Jeiders, it was hope that the two FBI colleagues, who have always had a special connection after going on one date in the first season, might finally explore a romantic relationship. 

The two did confess to having more-than-friendly feelings for each other, but those emotions and urges weren't to be acted on. While J.J. was the one to instigate the whole conversation by confessing while she was held at gunpoint that she's always loved Reid, she was also the one that was happily married with two kids. She meant what she said, but she didn't mean it enough to ruin the life she had already built for herself, and Reid, who clearly loved J.J. back completely respected that. Finally having the conversation allowed him to move on and find potential happiness of his own. 

"It was such a strange thing, and it was even more strange that it kind of came back to light in the final few seasons of the show," Cook told TV Guide while promoting the Criminal Minds summer marathon on WeTV. "I applaud them for doing that because that's not necessarily a safe move. It was scary for me, but I looked at it as, 'That's life, man.' Life is messy and complicated and they obviously do have a real love for one another, whatever category that falls into." 

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Cook's trepidation came from J.J. having to reveal such a deeply harbored secret and the potential that secret had to wreck the happiness that she had fought hard for over the course of the show. The idea of jumping into something romantic with Reid still makes her nervous, and she admits it would have been a different show if they had explored more of the relationship back in the early seasons of the series.

"Every person has their own opinion on it," Cook said. "I had to make it real and I wanted to do it right, and I wanted to do it justice. Hopefully, I did. Still to this day, it gives me knots in my stomach because that's such a big deal, and I protect JJ so much. The fact that it's out there -- I want to protect her! I think it was all handled really, really well in the long run. Who knows what would have happened if that first date way back in Season 1 -- if they turned into something way back then? I think it'd be a very different show. It still makes me nervous to this day." 

What doesn't make Cook nervous, along with her co-stars Kirsten Vangsness and Joe Mantegna who joined her in the interview, is the idea of going back to Criminal Minds. All three seemed more than willing to go back to set after admitting they hadn't fully accepted that the show is over yet. 

"It ended at the time when we usually had our hiatus anyway," Mantegna said, before saying the cast was still hanging out before social distancing practices went into effect. "The parade is still going on in some aspect." 

It's still going on for fans as well, who can watch the show all summer on WeTV. The Criminal Minds summer-long marathon begins Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 23) through Labor Day (Monday, September 7), on WE tv airing back-to-back episodes every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET and every Monday from 4 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. PT. 



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The Best 50 Arrowverse Characters Ranked

Arrowverse Characters Ranked | Photo Credits: CW

Over the past eight years, the Arrowverse has blossomed from one scrappy little series to an expansive universe that dominates The CW's lineup. This world (or worlds depending on which crossover you're watching) is populated by some of the most dastardly villains and noble heroes, but it's sometimes hard to narrow it down to just your faves. Whether you're a fan of The FlashSupergirlArrowDC's Legends of TomorrowBatwoman, Black Lightning, or all of the above, we've got you covered.

TV Guide has compiled a definitive list of the best 50 Arrowverse characters of all time, and while the cuts were painful, we made them nonetheless. As it turns out, you may be surprised at how high baddies like Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) ranked, but we hope you won't be shocked that a complicated character like Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) beat out some pretty iconic heroes.

And who, you may ask, stole the number one slot? Scroll through the gallery below to find out! 

PHOTOS: The Best 50 Arrowverse Characters Ranked



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The Best Shows to Watch Based on the Shows You Already Love

Jamie Hector and Titus Welliver, Bosch | Photo Credits: Aaron Epstein

Ever finish up a season of a show that you loved only to realize that you have to wait a whole year to watch more of that show, so you curl up into a ball and cry for 11 months straight? Ever wish you could just watch something else that was just as good? We have too, and we're looking to put an end to that feeling. 

TV Guide is rolling out new recommendation lists that are hand-picked based on existing shows you already know and love. So if you're looking for a great legal drama to watch after Suits, we've got you covered! And if you want to know what to watch after you've bosched everything there is to Bosch, we have that information too. 

Below you will find a list of all of our current recommendations. If you don't see a show you love, check back soon, as we're always updating our catalog. And if there's a show you're interested in and would like us to cover and recommend similar shows for, please let us know!

Shows to Watch If You Like Bosch

Bosch, Amazon's adaptation of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels, is an authentic crime drama detailing the life of LA homicide detective and private investigator Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver). Our list of recommendations features other great police dramas, some murder mysteries, and shows with complicated men at their center.

Shows to Watch If You Like The OA

The OA, Netflix's one-of-a-kind fantasy/sci-fi experience, stars co-creator Brit Marling as Prairie, a young woman who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years and calls herself The OA, but more important, she is no longer blind. Our list of recommendations features twisty sci-fi shows, series that may or may not be about the multiverse, and plenty more that will make your head hurt (but in a good way).

Shows to Watch If You Like Homeland

Homeland, a political thriller starring Claire Danes as a CIA officer and Mandy Patinkin as her mentor at the agency, traveled the globe throughout its eight seasons on Showtime. Our list of recommendations takes you further undercover and features tense stories of espionage, globe-trotting action dramas, and pulse-pounding games of cat and mouse.

Shows to Watch If You Like Justified

Justified, based on a short story by crime author Elmore Leonard, is a modern Western starring Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and Walton Goggins as his quick-witted foe Boyd Crowder. Our list of recommendations features other recent TV Westerns with complicated relationships, stylish crime dramas, and some of the best dialogue on television.

Movies to Watch If You Like Extraction

Extraction, Netflix's latest action extravaganza, stars Chris Hemsworth as a mercenary who goes to a foreign country on a mission and shoots his way out after being double-crossed. Our list of recommendations features movies starring other big-name actors with big guns, rock-solid tale of revenge, and Asian action films that let the punching do the talking.

Shows to Watch If You Like Outer Banks

Outer Banks, Netflix's sun-soaked teen drama that pits the haves against the have-nots on the picturesque coast of North Carolina, is a soapy melodrama about John B (Chase Stokes) and his friends' search for lost treasure during one fateful summer. Our list of recommendations features shows that are also set in picturesque locales, explore young love, and are also filled with more soap than a case of Irish Spring.

Sports Documentaries to Watch If You Like The Last Dance

The Last Dance, ESPN's sensational docuseries following Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' final championship season, gave us our sports fix when we needed it most. Our list of recommendations features other documentaries that directly expand on stories that were part of The Last Dance, profiles of Michael Jordan-esque sports figures, and great basketball documentaries.

Shows to Watch If You Like Suits

Suits, USA Network's long-running legal drama, follows Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), an arrogant but charming lawyer, and his fraudulent but brilliant protégé Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Our list of recommendations features other memorable USA shows, even more excellent legal dramas, and programs that include central bromances. 

Shows to Watch If You Like Sweet Magnolias

Sweet Magnolias, Netflix's new romantic soap starring Joanna Garcia Swisher as a soon-to-be-divorced mother of three who finds a chance to start over with a hunky former Major Leaguer in South Carolina, is a swoon-worthy story laced with small town charm. Our list of recommendations features other series with sweeping romances, shows with quaint small town atmosphere, and dramas that explore second chances at love.

Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! 



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