Watching Person of Interest has been an… interesting experience (pun obviously intentional, but also made with pride). This show, like The Good Wife is a hybrid of a procedural and serialized drama. To make a long story short, our heroes (the hyper intelligent Harold Finch and the highly skilled John Reese) receive tips on “people of interest” who are about to be involved in a violent crime, and then go to stop it. Along the way they have to balance fighting various criminal organizations and evading the law since what they are doing isn’t strictly legal. It’s fun, it’s action packed, and it comes with a whole slew of fun elements to point out. I’m only 2 seasons into the show, and after a shaky first season, it has picked up considerably. This is probably going to be closer to a traditional blog post than most things I’ve got on here so here goes. Here are random tidbits of interest on this show. There’s plenty of good things, dumb things, and hilarious things abound so get ready.
– Finch’s voice. Being portrayed by Michael Emerson comes with the advantage of having a very distinct and very soothing sounding voice. This is a good thing because he is the character that gets the most lines on this show.
– After being awful for the first season, the show somehow managed to turn the two detective characters, Fusco and Carter, into interesting characters in their own right. On any other drama, the law enforcement type characters that orbit the vigilante heroes are never interesting.
– 9/11 plays a huge role in the story and it isn’t horrendously offensive. Thinking of that film Remember Me and that infamous “twist” where the romantic leading man was tragically killed in the 9/11 attacks made me lose faith in any story being able to use it in a way that doesn’t want to make me throw up. Don’t misunderstand me, using a tragic historical event in your story isn’t automatically awful, but given the relative recentness of the incident and the fact that it was used as a “tragic twist”, it came off as manipulative and offensive. Meanwhile on Person of Interest it’s tragic yes, but it’s worked into the framework of the story and the world’s history. The themes of privacy and the amount of control the government has work in tandem with the things the writers are trying to say. 9/11 isn’t just some cheap tool they used for the purposes of plot, it is recognized as something that changed the world forever.
– Finch’s optimism is refreshing. He’s the rare television genius who isn’t excessively cynical about everything. He is a truly good person who did some amazing things with his intellect. If anything, his only flaw would be that he has a little too much faith in people at times.
– Reese’s backstory is legitimately heartbreaking. You get hints of it at first during the pilot, and you get the sense that it’s just going to be some generic “girl I cared about died, now I’m sad” story, but the farther you get into the first season the more you realize there’s more to it. Yes, the girl who died was the catalyst, but it’s the circumstances and some of the decisions Reese made leading up to her death that makes it heart wrenching.
– The show has this comicbook feel to it that is somehow engaging. It also has this awesome soundtrack as a result. Most major character’s get their own theme song which is a nice touch.
– Like Buffy and Angel, this show is very invested in it’s own continuity. There are a ton of callbacks and fun recurring characters to enjoy.
– Speaking of which, the villains are great on this show. Root in particular is a favourite of mine.
– The show has this annoying habit of over explaining everything. Sometimes I feel like the writers think we’re idiots. Not everything needs to be explained in detail, sometimes we can come to conclusions on our own.
– The show has an even more annoying habit of repeating things that have been said more than once before. Is it worried I stopped paying attention or something?
– Commercial cliffhangers on this show are often terrible and cheesy (“He’s not stalking her… she’s stalking him!”).
– This scene:
Take that bankers?
– Some of the one-liners are some of the worse I’ve heard.
– Reese’s voice. This man is played by Jim Caviezel (who portrayed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ), and he speaks in this odd gravely voice with this ambiguous accent that I can’t quite place. Every line he makes sounds odd to me, so when his voice shifts into a playful tone to get under someone’s skin, it sounds especially strange. You get used to it after a while, but the weirdness is still there… which is great because I love it. He can turn the most mundane line into a comedic goldmine, and I’ve gotten into doing an impression of him constantly. “Hello Lionel” is a phrase Reese often delivers in a teasing manner, and as a result I haven’t been able to go more than a day without using it.
– Leon: A very, very, irresponsible person. A character so irresponsible that his need to be rescued has become a running gag.
– People suddenly appearing behind others holding a gun happens more times here than on any other show I’ve seen. It’s gotten to the point where I chuckle every time it happens.
– Fusco is a total sad stack, but he has these random bouts of badassery that I find to be endlessly amusing.
That’s all I want to say about the show for now, so I’ll leave off with a quote that explains its entire premise. It also happens to be the show’s season 1 intro so maybe check it out yourself.
Quote of the Day:
“You are being watched. The government has a secret system: a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know, because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people; people like you. Crimes the government considered ‘irrelevant’. They wouldn’t act, so I decided I would. But I needed a partner, someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You’ll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number’s up… we’ll find you”
– Harold Finch, Person of Interest