Person of Interest Season 1 (2011 Television Serial Review)

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Person of Interest is an excellent TV drama/new world order/science fiction from CBS. I was hooked from episode one and have progressed to season three. A computer genius Howard Finch (Michael Emerson), who seemingly has no past, hires Mr. Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA operative with a tragic past, to help people from behind the scenes. Mr. Finch gets his information from a machine he built for Uncle Sam. I don’t want to spoil the how or the why but it’s a whopper. Unfortunately, the machine only gives enough information, a Social Security Number, to start an investigation. It doesn’t do the leg work for them. These people are always a surprise too. Sometimes they’re the victim and sometimes they’re the perpetrator. Mr. Reese and Mr. Finch do their best to stay off the radar of law enforcement agencies and criminal organizations. At the same time they’re trying to keep to the shadows. It’s complicated when you’re not sure who is who either.

Some folks would argue that Person of Interest isn’t science fiction. Well, until they prove there is several groups of people trying to control and access all data, about every person on this planet, with the intent to take over the world, it’s science fiction/NWO. There’s even the odd hint here and there about the future of Artificial Intelligence. Mr. Finch is constantly manipulating gadgets and various other technologies to gather evidence, track movement, and profile. I find it fascinating that they’re taking real world events and spinning them into the story line to show you there’s a man behind the curtain. Well, you hope it’s a man.

As someone that can appreciate the beauty of weaponry and the occasional explosion, I love those action scenes. They’re gritty and feel real. Unfortunately, the hand to hand combat was pretty dicey for awhile. I think they hired a new choreographer because it got significantly better. There really isn’t much of a soundtrack going on. Now, there are some cool scenes where there’s a lot of ducking and weaving with the perfect score as the background. Also, I get it’s all going down in New York. It feels like they went out of their way to use the same locations over and over. It’s a bit lazy. I noticed that changed in the second season so I’ll forgive them…for now.

poi1The acting is top notch. There are a few instances where the characters seem one-sided or just going through the motions. I think it was the writing and not the actors in those instances. A great team of actors can only carry poor writing so far. The majority of time there is this amazing chemistry that keeps you anticipating what comes next. There is an excellent supporting cast. Everyone form the shady cop Fusco (Kevin Chapman), the good cop Carter (Taraji P. Henson), the psycho zealot Root (Amy Acker), to the mob mastermind Elias (Enrico Colantoni) bring amazing chemistry to the show. There are too many talented actors to list. I admit to becoming emotionally attached to these characters. Did I mention I hate movies and shows that rely on flashbacks? Person of Interest is another story though. You see the past in flashbacks mostly from the machine’s perspective. It’s used to form links in the chain that later on have you saying, “holy crap.” These awesome moments when you connect the dots really help you understand how the machine is also connecting all it’s information together. One episode, a character comments that they never could have connected anything together without a random gas station stop that occurred a few years prior. The small useless bit of information connected all the other dots.

Also, on another note. Anyone else hate how some plots or back stories get drawn out until it’s no longer interesting? Person of Interest has no such issue. They don’t want to draw it completely out. I think it’s because you’re getting a lot of it from Mr. Finch’s machine. It’s like it sees something interesting and accesses data relevant to the situation, which then streamlines the show so you can focus on the good stuff while getting your back stories and character development. It’s brilliant.

Yes, the show is the time old cliche of men with a secret past trying to find redemption by helping others. If you like shows where the bad guy gets nailed to proverbial wall and an underdog with the deck stacked against them gets justice, this is for you. I love it. I watched seasons 1-3 on Netflix and I have no qualms about buying the series on Blu-ray.

C E Score Sheet (1-5)

Production Quality: 4
Cast: 5
Cinematography: 3
Soundtrack: 3
Story: 4
Re-watchability: 4

C E Metascore: 3.8 RENT IT!!!

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