Sunday, September 25, 2011

New TV Roundup - Person of Interest

The new crime drama from CBS, Person of Interest seems to have more in common with Minority Report than your typical CSI show. It follows presumed dead, ex-CIA operative John Reese as he's recruited by billionaire computer genius, businessman Mr Finch to prevent crimes before they occur. Although without a handy precog its a bit tougher than it may appear. Mr Finch has a computer program that gives him a list of social security numbers associated with people who will be involved in a violent crime in the near future. Unfortunately he doesn't know if the person will be the victim, the perpetrator, or involved in some other way. So its up to Reese to figure out the who, whats, and whys, before whatever crime is about to happen does.

Yes, the show does in fact star Jesus and Ben Linus! Caviezel and Emerson are both great actors, charismatic as hell, familiar with slightly skewed storytelling, and pretty much guaranteed to deliver the goods. Thankfully for the most part the scripting lives up to the actors playing the roles. The story is dense, and there are some great set ups for supporting characters, as well as interesting avenues for plot that will undoubtedly be looked down as the series goes on.

The action is great, well shot and fast paced. It also looks like a show that has a good budget, but doesn't need to blow it on overdoing anything. The action is intense, but human, and grounded. I'd say 8 times out of 10 I'd prefer to see a really well choreographed hand to hand fight scene than some stupid over the top gun battle. The human drama seems to be a real driving force here. But its not all action, there's a solid set up for a weekly mystery here. And being the serialized storytelling junkie that I am, there are also great potentials for ongoing stories. For anyone that gets the reference I'd liken it a lot to the comic book 100 Bullets, which is just about as awesome a story as you could hope for.

The look of the show is very deliberate too. The colors are muted grays, and browns, and greens. The action takes place a lot at night, and the city is dirty and oppressive. As the characters reference in the pilot, this is definitely a post 9-11 world, and the kind of work they're doing is a direct response to events that transpired out of the terror attacks. The show often cuts to security camera footage, complete with CIA-esque real time analysis. While it plays a specific role in the set up of the story, it also keeps us constantly in check. Big Brother is watching all the time. These guys are just acting on that information; hopefully for the betterment of everyone.

I definitely liked this show and hope to catch it again. I'm not sure if its an every week kind of show, but I'll definitely watch more if I can find the time. Person of Interest airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on CBS, but you can watch it on the CBS website too.

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