Person of Interest is a show about an ex CIA operative that teams up with a billionaire scientist to fight crime in New York City. There is a machine that spits out social security numbers of persons of interest, people who are in danger. The people could either be victim or perpetrator, and this duo must figure out what bad thing is going to happen and try to prevent it. What is so special about this show? I think Person of Interest is one of this season’s best shows, below are the reasons why I started watching and why you should be watching as well.
I have had a deep admiration for JJ Abrams ever since the first episode I ever watched of Felicity. I have enjoyed his work in both movies and television. I have watched everything that he has put out thus far and it has all been fantastic. He is one of the executive producers of Person of Interest, so it was pretty much a no-brainer that I would check this one out.
As if that wasn’t enough, the show was written and created by Jonathan Nolan, brother of Inception and Dark Knight writer, Christopher Nolan. Jonathan Nolan is a tremendous writer in his own right. He was the writer of Memento, and screenplay writer of the Dark Knight and the Prestige. These are a few of my favorite movies. Nolan being the creative force behind the project definitely made me even more excited for it.
The final piece that sealed my excitement for the show was the cast. I really loved Jim Caveziel’s performance in the Passion of the Christ. He did an amazing job with the difficult task of playing Jesus Christ. He has been in a few projects since but has largely been off the radar. It is cool to able to see him in a TV series. I learned to love and respect Michael Emerson from LOST. He did an unbelievable job on that show and had a lot of dramatic aspects to his character that he played skillfully. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Taraji P. Henson was going to be a part of the cast. Not only is she gorgeous but she is also a very talented actress.
The premise alone was interesting but it didn’t seem that far from a lot of the shows that we have already seen. As the show got closer to airing, I learned more about how it would work. I started to hear about the procedural elements of the show. There would be a new case each week that would be solved each week, similar to show like Law & Order, or CSI. I feared that this show might succumb to the same problem that Abrams’ last show, Undercovers, did. That show failed because it was too procedural, and it had no backstory or overarching mythology for people to latch onto. These were things that people expect to see in an Abrams show and ultimately it was its undoing. Abrams himself mentioned that fact in an interview with Jonathon Nolan and JJ Abrams talking about the show at the network upfronts. That interview is what truly sold me on the show.
The writing on this show is superb, which is to be expected. The show is comprised of compelling stories that will keep you engaged. The stories are unique and are always packed with twists. It often seems like the stories are going to unfold a certain way but the stories are almost always turned on their heads. At the end of the cases when they are resolved, I always feel like cheering for the team and for the victim. The procedural engine of the show gives it plenty of years worth of stories to be told. The storytelling element of the show is also bolstered by the backstories of all of the characters, the origin of the machine and the numbers, and the storyline about the struggle of how to continue to protect these people both in and outside of the law. It is compelling TV.
The characters on the show are really interesting and the way they interact over time is really interesting. John Reese is played expertly by Caviezel. He makes his reserved demeanor convey his hidden nature. On the surface he seems like some random guy but as the persons of interest soon learn there is much more than meets the eye. Reese is not only skilled in combat and surveillance but also with dealing with personalities and making them feel safe. His sense of humor is dry but that matches up perfectly with his partner, Mr. Finch, portrayed by Michael Emerson. Finch is mysterious but much unfolds about his story and origins as the show progresses. You learn not only about his technical skills and training but also about his loved ones and where his compassion lies. Taraji P. Henson plays Detective Carter, a hard-nosed but fair cop that just wants to do the right thing. This puts her in interesting company when it comes to this pair and the interactions they have make for really interesting situations.
This show is definitely a procedural but it’s not your grandma’s procedural but it is a procedural you can watch with your grandma. The show is action packed but definitely heartwarming as well. It takes all of the exciting elements of a crime fighting show like well done fight scenes, car chases, and shootouts but also has heartfelt moments, both for the persons of interest and for the team that has sworn to protect them.
So why aren’t you watching Person of Interest? I hope it’s because you just didn’t know about it, so now that you do, join the approximately 10 million people that already watch the show. The show returns tonight, March 8 at 9 pm on CBS. I really recommend checking the show out from the beginning but because of its largely procedural nature you could start tonight. It is completely up to you. The bottom line is that Person of Interest is an amazing show that should not be missed.