Person of Interest – Jim Caviezel is a presumed dead former CIA Agent living as a bum. Michael Emerson is a very wealthy billionaire who has developed a pattern recognition system which allows him to see who will be involved in a crime soon, either as criminal or victim. With the two of them working together CBS is delivering a kick-ass show about vigilante justice. If vigilante justice doesn’t sell you, then Michael Emerson should.
The television gods have been rather good to us at this year’s upfronts presentations. Although they took away (RIP The Event, Brothers & Sisters and V), they also gave a hell of a lot – we’ve got over 40 new scripted shows to look forward to in the 2011-2012 season. Over 40. Yeah, you’d be forgiven for feeling just a little bit overwhelmed, but even at this early stage some dramas stand out more than others. For example, take CBS’s new show Person of Interest, which we’ve been looking forward to for months. But why exactly are we so excited about it? Read on to find out…
A former CIA agent teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes. That’s basically all you need to know, and doesn’t it sound amazing? It’s like a superhero drama without the powers, which is pretty fantastic.
But let’s get into the nitty-gritty a bit more. That former CIA agent we mentioned before – Reese – is at a bit of a low point in his life. For one thing, he’s “presumed dead”, so we’re guessing that he’s lying low and not making the most of New York’s famed party scene. Luckily, he’s just the type of guy that software entrepreneur Finch is after. Together, the pair attempt to stop violent crimes before they happen.
So far, so very good. But while Person of Interest could be just a simple crime-fighting caper, it seems to have a bit more depth than that. In the trailer (which you can watch below), it’s clear that Reese and Finch use surveillance technology to solve those tricky crimes, and it appears that we might be asked a few questions about living in a Big Brother society. It doesn’t look like it’ll ever get too political to spoil the fun – it’s just nice to see something add a little bit of an edge.
Oh, and of course Person of Interest has action-packed, fast-paced, shooty and car chasey fun. And it just so happens to be CBS’s highest-testing drama pilot in 15 years. So, um, it’s probably quite good.
If you’re wavering about Person of Interest, know this – it stars Michael Emerson. We could happily sit and watch the former Lost star sitting and watching paint dry, so the news that he’s taking on the role of Finch is hugely welcome. And, from what we can see, he pulls it off spectacularly. Michael alone would be enough to get us to tune in, but he’s paired with the oddly attractive Jim Caviezel. Alright, so The Prisoner wasn’t all that, but this man played JESUS (in the movie The Passion of the Christ) – surely there’s not a higher accolade than that? In all seriousness, Caviezel is a fine actor and will be great at the running and jumping and shooting side of the show. As if that wasn’t enough, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P Henson’s getting in on the action as a cop who starts to notice what Finch and Reese are up to.
It’s not just the acting talent that is getting us excited. This show is being produced by none other than J. J. Abrams (yep, the legend behind Lost, Fringe and Alias). Abrams’s involvement automatically gets the little geek inside of us very excited, but he’s not alone. Jonathan Nolan’s on board! You might have heard of his brother Christopher (he directed a little movie called Inception), and actually they’ve worked together a fair amount – Jonathan’s credits include The Dark Knight and Memento. We shouldn’t forget to mention the show’s three other executive producers either – Bryan Burk, David Semel and Greg Plageman are bringing their experience from shows like Lost, Heroes and Cold Case. Is it fall yet?
Our little niggles
While we are excited about Person of Interest, it would be stupid of us at this early stage not to have a few little worries. For example, the show’s pedigree is great, but will Abrams have too many balls in the air? It’s pretty clear he doesn’t spend much time actively involved in Fringe any more but he’ll still be keeping an eye on it. And he’s launching Fox’s midseason drama Alcatraz as well as potentially working on movies like the Star Trek and Cloverfield sequels. As much as we love him, it’s not like the Abrams name is a guaranteed stamp of quality, either. You’ve probably already forgotten his axed NBC series Undercovers, which aired earlier this season (and to be honest, it’s probably best forgotten).
But some of our anxieties about Person of Interest are to do with the show itself. Yes, we love a camp crime-fighting drama as much as the next guy, but the team will have to make sure it doesn’t become too silly. We might have celebrated the show’s basic premise earlier, but the truth is that the idea of a billionaire teaming up with a former CIA agent to fight crime is faintly ridiculous. All of this is really in the execution – will Person of Interest manage to stay on the right side of believability or will it tip into people yelling, “Seriously?” at the screen? In one sense, Person of Interest is at a disadvantage by not giving its lead characters powers and becoming a straight-up fantasy.
Our final little niggle is whether the show can sustain its early promise. It’s all very well making a kick-ass pilot, but if you strip away all the trimmings, Person of Interest is essentially a procedural. If it ends up being a simple case of stopping a different crime each week, people might get bored. Hopefully there’s a more intriguing throughline that we don’t know much about yet, because people might start switching off if they think they’ve seen it all before. We’re optimistic, though – for one thing, it seems like there’s enough mystery surrounding Finch to keep us guessing.
Yes, we have our tiny concerns about Person of Interest, but there’s absolutely no way we won’t be tuning in when it airs this fall. Our little niggles are just that – niggles – and most of them are because we don’t know much about the show yet. With a stellar cast, an intriguing idea and the early buzz, it definitely looks like one to watch out for.
Source: Digital Spy