Stars: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson
Jonathan Nolan
David Semel
CBS, Thursdays @ 9 PM
Original Telecast:
September 22, 2011

This isn’t (so far as we know) real, but it certainly sounds plausible – what if the government commissioned a tech genius to invent software that could isolate possible terrorist “chatter”? And what if that software included an element that was later discarded, which also picked up indications of non-terrorist crimes about to be committed?

So far, so good with writer Jonathan Nolan’s premise (he shares creator status with J.J. Abrams) for PERSON OF INTEREST, which then postulates that said tech genius, who likes to be called Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson), decides to take the fortune he’s made off his inventions and apply it to helping people. Specifically, Finch uses the money to enlist a homeless, despondent former CIA operative, John Reese (Jim Caviezel) to be the muscle in preventing the crimes predicted by the software the government doesn’t use, the part that predicts non-national security crimes.

The catch is that the software can indicate who is likely to be involved, but not the person’s name (it provides a social security number), let alone what the crime is or whether the person will be the victim or the perpetrator. Reese is reluctant to accept the gig both for understandable reasons (would you agree to this scheme right off the bat?) and for angsty hero motives (the past is too overwhelming for him to want to commit to the present), but he ultimately comes around, and once he does, he is very effective in both the detection and butt-kicking aspects of his task.

Admittedly, the crime in the first episode is on the pedestrian side, but given the complexity of the set-up, that’s probably best for audience comprehension. The possibilities here are many and tantalizing. Caviezel (of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST fame) is credibly both tortured and dangerous. As for Emerson, who rightly won an Emmy for his work as Benjamin Linus on LOST, he brings a remarkable intensity and sincerity to Finch that holds our attention. Indeed, for LOST fans, Finch seems in some ways a continuation of where Ben was left at the end of that show – seeking to atone for terrible sins by doing practical good for others.

Taraji P. Henson so far doesn’t have much to do as the resident law enforcement character who is suspicious of Reese, but she does it with conviction and personality.

PERSON OF INTEREST is well-done, full of potential and, well, interesting. If it is not all that it may become yet, it’s still off to a solid start.



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Article: TV Review – PERSON OF INTEREST – Season 1 – Series Premiere

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  1. I agree with the critique. I found the pilot to be engaging and intelligently written, and think the program has the potential to spin out some very interesting stories.

  2. I was looking so forward to this show and was incredibly disappointed. Then when I googled reviews so that I could at least be vindicated by some public scorn I come across this praise-fest. Plausible!? Hardly. The fact that the government is tapping phones etc, after 9-11 is plausible and happening, but that is where anything remotely buyable ends. This computer system KNOWS when someone’s imminent death is coming? And there is no real explanation for how this is accomplished the guy from Lost just says, “the machine knows.” Oh, okay. Then I believe it too. This show did another thing I thought was impossible. It made Jim Caviezel look like a huge dork. After losing his wife (gee haven’t seen this inciting incident on tv before) the next time we see him he’s wearing a beard that looks like it was trimmed and glued on after it was used in a middle school production featuring President Lincoln. Then we’re supposed to believe a guy who’s arms haven’t seen a push-up in this century can grab and ram together two 180 lb thugs. Why not do a few curls before production. I’m not even suggesting going full Taylor Lautner, but let’s see something on that upper arm that suggests physical fitness was at one time part of your livelihood. The last straw for this flaccid-armed former black ops turned bum turned vigilante was the blue-tooth listening device. He’s supposed to be bad ass, but he looks like a soccer dad, lurking around the courthouse. Someone should have stopped him and told him where the local soccer field was. And speaking of that listening device, how in the world did he not know the girl whose life he’s supposed to be saving is actually the bad guy. I was surprised. But then again, I wasn’t using my super unhip blue tooth to listen in on her conversation 24/7. Did Caviezel just conveniently miss any conversation in which she was acting duplicitous and talking to other bad guys? Perhaps all her duplicity was being done via text, but wouldn’t “the machine” know this? Maybe she was trying to stay off the grid all together and was communicating to other bad guys using sky writing. I bet the machine would not be able to pick up evil plots written in the sky. They can use that idea if they want. I loved, loved, loved Lost. And I thought this show had so much potential. But Lost was set in a surreal world where surreal things happen. When you set something in the real world you have to work a little harder and stick to some real world logic. On top of bad story telling was some painfully on-the-nose-dialogue such as “you were going to tell them we were the real killers.” I don’t know that many killers but I don’t think that’s how they would phrase it. Last thing… enough with the monotone Ben Linus bit. Sometimes monotone all knowing guys are creepy and interesting. But don’t fall so in love with your own characters that you bring them off the island and insert him where he has no place. My cat has more personality than that character and he sleeps 22 hours a day. Oh, but Ben Linus did tell us, “you’re not the only one who lost someone” so I’m sure we’re about to find out about another strong man who was taken down by the sudden death of a hot and sexually active female. C’mon, take a look around, people don’t love their wives that much. Whenever you see a seen of a happy couple rolling around in the sheets you can pretty much put a clock on one of their lives coming to an end. So f’ing predictable. The worst part is, is this show will probably be huge success. Sloppy unnatural dialogue and absurd story telling will prevail. I might just have to start reading again. Sigh. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so disappointed if I hadn’t been really, really looking forward to this show.

    Layman Reviewer
    • @ Laman Reviewer:

      you’re a ******* moron. You didn’t even pay attention to the episode since you obviously missed the basic stuff that was explained right away. The machine goes through emails, calls, texts, CCTV footage, etc. to create profiles of people. It’s certainly something the US government has or is spending billions to develop. When it makes a profile of people likely to commit murder Finch gets only the social security number of the main “suspect.” Its what human analysts do all the time. Its called criminal profiling. Only they do it based on crimes somone has already commited and try to predict who he is and what his next move is.

      What happened to Finch and Reese is not clear. I think Finch lost more then just a wife. Possibly lost his whole family. And what happened to Reese besides the fact that at some point he was involved with a hot chick (around the 9/11) is unclear. As it turned out he left her to go fight the terrorists. Why was he seen as a bum has yet to be explained.

      Speaking of his physical fitness if you ever met any special forces guys you’d know that they don’t look like rambos or thugs.

      You s*** all over this show then you probably go watch CSI or NCIS or some other bull**** like that. If you want realism go watch National Geographic. ****off

      This show is the best I’ve seen in a while. The idea of something like this makes it easy to overlook and forget occaisonal mishaps. Its got enough realism, machisms, and just plain cool scenes. I love the show and hope it gets at a lot of great great seasons.

    • Get a life!

    • I find it so amazing that a person that could write so much about something and not say anything. Look it is obvious that you are completely lost. I just retired from the Army after 23 years as a MAJ. I was the Base Operations Officer at Abu-Ghrabe from November 2005 through 2006. I have seen much of our technology that we have and has just now started to be used in the civilian sector. I could tell you that much of what is in this show already exists and if you are not doing anything wrong then you have no worries.

  3. Lost was great and this is too. “Patty” is talking about how unrealistic this is and praising Lost!?!?! Also she’s complaining about the fake beard. Did she notice Jack’s beard during season 4 of Lost because that didn’t seem to have any negative effect on the show to her. I loved the pilot.

  4. Just once I’d like to see Phillip K Dick credited for the idea of preventing crime. Minority Report -the movie with Tom Cruise – is based on a story by Mr. Dick, as was Blade Runner and numerous other videos, but the guy who came up with the ideas never seems to get any credit, and he wrote about it long ago. Incredible guy.

  5. Pingback: TV Review: PERSON OF INTEREST – Season 1 – “Pilot” – Series … | Appalraju

  6. Poor Patty…This is not a IS fiction. Made to entertain..Was “24” always realistic? Star Trek..”Beam me up Scottie”..was that plausible? Are the “reality” shows really realistic? I thought the plot was intriguing… the creative thought of it was interesting. I hope this series is around for a long, long time. I’m also glad that Jim Caviezel is working again. This was very entertaining, and I loved it. Although, I must admit, I did not like Jim’s beard; it certainly did not make, or break, the show. I’ve seen worse beards, and wigs, in real life. My only disappointment is that YOU rated it only a B+.

  7. Poor Patty indeed! You guys are patronizing the wrong person. This site shows the poster’s name under their post, not above. xD Poor Patty getting put on the spot for mr “Laynan Reviewer”s opinion.

    On topic: I really like what I’ve seen so far from this show. I found the second episode more interesting than the Pilot as some background was given to mr. Finch. Overall the review said it perfectly – this series has a lot of potential and I hope it gets the chance to realize that.

  8. Am thrilled to see a show with Michael Emerson again. Plus, it’s a good show, with an intriguing storyline. I think Finch and Reese are a good pair, playing well off one another. Nice, too, to see at least one semi-regular from “Lost” turn up. I was shouting at the screen: “That’s the guy who was having an affair with Juliet, the guy Ben was so jealous of.” I hope more “Lost” characters/actors show up. Thank you J.J. Abrams and all the others who brought “Person of Interest” to CBS. Thank you for giving us back Michael Emerson in a great show.

  9. very disappointing,lost interest the first few minute and shut it off..another far fetched peice of dung.

    • Shell, you’re a troll. Bugger off. The show is fantastic.

    • Shell, crawl back in yours.

  10. I love the show! And I love the acting of Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson! The monotone voice is in character…maybe it will change as more a “friendship” develops. And Jim could never ever look like a dork! Are you kidding me! Shell go watch MTV, or Jersey Shore garbage maybe more entertaining for you!


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