Friday, September 18, 2015
It's on streaming, finally!
If you had told me 5 years ago that my favorite network show (and right up there with more highly-praised cable shows) would be a show on CBS called Person of Interest, there would have been scoffing involved. I associate CBS with bland-but-comforting investigation shows that exploit some technology (usually inaccurately) to give the story a little twist, then tie up a mystery all nice-&-tidy, with occasional breaks for truly cringeworthy depictions of the investigators' personal lives. Except for a few bad apples, all authority figure have our best interests at heart.
Well, this is not that. Getting murdered or almost-murdered by corrupt authority figures is one of the top concerns for characters in this universe. When you're one of the few people who know about an all-seeing AI that watches us for the government, it's kind of an issue (and yes, social media was created to get us to give up our personal information so the authorities can spy on us).
All the main actors are great in this. Jim Caviezel is slightly "off" in an interesting way, like Lee Pace or early Nicholas Cage, and it really works for him here. Person of Interest has some similarities to Burn Notice, in that an ex-spy helps "regular" people using as much con artistry as martial arts and high tech, but it's a bit darker. For all the hints of Michael's dark past, I just couldn't buy that he was only a short distance from being a cold-blooded killing machine. I can totally see Caviezel killing people, though. I never got into Lost. so this was my first exposure to Michael Emerson, and he's amazing. It's really hard to play a super-genius, but he pulls it off. And I've been impressed with Taraji P. Henson's emotional range since I saw her play a lesbian hitwoman in Smokin' Aces. Do we even need to talk about Amy Acker, AKA Fred from Angel, who should be in all the things?
Speaking of ladies, even though most of the promotional stuff features the two dudes in front, there are a lot of great big and small roles for women, who have the same character options as men without making it a BIG DEAL. Women can be cynical political fixers, assassins with personality disorders, super-hackers, ruthless heads of intelligence operations, crack interrogators, amoral con artists, kindly children's book illustrators, and older partners who show the newbie the ropes.
All this, and my favorite AI character in non-anime visual media. So, give it a try, already!