|Person of Interest
||[Sep. 26th, 2011|11:34 am]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
This past Thursday night saw the premiere of Person of Interest, the new series from executive producer J.J. Abrams and writer Jonathan Nolan, he of Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight fame. And much like The Dark Knight, Person of Interest is fascinated with--nay, obsessed with--covert surveillance.
Lost's Michael Emerson plays Mr. Finch, a zillionaire genius who created some kind of computer algorithm that spits out the social security number of someone who's about to be involved in a crime, either as victim or perpetrator. (Don't look too closely at how this works, the show tells us, just accept the technobabble explanation and move on.) The Passion of the Christ's James Caviezel (yeah, I know he did other, more notable stuff too, but come on) plays Mr. Reese ("mysteries," get it?) a mysterious, one-time covert operative/assassin, or whatever it is these people are in these things. His girlfriend died, so he went crazy and started sleeping on the streets, because she was so great, I guess, or because he was so codependent. Anyway, Mr. Finch discovers Mr. Reese when he goes all commando on some thugs in the subway, and gives him the job of preventing said crimes from occurring. Oh, and there's a cop too, the only non-corrupt cop in New York City it seems, who's beginning to suspect something's up and plans to investigate further.
As you can see, there's really nothing new here. Person of Interest is ridiculously silly when looked at too closely, and yet I have to admit, I enjoyed myself. The series definitely has potential. One unexpected weak link, though, is Caviezel himself. I get the feeling he's a talented actor, but he swallows half his lines in the pilot, to the point where we actually had to turn on closed captioning, something we usually only do for heavily accented British programs. If Caviezel can turn it up a notch, he'll be great in the role. If he keeps it too low-key like this, it'll bring the show screeching to a halt every time he's on camera, which is most of time. Here's hoping the director gives him notes.
Lastly, as a side note, I've discovered I'm not ready yet to hear fictional characters talk about the events of 9/11, even ten years after. I suspect it'll always feel too soon for those of us who were there, or who lost someone, but I was surprised at how prickly I got when, in a flashback, Mr. Reese sees the news reports on TV in his Mexican hotel room, and later, when he and Mr. Finch start talking about it.