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Person of Interest - season 1 thread


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#1 of 224 ONLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted September 23 2011 - 05:06 PM

The show seems to push the boundaries of believability on a couple levels. The most obvious is John "super soldier" Reese played by Jim Caviezel. They need to dial him back a little.


The "machine" created by Finch is also a major plot device. It doesn't matter how it works, or that anything like it could exist. All that matters is it spits out a social security number for the duo to track down their person of the week. In that respect, I can't help seeing similarities between the show and something like the Ghost Whisperer. :D


On the premise alone I don't know if it's enough for me to stick around, but coming from J.J. Abrams there's bound to be some kind of mega story arc.


It was also a little disappointing that Taraji P. Henson didn't get more to do than look puzzled.


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#2 of 224 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted September 23 2011 - 05:34 PM

So is this a serialized show?



#3 of 224 ONLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted September 23 2011 - 05:44 PM

It's serialized in the sense that there is at least a new "person of interest" each week. Nothing more promised at this point.
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#4 of 224 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 23 2011 - 05:55 PM

The show seems to push the boundaries of believability on a couple levels.

That's was intrigued me about the pilot. The episode constantly played with the boundaries of science fiction and science fact. Outside of London, New York City is probably the most densely photographed and video recorded city in the world. Many of those cameras feed a VCR somewhere that regularly tapes over itself. But increasing numbers of those security cameras pass their signal over the net at some point. The paranoid feeling that drives the visual style of the show highlights CCTV cameras that really exist at their locations and weaves them in seamlessly with security cameras installed for the production. The show is set and filmed on location in New York City, and the reality is very evident.

The most obvious is John "super soldier" Reese played by Jim Caviezel. They need to dial him back a little.

He was my favorite part. He's basically Batman without the cape and theatrics. You get the sense from his matter-of-fact confidence and lack of experimentation that in his prime, he was probably one of, if not the best at what he does in the world. He's still VERY good, but there's an emptiness that Caviezel brings to him that gives him depth. I also liked that Finch is very smart, knows it, but is also smart enough to know that there are people out there who combined are collectively smarter than him and that the odds of them dying is nasty ways will increase steadily the further along this path they travel. He also thinks of himself as smarter than Reese, but defers to Reese's skill and experience while never condescending to him. He hired the best at what he needs doing, and has enough respect to let the man do the job he was hired for.

The "machine" created by Finch is also a major plot device. It doesn't matter how it works, or that anything like it could exist. All that matters is it spits out a social security number for the duo to track down their person of the week. In that respect, I can't help seeing similarities between the show and something like the Ghost Whisperer. :D

While you're absolutely right that the machine is a plot device in which the hows and whys don't matter, I loved it because it addressed the biggest problem I always had with 1984 dystopias: if you've got people watching everybody, that means you need nearly as many people sitting in booths doing the watching as there are people to watch. The manpower requirements would inevitably become larger than the population under surveillance. This show provides an IT solution, with thousands of servers connected to God knows how much processing power aggregating all of that footage and processing it so only the most important stuff makes it to the men in the security booth watching the cameras. I'm sure the great debate when formulating the concept of the show was how much to limit the output from the machine; you want enough to leap out of the gate with each new mystery person, but enough ambiguity that solving it provides a compelling challenge of the 42-minute variety.

So is this a serialized show?

It's a hybrid. Each episode will have a new SSN of a person that needs to be saved or stopped. The mystery of the machine and who Reese was and what happened to Finch will unfold over the course of the series.

#5 of 224 OFFLINE   McPaul

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Posted September 23 2011 - 07:19 PM

hmmm.. unrealistic and formulaic. I had such high hopes for Abrams and Emmerson... I I do think they casted perfectly with Emmerson, however. Curious what will happen when the agent's own SIN comes up on the "machine"... but I'm not likely to stick around that long.

#6 of 224 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted September 24 2011 - 12:56 AM

I liked it well enough to come back next week.



#7 of 224 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 24 2011 - 01:49 AM

The pilot gets rerun tonight at 8 PM.

#8 of 224 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted September 24 2011 - 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by Cameron Yee 

It's serialized in the sense that there is at least a new "person of interest" each week. Nothing more promised at this point.


Isn't that the opposite of what serialized is?



#9 of 224 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted September 24 2011 - 03:26 AM

I really enjoyed the premiere, though at times it felt a bit rushed, as though some of the exposition was meant to be spread out over a 2-hour episode.  At any rate, I agree complete with Adam's comment about Reese: I immediately thought "this guy is basically Nolan's Batman, without the cape and cowl."  The show was a little more gritty and dark than the usual network TV fair, and the gunplay and action scenes were quite good (though not on the level of "Human Target," which is, for me, the high-water mark for TV action scenes).


One thing I particularly enjoyed was the score: it was a good use of orchestral music.


The show did well in the ratings, too.


Nolan seems excited that he has a vehicle where, unlike film, he has an increased controlling role and the ability to, as he says "write a massive story and take characters on a really long journey."  So that's a pretty big indication that the show will be heavily-serialized.



#10 of 224 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted September 24 2011 - 03:44 AM

I didn't think it was amazing or anything, but I was pleasantly surprised by this after reading a bunch of horrible reviews of it. I only really ended up watching because of who's involved, Jonathan Nolan, JJ Abrams, and Michael Emerson, and thought it was a pretty enjoyable episode when it had finished. I'll keep watching for now.

#11 of 224 ONLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted September 24 2011 - 08:51 AM

Exactly. Posted Image

Originally Posted by ScottH 


Isn't that the opposite of what serialized is?






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#12 of 224 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted September 24 2011 - 02:22 PM

IF it becomes heavily serialized, then I'll lose interest in it. Seems a show like this will work best with new cases to investigate each week.



#13 of 224 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted September 24 2011 - 03:14 PM

Originally Posted by MattH. 

IF it becomes heavily serialized, then I'll lose interest in it. Seems a show like this will work best with new cases to investigate each week.


See, I'm the exact opposite.  If it's not serialized, I have no interest.  I can't get into the procedural "case of the week" shows.  I can handle it if the weekly cases are just a backdrop to a bigger story arc (kind of like 'The Shield' was), but otherwise, I won't be able to stay interested.



#14 of 224 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 24 2011 - 03:18 PM

IF it becomes heavily serialized, then I'll lose interest in it. Seems a show like this will work best with new cases to investigate each week.

I'm guessing they take a page from The X-Files and Fringe and it will usually be monster/case of the week episodes and some mythology episodes during sweeps.

#15 of 224 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 24 2011 - 03:52 PM

IF it becomes heavily serialized, then I'll lose interest in it. Seems a show like this will work best with new cases to investigate each week.

Ditto. I don't want to HAVE to watch it every week to know what's going on. I want a show where I can miss an episode here and there and not feel, well...lost. :P
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#16 of 224 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted September 24 2011 - 04:38 PM

Originally Posted by Malcolm R 



Ditto. I don't want to HAVE to watch it every week to know what's going on. I want a show where I can miss an episode here and there and not feel, well...lost. Posted Image


Man, if it's a show where I can actually miss an episode and not skip a beat I want no part of it!



#17 of 224 OFFLINE   Jeremiah

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Posted September 25 2011 - 05:55 AM

I like the show but I can see how it won't get better than it was after episode 1 which I don't like. Still way too early to tell so I will keep watching.
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#18 of 224 OFFLINE   Garrett Adams

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Posted September 25 2011 - 09:39 AM

I liked it. As for the SSN thing it doesn't bother me. Sure it couldn't happen but neither could Hyper-Drives or Warp drives. We bought into that crap with zest. I go with the flow providing what comes after is entertaining.


Johnny Carson often said if you can get the audience to buy the premise they'll buy the punchline. Think about how many times has a gorilla actually walked into a bar and, yada yada yada.


#19 of 224 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted September 25 2011 - 12:59 PM

I tried to like it, but couldn't get into it. I loved Jim Caveziel at the start in his bearded, scruffy get up. Huge on-screen presence. But cleaned up, his mysterious gravitas was lost and felt like a poor-man's Christian Bale, trying to channel Bruce Wayne.


The sci-fi concept feels too futuristic to be set present day. I couldn't suspend my disbelief. (And I kept waiting for the pre-cogs to send out a red ball....)


And the first half an hour was toto much clunky narration by the protagonists explaining the actions of third party characters I don't care about. That is: too much talking and not enough doing.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

That's was intrigued me about the pilot. The episode constantly played with the boundaries of science fiction and science fact.

That's where it lost me: it was far beyond the boundary of science fact and into science fiction (fantasy). Which shouldn't be a problem per se: I love shows like Star Trek and SG1 and Nikita, which are "scifi" but are completely implausible and unrealistic. But to me, the overall tone and setting of the shows allows for that extreme technology.


Person of Interest repeated the cellphone global-radar system of Batman Dark Knight: a wildly radical technology jump from everything prior that it nearly pushed me out of the show.


Which is not to say this is a bad show and others shouldn't watch it. But for a show I was hopeful about, and with a great pair of leads, I was oddly put off by it.


I'll give it another episode or two to see if it gels, but it didn't work to me.



#20 of 224 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 27 2011 - 05:22 AM

By the way I've seen mention that there were a few Lost references in the pilot. Has anyone compiled them?




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