Person of Interest | Batman Meets George Orwell

2 May 2013

The actual term 'Person of Interest' is more often used by law enforcement in reference to criminal activity and more specifically, a criminal suspect they are looking to detain. While this is partly true in CBS crime/thriller/drama appropriately named Person of Interest, the persons of interest can often be the victim, not just the perpetrator and in some cases, the victim is the perpetrator. Person of Interest is set in modern day New York City and focuses on an unlikely but fascinating duo John Reese, a tramp-formerly-CIA-agent (and devilishly hot) and Harold Finch, an highly mysterious "reclusive billionaire computer genius".

After the 9-11 attacks, Harold Finch and his co-partner Nathan Ingram design a mass surveillance machine that monitors email, security cameras, electronic devices and audio worldwide (an Orwellian Big Brother affair) and can therefore accurately detect acts of terror before they materialise. From this, the pair aim to prevent future terrorist attacks by having the machine send out social security numbers of the persons of interest through coded messages dictated from public telephones. However, the machine detects all acts of terror not just possible large scale terrorist attacks like 9-11. Under the US Government, these small scale attacks are deemed irrelevant even though the creators feel a strong moral obligation to help prevent all life threatening attacks. This then develops into the partnership of Harold and John after Nathan mysteriously dies.

From this, major twists and turns arise that are complicated enough to put British soap operas out of broadcast and new alliances are formed with characters such as Detective Carter, Detective Fusco (or Detective 'Fiasco' as he is referred to in one episode) and Bear, an attack dog that only understands Belgian whom John rescues from Aryan Nationalists. There are also reoccurring characters who provide a variety of complexities to the drama, notably like-minded advocates Zoe Morgan and Samantha Shaw, Leon Tao who is constantly getting into trouble (his number appearing more than once) and is one of those douchebags-you-love characters (comme Schmidt from New Girl), Special Agent Donnelly (the Orange-mobile-phone-cinema-advert-guy and no, you can't take him seriously at first) and more importantly, "Root" - a female high intel killer out to seek Finch and Reese, and ultimately the machine.

With the help of Carter, Fusco and of course Bear, Reese and Finch do their utmost to prevent any fatal crimes from being committed (a Batman-fighting-crime affair) regardless of the history and background of the situation and from this, the viewer is constantly reminded about the importance of compassion. Reece and Finch have the entirety of their personal details including their social security numbers, wiped so as long as anyone is concerned, neither of them exists which precedes a confusing manhunt. This is mandatory, otherwise their efforts and their work would be compromised. Snippets of their personal lives are rarely revealed and we come to an anti-climax when Finch is spiked with ecstasy and offers to reveal information about himself after partying hard beside a microwave (don't do drugs kids).

The cast of Person of Interest is adorned with people-you've-seen-but-don't-know-the-names-of including, where-have-I-seen-her-before and I-know-that-face. Most impressively, Person of Interest was created by Jonathan Nolan. Recognise his surname? Well he's Christopher Nolan's brother, director of the The Dark Knight films (which I love). Not enough? The producer is J. J. Abrams, creator of Lost and Alcatraz (also love and still grieving over its cancellation). For you Lost fans, you may recognise Finch as he plays the leader of The Others. Still not enough? Co-executive producer Richard J. Lewis worked on CSI (again, love). What's that Oliver Twist? You want some more? Composer Ramin Djawadi is best known for his work on Iron Man, Prison Break and Game of Thrones (love, love, love). Still hungry for more? Co-producer Stephen Semel edited the film 'You So Crazy'. Never heard of it? Me neither.


Person of Interest is without a doubt, an impelling watch exploring elaborate circumstances that include suicide and locating a murderer of a man whom had not yet been murdered. It also addresses the controversial topic of corruption in the Government as well as in the police force, in which it is mainly referred to as 'HR'. It is a hub for discovering new music such as Polica (I Googled the track I heard immediately after the episode 'Identity Crisis') and will bring out your inner conspiracy theorist.

"Person of Interest separates itself from the gimmick pack, not only because of superbly nuanced characterization and writing but also because of how it engages a post-9/11 sense of paranoia in its viewers."

- David Wiegand (San Francisco Chronicle)
Person of Interest is broadcasted by CBS in America, Channel 5/Five USA in the UK and available in 41 other countries. The machine featured in Person of Interest has only just come to production but its details and depths are not yet known, and while we hope for its success and its rights to be used by the most sincere, we can only hope that tragedies like 9-11 and the Boston Marathon Bombings can be avoided. For the month of April, I have not chosen a specific charity to donate to but have created care packages and hand-written cards for the fatalities and victims of the bombings. Appallingly, due to the American healthcare system, all the victims are facing huge medical bills as a result of this. To donate, please check the Philanthropy page to find details on how to do so.

1 comment:

  1. I am excited to watch this xx


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