"You are being watched.”
I don't recall how I got started on PoI. Most likely, we were looking for something new to watch, someone mentioned it, and I figured might as well give it a shot. Hell, we watch Blue Bloods and it's not all that good. And this looked like it was in the same niche as The Equalizer and Burn Notice, using modern surveillance fears as the launching point. Right from the start, I enjoyed the fight choreography. It was stellar, especially for a CBS show and their older demographic. And it was decent. As with many shows, the weekly victim/criminal of the week was nothing exceptional. But the characters held my attention and the seasonal arc was okay.
Little did I know at that point that what I was watching was the beginning of one of the more intelligently conceived and executed television shows on the air. Because who would’ve thought that this simple pseudo-extra-legal vigilante program on a channel that mostly caters to an older demographic would go on to address the creation of artificial life and the responsibilities that come with it? I certainly never expected it to actually address the core gimmick, The Machine, the surveillance state that we find growing more pervasive every day. I sure didn’t expect the show to be one in which we find the heroes and everyone else living in a modern techno-dystopia. I never expected the show to actually address the sacrifice of freedom for security. I didn’t expect the heroes to be soldiers in a war between two human-made gods. A war between machines for the very essence of humanity.
No, all I expected was a pretty basic helping people in need program, with typical TV resolutions and clichés. But they gave me genuine, flawed, no, broken characters. Characters that you would expect to be fixed eventually. And while they changed, shifted, and got better, I think it’s fair to say that at the end, those remaining were still broken. But they were better people than they had been.
I didn’t expect much from this show. I did not expect thoughtfulness, care, depth, and brilliance. But that’s what they gave us. Thank you for that.
If you haven't watched Person of Interest, do yourself a favor and give it a shot.
“The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. The Government considers these people ‘irrelevant’. We don't. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You'll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number's up... we'll find you."