Binge-worthy Television: Person of Interest

Denisa and I are only in the second season, but with a season and a half under our belts, I’m definitely ready to give this the official Bryce Stamp of Approval. If you don’t know already, the show’s premise is that the government has been watching everyone in the country, looking for terrorist threats. Its tool to do this is a complex machine that keeps track of everyone and everything and makes connections to identify potential threats. They only use it in cases of national security, but it also sees people who are going to be in trouble (or make trouble) on a more personal level. A couple of guys take interest in these side cases and do their best to either protect the person in question (if they need protecting) or stop them (if they need stopping.)

Each episode has a nice bit of mystery at first, where they’re trying to identify why the machine gave them this person’s identity: to protect or to stop. There are sub-plots surrounding each character, as well as some of the police they’ve enlisted to their cause, or the government agents trying to catch them.

What’s to like about the show? It’s generally well-acted and produced and written. Yes, there are plots you can guess ahead of time, but it’s entertaining pretty consistently. I generally avoid shows that are too formulaic, drawn instead to series that deal with more overarching plot lines as opposed to “problem of the week.” Burn Notice, for example, was a favorite for a while, until it just got bogged down by too little movement with the overarching story. They’d dribble out extra information here and there, but mainly just string people along so they’d keep watching week after week.

In many ways, Person of Interest reminds me of Burn Notice. It’s got much of the same formula at play, just with a few extra layers to make it even more interesting. But it also hasn’t lost site of the big picture yet. There’s enough movement (in the first season, at least) to make it feel like it’s going somewhere and not just spinning its wheels. Maybe this will fall apart later on, but for now, Denisa and I have both been having a good time with it.

Anyway. Just thought I’d pass that along. The show is generally clean and consistently good. I’ve seen over thirty episodes so far, and I’ve given the bulk of them 3/5 or 4/5. Only one 2/5, and three actual 5/5s. That’s a good track record from me, so I thought I’d tip other people looking for something to watch in the show’s direction.

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