Why “Person of Interest” and Jim Caviezel Rock Thursday Night Television

January 11, 2012

I can’t get enough of “Person of Interest”.  It has been years since I scheduled a television night.  Most shows can be missed and caught in reruns without missing any of the story line.  Even if a bit is missed, one can be brought up to date by catching a replay at a later date.  Not so with “Person of Interest”!

Here’s the premise for those who may not be avid fans so far.  Michael Emerson, who is absolutely perfect for the part of Finch, is mysterious and a computer geek with a soul.  While I first noticed him in “Lost” I lost interest in the series.  Surprised to see him in “Person of Interest” it was worth a first view.  To date I have not been disappointed.

The mysterious Mr. Finch has access (which he designed) to social security numbers of persons about to be in trouble or cause trouble.  Affected with a limp for the part, it is obvious that Finch could not act on the information.  Of course, Finch is a billionaire that adds to the mystery since for all practical purposes he is totally off the radar.

Enter John Reese played by Jim Caviezel.  He was a complete unknown to me.  As a matter of fact when the show premiered I had no idea who he was or what he had done prior to the series.  He is a handsome, rugged but polished character, a former CIA or covert operative, off the radar drop out of life type.  His voice is ideal for the part of Reese.  His appearance is clean, neat, polished while showing a deep dark side that is still evolving.

Having seen a few shots of Caviezel as he appears in real life, I was absolutely amazed at the transformation into the Reese character.  I have to say that if there is one actor who can play a part, it has to be Mr. Caviezel.  Most notably Caviezel played Jesus in “Passion of the Christ,” a role for which he was perfectly suited.

The two cops on the show are played by Taraij P. Henson and Kevin Chapman.  Henson is on the trail of the twosome who are intervening in good and bad acts.  Chapman is perfect for his role of dirty cop who has been forced by the Caviezel character to help from inside the department.

Okay, so with the preliminaries out of the way the writers of the show have so far mastered holding one’s interest.  Each week there is a very small glimpse into what makes Reese and Finch tick, delicately dropping hints into each man’s past.  The cop characters are more straight forward, but with inner battles.

Unlike many cop show or action series, “Person of Interest” gets us totally invested in the characters.  Each week the overall action packed drama may be similar — saving good people and “taking out” the bad — but the character development is most intriguing.  Additionally, the last episode in which Reese was shot showed that not all do-gooders get by without a scratch as they do on most series.

There is much more that can be developed with this show.  It is worth watching to see the masterful writing, the dropping hints that keep us invested, and four great actors.  If I have one worry about the series, it is that another female role will be added as a love interest or a counter-balance to the Caviezel character.  It happens on most shows and ruins them.  “Human Target” was ruined by the addition of a female lead that had a little too much chemistry.  Even “Hawaii 5-0″ has been diluted by the addition of a female character.

I guess the bottom line is that “Person of Interest” has enough regular characters to develop.  Adding a love interest or another long term character would dilute the intensity of this program.  Just keep on, keeping on.  It’s worth tuning into broadcast television on Thursday nights once again and not having to change the channel once “The Big Bang Theory” goes off.

Even better news:  Person of Interest won People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

SavhCaro January 17, 2012 at 6:23 am

I was so impressed by your article I had to register just to respond! You hit on every item that makes POI a great show. It’s got the sci-fi/crime procedural hook but it IS a character driven show. The genius of casting two such dissimilar actors as Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson is not to be disregarded either. They certainly seemed to have ‘found’ their characters and brought them to life. The unexpected humor sparkles through out and helps round out the characters. In the promo of ‘Carter joins the team’, Caviezel mentions that Reese is kind of a ‘big brother’ to Carter, which works very well for me. I also discovered Jim Caviezel in this show and he has been a delightful surprise. I am now in the process of working my way through his movies……and have not been disappointed yet. Jim is ‘gem’ in the surprise package that is Person of Interest!

SinDe January 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

Almost all the programs I love seem to get cancelled. I was so delighted to see that I may have picked one that will last. After all, the People’s Choice Award has to count for something and I promise I only voted 5 times and my husband only voted 4 times.

Are you as intrigued with Nathan Ingram as I am? We have watched the episodes over and over trying to figure out what happened to Nathan? Was it Weeks? The unfolding background is just too intriguing to miss!

Anyway, thanks for your comment!

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