The fall TV season is upon us, and, as usual, the ratio of crap to quality is staggering.
However, every now and then a program pops up that isn’t a soulless pile of drivel that’s more recycled than the premise of an upcoming Adam Sandler comedy.
Fortunately for fans of quality television, the CBS show Person Of Interest has garnered not only the best reviews of the new TV season, but it also seems to (so far) be living up to the hype and providing viewers with something worthwhile to watch.
Here are 6 reasons Person Of Interest is the best new show of the Fall TV season:
1) JIM CAVIEZEL
Movie stars transitioning to television is nothing new. Actors Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Gary Sinise, Holly Hunter and even cinematic legend Glenn Close have all reinvigorated their careers with shrewd and strategic shifts into TV.
And while some may argue that Jim Caviezel was never a true “movie star,” there’s no denying that the guy worked exclusively in films for years and had some pretty high profile cinematic roles.
Some believe that Caviezel’s role as Jesus in Mel Gibson’s controversial but insanely profitable religious film actually left him unofficially blacklisted in Hollywood and that had he made different career moves he could have been an A-lister.
Regardless, Caviezel has now entered the realm of television but fortunately for viewers has brought a big screen persona with him and uses it perfectly in his portrayal of Reese on Person Of Interest.
Caviezel plays the role of a broken yet still lethal ex-government operative with a calm and nuanced confidence, and his quiet and zen-like delivery of both dialogue and on-screen violence infuses his character with a larger-than-life action hero quality that hasn’t been seen on TV since Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer left the airwaves two seasons ago.
The bottom line is that Jim Caviezel is a dynamic actor with a magnetic screen presence who automatically brings a cinematic quality to a weekly television program.
2) MICHAEL EMERSON
As far as creepy bastards go, Michael Emerson is a hard man to beat. The guy’s run as Ben Linus on LOST not only won him an Emmy, it also cemented him as an iconic figure who will go down in television history as the most squirrelly and physically abused character of all time.
On Person Of Interest Emerson plays the character of Mr. Finch, a mysterious billionaire who built an all-seeing all-knowing machine for the government after 9/11.
The machine utilizes any and all data from security cameras, e-mails, phone calls, etc. in order to pinpoint a potential terrorist attack. However, Finch (who has since left the government’s employ) built a back door into the machine that e-mails him a single Social Security number of a person that will be involved in some kind of impending danger.
Although the reasons for him wanting to use this back door to help those in need have yet to be revealed, Finch’s benevolence leads him to hire Reese (Caviezel) as an independent operative who can use this information to save lives.
Emerson takes to the part of a mysterious billionaire with more ease than Lindsay Lohan does to lines of cocaine, and with his inherent quirkiness and social awkwardness he immediately imbues the enigmatic character of Finch with a humanity and earnestness that lesser actors would have trouble pulling off.
3) JONATHAN NOLAN
This has to be the number one reason why Person of Interest stands above any other new TV show this fall. Jonathan Nolan is the brother of Christopher Nolan, arguably the greatest filmmaker working today and director of epic modern classic films like Memento, The Dark Knight and Inception.
But what a lot of people don’t realize is that Jonathan Nolan is not just another deadbeat celebrity sibling who milks every last ounce of fame out of his name like the Stephen Baldwins and La Toya Jacksons of the world.
No, Jonathan Nolan is actually the mastermind behind Memento (the film was based on his short story) and The Dark Knight (considered by many to be the greatest superhero film of all time — so good that it transcended the genre).
With Nolan already attached as co-writer on the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises and Superman movie reboot, it appears that not only is his career white hot but that his creative chops are so on the money that nearly everything he touches turns to gold.
Hopefully that will be the case for Person Of Interest, and based on the pilot episode written by Jonathan Nolan, the series is off to a terrific start.
4) IT’S AN ANTI-PROCEDURAL PROCEDURAL
I hate procedurals. I think they’re uninspired and bland and I have no interest in a murder of the week storyline investigated by characters who hardly ever have any kind of personal growth or change.
While in many ways Person Of Interest appears to follow the procedural format (since each week Reese and Finch investigate a new Social Security number of a person involved in an impending danger), the mystery surrounding the two main characters and the priority that Nolan and the writers have given to their respective personal histories makes it feel like you’re watching a vastly superior, more action packed, higher octane, character rich version of Law & Order.
5) IT’S LIKE 24 MEETS BATMAN
For at least 5 TV seasons 24 was far and away the best show on television, and even though it waned in its latter years, it still left a huge void when it went off the air.
For over 70 years Batman has been kicking ass as the world’s greatest superhero, and after Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s collective big screen overhaul of the character, the Dark Knight has never been better.
When creating Reese, Nolan took many of the best parts of The Dark Knight (a traumatized protagonist turned vigilante, cutting edge surveillance tech, post-9/11 hysteria) tossed the costume and firmly grounded his protagonist in reality with a government agency backstory, a Jack Bauer-esque lethal skill set and general all round bad-assery.
Toss in the fact that Reese also abides by a strict moral code that causes him to prohibit (for the most part) the loss of a person’s life regardless of whether they are a civilian or criminal, then you’re basically left with Jim Caviezel showing up on your TV screen every Thursday night kicking immeasurable amounts of ass while playing a sort of Bat-Jack Bauer.
6) REESE SHOOTS PEOPLE IN THE LEG … A LOT
This one is pretty self-explanatory. And for the record, I don’t care how many times I watch Jim Caviezel drop some son of a bitch with a strategic gunshot to the quads — that shit just doesn’t get old.
Person Of Interest airs on CBS and Citytv Thursday nights at 9 p.m.