Why I Like “Person of Interest”

by Robbie Schlosser · 6 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.
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actors in "Person of Interest"

What’s your favorite TV program?  Person of Interest is emerging as my favorite this year.

If you like this photo, .

I watch very few shows at all, so the competition is close.  With so few in the running, any one I watch more than once has a good chance of winning the top spot.

In recent years, Charlie Rose‘s interview program on PBS has headed my list.  Every day, he hosts interesting conversations with noteworthy people in arts, politics, sports, business, science, and more.

This year, however, the honor seems to go to a fictional adventure story.  Each week, Person of Interest presents another fascinating tale of two men intent on thwarting a violent murder.

The plot and especially the characters are far richer than the shallow cardboard cutouts that typify TV stories these days.  The two leading characters in Person of Interest form an effective but unlikely partnership.

One is an introverted computer wizard who created a machine he uses to protect unsuspecting victims of potential violence.  The other is a warrior living through an odd combination of swift violence, tender empathy, and strong honor.

What keeps them together?  I think it’s their sharing the sense that the other’s “moral compass points in the right direction”, as one of them recently said.

Why do I like Person of Interest?  Why do I think YOU might like it?

First off, dismiss the fighting and murder.  You might enjoy this, but I’m not convinced that deadly force is often the best response to a deadly threat.  So I’m no fan of violence, although the brutal effectiveness can be fascinating to watch.  But, ugh!  So count me out on that score.

Fortunately, there are plenty of additional reasons to like this program.  Let me describe the first one that comes to my mind.

The two main characters remind me of something else I like.  How they interact reminds me of how I work with my fellow musicians at a wedding or a party.  These men proceed through each project much as my band proceeds through a song, with lots of crucial give-and-take.

While they act independently, each man follows the other closely, anticipates what the other might expect, and prepares to deliver whatever the other might need.  To watch this dynamic interplay is to witness a beautiful thing.

The same interplay happens each time I help people plan the music for their weddings and parties.  Like in the best brainstorming sessions, we listen to each other and toss ideas back and forth to expand and refine them.

By the way, are you a fan of team sports?  You’ll see the same intense cooperation in every championship team.  Where else do you find it?

How about YOU?  Do you like Person of Interest?  Where does this level of teamwork appear in YOUR life?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

shawn

My hubby also like this show. It has a good plot most of the time so I watch along. 

Reply

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Shawn.  Glad you like this post.  I was wondering if the program would appeal more strongly to men or to women.  It’s unclear to me.  I suppose more men would favor the macho stuff, more women would favor the empathy stuff, and they’d tie over liking the plot where good triumphs over evil.  What do you think?

Reply

shawn

 I wasn’t into the show to begin with. It seemed like one more cop show to me. But I started watching it with hubby and it has a story line somewhat. At least its not reality tv.

Reply

Robbie Schlosser

I’m with you about “reality” TV.  Talk about a misnomer!  And I agree that the POI story line is strong.  Which to me means it’s compelling, filled with surprises, and catches our imagination on several levels (what IS happening, what MIGHT happen, what secrets are being withheld, is something like this happening in my life? etc.) 

What other programs do you like?

Reply

Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

Hmm.  I love Person of Interest, as well.  For slightly different reasons.   Yes, I love the interchange between Finch, Reese, Carter, and Fusco.  None of them is perfect- but they each have a code of honor.  (OK, Fusco’s is more blurry than most…)  And, they consider their actions according to their own code of honor- not someone else’s.  That’s pretty hard to do.  (Even the criminal, Elias, the actor for whom was stolen from another of my favorite shows, Flashpoint, follows his own code of honor.)

I also am not entirely clear that the primary character of the show actually exists.  Is the computer really doing this- or is it the brain of Finch that is discerning the entwining events….

Reply

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Roy.  I hadn’t considered that the computer might not exist.  As I get deeper into the tale, I gradually suspend reality more and more.  But I haven’t reached THAT point yet.  Instead, I’m reminded of Hal, in “2001”, who developed a personality with self-preservation reflexes.

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