Our friends over at nolanfans.com published an article about a planned collaboration between J.J Abrams and Jonathon Nolan on January 11, 2011. J.J Abrams has a stellar television track record with primetime entertainment such as: Fringe, Alias and the love it or hate it Lost. It is true that the predictable and slightly campy Undercovers (Abrams’ failed venture with NBC) was short lived; but I expect Person of Interest to remain the new front running show of CBS. It is certainly a warm welcome over the cliché and run-of-the-mill CSI. CBS is so impressed with the reception of its pilot that Person of Interest is now in the coveted 9 p.m. on Thursday spot. With HBO, Showtime, and AMC having premium shows (i.e. Game of Thrones, Dexter, Mad Men, The Walking Dead) CBS certainly needed a talent lift. Abrams and the younger brother of renowned director Christopher Nolan appear to be on the right track. The show is also co-financed by Warner Bros. Television, whom the Nolan brothers have an excellent relationship with.
***MILD SPOILERS AHEAD***
The show stars James ‘Jim’ Caviezel and Michael Emerson as John Reese and Mr. Finch respectively. John Reese is presented as a reluctant but nonetheless menacing former Army Ranger who later was betrayed by his last employer: The Central Intelligence Agency. One thing that is appreciated about the pilot episode is that the time it takes for Reese to accept Mr. Finch’s offer to stop crimes rather than solve them is very realistic but not too drawn out. Reese can certainly handle himself in a fist, knife, or gunfight. Television’s previous ultimate badass Jack Bauer has set a high standard for getting out of tight situations and getting baddies to talk in the most gruesome ways in the eight seasons of 24. The Reese character would prefer to avoid bloodshed yet will not hesitate to cease an antagonist’s existence if necessary. Mr. Finch the mysterious billionaire is the true enigma. I believe that Reese and the audience will have no idea of his past until close to the end of the season. His motivation to utilize a system of hundreds of servers running algorithms to find evildoers is something that will either be a major let down or one of the more enlightening revelations in the past years of cable television.
The pilot episode is not the most groundbreaking episode in recent television history. Most critics have praised Person of Interest, but some have said that the actual first crime is rather boring. This is because the first sets of antagonists were corrupt cops and simple henchmen. Jonathon Nolan crafted a believable first entry into a series about two men trying to make up for the losses of their past. We can expect that the tensions and levels of corruption will expand further into the realms of a secret society or a corrupt federal government faction. No good writer shows his/her hand of cards in the first entry. Jonathon Nolan’s writing credits include the short story Memento Mori and the films The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. With this on his resume’ there should be no fear of him and his writing staff running out of fresh ideas anytime soon.