Abraham Lincoln is said to have written the following, when reviewing a book he wasn’t particularly keen on; ‘for those who like that sort of thing, I should think it is just about the sort of thing they should like’. ‘Person of Interest’ (RTE 2), a Bad Robot production, would be of interest to certain persons and certainly is of interest to millions in the States right now. The premise: a computer logarithm that can predict future crime but set in present day New York…an avenging angel in the form of John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former ‘spook’, now on the run, but acting as protector and vigilante, a sort of ‘Dark Knight’, if you will… his partner in crime prevention, Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), designer of said logarithm, known as ‘the machine’. They successfully fend off bad things and protect the vulnerable. The supporting characters are convincing: diligent Cop Joss, corrupt but decent (so far) Detective Fusco make the storyline tick, to some extent. And this is solid, passable, prime-time US TV fare. But ‘Person of Interest’ screams high concept mish-mash and the pitch probably went something like this ‘We’re thinking NYPD Blue meets the X Files meets Batman meets Minority Report’.
The problem with such a soup is that after so many ingredients, it begins to lose flavour. Couple that with the gun fetishisation that may have been part of the attraction to the role for Caviezel, the artist formerly known as Jesus Christ, and you have a series that is all too often wearily predictable and should deliver a lot more.