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New This Week
Was CBS’ “Person of Interest” the pilot you were keenest to get a look at last fall? Me too.
Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote with his brother Christopher the brilliant “Dark Knight,” wrote “Person of Interest.” J.J. Abrams, who created “Alias” and “Lost” and “Fringe” before he directed “Star Trek” (these are a few of my favorite things) produced “Person of Interest.” “Lost” icon Michael Emerson stars as a brainiac determined to prevent mayhem on the streets of New York with the help of an all-seeing government computer he created. On paper it sounds amazeballs.
On a flatscreen? Not so much!
Its pilot was better than J.J. Abrams’ “Undercovers” but not even as good (to my eyes) as the pilot for Abrams’ midseason ABC sci-fi hourlong “Alcatraz.” Is that good enough? I did not think so at the time.
Michael Emerson brings a lot, and I loved when haunted homeless human weapon Jim Caviezel unpacked his whupass. But the slightly “Minority Report”-ish, slightly “Early Edition”-ish premise struck me as dopey, and the plotting in the pilot too often felt surprisingly lazy and predictable, with Cavievzel vacillating inexplicably between insanely badass and ridiculously easy to outmaneuver.
(It should be noted that “Alcatraz” met with low ratings and quick cancellation while “Person Of Interest,” which certainly garnered its champions, eventually emerged as a substantial new hit for CBS. Just because it’s not my cup of tea doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.)
... Someone needs to buy star Jim Caviezel an alarm clock, or find some other way to wake him up. ... Despite the presence of Nolan (who's co-written most of his brother Christopher's films, including "Memento" and "The Prestige") and producer J.J. Abrams, this is very much a CBS crime procedural, one that could fit comfortably alongside "The Mentalist," et al. But it would help an awful lot if Caviezel had a few Red Bulls first.
... If 'Person of Interest' can calibrate the relationship between the leads in a way that makes their interactions more compelling, and if the show finds ways to answer Nolan's questions in creative and unexpected ways, it could be CBS' next addictive drama. ...
... there’s the rub: For a good portion of the hour we are watching a standard cop show. While the two-headed monster of a pilot is explaining the premise and setting up some recurring characters, it’s also squeezing in one of those self-contained, interchangeable mystery plots that could just as well fill out an episode of “NCIS” or “The Mentalist.” ...
... proves, once again, that a great idea for a television show is not at all the same thing as a great television show. ... The notion of preventing crimes rather than solving them is an appealing twist, although the crime in the pilot is fairly boring. …
... it appears this new program has more in common with the straight-ahead procedurals that dot CBS's prime-time lineup than it does with Mr. Abrams' past efforts. …
... separates itself from the gimmick pack, not only because of superbly nuanced characterization and writing but also because of how it engages a post-9/11 sense of paranoia in its viewers. ...
... It’s a whole lot of techno-hooey, relying on screenwriter-friendly leaps of logic. Emerson turns out to be a one-note actor, but Caviezel is appealing in a particle-board sort of way. ...
... The pilot moves at a good clip, with some bracing action and at least one respectable plot swerve. ...
… this tech-driven “Early Edition’’ is shockingly lifeless. Caviezel’s Clint Eastwood impression is flat, and Emerson is too darkly eccentric to keep the drama afloat. …
... That may sound like standard stuff, but Abrams' productions and Emerson's performances seldom settle for standard. Emerson has a way of infusing even the simplest line with a level of menace or humor — and sometimes both — that makes you think something a tiny bit dangerous is going on beneath the placid exterior. It also makes him a good match for Caviezel, who is similarly intense in his own brooding way. They may not enchant you, but they and their series, the best new hour this year, are unlikely to bore you. Would that every new show could say the same. ...
... Both Emerson and Caviezel are compelling and the way Nolan and Abrams have constructed the look (lots of nourish far-away shots in crowded streets, a sense of contained doom in an urban city) bodes well. That alone is worth the investment. ...
... "Lost" alum Michael Emerson certainly elevates the material, but Jim Caviezel's taciturn operative is so emotionally removed that viewers don't have much, initially, with which they can connect. …
One of two new fall sitcoms created by new NBC star Whitney Cummings last year, “2 Broke Girls” is not as funny as CBS’ Chuck Lorre sitcoms but funnier than CBS’ other laughtrack fare.
It’s about a newly impoverished and surprisingly nice daughter of a Madoff-like Ponzi schemer who ends up waitressing in a Brooklyn diner after her father gets sent to prison.
Kat Dennings, the Infinite Playlist girl who was Catherine Keener’s freaked-out daughter in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” is swell as the waitress who reluctantly befriends the fallen almost-heiress. But dang that laughtrack is distracting!
... has the advantage of having Kat Dennings at its center. Though her screen persona is dark, she tends to brighten up whatever project she appears in, both in the relaxed way she delivers a joke and the flinty intelligence she brings to each role. And there's a scene at the very end of that pilot where Max and Caroline are making plans for the future, and the writers have dropped all the clueless rich girl jokes and started treating Caroline as an actual person, that's more appealing than the rest of the episode combined. ...
... has a sprightly and viable double act at its core. The odd-couple pairing is one of the oldest ones in the TV playbook, and the two mismatched waitresses in '2 Broke' are good company, at least in the show's initial outing....
... a solid, old-fashioned sitcom ... the heart of the show is the womance — the inevitable friendship between the two women as they reluctantly team up to learn how to be truly independent.
... Depending on your tolerance for edgy humor, "2 Broke Girls" ain't broke, but a greater effort by the show's writers to be funny without being overly crude/cruel would help fix it for a broader audience....
... a tightly scripted, appealingly cast show ...
... has just enough cheap laughs to merit a look. ...
... starts with that worn premise — two opposites forced to work and live together — but soars thanks to some zippy repartee and the bubbly chemistry between stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs. ...
… Am I hooked? Yes. The actresses - especially the Gwen Stefani-esque Dennings - transcend their types, and the pop-savvy humor has spirit thanks to producer Michael Patrick King from “Sex and the City.’’ After the forced opening minutes, it’s the best multi-cam-com of the season. …
... thanks to the show's two bright young stars, who deliver their shared dialogue with a nice, natural ease, their scenes together have enough charm and humor to make these struggling Girls look like winners. ...
... if this promising half-hour finally comes up short on Nielsen's balance sheet, it won't be due to a deficit of energy or charm. ...
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Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Sept. 4, 2012, 3:07 a.m. CST
Not sure though. I like at least 1 serious type show to go along with the sack of cartoons and retarded offensive comedies and fantasy bullshit I usually watch. Breaking Bad is the one drama show I watch & I'm obviously going to need another soon. I know Person of Interest will never even be in the same category as BB (hey, it's network tv, I know), but I've heard a few good things about it. Plus I like Caviezel. He was my pick for Iron Man before they cast RDJ actually. I just know that soon I'll have to find a new cool hour long program. Also, I remember watching the fuck out of that Flash tv show. That costume almost looks totally badass.
Sept. 4, 2012, 4:15 a.m. CST
Person of Interest I put in my Am Saved (close to 500 pieces at this point.) Yea, i have issues....
Sept. 4, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST
With it being a JJ Abrams joint, you think there will be some goodies in store for the set? Look at the Alias and Lost sets. With the consistent viewership leading to renewal, especially the last couple years, I can see them putting something extra in and I'm willing to wait another six months before getting the season 4 Blus.
Sept. 4, 2012, 8:18 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Sept. 4, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST
Sept. 4, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST
Maybe it might have been if you had watched beyond the first episode.
Sept. 4, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST
for the first bunch of episodes i was like oh this is just the same thing over and over but then they started introducing side characters and reoccurring issues and then they wrapped a bunch of that stuff into each other and it was awesome. Jim basically plays sam fisher or batman without a mask going around beating the crap out of people trying to save lives. its pretty awesome. stick with it it gets alot better.
Sept. 4, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST
Sept. 4, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST
It's been up since Friday Scroll down to the bottom of the Coaxial column and it is (at the moment) the second to last one or, as Hercules would say, it is the penultimate article on the Coaxial front page
Sept. 5, 2012, 7:32 a.m. CST
by albert comin
In this times post The Office (UK), there is absolutly no excuse for the use of laugh tracks anymore. It doesn't make bad comedy funnier in the slightest. Comedies are in fact funnier without laugh tracks.
Sept. 5, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST
A great series that kept getting better as the series went on. It has a mythology but it is grounded and not as byzantine as that of Lost. Definitely worth checking out.
Sept. 5, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST
by albert comin
It's funny the AICN reviewer loves the JJ Abrams inferior shows and movies better then the much better and superior "Person Of Interest". But to each his own, and he admits he's at peace with the notion that many might love it more then he can. Quite gentlemanly of him.
Sept. 5, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST
"Person Of Interest": When Jesus got enough and went from getting his ass kicked and started kicking ass.
by albert comin
And finally a TV show worthy of Michael Emerson's talent and awesomeness.
Sept. 5, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST
POI is pretty good. Not GREAT, but totally watchable. It has a had a great stable of recurring and guest actors. All filmed on location in NYC. a solid clever story each week.
Sept. 5, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST
Way to spotlight only the positive reviews there... If anyone wants to know how bad this show is, search for CBS' Table 69 clip on youtube...yes, CBS actually put this clip out as a promo.
Sept. 6, 2012, 2:43 a.m. CST
by James Robinson
I grabbed it then, was one of the most satisfying purchases I've ever made. Still a great deal at $12.. loved this show.
Sept. 6, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST
That show sucked. Honestly, I'm more surprised we haven't seen The Complete Series in a bargain bin at Wal-Mart for 5 bucks.
Sept. 6, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST
You know, the show that won a ton of Emmys? Seriously, we got three seasons? And that was it? The show didn't even hit its stride until Season 4! If I were John Larroquette, I'd be pissed seeing Punky Brewster, Doogie Howser, and the ****ing Flash all out on DVD, but not Night Court!!!
Sept. 6, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST
by Ultron ver 2.0
That show was good, but over saturated in syndication. Now where is my DVDs of "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place"??!?
Sept. 6, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST
I'm constantly amazed at the stuff the censors allow them to say on that show. On the rare occasion they manage to make an actual double-entendre, someone (usually Kat Dennings) turns it into a blatant sexual reference. And yet, at 12:30, Craig Ferguson can't talk about Narnia's Mr & Mrs Beaver without the CBS censor freaking out.
Sept. 6, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST
Not sure if it was one of the "and a Pizza Place" episodes, but, sadly, it was a Fillion-free episode. Wiki says the DVD was released in the UK (region 2) last April but no plans yet for anywhere else.
Sept. 7, 2012, 9:12 a.m. CST
Being network TV, it can get schmaltzy at times, but overall, it's a really good show that's worth watching. It even has parts in some episodes, such as the morally ambiguous ending of Ipse te curum (the one with the ER resident doctor) that are just brilliant.
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