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Still Talkin TV » Hacking Scandal Makes “Interest” More Interesting

Hacking Scandal Makes “Interest” More Interesting

Michael Emerson as Ben Linus in the fourth sea...

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For 27 years in my past life as the Buffalo News television critic, I’d head to Hollywood in July to preview the new fall TV season.
Television critics and bloggers across the nation are currently in Beverly Hills, Calif. at the semi-annual Television Critics Association tour looking for the next great thing.
I can’t go this year, but the networks were kind enough to send me all the DVDs that are available of the new shows.
I’ve watched several already and imagine that one of the series bound to get the most attention from my fellow critics in Hollywood is the new 9 p.m. Thursday drama on CBS, “Person of Interest.”
There are plenty of reasons for it to get extra buzz.
It stars Michael Emerson, who played Ben Linus, one of the most intriguing characters on ABC’s “Lost.”
The co-star is Jim Caviezel, best known for playing Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.”
It is produced by J.J. Abrams, who added the summer movie hit “Super 8” to a resume that includes TV’s “Lost,” “Alias” and “Fringe.”
Those are three great reasons for the series to get some interest.
But the biggest reason comes courtesy of Rupert Murdoch, whose media company News Corp is in serious jeopardy because of a hacking scandal.
You can’t help but think of the News Corp scandal while watching “Person of Interest” because the main characters hack into cell phones to get information about possible victims and perpetrators of crimes in New York City.
They invade privacy in the post 9/11 world for good reason – to save someone. But the ease with what they do it with the help of red light cameras and hacking devices still is pretty scary stuff.
I’m not saying I loved the pilot. It reminded me a bit of a combination of the Francis Ford Coppola movie “The Conversation,” Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” and the old Edward Woodward CBS series “The Equalizer.”
Caviezel plays John Reese, a former CIA agent type who becomes a vigilante after being pressed into service by Emerson’s character, Mr. Finch. Except for a Ratso Rizzo limp when he walks, Mr. Finch isn’t much different than Ben Linus. He is mysterious, a bit of weasel and says things that are supposed to be profound. Caviezel’s Reese is the strong silent type of character that Eastwood can do in his sleep.
The opener is what is referred to as a premise pilot, which means Reese and Mr. Finch have several “walk and talks” in which they explain why Mr. Finch has enlisted the formerly homeless Reese to shoot anyone he needs to shoot in order to solve crimes in the name of justice.
The walk and talks also allow the viewer to understand the similar government and personal experiences that made these two very different men eventually see eye to eye.
It is an incredibly violent show that requires a viewer to suspend disbelief often – especially when Reese is able to escape multiple armed villains and a female district attorney enters a violent criminal’s cell by herself without concern for her safety.
I didn’t exactly understand everything behind the technology because it is explained so fast, but at least it is more understandable than “Lost” ever was.
If it becomes a hit – and CBS moved “CSI” because it saw the possibilities – I’m thinking Abrams, Emerson and Caviezel will have Rupert and his scandal to thank.
* Just asking: Did Channel 4 meteorologist Don Paul run out of clean white or blue shirts? How else do you explain the distracting red shirt he wore Wednesday night. Oh, well, at least I noticed Pope Don for the first time in awhile.
* What No Goodbye? Channel 4 reporter Michele McClintick told her Facebook friends Wednesday that she was working her final newscast and it was “bittersweet.” I only saw Paul’s red shirt because I thought that Channel 4 might allow her to say goodbye during the 11 p.m. newscast. But after she finished her piece on the business success of New Era, anchor Don Postles thanked her and that was it.

pergament@msn.com

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4 Responses to “Hacking Scandal Makes “Interest” More Interesting”

  1. GMan says:

    Was that a blood stained shirt Don Paul was wearing during his weather report????? NOBODY INVESTIGATES LIKE LUKE MORETTI!!!!! More at Eleven. Stay tuned

  2. Yeah, I’ve noticed that most stations seem to have a policy of not letting their personnel have a word to say goodbye– they seem to think it’s unprofessional for some reason or other.

  3. Tina says:

    Lisa Flynn had a very poignant goodbye if I remember right. She was a doll and kudos to her for putting her family first. I hope she is enjoying her time with her son. I liked Michelle a lot too, I certainly hope they replace her so they can avoid kicking Don and Jackie out of the anchor chairs like they have been doing lately..kind of pitiful. Pretty soon they will be taking the people off the street and handing them a microphone to do the reporting..step it up Channel 4, step it up!

  4. Pergy's friend says:

    Kind of shameful the treatment of McClintick.

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