StuffPaul McAleer

Person of Interest

StuffPaul McAleer

In the not-too-distant past, my wife and I added Person of Interest to our roster of shows we watch. I know I had written it off when it was actually on the air, thinking it was a procedural and boring and whatever, even though Michael Emerson and Taraji P. Henson were in it, whatever, CBS.

But wow, I am beyond glad we gave this show a chance.

My interest started to come around when my good friend Pam Drouin spoke about the intersection of finding, algorithms, and POI in her 2016 Design & Content talk. Truth be told I thought, hey, if Pam likes this it must be good. So we stuck through the first season, which was mostly crime-of-the-week with a twist! stuff. It was good, but not amazing.

It reminded me exactly of Fringe, another show that we loved (and was similarly underrated).

POI gets progressively better towards season 3. We're just a few episodes away from finishing season 4 now and I can safely say it's one of my favorite shows ever. The reasons are many, but other people have done a better job of expressing why. This essay by Peter Watts (via MeFi) explains a lot of it. POI explores AI, religion, belief, technology, privacy, and so much more with a degree of wit and skill that I haven't seen elsewhere. And the women are actual characters, with actual agency. The Bechdel Test is clearly being considered and adhered to in a majority of cases.

As Peter Watts says, there are clunkers here and there. That's true of any show really. But POI is compelling, interesting, and just good. If you are at all interested in technology and AI, or even just like a good mystery, POI is the show for you. Watch it.