Another Great Show Just Ended: Person of Interest

If you’ve spoken to me in the last few years, you’ve probably heard me refer to “my show”. To be fair, there have been a couple “my shows”, but it’s pretty likely I was talking about Person of Interest.

Person of Interest is a show that might have started out like so many Law and Order/CSI/NCIS/NTSF:SD:SUV shows with a slightly more technological premise, but it turned out to be one of the best written, most rewarding, intelligent sci-fi series on TV today.

Yeah. Sci-fi, masquerading as a dramatic crime series. Who knew?

 

Well, to start off, J.J. Abrams knew, along with a great team of writers, producers, and actors… that were all unfortunately employed with CBS. I have to commend CBS for taking a chance on an ambitious series like this, but man did they do everything in their power to make it inaccessible by the means with which normal fans get hooked on shows like this. Their streaming options were (and are) miserable. The show itself didn’t end up on Netflix until Fall 2015, when the first three seasons were made available.

Okay, that was a little ranty and I digress, but it’s part of the reason the show concluded Tuesday night at the end of a truncated 5th season. They only had 13 episodes to wrap up a really ambitious premise.

I’ll give you the basics. A strong, silent ex-military type (Jim Caviezel) teams up with genius billionaire programmer (Michael Emerson) and save people (the titular person of interest) from certain death with the guidance of a big brother-esque supercomputer. But, dear reader, the show is so so so much more. Action, love, humor, more action, drama, and real honest to goodness character development that you hardly ever see on network television.

The people in this show aren’t just some throwaway archetypes from one of the generic crime shows I listed above. They’re written to be complex, with areas of grey in their history and emotions… just like you and I. Okay, yes, so they heal like Wolverine and have nearly perfect accuracy when shooting weapons, but those are minor cliches that are easily forgiven in the grand scheme of a show that evolves into something really meaningful.

The writers also clearly respect their audience. They make references that are pretty accurate to the actual way this technology would work. It’s no CSI: Cyber (also a CBS show), which is so trashy with its technological scare tactics that I’d argue that it’s existence is actually damaging to the collective technological competency of this country. But you know. Let’s renew a show that prompts for an article called, “Let’s Call Out CSI: Cyber’s Hilariously Absurd Technobabble.” That sounds great.

 

For the sci-fi nerds, I’ll give it to you straight. It was more satisfying than the end of Battlestar Galactica and Lost. Yeah. I said it. It’s impressive that when given 13 episodes they were able to wrap things up pretty well. The last season does feel rushed at times when compared to the usual pacing in the show. But it works. The last episode has rated 10/10 or been rated a letter grade of “A” at many TV review blogs.

There’s talk of it being resurrected for Netflix and I gotta tell you, it is an excellent candidate. The fan base cares about this show and “Team Machine” so deeply. I saw a change.org petition to try to save it from cancellation while I was researching this blog post. I mean, things got wrapped well, but you could have more stories for sure.

In conclusion, pretend we are close friends and I am grabbing you by the shoulders. I am shaking you now. I am telling you to watch Person of Interest. It is on Netflix.

Another Great Show Just Ended: Goodbye to Gravity Falls

This week marked the end of one of the funniest and smartest TV shows I’ve ever watched. It was for kids, sure, but was also fun for adults. The show was Gravity Falls and I will miss it so.

Gravity Falls can best be described as ‘Twin Peaks: For Kids!’ Twins Dipper and Mabel go off to Gravity Falls, Oregon to spend the summer with their Great Uncle (Grunkle) Stan. Stan runs a tourist trap off the highway filled with all kinds of manufactured oddities, but the kids quickly learn that their Grunkle’s collection isn’t the only strangeness afoot in Gravity Falls. There’s puzzles, monsters, time travel, teenage angst, and feelings galore.

We’re quickly introduced to other characters that we grow to know and form friendships with. That might sound silly for two dimensional people, but you soon know how they think and act and really miss them between episodes.

The show is cute and funny like kids shows are, but often asks viewers to dig deeper. Sometimes with heartfelt emotion but sometimes showing us a glimpse into pure nightmare fuel. It is always quality. Well. Was.

Well-made shows usually have a team behind them that know their story has a beginning, middle, and an end. Gravity Falls, after two seasons, came to its ending Monday night. The mysteries are answered and the adventure is over.

I suppose I was drawn to this TV show not only because it’s so great, but because I am eerily similar to the character Mabel. In ways that have made my husband pause the show and slooowly turn to look at me. “Lauren. Why are you in the TV?”

Gravity Falls is pretty weird, it’s true. But it’s also just really damn silly. I think that what Mabel and I are at the core of our being: really damn silly.

It’s something I used to hide a lot. Wanting to appear more serious and adult. I have to imagine the results were like this clip:

But as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable with myself, I see my silliness as an asset. It’s fine and makes my day to day a lot more fun. And shows like Gravity Falls have normalized silliness a lot. We’re all a little weird. And it’s awesome. Seeeriously.