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Editorials

Why the First Two Seasons of Person of Interest are Far From Irrelevant

Credit: Person of Interest/CBS

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Much like its characters, Person of Interest flew under the radar. I don’t care that the CBS show routinely attracted over 10 million live viewers; no one seemed to watch it.

Or maybe, perhaps in the age of prestige TV, the wrong people watched it. Most of these viewers were casual watchers who enjoyed tuning in for one episode here and there. The show began and ended with its time slot, with little discussion being furthered in the greater television community.

Which is a shame because Person of Interest (POI) demands to be talked about.

Person of Interest - Pilot

Person of Interest/CBS                                        And watched.

It’s a layered and intelligent series with an eerie relevance to our times. I desperately wanted people to know that, so I hopped from friend to friend to that random guy at the bar, hoping to convince someone to give it a chance.

I’d explain the show as concisely as I could. “After 9/11, a billionaire genius named Finch built a supercomputer called “The Machine” to spy on everyone and predict terrorist attacks, but since it also predicts smaller “irrelevant” crimes as well, Finch hires an ex CIA operative named Reese to help him act on the crimes The Machine predicts and stops them before they happen. They save a different person each episode that the government deems irrelevant.”

“Oh,” that guy at the bar said, “It’s a…procedural.”

Yes. POI can accurately be described as a crime procedural. It can also accurately be described as one of the best science-fiction shows in recent memory, I just hadn’t gotten to that part yet.

“But then, near the end of season two, you start to learn more about The Machine, and there is this psychopath named Root who is on a mission to set The Machine free from Finch’s control. And then ANOTHER machine, Samaritan, gets made, and the two supercomputers go to war with each other.”

Person of Interest - Lady Killer

Person of Interest/CBS                                        Root discharges herself from the mental hospital.

“Oh,” that guy at the bar said, “I’d watch that. Can I just skip over some of the first two seasons?”

I get it. Person of Interest consists of over 100 44-minute episodes. That is a large amount of time to dedicate to one show. Back in 2016, in an attempt to get my friends to catch up before the final season aired, I went so far as to write out a guide of which episodes were absolutely necessary to get one caught up to season five.

Catch up on the first season and second season right now!

The problem behind skipping most of the first two seasons, or the promise that “it gets really good if you just stick with it,” is the implication that the episodes dealing with cases of the week are “fillers” and therefore aren’t as important or relevant as the show’s serialized episodes.

I was guilty of this mindset myself until I watched the finale and heard the show’s final message.

Person of Interest - SNAFU

Person of Interest/CBS                                        I also had to reassess some data after the finale.

By the time the fifth and final season of POI ends, the plot has taken us through storylines exploring the worrying implications of uncontrolled artificial intelligence. Samaritan (the “bad” computer) is attempting to run the world in the way it deems right, disposing of anyone who is irrelevant to that goal, and our heroes and The Machine (the “good” computer) are trying to stop it from gaining control of humanity. Both machines have become characters in their own right, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for being so taken in by their story that they forget what the show is actually about – people.

The idea that the show is about people; about individuals with lives, dreams, and flaws, is easy to forget when we focus so closely on the serialized plot and the fate of the world.

In the pilot episode, Finch enlisted Reese’s help to save the people The Machine predicted would be in trouble. This was their purpose. As the show forged a grander path in Season 3, they obtained a grander purpose as well. This made for more compelling and thought-provoking television, and in my original viewing of the series, I was looking forward to the day that they’d leave the cases of the week behind.

Person of Interest - Pilot

Person of Interest/CBS                              Yes, I ridiculously wanted them to forget about all these people.

They never did, and it defines the message of the show.

At the climax of the finale, Reese has an exchange with Finch where it seems as though he is speaking directly to everyone who finds the first two seasons of this show a bit of a slog to get through.

“I’ve been trying to save the world for so long, saving one life at a time seemed a bit anti-climactic. Then I realized, sometimes one life, if it’s the right life, it’s enough.”

Even while saving the world – one life matters.

Person of Interest - Judgement

Person of Interest/CBS                                        Sometimes even two lives matter.

This is something the finale doesn’t let you forget about, as mere moments after Reese’s words, The Machine recalls a lesson it learned from a police officer who said that “Everyone dies alone, but if you mean something to someone, if you helped someone, or loved someone if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die at all.”

And so, at the climax of the series, when we are so focused on whether or not Samaritan will finally be defeated, The Machine takes a lesson from one of those “irrelevant” people that were so heavily focused on in the beginning of the series. “I know I’ve made some mistakes, many mistakes,” The Machine says, “but we helped some people, didn’t we?”

Person of Interest - return 0

Person of Interest/CBS                                        Yes. Yes, you did.

Every single case of the week episode contributed to this moment. Those first two seasons, which included week after week after week of Reese and Finch saving random people on the streets of New York, mattered. The final lesson here, that we can continue living on through helping others, would be empty if it weren’t for all those “filler” episodes.

As I said before, I get it. It’s a lot of television to get through. Yes, you can successfully understand the plot of the show by watching the most serialized episodes, but skipping the procedural elements of the series will lessen the impact of this final lesson.

I find a certain irony that the episodes we most highly recommend are the serialized pieces that mostly sideline saving an individual. It feels like an almost Samaritan way to watch the show, where we dispose of the irrelevance to arrive at the goal more quickly. Without those first two seasons, and without those procedural episodes, POI is about the birth of artificial superintelligences and a fight for a faceless humanity, because like so many other ambitious sci-fi tales before it, the little people would have gotten left behind. 

But POI doesn’t leave them behind. It never forgets that the world is only worth fighting for because of the individual people who live in it, and that long after the battle is won, we should continue helping anyone we can.

Person of Interest - Pilot

Person of Interest/CBS                                        You should help every single one of these people.

That message only carries the weight it does because of those first two seasons. The case of the week “filler” episodes are the backbone of the show’s final message.

I started this piece mentioning that despite 10 million viewers tuning in for the show, the “right” people didn’t watch it, and therefore the series doesn’t rank amongst the more popular peak TV titles. That statement isn’t quite fair, just as discounting the procedural elements of POI isn’t fair. 

Every person matters, and every person who watched or was touched by this show matters as well. POI will likely never achieve the recognition it deserves in our current landscape, but perhaps, just as “[one life is enough],” knowing that it touched so many people can be enough, too.

Person of Interest - If-Then-Else

Person of Interest/CBS                    The characters of POI, trapped behind preconceived perceptions of CBS dramas.


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Halloween

Halloween Costumes for 2020 Inspired by TV Shows and Pop Culture

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Halloween 2020 Costumes Inspired by TV Shows and Pop Culture

Halloween is going to look a bit different than in year’s prior, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun dressing up! 

2020 has been a year of pretty grim news, but the light amidst it all has been the TV shows and movies that have kept us entertained and captivated. 

We’ve put together a list of TV show Halloween costumes that may inspire you — from sleuthing detectives, to the most savvy robbers, to caped crusades. 

There’s something for every TV lover on this list! 

Don’t delay putting that costume together… you’ll regret it. Did we mention this year’s Halloween falls on a Saturday and a rare/spooky full/blue moon?

Check out our gallery of costumes now: 

The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda

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Channel the bounty hunter this Halloween, but don't forget your sidekick - baby Yoda! There are plenty of fun "The Child" toys to include in this getup. ShopDisney has your official costume available for purchase here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Editorials

Emmys 2020 Predictions: What Shows Will Win?

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Emmys 2020 Predictions: Which Show Will Win?

The 2020 Emmys are upon us, but as with everything this year, they’re looking a bit different as they go virtual. 

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be less prestigious or eventful — it’s the Emmys after all; it’s the biggest night in television. 

Each actor is going to come to your living room from their living room meaning that there’s plenty for producers to work with and the night will surely keep you on your toes. 

We decided it would be fun to throw in our predictions into the ring as ever category is highly competitive. 

Check out our Emmy predictions below and let us know who you think will win this Sunday evening:

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark  (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
The Kominsky Method  (Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

 

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (Hulu)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Late Night With Stephen Colbert (CBS) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Competition Program

The Masked Singer (Fox)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) – Predicted Winner
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Don Cheadle, Black Monday (Showtime)
Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC) 
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Issa Rae, Insecure (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC) 
Steve Carell, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Brian Cox, Succession (HBO)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)

Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Laura Linney, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen (HBO)
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Paul Mescal, Normal People (Hulu)
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Shira Haas, Unorthodox (Netflix)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Mahershala Ali, Ramy (Hulu)
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Hulu)
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) – Predicted Winner
D’Arcy Cardin, The Good Place (NBC)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Nicholas Braun, Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Kieran Culkin, Succession (HBO)
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld (HBO)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen (HBO)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (Netflix)
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen (HBO)
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood (Netflix)
Jim Parsons, Hollywood (Netflix)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America (Hulu) – Predicted Winner
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Holland Taylor, Hollywood (Netflix)
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Matt Shakman
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Marvelous Radio,” Daniel Palladino
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage,” Amy Sherman-Palladino – Predicted Winner
Modern Family, “Finale Part II,” Gail Mancuso
Ramy, “Miakhalifa.mov,” Ramy Youssef
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
Will & Grace, “We Love Lucy,” James Burrows

 

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

The Crown, “Aberfan,” Benjamin Caron
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Homeland, “Prisoners of War,” Leslie Linka Glatter
The Morning Show, “The Interview,” Mimi Leder
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Alik Sakharov – Predicted Winner
Ozark, “Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” Ben Semanoff
Succession, “Hunting,” Andrij Parekh
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Mark Mylod

 

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way,” Lynn Shelton
Normal People, Episode 5, Lenny Abrahamson
Unorthodox, “Prisoners of War,” Maria Schrader
Watchmen, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” Nicole Kassell
Watchmen, “Little Fear of Lightning,” Steph Green
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Stephen Williams – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready,” Michael Schur – Predicted Winner
The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Tony McNamara
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Daniel Levy
Schitt’s Creek, “The Presidential Suite,” David West Read
What We Do in the Shadows, “Collaboration,” Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
What We Do in the Shadows, “Ghosts,” Paul Simms
What We Do in the Shadows, “On the Run,” Stefani Robinson

 

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Better Call Saul, “Bad Choice Road,” Thomas Schnauz
Better Call Saul, “Bagman,” Gordon Smith
The Crown, “Aberfan,” Peter Morgan
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Ozark, “All In,” Chris Mundy
Ozark, “Boss Fight,” John Shiban
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Miki Johnson
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Jesse Armstrong – Predicted Winner 

 

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Mrs. America, “Shirley,” Tanya Barfield
Normal People, Episode 3, Sally Rooney and Alice Birch
Unbelievable, Episode 1, Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, and Ayelet Waldman
Unorthodox, “Part 1,” Anna Winger
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Damon Lindelof and Cord  – Predicted Winner


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One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill: Why Haley and Lucas Were Friendship Goals

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Lucas and Haley are Friendship Goals on One Tree Hill

There are plenty of relationships fans can “ship” on One Tree Hill.

You can be #TeamBrucas, #TeamLeyton, or #TeamNaley, and they’re all great in their own way.

But there’s undoubtedly one relationship that trumps them all — Laley, aka Lucas and Haley.

As with all friendships, they’ve had a fair share of ups-and-downs.

They grew apart briefly, but despite the rocky road, they’ve always managed to come back to each other and never lose the love.

We'll Always be Friends

On One Tree Hill Season 4 Episode 3, Haley asked Lucas to promise her that “matter what happens, you and I will always be friends.” And he kept that promise.

Significant others came and went, but Lucas and Haley remained best friends throughout the entirety of the series.

Even after Lucas and Peyton drove off into the sunset (Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton exited the show on One Tree Hill Season 6), their friendship lived on off-screen.

When it comes to OTH relationships, Haley and Lucas’s was the purest one.

It was the most enduring relationship in the series, having started in childhood.

When we met them on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1, they already had an established connection that was built on a foundation of trust and memories.

Their dynamic would have allowed the writers to easily cross the line and give in to the played-out friends-to-lovers trope (and maybe that was even the plan at one point), but the best thing about Lucas and Haley is that they never crossed that line.

The fact that they remained best friends and never pursued each other romantically made them far more interesting than if they would have ever considered dating.

Never Romantic

In a small town like Tree Hill, it’s almost unheard of for a guy and girl to be “just friends.”

But Haley and Lucas proved that members of the opposite sex could love each other platonically.

These are some of our favorite things about them:

They Were Protective Over Each Other

We first begin to understand Lucas and Haley’s relationship on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1.

They’re the outcasts that always stuck together and had each other’s backs.

When Nathan starts cozying up to Haley after she offers to tutor him, Lucas gets protective and warns her against getting involved with his half-brother because he believes he’s only getting close to her to get back at him.

While Lucas isn’t entirely wrong, he also trusts Haley to make the right decision, even if he doesn’t agree with it.

In turn, Haley’s decision to tutor is fueled by wanting to protect Lucas. She offers Nathan her math tutoring services on the condition that stop bullying Lucas and leave him alone.

They Cheer Each Other Up

Though it would be easy for Lucas to point out that he warned Haley about Nathan’s self-serving intentions, he never does. Instead, he’s there for his best friend.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 7, when Haley believes that Nathan’s been making fun of their relationship, she confesses that he showed her his true colors and she fell for it because she’s “stupid,” but Luke assures her that she’s far from it.

Smart Girl is Really Stupid

Instead of saying, “I told you so,” he’s supportive and lends her a shoulder to cry on.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 18, famously known as the “Boy Toy Episode,” Haley taps into her savings from the cafe so that she can buy Lucas during the auction to spend time with him.

At the end of a fun-filled night, Lucas assures Haley that “If Nathan doesn’t see how special you really are, then he’s an idiot cause I think you’re amazing.”

He may not be fully supportive of the relationship, but he always wanted her to follow her heart and be happy. 

Read the full post at TV Fanatic!


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