Sunday, August 29, 2010

So I watched all of Persons Unknown...

To my better judgment, I went ahead a watched all the episodes a few weeks ago and kept up on Saturday nights. I know the only people who will read this or care are fans of the show who may leave comments about how stupid I am, but I'll be honest--the majority of the series is terrible.

The beginning few episodes, especially, are almost unbearable. It's like the writers went full-throttle, stomping the gas pedal--on a 1985 Yugo. People yell, scream, act irrationally, and are wholly unlikable the entire time. There is not one cathartic moment to be found. And then Erika comes in, running around and attacking people like a wild animal for a whole episode. I wish she would have done what Kandyse McClure's character did on BSG, shoot herself. But she was there to stay, providing more of that annoying tough girl act.
And there's the plot. Yes, the big mystery behind why everyone is in this town. Basically, the writers floated big words among vague dialogue about the grand plot--essentially nothing worth noting. They're all part of The Program, an organization that likes to screw with people and prove there's no free will while manipulating their circumstances. Why? We're not given one clue. What the Mansfield Institute does or how it got so powerful to be able to put hidden cameras everywhere is never explained. To make matters worse, these facts we do know are learned in the last 4-5 episodes, so most of the episodes have no real purpose other than to create cheap dramatic moments.

The last two episodes, "And Then There Was One" and "Shadows in the Cave," are the best two episodes of the series, but are still pretty bad. They reinforce the stupid dialogue and general vagueness of everything, but also had several awesome moments--both at the end of the episodes. At the end of episode 12, they break out after faking everyone's death, and at the end of the series finale, it seems like they are placed back into towns, except Janet's group is on a ship--as Liam calls it, "Level 2." So Persons Unknown is an RPG? I had to laugh at the ending which makes the show twice as ridiculous as it already was, but was sadistically fun at the same time.

NBC canceled the show a while ago due to the horrendously bad ratings, so there'll be no conclusion to The Program which is actually disappointing. But I'm sure no one will care a month from now when we're trying to figure out what The Event is.

Score: 7.5/10
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