Person of Interest



Anemic high-concept procedural with heavy violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some mild positive messaging in the portrayal of the lead characters and their dedication to justice. The line between good and evil is clearly drawn.

Positive role models

Although the main characters make great personal sacrifices to help others and save lives, they do so using violence as their primary agent of change.


Heavy violence. Conflicts are frequently resolved using hand-to-hand combat, sometimes with blood. Gun violence and other weapons such as automatics and rocket launchers also figure heavily in the plot.


As part of an occasional flashback to a deceased relative, sequences feature the lead character in bed with his dead wife. No nudity, but close-ups of skimpy clothing and suggested sexual contact.


Occasional use of language such as "damn," "hell," and "ass."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lead character is depicted as drinking heavily before cleaning up his act. Criminals on the series are frequently involved in the drug trade and are depicted smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this high-concept crime procedural has plenty of violence. From hand-to-hand combat that includes blood, heavy weaponry, and references to September 11, this show is definintely not for young kids or sensitive viewers. Also expect some minor sexuality, plus some drinking, smoking, and references to drug dealing.

What's the story?

As PERSON OF INTEREST begins, Reese (Jim Caviezel) is a washed-up former CIA agent, presumed dead, who's drinking away his sorrow over the death of his wife. Enter enigmatic billionaire Finch (Michael Emerson), who has a simple mission for Reese: Help save lives. Using data from a supercomputer built to hunt terrorists in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Reese and Finch act only with a Social Security number and must determine how innocent people become involved in terrible crimes -- and what can be done to prevent them.

Is it any good?


We live in an age in which it seems that all you need to get a TV show deal is a very high-concept idea. The high concept behind Person of Interest isn't necessarily a bad one -- supercomputer identifies people about to be killed, rich man hires former CIA agent to help these people -- but the execution lacks energy and wit. With an idea so fundamentally silly, you'd expect the plotting and characterization to be a little less dour.


Instead, the show takes itself very seriously, which in turn results in a boring, humorless hour built on a goofy idea. Caviezel is either trying way too hard or not trying hard enough as the perpetually depressed Reese, while Lost's Emerson tries to mine what he can from the material but comes off as almost a parody of an eccentric wealthy person. Both of these actors deserve a better series than this.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence as problem solver on the show. Does every conflict on the show need to be resolved using fists/weapons? Why or why not?

  • What does the show have to do with the attacks on September 11? Is it important for the show to use such an event as a plot point?

TV details

Cast:James Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byBrian10122 July 1, 2012

Extremely Positive Messages, Perfect Role Models, Great for teens

Although there is a lot of violence in this show, its portrayed in a positive way, and the show is constantly enforcing positive messages. I believe the people that officially reviewed this are on some drugs themselves, because the fact that they gave it only one or two stars for positive messages and role models is just ridiculous. There are some drugs in the show, however it is constantly enforced that they are a terrible thing and a waste of time. When there is violence involved, the main characters refuse to kill anyone, and only shoot guns when it's absolutely required - John Reese will constantly shoot people in the kneecaps, and then tell someone nearby to bring them to the hospital. This show also shows a lot of truths about the government and police forces - children are constantly taught they are great people and are lied to and brainwashed to help their country. This show employs several, several positive messages, and although there are some drug references and violence, it's all done in a positive way (/negative to drugs) I believe kids twelve and up should watch this as that is just the age they start rotting their brains out with video games like "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" where all they do is kill people and become brainwashed into military activities. Twelve and up is a perfect age as they know about violence and drugs and a lot of the things shown, however are open and if they can conceive the show properly they will learn things many teenagers don't know and become much, much smarter than average teens.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 2, 3, 8, and 9 year old Written byEkkes de Moerin October 2, 2013

Some poor role models

The show is a lot of fun. It is well presented, and just far-fetched enough to be a good diversion (in every episode, for example, someone's phone is conveniently cloned, and that connection is never interrupted by interference or battery life). The show does have a lot of beating up drama, car crashes. People tend to die occasionally too. The show isis, however, questionable in terms of role models. Some aspects of the role models are excellent, and others very poor. The primary characters work by intruding into the lives of others by violence and subterfuge. One episode celebrated a lesbian marriage (one of the actors supports this cause in real life, but not in the show). If you don't want your kids prematurely exposed to this sort of model, best keep them away for now. There is a strong message of distrust for authority, and of pervasive and ruling corruption in police, government.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old December 23, 2011


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