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I came into Persons Unknown knowing nothing about the series apart from that it was supposed to be mystery type show, which I always enjoy. The Pilot episode was a little disappointing as the only real good thing I could garner from that episode is that the premise is very good and intriguing. The acting, writing, and characters all left a little to be desired but the main thing I wanted, the story, was good enough to keep me going throughout another episode.
This show starts off with Moira painfully removing the stabilizer shot… thing that has been placed into everyone’s leg. I’m not entirely sure what the point of placing those things in the show was just to have them removed in the second episode but I assume they may make a return at some point. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out on the next episode that after the crew’s failed escape and teleportation back to the town, that they were stuck with them again.
The character’s actions remain fairly stupid throughout this episode. Such as, do they not understand that "They" are watching them? And listening to their every word? They've seen the cameras multiple times. Did they not realize that there was no way for the butterfly to get out? Why in the hell are Bill and Charlie drinking? Shouldn’t they be… Trying to get out of the town? And why did Janet just run for no reason? What was the point in that when Joe was scouting? Was she just trying to be? The one to beat him out of there? It makes no sense.
Also, the writing can be really poor at times. I stole this little gem from the latest episode: "Come on. Get your nads off to this." Seriously, are we supposed to think that’s funny? That’s not funny. It’s immature and incredibly out of place for what should be a dramatic show. I’ve been thinking of this show as a combination of Lost and the video-game franchise, Silent Hill, and I’m pretty sure no one in either of those games/shows even mentioned the word “nads.” It’s groan-inducing.
Something in this episode frightened me a bit, not literally frightened, just made me scared that the writers may make this into a story. Janet and Joe, on a balcony overlooking the lonely city, had a short conversation about religion. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely choose religion talk over hearing a woman talking about nads but religion is an incredibly sensitive topic and it’s near impossible to talk about and not make one person mad. I’m sure the writers do want to make the show a bit edgy, but there’s other ways of doing it. Religion should not be in Persons Unknown. Apart from that, the relationship between Janet and Joe is awfully predictable and we can easily tell where it’s going. I’d be much happier if Janet gets with the Sergeant who seems to be a very likable guy.
The acting for the grandmother isn't extraordinary by no means, but her character is one of the few intriguing one's of the show. She seems very unpredictable and the fact that she's with a little child puts you on edge and a little creped out all at the same time. Apart from her, Sergeant, the night manager, and Moira, everyone else is painfully archetypal. There’s the standard rich girl (Who is by far the worst actress in this show and one of the worst actresses I’ve ever seen on my TV screen), used car salesman (Who enjoys delivering the occasional misplaced and unfunny joke), the rich CEO guy (Or as I like to call him, Cameron), and so on and so forth. And none of them have broken out of their archetype and done anything interesting.
I know I sound very down on the show but that’s because it is consistently frustrating me with poor writing and characters, though its overarching story is incredibly compelling, which is why I will keep watching the show. I’m eager to find out more about “They” and hopefully get interested in our normal band of characters a bit more.
Quick side note: No one else find it odd that Janet’s fortune cookie’s wording changed in between episodes?