We’re the best part of a year behind America with the fifth and final season of Person of Interest, but if any network show is worth waiting for it might be this one. It started out as an above-average high-concept procedural, with Jim Caviezel’s studied blankness nicely offset by Michael Emerson’s wry fussiness, but as it went on it became one of the richest and most complex dramas on TV, picking up some fairly hefty themes, including political authoritarianism, an intriguing examination of morality and, latterly, a increasing theological bent. At the same time, it never lost sight of the need to have Caviezel throw someone through a window every now and again. In short, one of the very best things on TV. Weekly reviews (Wednesday 22 February, 9pm, 5USA).
The BBC’s new drama, SS-GB, is set in a Britain which lost the Second World War to Germany. I read the book on which it’s based in 1980 or thereabouts and, young as I was then, the War and everything connected to it seemed like impossibly ancient history. That was 37 years ago. 37 years before that the Germans were surrendering in North Africa, Guadacanal was taken by American forces, Mussolini was arrested, and Hamburg was firebombed. I suppose to my parents it wasn’t ancient history at all. Anyway, the first episode was broadcast on Sunday and the primary reaction seems to have been that large parts of the dialogue were unintelligible. One word: subtitles. I never watch TV without them these days (Sundays, 9pm, BBC1, first episode on iPlayer).
Lots of other things starting or returning this week: the second half of season 10 of The Big Bang Theory (Thursday 23 February, 8.30pm, E4); season 2 of Billions (tonight, 9pm, Sky Atlantic); Judd Apatow’s Crashing (tonight,10.10pm, Sky Atlantic); season 2 of The Magicians (tonight, 9pm, 5star); season 4 of Sleepy Hollow (Wednesday, 9pm, SyfyUK); Criminal Minds (Mondays, 9pm, Sky Living); and Law & Order: SVU (Mondays, 10pm, Universal Channel).
And more soon: Catastrophe, Quantico, Broadchurch, Lethal Weapon, and others.