Summer Fun or Summer Dud - NBC's PERSONS UNKNOWN - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Summer Fun or Summer Dud – NBC’s PERSONS UNKNOWN

June 8, 2010 by  

I have been curious about NBC’s mini-series event, Persons Unknown, since the first ads arrived heralding its impending arrival. After all, if the man behind The Usual Suspects was in charge of building this mystery town, how unsatisfying could it be?

At times during the pilot, I was reminded of Michael Douglas’ film The Game, the CBS reality show Kid Nation, and my favorite table at Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo. That’s a bizarre list, but this show runs the gamut from compelling to cheesy. It is harmless fun, with a premise that appeals to fans mourning the end of LOST.

Because of its limited run, viewers should not have to fear a premature cancellation. Barring a ratings disaster, Persons Unknown ought to complete its run. If you were a fan of “Reunion,” an ill-fated 2005 show that was pulled from Fox’s schedule due to lackluster viewership, you may never trust a network to finish what they started. NBC is going through an experimental phase, so you need not worry about a similar scenario.

If you tuned in to Persons Unknown, and would like to see more discussion of it on GMMR, chime in with your comments. It’s a reasonable summer substitute, especially if you are not a fan of Big Brother and the reality show bandwagon. I am on board for next week’s episode, and we’ll see where it goes from there…

Filed under TV News


13 Responses to “Summer Fun or Summer Dud – NBC’s PERSONS UNKNOWN”

  1. Strunkette on June 8th, 2010 5:20 pm

    I caught it on HULU. I think it could be good. Its definitely better than Happy Town 🙂

  2. ColoradoKila on June 8th, 2010 5:54 pm

    Haven’t seen the pilot yet.
    Was wondering if it will be sort of like Harper’s Island was last summer.
    Nothing groundbreaking, but a fun summer escape.

  3. Erik on June 8th, 2010 7:55 pm

    Strunkette: Happy Town sold itself as a modern day Twin Peaks, but the finished product hardly drew a cult following. I always trust your read on series, so I’m glad that one never hit my Season Pass list.

    ColoradoKila: Harper’s Island is the PERFECT parallel, thanks for pointing that out! The acting on Persons Unknown is questionable thus far, but the storytelling device is clever. Aside from The Next Food Network Star and Top Chef, this may be my only new summer show.

  4. puredieselbc on June 9th, 2010 2:36 pm

    Ah before people get cocky, Persons Unknown’s pilot episode had less viewers than Happy Town.

    Having said that, both shows are great summer shows unless you all are diehard fans of such classic tv as WipeOut or Minute to Win It? ‘Cause folks that’s your alternative.

  5. Michele on June 11th, 2010 8:08 am

    Finally caught the pilot on demand, and really liked it! It had a very Stephen King feel to it for me – I’m definitely in for the next episode! (Which is more than I could say for Happy Town – couldn’t even get through the pilto for that one…) What was the one from last summer with the people stuck on the island with the killer? That one wasn’t bad.

  6. Erik on June 11th, 2010 1:50 pm

    Sounds like we have enough curious eyeballs to keep talking about Persons Unknown on GMMR. I’ll put together a blurb about Monday’s episode to have ready Tuesday morning.

    One quick thought about the premiere: I was a BIT disappointed that the hostages played the “one of us could be one of THEM” card so early. A mid-season twist revealing the mastermind would have more *UMPH* if the writers had not included that scene.

  7. puredieselbc on June 12th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Yeah but remember there are only 13 episodes and that’s it. The writers have to make every episode count. This ain’t Lost. Anyways, it wouldn’t be natural for them not to suspect on another right from the beginning. I know I would.

  8. Erik on June 12th, 2010 8:54 pm

    puredieselbc: I take your point, and it was reasonable that the captives’ initial paranoia included distrust of their neighbors. However, I blame the A-B-C approach to that scene. The issue could have been raised in a more creative way, in my opinion. Right now, the premise of the show is still its biggest asset.

  9. Darius on June 22nd, 2010 1:23 am

    This is not a network TV quality. More like suitable for an affiliate airng. This should have been aired in ION TV. Because its no different in treatment than Harper’s Island and Durham County. Lighting, direction, dialogues are just as boring.

  10. Anna on July 12th, 2010 4:59 pm

    What is everyone talking about? Persons Unknown is a great mimiseries and even though i’ve never seen lost, i think it’s at least ten times better. I am dissapointed that happytowns pilot got better ratings because march 14th 2010 was the last time i watched abc(btw that wasthe last episode of ugly betty). i can’t bear that thought and desperately hope people will take this show more seriously. i love persons unknown.

  11. Erik on July 17th, 2010 11:51 pm

    Anna: I’m still watching the show, but the concept is still more interesting to me than the actors’ performances. I am still waiting for a “WOW” moment from a premise that would seem to be full of surprises.

    Unfortunately, the ratings slide experienced by Persons Unknown forced NBC to move it to Saturdays, beginning tonight. I hope that, unlike earlier summer duds, loyal viewers will get to see all the episodes produced. I’m still reeling from the early cancellation of ABC’s “The Nine” in 2007, which was abandoned far too soon.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. GMMR is all about the exchange of opinions in a courteous way. You are entitled to your opinion, and to seeing the rest of Persons Unknown (Are you listening, NBC?)

  12. christineb on July 21st, 2010 12:09 am

    I was never a fan of ” Lost ” I guess it was because I missed the first few episodes. Now I am regreting it. If Lost was anything like “Persons Unknown” I would have loved it. This is my new second favorite show, next to “House”. I must admit though, I’m glad it is only 13 episodes, any longer and I Might start lossing intrest. Feeling like were never gonna find out who did it. Now I don’t get to upset @ the end of an episode I just tell myself ” I’ll know soon enough”.

  13. Erik on July 22nd, 2010 6:57 pm

    Christine: I think Persons Unknown’s abbreviated season will help keep folks tuning in, but I am growing concerned that NBC may shelve the program altogether if ratings do not stabilize. Last Saturday’s new episode was the lowest rated prime time show of the evening on any network, including reruns on CBS and ABC. I’m semi-invested in the characters, particularly Janet, and would like to see a satisfying conclusion.