I recall enjoying this show when it first came out, and my interest waned after a few years. Tonight I found the first few seasons on Netflix, and started watching it from S1E1, and man, yes, I recognize why I latched onto it as a fan so many years ago.
In fact, tonight I identified several “new” series on Netflix that I think I’d enjoy, including Turn Up Charlie, starring Idris Elba (who I really enjoyed in Luther), and Lost Girl, which is vaguely reminiscent of Grimm, with supernatural characters trying to hide in plain sight.
Check them out, if you’re inclined.
I was discussing with my wife this morning, the difference betweeen white hats, black hats, and grey hats, particularly as it comes to computer hackers, because that’s the angle I’m most familiar with. Person of Interest features Mr Reese and Mr Finch, who are definitely both “grey hats”. Both operate outside the law, but are basically trying to serve a good purpose. Not all grey hats do that. In fact, I think most grey hats are purely selfish in their actions. They only act to satisfy their own needs. Mr Reese’s need just happens to be to fight “black hats”, but he’s willing to bend the law, murder black hats, injure innocents, even obfuscate the law enforcement people, as long as it allows him to continue to serve the greater good.
Black hats only seem to serve themselves, usually with a goal of making a financial profit. White hats usually only exist to find and defeat the black hats, to find vulnerabilities before than can be widely exploited, as well as vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited, and find the black hats who are exploiting them, and shut them down. There are a whole lot of white hats working to find weaknesses in common computers, and get them fixed before they can be exploited.
I think Hollywood has idealized the “grey hat” character to the extreme. Too many cop shows, such as NCIS, CSI, etc, feature law enforcement who find themselves deep in a grey hat situation, wanting to stop the bad guys, but having to break the law to do it. Hollywood seems to find no problem with that, as long as the ends justify the means, but I find that just too sad.
Consider NCIS’s Jethro Gibbs. He’s fluctuated back and forth between grey and white hat. Usually he’s a “by the book” kind of guy, but when it came to dealing with his wife and child’s murder, they allow him to murder the “evil’ Mexican Drug Lord. They had several episodes about how this decision created a great conflict in his logic, but ended up simply whitewashing the whole thing, and excusing his selfish revenge as “justice”.
In reality, I doubt the end result would have ever been so cut and dried. He should have lost his job, his badge, his reputation, everything, but because it was a popular Hollywood show, they couldn’t justify prosecuting their “star”.
And now we’re dealing with all kind of “rightous” violent people who think they are justified in taking revenge against anyone who has “wronged” them. A whole shitload of Americans believe in conspiracy theories involving the government, and think they are justified in taking individual action. Just look at the whole “pizzagate” thing. And the Waco sadness. None of the offenders were ever “in the right”, but they sure thought they were.
What about all the idiots who still listen to Alex Jones, who made his entire career based on wacko conspiracy theories. Nobody sane believes them, but 10s of thousands of nutjobs believe there is a “deep state conspiracy” that intends to do them harm, regardless of the lack of proof. All it takes is a theory, and a mouthpiece, and idiots who want to believe, will believe.