When I first started seeing the ads for the TV series Persons Unknown, I thought this looked like the coolest show ever.  The premise, a show about a group of strangers who are kidnapped and then brought to a mysterious town where they are under constant surveillance, sounded fantastic.  The concept reminded me of great shows like The Prisoner or The Twilight Zone, only with a more modern twist.

I enjoyed the show while I watched it, although there were some characters and plot elements I liked more than others. By which I mean I loved the characters in the town, and I enjoyed the way the writers gave us bits and pieces of their backstories a little at a time.  The reporters who were investigating the disappearances, though … not quite so much.

I watched most of the first season, and then something happened.  Maybe it skipped a week, or the network switched it to another day, or I missed an episode for some other reason.  In any case, I missed the last few episodes of the first season.  And since there only WAS one season, that means I actually missed the end of the series.  I heard the buzz about how a second season had been planned but then never came to fruition, so the promise they’d given in the commercials about how “all will be revealed” was never fully realized.  It wasn’t until this week that I finally watched all thirteen episodes of the series, and I finally got the answers to SOME of my unanswered questions.

Some of my favorite stuff about the show:

  • The way that the characters’ backstories were hidden from us and then revealed in surprising ways
  • The way the series shows us one version of reality (i.e. – this character is dead) and then pulls the rug out from under us by showing us that what we THOUGHT was real wasn’t real at all
  • How this show was genuinely scary and suspenseful
  • The romantic tensions that led to a series of love triangles
  • Jason Wiles, who plays Joe.  Yowza-Yowza!!!

Some of my least favorite stuff about the show:

  • The subplot about the reporters.  I mean, I know it was essential to the plot, but the show was just worse every time they came on.  I don’t know if it was the writing or the acting, but all I know is that it was worse.
  • There were way too many people trying to strangle other people on this show.  Now, I don’t have a problem with physical violence if it works with the plot (hell, I’m a huge fan of 24), but it’s like the writers were fans of strangling, or something, and wanted to work it into as many episodes as possible.
  • The show started off well, but as the episodes went on, some of the plot details became … what the word I’m looking for?  Oh, right.  DOOFY.
  • Promises unrealized.  Damn that second season that never happened!  It’s only now when I’m looking at fan pages, Facebook pages, etc. that I’m getting the jist of the groundwork that was being laid for future seasons.  You know, it wasn’t until I looked up the actors on IMDB that I learned that the crazy lady the reporters visit (Angela Barragan) and the director of The Program were played by the same actress.  And according to her Facebook page, they were supposed to be estranged sisters?  Argh!  The end of this series left more unanswered questions than you could shake a stick at.

The NBC official website of the show still exists, but unfortunately many of the links don’t work anymore.  You can watch all thirteen episodes through various services, including Netflix instant.  Check it out and see what you think!  Please feel free to comment on Jason Wiles’ hotness, as well as any other topics you’d like to discuss.

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