Tuesday, February 22, 2005


My Love/Hate Relationship With "24".

I love 24, but its repetitive reliance on the same plot "crutches" over and over is really beginning to piss me off.

By far the most egregious example-- in full bloom this season-- is the show's propensity to kill characters at the exact moment they are about to reveal everything.

First, it was the younger terrorist smashing his SUV into a semi-truck to avoid caputre. Then, the rogue businessman gets sniped next to the helicopter. Tonight, the Araz clan's father gets killed by his son before he can be captured. Then Aisha Tyler takes a few bullets to the chest just as she's about to expose some computer files.

For the love of all that is holy, don't these people know that if there's anything important going on, they have to deploy, like, two S.W.A.T. teams and a tank around people?

Oh, and the other preposterous thing this season: the round robin of ludicrous torture scenarios. Okay, we get the point-- you guys want to make it clear that torture corrupts. We got it, thanks.
But still-- which screenwriter thought for a moment that anyone would buy an innocent CTU employee getting tortured, only to return to her desk afterwards? Yeah, like a two-grade promotion is all it takes to make up for a stun gun to the neck.

*By your boss.*

I swear, CTU must be the worst place in the world to work. Everybody is spying on everybody else. Every phone is tapped. The sucidal gloom-lighting is an OSHA violation waiting to happen. The computer network sucks. Massive amounts of data that would take a real government agency seven months to collate and analyze has to be on the Director's desk in five minutes. If you don't like it, tough-- you want to end up in the torture room? It's just down the hall, next to the clinic where the boss keeps her loony-bat daughter.

Oh, and yeah-- every season, CTU is ridden with the annual equivalent of the Walker spy ring. Okay, I can get the "Counter Terrorism" bit, but how about a little bit more "Counter Intelligence"?

Finally, my earlier fear-- that just like in Season 2, the Middle Eastern terrorists are a red-herring for the much more dastardly White Males In Suits-- seems to be playing out. What's with 24's soft bigotry of low expectations towards Arab terrorists? The show always seems to say that Arabs can be evil, but they certainly can't be evil AND masterminds of evil plots at the same time. There always has to be a Eurotrash weenie behind the latest scheme.

If the real world worked like 24, we'd find out that Osama Bin Laden was working for the Carlyle Group.

Oops, sorry; Michael Moore already insinuated that.

Anyways, that all said. . . I still love 24.

Why? Two words: Jack Effin Bauer.


I never thought I'd say it, but Kiefer Sutherland is a great actor.

Alright, let me rephrase that: he's a *perfect* actor, for his part. Bauer is a coiled instinctual machine. He makes more life-or-death decisions in sixty minutes than the Clinton Administration made in eight years. He has yet to be wrong, really wrong once. Such a "white knight" syndrome would get boring after a while, if only he wasn't the only guy worth a damn in all of America.

Alas, the preview for next week has me worried, as Jack is shown taking some live wires to the nipples of his girlfriend's estranged husband. If the show stays the course, it'll be shown that Audrey's husband is innocent, and Jack will have tortured the wrong guy.

Hmmm. . .


Blue wire's positive, red wire's negative, Jack. Zap away!

I just found this show this year, maybe a couple episodes into this season, now my whole friggin schedule revolves around it! SOooooo good.

"I'm not telling *you* anything"...

Back before the season premiere, I put together a short list of essential 24 catchphrases. They are:
- Damn it!- There's no time!- Son of a bitch!- You're doing it wrong! and...
- Where is the X?!? - where is X is this season's main threat and/or tedious plot device...

Did I miss any?

Oh, and your assesment of the show is pretty much exactly right.
Since the show is undoubtedly written by liberals of some stripe, they have probably internalized the ubiquitous lefty theorem about the Third World, that they ultimately can't be responsible for themselves. Affirmative action syndrome strikes again!

I'm putting my eggs in the Battlestar Galactica basket. But I love Jack Bauer too.
Hey, I used to work for the Carlyle Group!

I think. I remember the org chart indistinctly, and there were a couple of shadowy holding corporations between us and them, but, yeah.

Actually, my chunk of the Imperialist Capitalist Running-Pig-Dog Military-Industrial Complex was indeed owned by Carlyle, between when it was owned by NV Philips and when it was owned by Hughes. I've had the same office phone number for over fourteen years, but I've worked for four different companies.
Favourite 24 quote:

"Now lets get back to work"
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