Sunday, January 15, 2006

24 is back!

Anyone who was here last year at this time knows that I'm a 24 junkie. For those who aren't familiar with it, 24 is a show that follows a single 24-hour period in the life of an anti-terrorist agent, Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland). Each episode represents an hour of that day presented in "real time" (complete with the occasional ticking clock in the corner to remind the viewer what time it is and with split screen montages leading into each commercial break to remind the viewer what's happening simultaneously). It's basically a thrill-ride, with nearly every episode ending on with a cliffhanger.

Yes, I realize that it requires a willing suspension of disbelief to accept that Jack Bauer could do so many things, survive so much physical abuse, and go so many places in a single 24 hour period. Yes, there are a number of inconsistencies and goofs on the show that challenge belief. (For example, Jack never seems to get caught in a typical L.A.-style traffic jam; an entire hour long episode--or two--consisting of Jack going nowhere on the Santa Monica or Harbor Freeway wouldn't make for very interesting television.) Yes, I realize that the show tends to take a rather too accepting view of the legitimacy of torture as a means of extracting information from miscreants and all-too-often seems to view the Bill of Rights merely as a pesky impediment to Jack's ability to do what he does best, namely kicking terrorist butt. As a libertarian-leaning moderate conservative, that "ends justify the means" philosophy that rears its ugly head periodically should be enough to make me hate this show.

And yet....

And yet the show is highly addictive once you watch the first three or four episodes and get hooked. It's a fantasy world where an unbelievably competent, cunning, and ruthless agent is protecting us all from horrible people bent on our destruction, no matter what or who gets in his way, even his own government. This year, the producers have added an interesting twist. Because of his role in a botched assault on the Chinese Embassy to rescue a key informant, Jack has been forced to stage his own death. Everyone, including the weasely and indecisive President (who was the Vice President but was forced to assume the Presidency when Air Force One was shot down and the President critically injured), thinks he is dead, and at the end of last season he was seen walking off alone like The Man With No Name or a samurai warrior. It's an interesting shake-up to the formula that has developed over the last four seasons, and it will be interesting to see how the characters react to the inevitable discovery that Jack is not room temperature. You have to wonder whether the writers can pull it off, but, given their past track record, I wouldn't bet against them.

Also, this year supposedly one of the major characters is going to die early in the first episode. (My guess is that it's got to be former President David Palmer, given that Dennis Haysbert has a new TV series, but who knows?) This has led some blogs to start Season 5 Death Pools.

In any case, you know where I'll be tonight and tomorrow night between 8 and 10 PM....

(After my wandering far afield from medicine, science, etc., it will be back to more normal topics next week, as promised yesterday...)

10 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 1/15/2006 2:03 PM, Blogger Bardiac said...

Have you seen MI-5 (aka Spooks)? If you like 24, I'm willing to bet you'll like MI-5. (It's a UK show, titled MI-5 in the US, where it's played on A&E, I think?) It's titled Spooks in the UK.

 

At 1/15/2006 2:11 PM, Anonymous Skeptyk said...

I watched the first three episodes of the first season and it made me a nervous wreck. Very absorbing, nailbiting. It was great, but I quit because I got so keyed up. There is a place for that safe-in-your-seat excitement, but that wasn't the time for me.

I have promised myself that I will DVR one of those "24" marathons and play catch up. I'll probably OD on my own adrenal juice.

 

At 1/15/2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous James said...

I've got a horrible feeling that this new season won't be a classic. As long as it's better than the third one it'll be alright. Probably won't reach the peaks of the first, though.

 

At 1/15/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger Socialist Swine said...

I really enjoy 24 as well. Now if it's strange that a moderate libertarian type likes it, it's stranger when a full blown leftist Bookchinesque style libertarian enjoys it.

 

At 1/15/2006 9:00 PM, Anonymous Aaron M said...

James: I suspect you may be right, but really, all they have to do is give Chloe a gun again, and I'm a happy man.

Bardiac: I adore Spooks; if only the DVDs weren't so expensive.

 

At 1/16/2006 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a bad start to the season. Missed the last ten minutes thanks to the game on Fox. TiVo isn't as intelligent as it should be sometimes.

 

At 1/16/2006 9:38 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

As a libertarian-leaning moderate conservative, that "ends justify the means" philosophy that rears its ugly head periodically should be enough to make me hate this show.

And yet....

I'll hazard a guess that this "and yet" is made possible by the fact the you know it's fiction! LOL!

It is truly disconcerting how many folk simply can't seem to tell the fiction from reality. {shakin'head}

I watched last night. I've enjoyed the few episodes I've managed to catch bits of in the past, but am simply an early crasher/riser, so the lateness of the hour it airs has keep me from watching regardless of my enjoyment.

After laughing with my nephew & bro's 'bout the 5 hour marathon DVD session one of them "enjoyed" (ala skeptyc's adrenaline OD,) I decided to give the show a try this season. I hope I keep up, cuz it was really quite interesting and exciting last night.

This new President is a shmuck, ain't he?!.

 

At 1/16/2006 9:56 AM, Blogger Orac said...

The new President was actually worse last season. He was indecisive, arrogant, and weasely, a truly loathesome character. I had hoped that the original President who was critically injured when Air Force One was shot down last season would have recovered by now, as he was a real stand-up, honorable kind of a guy, but I guess the writers thought that a weasel as President would make for a more interesting story.

 

At 1/17/2006 10:54 AM, Anonymous HCN said...

Sorry I've never watched it, but I did see this yesterday and thought you might find it amusing:
http://www.ucomics.com/foxtrot/2006/01/16/

 

At 1/17/2006 11:23 AM, Blogger The Man said...

Thanks for the link. Feel free to stop by Blogs4bauer.blogspot.com for all things related to Jack, including Kim Bauer.

hmmmmmm Kim Bauer

 

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