I watched all of the first season of “24”. I got only so far in subsequent seasons before the “I can no longer suspend the disbelief” overtook me.
This season, though, I really decided to try and go full distance with “24”. Over half way through the season, and I’m still with it, although barely. I can ignore the disbeliefs necessary to move the plot forward. Things like “it would be impossible for Jack Bauer to get from location A to location B in 13 minutes” and even “there’s no way a guy could be back at work minutes after being tortured with a power drill”. I can get past that stuff. I can even ignore the fact that CTU seems to have a serious problem with moles. I mean, serious problem. But I look past that. I find it hard, though, to buy the petty interpersonal entanglements that constantly thwart the smooth-running of the Counter Terrorist Unit division in Los Angeles. Seriously, it’s like a high school there. Not even. Junior High.
Did they all forget that a nuclear bomb went off in the city in which they live (okay, nearby the city etc)? If I was the head writer of “24”, this season, I’d have placed a placard in the writing room, where everyone could see it. It would say “Don’t ever forget that a nuclear bomb went off”. I would direct the writers to constantly have that bit of happenstance infer itself into everything that the characters do.
You know, things like “I may hate Rick Schroeder, but since a nuclear bomb just went off, I’ll put aside my differences with him and work toward the greater good”, and “I admit I have a sexual attraction to you, but now may not be the best time to make advances on that, since, you know, a nuclear bomb just went off, and all. Besides, you were just interrogated pretty heavily and may be in a weakened mental state and maybe choosing this moment to kiss you is really not something I should be doing. Plus, yeah, well, the nuclear bomb.”
And don’t even get me going on Chloe. I can’t stand that pouty, hooded-eyes drama queen.
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I had never seen an episode of ’24’ until a few months ago when I decided to plug that gap in my pop culture knowledge and rented the box sets of the first five seasons . I think that watching them as a marathon is the best way to enjoy them; its best if you don’t have too much time to think as they race from crisis to crisis. My enjoyment of them slipped as I got used to the format. You quickly learn that the threat in the first episode will only lead to the second threat and that will be a tangent to the final problem. I agree that high ranking traitors happen way too often. I have more of a problem with the instantaneous ability to dispatch tracking satellites and hack into ‘secure’ databases. I like the quality of actors they use [the guy from Dead Ringers, fat guy with a lisp from The Sopranos, guy from Airwolf (not so much)] and the fact they will kill off characters willy nilly. Jack Bauer should get a lot more respect considering the shit he has been able to pull off. I’m also a little turned off that Rush Limbaugh is a big fan and frequently stops by to have a cigar with Joel Surnow (the producer I think).
On another note I’ve moved on to the “Rescue Me” box sets. I loved the first season but season 2 is becoming more like a sitcom. Still lots of swearing and ethnic slurs though which is a good thing.