Monday, January 15, 2007
Twenty-Four hours in a day, twenty-four beers in a case: coincidence? I think not!
I decided to write about the television show that seems to be really catching fire this season: "24".
First off, disclaimer: I've been a huge fan of the show since it's inception, having watched every episode and I actually own seasons two and four (Christmas presents from my sons). Jack Bauer kicks ass! I haven't talked much about my enjoyment of the show because, frankly, it's a guilty pleasure. The show is hugely implausible on almost every level. It's blow 'em up, shoot-first, ask-questions-later- fare at its best, though.
The show follows twenty-four hours in the day of Counter Terrorism Unit agent, Jack Bauer, on a real-time basis; that is, each hour of the show is an hour of time in Jack's day. That in itself makes it one of the more unique television shows in history. But 24 is so much more.
The first season aired in November 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, making it about as relevant as any TV show on the set. It deals primarily with the government response to terrorist acts. Each season, a new cataclysmic terrorist threat arises to test the government's ability to respond, and Jack's ability to outwit the bad guys.
Recently, the show has been the talk of the nation, as I've heard Rush Limbaugh dedicate his show today to discussing last night's season 6 opener, as well as Scott Ott suggesting Jack Bauer might be an effective negotiator for Bush's Iranian problems. I've also heard critics lately saying that the show is a thinly disguised plot to bolster chauvinist, war-mongering attitudes among the electorate. Well, if you want to see the kind of blood and gore, veins in your teeth movies that I loved as a youth, in which John Wayne and Clint Eastwood saved the day and turned down the girl, 24 is just right.
The only criticism I have with the show is the unrealistic aspects tend to bother me. Most of us can't get a cell phone to work for us half the time but Jack Bauer can download satellite images and video on his phone, while the clock ticks on a nuclear device certain to destroy Los Angeles, in seconds. In yesterday's episode, there were a number of implausible situations and actions that detracted from my enjoyment of the show. I would predict, based on the opener, a lot more of the same this season. It seems, as I aired my fears to my wife before last night's show, anything that becomes popular becomes cheaper. Oh, but I'll be watching. You can bet on that!
One thing more: The two hour premier last night went by faster than any show I've ever watched. That says a lot about the show. It's a fast-paced, action-packed thriller, every week. The two-hour second episode airs tonight at 8PM. I'm teaching class, so the wife has been strongly encouraged to tape it for me...