Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jack Bauer: 7:00 p.m.

img1So ... what’d you think?

What I find fascinating about 24 is I find in it a wonderful study of what works phenomenally well, and what falls flat. 24 doesn’t go ride the gray area between the two. It’s either ridiculous or gripping.

The gripping first: Do you wake the president from his coma, essentially killing him, in order to prevent the vice-president from practically starting another world war?

Now that’s high stakes.

The Vice President thing isn’t quite working for me. Why? We’re missing his motivation. He seems flatly evil right now. Flatly irrational.

’Course, he does remind me a little of Bush. :-)

Here’s the thing: it’s a good idea to have a possible leak in CTU. But Nadia? We like her too much. She can’t be the leak. We won’t buy it, so it’s obvious it’s someone else. Why isn’t this bit working for me?

Because no one is insisting that they look elsewhere for the culprit! And if we don’t believe she’s the culprit, then it’s not believable for us to believe that the CTU people don’t believe she’s the culprit.

Under normal circumstances, I could rationalize that they don’t have time to discuss this. But during a moment of national security, when millions of lives are at stake, they’re going to ask (is it Chloe?) Chloe to check Morris’s breath??

We know he hasn’t been drinking. We know he won’t drink. So we don’t really care to see this little routine repeated ad nauseum.

And let’s just analyze Jack’s devastating news. Jack’s a pretty focused guy. His personal life gets compartmentalized right out of his mind during crisis situations. So do we really buy that he’s going to interrupt Chloe’s work on averting a nuclear disaster just to call up the folder of a dead love? She’s already dead! Wait until the damn crisis is over!

Then the most ridiculous part. Did anyone else here find it hilarious when Jack begs Buchanan to let him run point on the mission?

After disregarding and disobeying--with no consequence--his commanding officer’s orders, he bothers to beg Buchanan for permission to join the mission? Hah! I’m sorry, but it’s obvious who wears the pants in CTU. Why doesn’t Jack just tell Buchanan he’s going to go; he’s barked orders at Buchanan before!

It’s way too easy to make fun of 24. Believe it or not, I really do like the show. But sometimes ...

The show does so much right, and then their carelessness in characterization makes parts of the show ridiculous.

I haven’t seen every season. Is this ridiculousness limited to this season? Or is it throughout the series?

Anyway, that little drone plane was SO cool! I want one of those million dollar toys!

5 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 3/20/2007 07:11:00 AM  

I think CTU has had a "leak" every single season. Frankly, if they can't do better job screening than that, they shouldn't be in charge of counter-terrorism-national security type stuff. Period.

Therese 3/20/2007 08:32:00 AM  

This is my second season of regular viewing...and yeah, there are plenty of ridiculous moments, weak characterization, plot devices...but that's part of what makes it fun. What keeps us from taking it all too seriously. Even my sons crack jokes about this stuff while we're watching.

Your analysis is spot-on; what's important to note is that most viewers aren't watching critically--just like most readers don't read critically. I try to write tight and true anyway (for my own standards) but it's nice to know I'm likely my own worst critic!

spyscribbler 3/21/2007 12:17:00 AM  

Really, starvingwritenow? LOL! You're right about that!

I don't know, Therese. It's got such gripping moments, that I'd wish it would stay with gripping, rather than sliding to the ridiculous.

But you're right, it is entertaining to make fun of it, isn't it?

I really didn't think I was watching critically. Of course, I really don't mean to read critically, either. I guess I've forgotten how to experience a story, LOL. *sigh* That's not, actually, a good thing.

Amie Stuart 3/21/2007 03:56:00 PM  

I'll be honest. I skimmed because I havne't watched Season 6. I did just finish up the first five seasons thought and watching them back to bakc it comes off very episodic which I guess is the point but it was a bit irritating. And the storylines tend to be similiar from season to season. The president in season 5 characterization-wise was great--he's SO unable to make decissions and so spineless that it just made me want to strangle him but it was also well done =)

Anissa 3/21/2007 08:05:00 PM  

I agree with you...it wasn't the best episode. But that little drone came damn close to making up for all of it!