Monday, March 19, 2007

Jack Bauer, Day 6 on 24

img jack bauerI watched the last two hours last night (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.) in preparation for tonight’s episode. Have you seen them? What’d you think?

There’s a writing lesson to be learned from 24.

See, the past two hours have been sadly devoid of any opportunities to make fun of 24, and no gripping moments to admire. Its charm are the twists, layers, and preposterous acts of Jack Bauer. Aside from the moment when he dismissed his commanding officer's orders with a wave of his hand, he’s been pretty much doing what he planned to do and what we know he had to do.

Maybe he’s getting tired. It’s been a long day for him. ;-)

The thing about foreshadowing and plot is that even though what happens is usually a given, it must happen in an unexpected or surprising or original way. If you foreshadow such and such is going to happen, and then it happens exactly as planned, it’s boring.

So what do we expect from 7:00 p.m.? We know they’re going to track Gredenko. We know they’re going to fail in some way: we still have quite a few more hours to go.

I started to admire Lennox at 6:00 p.m., but he disappointed me at the end. We all know the vice-president was behind the assassination attempt. How long will it take for the plot to be uncovered? Because we know it’ll be uncovered. How and when?

And then there’s Jack. He’s supposedly going to have a "devastating setback." Therein lies our hope for 7:00 p.m.!

6 bonus scribbles:

Therese 3/19/2007 02:56:00 PM  

We'll be watching 24 tonight, too; not for the "what" as much as the "how," as you point out. Once in a while, though, they do deliver an unexpected twist. Like, I never though Morris would actually program that device to truly arm the damn nukes!

This post reminds me of the way some novels are structured such that the opening tells the reader what happened (LOVE STORY being one famous example) and then the entire book is about what happened first. Ingenious.

StarvingWriteNow 3/19/2007 04:52:00 PM  

Tonight on 24: Jack gets a hangnail which prevents him from firing his Glock! It's a devestating setback!

I couldn't resist...

spyscribbler 3/20/2007 01:54:00 AM  

LOLOL, starvingwritenow!

Therese, you're right! I think the key to plots like that is that the reader wonders how they get to the end.

I was afraid 24 would take the straight line, and that doesn't work. We have a few curves tonight, so I'm happy. What'd you think?

Bernita 3/20/2007 09:24:00 AM  

I hate, HATE forshadowing of a betrayal that happens just as you think oh-no as you suspect..
Leaves me feeling sick.

spyscribbler 3/21/2007 12:18:00 AM  

I hear you, Bernita! So, so true.

meg gardiner,  3/26/2007 05:37:00 AM  

Of course the foreshadowing of a betrayal leaves you sick, and dreading the moment it unfolds... I deal with it by backing off emotionally, and figuring out how the writers worked it into the plot so well. As you said, spyscribbler, there's a writing lesson to be learned from 24.

Chocolate also helps me cope.

Now back to staring at that photo of Jack that goes with this post.