Posts Tagged ‘24’

“24” is, at this point, less of a “television show,” so much as it is “event-level rearranging of various plot points and character beats.” And so in that sense, it’s probably the most excitingly predictable show on television.

If you’ve never bothered to sit and watch 24, here it is. Here is the plot to every single season – and how the writers in all likelihood, choose the small variations that make it count as a different season (other than which new jacket Kiefer Sutherland has decided is comfortable enough to wear for the entire year):

“Jack (Kiefer Sutherland), must foil a terrorist plot by (Arab Guys/Russians/Mexicans) who have secretly been financed by (evil white guys/evil white guys/ look, it’s always evil white guys). Meanwhile, at CTU (insert secondary staffer) is dealing with (insert unlikely family melodrama), while (insert temporary head of CTU) is busy (meddling with CTU agent investigations/fending off meddling from supervisors).”

But of course, the devil’s in the details, and on 24, the details tend to get kind of insane, fairly quickly – because ironically, for a show that needs to meticulously plot out a complete 24-hour arc, the writers also have no long-term planning ability. They will do WHATEVER, regardless of whether it puts them in a corner two hours down the line. And if they end up in that corner, you know what they’re gonna do? BLOW THAT CORNER UP WITH SEMTEX. It’s actually kind of admirable.

So how’s the new season shaping up so far, four hours in? Well, plot-wise, we’ve already filled in about half the multiple-choice answers in the above outline. But 24 deals in some other metrics this season needs to meet:

How’s Kiefer starting his day?
Happy. Which is a nice change of pace from previous opening episodes, which have found him either suicidal, heroin-addicted, or traumatized after 18 months in a Chinese prison. So…a rare low-key opening for Kiefer this time around. (more…)

Why else would it give me two of my favorite story tropes in one week, just before my 30th birthday? It is paying TRIBUTE, is why.

You would be amazed how quickly a Google image search for "House Wilson" turned erotic.

Over on “House,” they pulled a ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,’ turning the story over to sidekick Wilson’s point of view while showing the House team’s latest exciting case only going on in the periphery (such as speeding an obese man on a gurney down the hall while Taub tells Wilson “It wasn’t the tennis!” without much context).

I actually think a lot of shows would be better if there was some kind of barely explained medical drama happening in the background.

On “Dollhouse,” Whedon and co. broke out good ol’ ‘Mirror Mirror.’ So much time gets spent on this show clucking tongues at the ethical implications of brainwashing that it’s rarely pointed out that Things Could Be So Much Worse. Until last week’s double episode, where the warm, oaky comfort of the L.A. dollhouse is contrasted by the antiseptic basement nightmare, and Topher’s spastic but ultimately endearing quirks are put up against Summer Glau – who appears to be an old-school mad scientist in a 20-year-old girl’s body (right down to the irritated babbling and the dead-arm deformity).

More evidence that TV wants to make my birthday a happy one? It is giving me back “Better Off Ted,” which returns to ABC tonight at 9:30 (EST).

And while we’re on the subject (because it’s shaping up to be a TV-centric week, why not?), ‘24’ abuses me every single year, but every December, when  I see commercials where Kiefer Sutherland trains a gun on someone, I get giddy all over again. Yelling! Guns! ‘Splosions! Lady President! KABOOOOOOM!!!!

Okay, ’24.’ You got me again. But this time try to ease up on the “Torture is always justifiable” angle you pushed hard in the first half of season 7, hm?

(Checking out the season finales of the only shows on TV worth watching, part two: The Office, 30 Rock, 24, and How I Met Your OfficeMother):

“The Office”
After the extended dramatic arc of Michael, Pam and Ryan manning their own (ill-fated) company, followed by the dance/breather episode, I wondered what tone the finale would bring.

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24-bauerIt’s taken me about seven years to accept this, but… “24” would be great if it wasn’t “24.”

Let me try that again.

If “24” weren’t beholden to its central conceit – a series of catastrophic events occurs over the course of 24 hours – it would probably be the greatest action series of all time.

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