Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ode to 24

tick tick tick tick
previously on 24.........

Any of you guys watch this show?

I've been watching since the first episode of the show debuted back in 2001 and must say that in my opinion this is far and above one of the better shows on TV at the moment. Yes its occasionally really, really unrealistic, that's to be expected with any Hollywood output, but at the same time no show brings the intensity week in and week out that 24 does.

The show grabbed me from even before its debut when I read the format: 24 episodes each representing an hour in the day with each minute of real show time representing an actual minutes worth of action so basically you watch the proceedings evolve in "real time". Pretty nice concept considering that Hollywood seems to be short on ideas that don't involve reality TV these days.

And the shows premise of Jack Bauer (played by Keifer Sutherland) fighting all sorts of bad guys to keep America safe, although its been done to death previously, somehow still comes off pretty fresh because of the intensity of the show and the fact that they aren't afraid to have casualties from the various terrorist plots, bombs, gases and assassinations that they face. Actually the show was probably a little too realistic from the get go as episode one hot on the heels of 9/11 showed a plane getting blown up in the sky (filmed before the actual 9/11 I think they actually cut some of it because of that event.)

Image hosting by PhotobucketJack as a secret agent part CIA, part special forces, all patriotic soldier working for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) is the new quintessential American hero. A hero made necessary and ushered in by this new age where the ends justify the means, where we calmly talk about pre-emptive strikes and racial profiling, and heroes openly operate not in an arena where good and bad are obvious but in conditions where grey and cloudy are sometimes the best forecast one can hope for.

In other words Jack is a hero of the post 9/11 event. He kills, he maims innocents occasionally, he tortures on the regular, he lies, he operates outside the law but all to get to the source of the problem. We accept this more easily here in the post 9/11 world where the Guantanamo Bay detention centre exists. Who cares if a few innocents are tortured as long as the bad guys are caught right? The ends justify the means is Jack's motto and anyone is expendable in the cause as long as the final results are correct.

Forget Dirty Harry, Chuck Norris, Stallone or Terminator, Jack Bauer is the illest cat on TV right now. Yes as expected he escapes a lot of tight spots that the average guy would perish in but not without his fair share of grief. He's been tortured, shot, beat down, had a drug addiction, lost his wife, been ordered killed by the President in order to cover up a situation with the Chinese government but yet homeboy still survives (as well he has to for without Jack there is no 24).

Image hosting by PhotobucketAnd if Jack has had a rough time surviving the past five seasons well everyone else has had an equally tough time remaining unscathed in this show. Presidents conspire, presidents bumble in critical situations, "patriots" do evil all in the name of their country, and folk even the main characters who we grow to like as the hours progress sometimes have a hard time lasting from season to season. No one besides Jack, the driving force behind the show, seems to have been giving immunity from being knocked off at any point in a season. Nina, Michelle, Tony, Sherry, Edgar, President Palmer, even Jack's wife Terri all memorable characters, all dead.

Image hosting by PhotobucketSigh! If only Kim Bauer would be so fortunate. Kim, who's that? Kim is Jack's daughter who somehow always in the most unlikely events gets mixed up in the day's events, getting kidnapped more times than the average civilian contractor in Iraq, being shot at and even being chased by wild animals all the while providing not so necessary eye candy to the show.

Luckily her role has been phased out somewhat in the last two seasons.

Speaking of unlikely events, like Kim's random kidnappings, does anyone take bathroom breaks or eat on that show or do they only sneak bites of sandwiches hidden under their desks during commercials? For once I'd like to see the Pizza guy deliver a large pepperoni at least once during the season.

And how loyal is that CTU staff? No one goes home. Someone's family dies, like when Edgar's mom died in the nuclear plant fallout and he still remains at work. Folks get tortured, and staff torturing conducted by Jack or other staff seems to occur at least once a season, and the tortured person is back at their desk within two hours. Hey dont knock the staff torture its necessary sometimes, at least on tv. One can never be too sure about the dude you've known for years, who you chatted with at the water cooler this morning, now can you? Could be a sleeper agent even if you know his kids and family and you car pool together to work. Could all be an elaborate plot by the bad guys. Speaking of which ever wonder how staff torture plays out at the company picnic? "Hey Phillips what's up guy? I haven't seen you since you injected me with that Sodium Pentathol and hooked me up to that electric chair the other day, ha ha ha, ah yea those where good times man, good times. So how've you been? Tortured any other innocent co-workers lately?"

Yep, CTU staff is crazy loyal. Even when they have near death experiences, because CTU is the most unsecured place in a crisis and is always being infiltrated or bombed or gassed, the staff who survive always shake it off right away and come straight back to work just in time to save the day. No one even has to call in the grief counsellors! What dedication!

Well clearly nobody at CTU aint West Indian cause family dead, bombs, gas, illness ya see me any crisis would have to wait cause I man would be on leave. If I was on the show they would have to re-name the show 24 + 3 weeks sick leave. Don't care hgow much money I was mekkin ya see me I would be heading home. And don't even mention torture at all cause if it was torture they wouldn't see me again they would just be hearing from my lawyers.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNow if Jack has been the main hero and protagonist of the show the show is not without its memorable sidekicks and co-stars (most of them dead by now) although the one beef here I would state is that besides Nina Myers all of the bad guys have been plain forgettable. I mean Drazen, Salazar, and Marwan weren't too bad and this new cat Henderson is intriguing but did they really come off as anything other than cannon fodder for Jack?

Some of the main characters we grew to love though include:

Image hosting by PhotobucketPresident Palmer because hey what isn't there to love about a black president especially one who brought such a strong air of leadership and dignity to the role. Plus dude was able to parlay that strong reassuring presidential role into some serious ad money as the AllState Insurance guy and now has his own series the Unit on one of the other networks. Way to go! Alas he was assassinated this season on 24 apparently on behalf of the current president.

Sherry Palmer, introduced as the president's wife in season one and went on to be his former wife as she schemed her way out of our good books but say what you want she was a bad bad lady.

Tony Almeida: Jack's CTU coworker and friend. Tony went to jail for putting his wife ahead of the national security. He also saved Jack's hide by helping him pretend to be dead when the President put a hit on his life.

Image hosting by Photobucketand last but not least Chloe O'Brien, the obnoxious co-worker who somehow has tonnes of fans. She's the smart alec, who knows her job but has absolutely no people skills so she just says whatever comes to her mouth. The woman full a back chat, her face always screw up and she's downright rude sometimes but somehow she always gets the job done.

Ah 24 I could go on and on but I shall not.

24. No white hat good guys and black hat bad guys here everyone has character flaws and even the president can be shady and oh someone has always got to take the fall because the top guys cant. Why? Cause even if they are incompetent, corrupt or downright evil for the sake of not compromising the position they hold someone else has to take the fall while they escape the blame for the fiascos that ensue. Its the American way isn't it?

Pretty realistic on that level I'd say.

Actually I wonder how popular this show would have been if it was being shown in another era not as conducive as today's geopolitical climate? I guess this was just a case where the Fox guys struck it lucky and gave us the right show at the right time.


Honest said...

I know a bunch of folks who are addicted to this show but I never saw an episode. All the gazillion L&O shows have my undivided attention at all times. :-).

Anonymous said...

I love that show. Good news is that we have it for at least 3 more seasons. I think Keifer Sutherland really deserves that $40 million but really and truly, the writers, the producers, the supporting cast...everybody does an excellent job.
Get some of the seasons on dvds and watch em in your own time, you'd be hooked too.

jelli said...

I have only seen this show one or two times. But from what I saw of it was a good show. I think it conflicted with some other show I was watching that is why I never got into it. I may have to catch the re-runs.

slybabyk said...

I watched the first season when I was in school in Holland and LOVED it... Moved to the US and had no clue what time it came on but I do give the box sets longing looks whenever I go into Best Buy. Very nice 'Ode' you've hit all the nails on the head *thumbs up*

Dr. D. said...

Umm...never heard of it.

Happy Easter to you, Mrs. J and the Didlet!

Quirky Creativity said...

Hey!!! I had NO idea you were into 24 too!!
lol me and some friends fully have 24 discussions EVERY tuesday morning via work e-mail!
And i still am in complete denial.... TONY IS ALIVE!!!
I just cant let him go yet!!

Amadeo said...

This post and some from other folks makes me feel like I'm mission out.

obifromsouthlondon said...

for some reason never followed the show. saw a few. excellent post dude

happy easter to you and yours

BajanSistren said...

I want to know how you could do a whole post about 24 and fail to mention my man, the longest and sole surviving Handsome Black Agent. Shame on you calling yourself a brother!

Nice post though, it was only this past Janurary that I finally caught the first few eps I had missed from season one (I'm yet to see the first hour) but it was such a thrill catching up on what I missed even though I knew how it was going to end.

Mad Bull said...

I haven't seen it. I must look out for it. What channel is it on? Wait? If its as popular as you say, I must be able to get all the info I need. I'll just google it. Peace out, have a good Easter.

Stunner said...

I've never watched it, only saw it being advertised while browsing thru the channels.

solitaire said...

Hello mi brudda!
Mi sorry mi was away fe so long. But mi did email yuh...yuh know mi a wuk long and hard fi Di Man! LOL.

Anyway bro. I LOVE this show. One of my best friends lent me his DVD sets (seasons 1 and 2). I just rented the first disc of season 3 and I'm so vex... I wish I had THE WHOLE THING fe watch. It's such a good show.

I also love President Palmer, but now I'm vex that I know 'im dead-up. Chuh man! I've missed out on SOOOO MUCH.

I think what clinched it for me was at the end of the first season... NINA!! I could NOT believe that turn of events. I didn't see it coming AT ALL. WUHLOSS!