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The many plots of 24

So 24 is back with another season of what will probably be more Jack-less episodes, at least if the premier has anything to show. While it’s good to have 24 back on and fulfilling my Monday night television viewing, one beef I’ve had with the show since I’ve been watching is the sheer number of plot lines and conflicts to try and manage. I’m not saying you need a notepad to keep track, but after 2 hours lets take stock at what we’re up against here:

  • Should we invade Africa? Isn’t that general guy mad at Jack?
  • The undead Tony shows up in a terrorist cell
  • The president’s husband is self-investigating their son’s “suicide”
  • There’s a leak in the government (didn’t see that coming)
  • Our techno-infrastructure is under attack from undead terrorists
  • Jack has to face Senator Boddicker at a federal trial

…and those are just the ones I was able to remember and try to follow. I’m sure there are even more that I’ve forgotten or that will spring up starting on Monday’s regular time slot show.

And on that last bullet point, I trust I don’t need to bring up yet another connection to the opus that is Robocop. It seems the people behind 24 love Robocop as much as I do. But to continue the Six Degrees of 24, I did note and enjoy the brief show of Tommy Flannigan, otherwise known to me as the scarface guy from Gladiator. Gladiator is no Robocop, but they’re running out of Robocop cast members to exploit, so I guess they have to move on.

One nice surprise in this season is Janeane Garofalo as what I can only assume is the new Chloe. Only Janeane doesn’t look like she’s always just smelled a fart in car. I’m hoping she can add some much needed personality to the show.

Even with all the plots points and numerous Bauer-less scenes for the first two hours, I’m liking what we have going on. One place where I hope they’ve done things right is using the you-don’t-know-Jack routine with these new FBI agents. Jack Bauer is just “legend” to them so it’s fun to have us as the audience know better when someone tells Jack to “do what it takes” and then he proceeds to kill someone with a Bic pen (or maybe just a mean evil eye).

I think the weakest piece of the puzzle is the Africa scenario, even though I’d bet that’s going to be the underlying story since they did spend two hours on it in the premier’s premier a few month’s ago (although we can hope that was just a very long excuse to give Jack a reason to head back to the US).

If nothing else, Monday night can finally return to a good night to watch TV. Even though Terminator has moved to Fridays, which seriously jeopardizes my ability to watch it, at least I have something that keep my afterwork TV viewing safe. So far Monday’s schedule looks pretty solid

  • Seinfeld from 7p – 8p
  • 24 from 8p -9p
  • Wrestling from 9p-10/11p
  • CSI from 10p – 11p (assuming they have new episodes)
  • Real news/Daily Show/Colbert from 11p on

Now if only they could coordinate the rest of my favorite TV shows into another single night that makes sense. I just can’t keep up with all this day-to-day shows. It takes too much effort.

9 Comments

  1. Renee Renee January 12, 2009

    Love the new layout, dude! Very sharp.

  2. Jen Jen January 12, 2009

    I know I am usually doing a million things while 24 is on but I hate this show. Every episode seems to be the same thing. I watched most of the very first season then I just lost interest. It really bored me after a while. I want My Own Worst Enemy back. :(

  3. Brian Brian January 13, 2009

    So the second 2-hour premier of 24 was pretty good. It tied together all the plots into the one Africa plot as we all suspected. But it was a Fart Face showdown, as Chloe and Jeanene squared off to see who could make the most wrinkled forehead.

    One thing I’m finding though is how something as charged as (fantasy) politics can either turn you on or off of a show. The whole invade/help Africa thing really bothers me. I don’t agree with it so I find myself getting mad at the show and characters. But as long as there are explosions, disaster, and the occasional death-by-pinky-finger, we’ll be happy. (But any show that can move you one way or another is a good show)

    And maybe it’s just me, but the whole “we’re real patriots” thing with the old CTU guys is a little played out. I get it, and it works within the context of things, but just seems like one of those concepts we’ve all be blasted with in movies and other TV to death.

    After six hours the show is pretty strong, I just hope they can keep things moving or I’ll be wanting My Own Worst Enemy back too. (But I can’t wait to have Life on Mars back on the air.)

  4. Chris Chris January 18, 2009

    I watched the end of the first season, and all of the second season and was totally addicted to the show. I didn’t start watching the 3rd season because after 2 episodes one of my night classes was starting, and I didn’t want to get into another season knowing I wouldn’t be able to watch the rest. For some reason (I think it’s name is Alistair) I haven’t gotten back into the show. It was always very intense and the episodes seemed to fly by, always leaving you with that great cliffhanger. I don’t know if the show is still like that, although I imagine it is. Maybe next season I will give it a try. Hopefully Al will be on a better sleep schedule, and I will be able to watch it regularly.

  5. Brian Brian January 18, 2009

    I didn’t start watching 24 until like the 4th or 5th season, so I can’t speak on the first few, but from what I hear from faithful, the past two season have been nothing like the first seasons. It seems this is mostly because there is less Jack Bauer in every episode. Last season and most of this season have been pretty Jack-less, leaving the “action” to the support characters, which means Oval Office debates, CTU hacker-offs, and bad guys laughing. Not much Jack.

    But this season has just started so hopefully business will pick up. I think about half of this season’s plot/story is pretty good.

    Honestly, you could probably start watching it now and you’d be fine. All you need to know is that Jack is fighting the bad guys, and everyone is now a bad guy.

  6. Jen Jen January 18, 2009

    You can always just get the DVDs too.

  7. Thee Thee January 19, 2009

    Well this season is starting out better than the last one. They’re much closer to the realm of possibility than in previous seasons when numerous badguys could sneak into super secure underground bunkers.

    I loved (and all credit goes to Mrs. Thee for calling this 30min before it happened)how Jack changed from light colored clothing to all black once he ‘joined’ the badguys. Luke Skywalker would be proud.

    I also like how they moved the moral/ethical problems from Jack to other charactors. Jack is no longer burdened by what is legal, just by what needs to happen; while the people who need Jack are bothered by this conflict. Leave the dramatic acting to actors more capable than Mr. Sutherland, so he can focus on shooting people.

  8. Brian Brian January 19, 2009

    Good call. Luke would be proud. I also liked how he magically got his Jack Sack back. He goes there without one and then it appears on his hip just as right as rain when he needs to go into Jack-mode.

    However, even if they let “Jack be Jack” this season, it makes little difference if they don’t give him enough screen time. And if he kills people too fast then he just needs more people to kill.

  9. Thee Thee January 20, 2009

    … and just like that 24 jumps right back into the beyond believable story lines again.

    First off (and I was going to give them a pass on this), the First Man would have a Secret Service detail larger than one 30 year old person. Secondly, and more importantly, having a Secret Service agent who is also a multi-murderer, including the son of the President and soon to be, the husband of the President is too much. The kicker is the motavation for all of them is money; money that some Col. from a poor African country is providing. Also, if you’re in the Secret Service money is not a motivator because there are ways to make a lot more money with a lot less risk for people with those skills.

    Heck, maybe the President’s Cheif of Staff is a international terrorist.

    If 24 wants to keep me watching they better pull the story line back into the realm of the possible.

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