24 television program

The library has probably doubled its DVD collection over the past year or so, but a fair fraction of those new DVDs are reruns-on-disc of various television programs. The faithful reader of this blog (me) knows that I liked Buffy and was so-so about Lost. And now comes 24, which…. Well, frankly, it stinks.

I made it through the first episode of season one but I couldn’t bring myself to find out what happened after 9:00 a.m. A couple of weeks went by and I decided that people weren’t as enthusiastic back then as they are now, so the solution might be to watch a more recent season. So yesterday I checked out season three. I didn’t quite make it through the first episode.

I mean, like, it’s a complete stinker! Where does one begin to find fault with a turkey this rotten?

First, it’s a colossal soap-opera! I give it the Pearl Harbor award for overly-aggressive juxtaposition of romance and world war. (And 24 doesn’t have the excuse that Jerry Bruckheimer was involved. [I see that he is responsible for CSI, which explains a lot.] Also Kate Beckinsale is prettier than Elisha Cuthbert, but that’s neither here nor there.) Some flunky type is trying to get a job with “Langley” but will only go if they find his wife a job too. They don’t, so he tells her that the CIA just wouldn’t be the same without her. Then Jack‘s daughter (who suddenly in the past two seasons got a job with CTU and is a computer hacker besides) is having that we-should-tell-Jack discussion with her boyfriend of three months. Then the Mexicon drug dealer-cum-terrorist is having woman trouble (“Honey you promised you wouldn’t make my dad dump the spare corpses into a mass grave!”), and finally the president is too busy today to do anything more with his girlfriend the doctor except agree to take some prescription pharmaceuticals. All this before 1:44 p.m. in a show that began at 1:00 p.m.

Secondly: enough with the wiggly camera and things that obstruct my view. It was tiresome enough in The Bourne Identity and that was several years ago. (For all I know Bourne got it from 24, but I didn’t see them in that order.) It’s a cheap trick to add excitement to a lame story. I foresee the programs filmed in this manner will quickly be dated. Don’t count on anything filmed in jitter-vision to be showing on the “Classic Movie” channel in fifty years.

Third. Who decorates that office? Glass partitions everywhere and offices on multiple levels?

And finally: the technical jargon. (I won’t comment on the cinematic-standard ability of all computers everywhere to connect to all others, and whose interfaces all require six keystrokes to achieve any desired result. I won’t even speculate whether Apple paid more to have a Powerbook on Jack’s desk than it cost Dell to have lesser characters argue over a monitor duly featuring its logo.) No, I mean the jargon itself. Have mercy! The global internet is just sitting there. Mr. Google would be happy to show you to any number of sites where you could crib some l337 jargon.

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