Monday, November 26, 2007

24. Why it Sucks

I used to really like '24', the hit US thriller series from Fox but I'm now in the middle of season 3 and have fallen out of love. There's no escape either, since Ms T has hacked my Lovefilm account so now I'm stuck till season 6. Anyway here' s Hendo's list of unfortunate things about this series, which everyone else in the whole world thinks is utterly brilliant.

1. '24' means doing 24 episodes per season. Because of the commercial formatting in US TV that's 45 minutes an episode. And the plotlines just aren't strong enough. By episode 15 it starts to feel like a sort of shaggy dog story, which is not far from the truth since the writers do the scripts as the crew are filming.

2. Jack Bauer. Not rounded enough as a character to support all this, because the format can't allow character development.

3. Kim Bauer, his hapless daughter, who rarely rises above victim status. In season two it was clear the writers were desperate to integrate her into the drama but couldn't work out how, resulting in a run of hilariously bad luck, ie she gets a lift, it's from a rapist, she goes into a 7-11, interrupts a robbery. If you were Kim you'd never leave the house. But the ceiling would collapse on you.

4. Torture. The first resort of the Counter Terrorism Unit. The frequency of this even makes the US military queasy. It's so unrealistic too, with people always giving things up after being brutalised a bit. Personally I'm fascinated by interrogation and recently uncovered this excellent collection of essays written by intelligence US experts when it became clear that simply abusing terrorist suspects was producing nothing much of value. Real questioning by spooks is a long long way from what you see on the telly.

5. It's as well all the terrorists are lcoated a short drive from Bauer's headquarters, and not in Iowa, or somewhere.

6. The President. The CTU never leaves him alone. Mr President shall we do this, shall we do that. If I were him I'd go ex directory or something. And he's always getting shot or blown up anyway! CTU are useless.

7. In 24, the US president spends all his time in LA. The real one takes his breaks in Texas, or at Camp David, nuff said.

8. CTU is mainly made up of people from terrorist units who've penetrated the organisation. And the staff wander around making mobile phone calls. In reality security service HQs are constructed to produce a Faraday Cage, which prevents mobile phones and radio eavesdropping devices.

9. Bauer makes phone calls while driving!! And never has a handsfree!! Haven't they heard of bluetooth?

10. Can't think of any more. But that's enough isn't it?

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