Tuesday, May 24, 2005

And Jack saves the day

...not that we all didn't know that he would.

But it's still fun. For those of you who have not been obsessively sitting in front of your televisions at 9:00 PM every Monday night - I'll spare you all the details. But I wanted to point out a few things that make 24 one of the best shows on television. Spoilers abound so read at your own risk if you're waiting for the DVD release.

- it's designed like a movie with character issues as well as a fantastic plot. We care about these people, and yet the producers are willing to axe characters if it works for the story. That makes us a little nervous during the entire show. Except for maybe Jack - everybody is expendable - and yet even he died last night. I could go on and on about this because there were some really great character moments - I knew what Jack was feeling...thinking. That's good stuff. I was as worried about his relationship with Audrey as I was about the missle headed towards a major US city.

- The threats they face are frighteningly realistic. And the bad guys - well, 24 took a risk by making most of the bad guys radical Muslims so soon after 9-11. I like it when they take risks. Yes, there are Muslims who are not suicide-bombing radicals (and we have Keifer's PSA to remind us of that - please!) but the fact is that they are the major threats to this nation - and remain so even in 2005.

- The plot is well-designed and twists you through one very long day. One plot beat leads to the next, and the next until you see how they are all connected together. And they are connected together. Some shows forget to make that work (case in point, Alias this season...). I think they were a little more lax on the real time aspect this year - I noticed several times where they didn't leave enough time for a character to actually do something (be somewhere) - but I can forgive that.

- The episodes were run back to back. This was a great thing I think because it was quite frustrating to hear "In two weeks" "In three weeks" during the promos for the next show. But waiting until next January for Day 5 - well, that's just too far away if you ask me.

- Bold ending this year. I can't help but wonder what will happen because Jack is basically a dead man. How are they going to get him back in a position where he can save the world again? I'm sure they will - but it's the how that's so much fun.

- Movie quality on television. If there were movies that were 24 hours long, this is one I'd actually sit through. I missed the first season of 24 - Jeff and I just weren't that interested in it. But FX ran a "24 hours of 24" that summer and we impulsively decided to tape it and give it a try. The six video tapes sat for a long time until one night, with nothing else to watch, we popped the first one in. It was all over and we watched three to four a night because we just couldn't wait to see the next episode. Very little can make me do that. Well - except for Lost. And that one's coming tomorrow...

So - stay away from 24 if you don't want to get hooked...cause a whole new day will be coming for Jack.