Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Oh, Bleep Bloop, remember when you were a good show? For like that first half-season or so? When everything was so tense and crazy and it felt like anything could happen, and it often did? When the terrorists made Jack shoot Nina, how awesome was that? But then you got that full-season order and it became completely apparent that you hadn't planned anything out beyond the first half, and the whole damn series went off the rails for at least another couple of seasons, but I gave up halfway through season 2, when Kim was attacked by that mountain lion? That was bad.

Perhaps I should make it clear that I'm talking about 24, here.

Anyway, Emory Netflixed the fourth season, and was pleasantly surprised, and what I saw impressed me too. Sure, the show was still offensive (I'm hard-pressed to think of another TV show that's more hostile towards the female gender), but the structure was much-improved, and the last several episodes were really exciting. Now season five has started, and I'm actually watching again, mostly due to the regime change that's added David Fury (former Joss Whedon second-in-command and Emmy-nominated for that awesome Locke episode of Lost) as co-executive producer. The other new co-executive producer is a guy named Manny Coto, who I'm sure Emory will be delighted to know wrote and directed the movie Star Kid, and no, I'm not kidding about Emory being delighted. Anyway, Fury's enough to get me watching again.

I'm pleased to report that the first four episodes were really strong. An explosive beginning (please pardon the pun), that picked off some key supporting characters from past seasons (Haysbert! Noooooooo!) and then plunged ol' Jack Bauer smack dab in a hostage crisis at the Ontario airport was solid from start to finish. And it was actually an ARC! The four episodes are clearly one complete story, laying the groundwork for more plots to come out over the course of the day. Gone is the sense that they're just making this up as they go, and while that does distract from the nail-biting "anything can happen" vibe, it's also... oh, what are the words I'm looking for... oh, right, NOT BULLSHIT. If you don't watch it, you should start. I think it's going to be okay from now on.

Oh, Emory's also decided to keep track of all the dudes Jack Bauer kills over the course of a season, since one of our running gags is what a homicidal maniac Jack is. I believe the count after the first four episodes is up to 6, which seems low for Jack, but keep in mind that he wasn't allowed to kill all those FBI and Secret Service guys he had to scrap with when they thought he had assassinated Palmer. I'm sure that number will kick right up now that Jack's back at CTU.


Blogger Liz said...

If Emory wants a place to post his findings online, I'd make him a page on SMRT-TV.

Or would that mean that Emory had a BLOG, and (combined with his cell phone) bring about the end of the world?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

Last night I dreamed exclusively about Jack Bauer and Ramona Quimby. At one point Jack killed James Cromwell in cold blood with a large shard of glass. Ramona had some conflict over school library fines.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Man, I remember when I first noticed how sexist the show was. The formula was this: Is female X a rape victim and/or a total moron? If not, is she outright evil? If she's neither, then she's certainly SECRETLY evil.

So far the new season is doing better. But we shall see...

12:25 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I saw an interview with Kiefer where he basically said that they had purposely made the first four like a miniseries since they new they were going to do that. They didn't know they were going to do that for season 4, which is why it didn't work as well.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

My totally hetero man love for Jack Bauer knows no bounds (totally hetero. I swear.) I love the way he just knocks dudes out if he needs something from them, be it a helicopter or a bitchin' FBI jacket. They should do a mini-webisode that flashes back to Jack working on that oil rig and shows him sleeper holding some dude instead of just asking to borrow a wrench.

Also, Frank you should write that 24 meets Ramona Quimby fan fiction.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

In my dream they were separate storylines. But you're right. They're clearly begging to be combined.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Mary-Lynn Rajskub turn out to be evil too?


10:18 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

No, she's still cool. She helped Keifer big time in the first four hours, since she was pretty much his only friend not shot, blown up, or put in a coma in the first 15 minutes. There's also a subplot involving Jean Smart this season that seemed like it would be bad news, but it's playing okay so far.

I anticipate that the best moment this season will be when Tony wakes up, hungry for vengeance. You don't fuck with the Patch.

8:37 AM  

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