On tonight's 24:
I think maybe next season the show should be called 15. Just as it did last year, the show flagged once the big tension builder was pretty much wrapped up, although I don't think they could have drawn that main story out much longer either. At any rate, the story now certainly isn't bad, it's just that it gets more and more contrived as things go on (a few too many coincidences) and while the stakes are certainly still high, I'm not really feeling the danger as much as I did early on, when I thought they might actually detonate a nuke in Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, though, the bit with Mike and Lynne has gotten me interested in what's going on with Palmer again, and it's always fun to see Jack's bad-ass-edness reinforced, as it's one of my favorite elements of the show. Shame Youssef isn't a little more like Jack... if he'd popped the two guys in the head who attacked him, the whole situation he's found himself in could have been avoided... and let's face it, the world could have used two or three less bigoted rednecks, right? :)
As for Buffy:
The constant inspirational speeches that don't inspire and the constant way that Buffy and her allies have been getting their asses handed to them is getting repetitive and frustrating. I thought when this season began we were going to get a more familiar mixture of light and dark, but so far the darkness has been overwhelming, and of late the light has been comedy with Andrew (who I can't stand) and other parts of the show that don't feel as funny. I'm actually starting to think it would have been better if Buffy hadn't been picked up by UPN, even though we've had some very solid episodes (the musical, for one) since that time, because overall the show is weaker now than it has been in quite a while. Of course, tonight's episode was better than most have been, and more Eliza Dushku is always good. Especially when she's flirting with Spike... now *that's* a Slayer/Vampire relationship I can get behind, because it lets both characters be who they are instead of having to dirty up one or clean up the other to make it work.