Sunday, January 11, 2009

24: It's Back And...

I'm bored. I gave up on 24 before the end of last season. At least, I think I did, as I have only vague memories of it, but I may have watched through to the end. Who knows... it was all so long ago, and had long past the point of stupid.

Understand, I loved 24 at the outset. I was willing to roll with the ridiculous amnesiac plot in the first season, I have a certain fondness for the Kim/Cougar second season bit (if only for the running gags, and for Johnny Drama as survivalist nut who's hard up for a date) and I thought the show picked up again in its fourth and/or fourth season (like I said, they all kind of blend together for me at this point). I didn't even mind the obvious right-wing wet dream that the show represented. Hell, West Wing was a liberal wet dream, so if I don't have any problem with that, I really shouldn't have a problem with 24.

But the new season takes an entertaining, dumb-but-fun action show with right-wing tendencies and turns it into a polemic about how useless the UN is, how right the U.S. is to unilaterally invade a country, how important torture is and how any senator questioning someone about using torture is clearly the bad guy in the room. It also saddles us with the same tropes of moles, overly convoluted sinister plots and various other credibility-straining plot and character developments, which would be OK if they were at least *new* credibility-straining plot and character developments. Worst of all, perhaps, is that after giving Tony Almeida (second best character on the show after Jack) a pointless bitch death in the prior season, they bring him back with a half-assed explanation and use him for either a dumb role (if he's what he appears to be in the first two episodes) or something we've seen plenty before (if in fact he's deep undercover).

I'd say more, but Alan Sepinwall pretty much nails it.

Life's too short, and there's too much good TV (Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, new 30 Rock/Office/Chuck) on the way in a few weeks to waste precious hours on this. I'll check back in if I hear it gets better, but I don't expect that to happen.


Trip said...

Can't wait for new Burn Notice episodes! I have no problem watching that or BSG instead of 24.

Johannes said...

Randy, have you tried MI-5, or Spooks as it is called in Britain? I just started watching season 6 on DVD and I still love it. A friend who really liked 24 suggested that it was similar but better.

Randy said...

I watched a couple episodes of MI-5, but haven't really sat down and watched it. It's available on-demand at Netflix, so I'm sure to watch it at some point.