Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jack Bauer...The Son your Mother Wishes She Had

(Boop. Beep. Boop. Beep. Boop. Beep)
Time to talk about 24; a show I never watched a second of before the new season started last fall. Originally, I thought the idea of having each episode be an hour out of a day was wack. In the past I have been guilty of rushing to judgement, or condemning someone or something based on a preconceived notion. When you engage in this type of behavior, you invariably get it wrong from time to time. Usually when I am proved wrong I get mad...but in cases like these whats the point? I get to watch a show I enjoy that I never would have watched before.

Yesterday the show reached the 1am-2am hour; this season started at 7am so we only have about 4 hours left. As I said before, I never watched 24 until this year. But if each day is as action packed as this one, I'm glad I don't live in that world. Jesus Christ things have been hectic. I'm not going to go into detail about everything that has happened, because that would take way too long. Also, if you aren't a fan of 24 and are still reading, I don't want to turn you away. I just want to talk about my observations of it.

The star of this show is Jack Bauer, moodily played by Keifer Sutherland. Keif never stood out for me in his other works, but he was born to play Bauer. Actually, he should seriously look into changing his name to Jack Bauer, considering what a badass he is on the show. Bauer is an agent at CTU, the government agency that he used to work for. At the end of season 4, something happened that forced him to fake his own death. Events that take place in the current time force him back out, where he gets involved with a Presidential scandal. Up until last night's episode, the President had been killed, along with half of CTU, dozens of civilians, several high-ranking government officials, and many collateral casualties. Yet Jack remains, fighting the good fight and miraculously staying off the death list .

("DO NOT make me shoot you Movie Career...you have done enough damage already.")

24 is a great hour of drama; there is no denying that. Yet there are some little things that I have noticed and want to share. For instance, I love the way the show picks up extra characters during an episode, only to have them killed by the end. In the past few weeks, Jack needed a bank manager to let him into his bank to gather evidence. The man complies, but by the end of the show he is dead in the backseat of a truck. The next week, a security guard gets mixed up with Jack and has to fight off the enemy. Jack survives the hale of bullets, while Security Guard #2 gets wacked.

Another thing is Jack's Hood. I have never seen anyone but Jack Bauer become invisible after putting on a hood. You know when he scowls and throws up the hood...It's Go Time. It happened just last night while Jack was trying to board a plane full of government personnel. First, he jumped on the gas tanker that was going to fill up the plane's fuel supply. Then, he took a not-so-silent phone call from the top of the tanker, while driving towards the plane. Finally, the fueling tank stopped, and Jack needed to find a way onto the plane. Enter...The Hood. Jack whips the hood over his head and grabs two suitcases, then proceeds to walk up the conveyor belt carrying luggage into the plane. He enters the cargo area and hides, awaiting take off and next weeks episode. Harry Potter should look into getting a hoodie instead of an Invisibility Cloak...The Hood seems to be fool proof.

(The camera man paid for his extreme close-up with a Columbian Neck Tie)

Look, no matter what the a t.v. show portrays, it doesn't represent reality at all. 24 would be the bloodiest show ever if Fox showed what happened when people really get shot in the neck. That being said, anyone who takes a television show as a true view of reality is an idiot anyway(yes, even those of you who watch reality shows). I'm assuming Jack's previous 4 days have been similar to this, in which case he would have been dead a long time ago. This being tv, however, Jack can kill many while being injured little.

Take the episode a few weeks ago when he went from being Jack Bauer to a cross between Rambo and Solid Snake. I wish they showed Jack's stats after each mission, like in a video game. He would be hovering around 89% accuracy with the hand gun, accounting for 15 Murder/Death/Kills, with 9 head shots and no health used. He was trying to get a woman's daughter back when he stormed the stronghold of the enemy, silently murkin' four dudes with his huge knife and bare fists. Then he sniped out two other henchmen, managed to save the girl and her mom, but let the evidence get away. Hey, nobody's perfect. If he got the evidence too, what would he do next week?

(This is how a President should look and act)

This week also saw the apparent demise of Secretary of Defense James Heller. He is the father of one of Jack's love interests from the past, but his introduction into this stream of events was, for me, awsome. This role is played perfectly by William Devane, who I think should start getting more movie roles based on this performance. In the show, he behaves exactly how the President should be behaving; patriotic, fighting for the truth. His fatal mistake was to go against the star of the show, which probably led to his immediate dismissal. Jack has a recording of the President admitting his involvement in the days events, but when he gives it to Heller, Heller doesn't like Jack's plan. So Bauer is on the receiving end of one of the worst blows to the face ever taken on non-cable television. Heller tries to make the President resign, but he himself is forced to resign. That resignation didn't last long, as Heller just drove his car into the ocean after being followed by a chopper. Did he survive the impact? Was there an air pocket he can breathe in until help comes? Tune in next week...

You know what, I will tune in next week. I will continue to watch 24 because Fox doesn't fuck around with it. Of all the shows I watch week in and week out, 24 is the most dependable. The main point is that it is on every Monday at 9, no matter what. Unlike Lost, where you get two episodes and then three weeks off...then another episode and two more weeks off. That sort of unforgivable scheduling makes it tough for viewers to stay interested and keep track of things. Also, the format of Lost makes these breaks supremely annoying because you have a big build up, then two weeks of let down. 24 also avoids the trappings of another Fox show Prison Break, by giving the audience something during the show, but leaving them wanting more. Fox took a 4 month break with Prison Break, and it had great ratings when it left us with the guys in the middle of a breakout. Now it is back, and these fuckers are still in jail. BREAK THE FUCK OUT FOR CHRIST's SAKE. 24 keeps momentum rolling and makes you remember that you have plans next Monday at 9pm to get Bauered to the Face.


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