Wednesday, February 23, 2005

One Day of TV

Almost four years ago I got hooked on a high-concept television show. The style of show had never really been done on television before, but had several stints in Hollywood... the idea of the show was to have it play out in real-time, where the events happened in a minute-by-minute time line. Critics and viewers were skeptical of this idea, but Kiefer Sutherland and Fox made sure that 24 was a success. From the first show, I was hooked, and I've watched the show every season since then.

Now, 24, like any other show, has its ups and downs. We suffered through seasons two and three with Kim getting into mess after mess, but we also stood up and cheered with Sherry Palmer came back into the mix to spice things up. If someone wanted to get technical, they could call shenanigans on the show since it isn't REALLY 24 hours long (rather it's closer to 18.5 hours long), but that's just getting nitpicky.

No, I've got other issues with the show, and week by week those issues are becoming more and more painful:

  • Since the show is real-time, EVERYTHING is by the minute.
    It's the worst form of foreshadowing I've ever seen in a television show. "When will you get here?" "I'll be there in about 17 minutes." WHO SAYS THAT??? Granted, these people are trained government officials, but Jack seems to be the ONLY person who's that precise and NEVER gets held up by traffic.
  • Anyone else tired of the recycled storylines?
    Someone inside CTU is a mole/double-agent... My "family member" is in trouble, which impairs me to do my job... This is the absolute worst thing that could happen on US soil, ever... My name is Jack Bauer, and I scream everything, every episode... I don't trust Jack Bauer, but he's the best we've got... and many, many more.
  • Interrogations...
    This year I think we've seen about 14 different people being interrogated. Now, I'm sure that in real life the government gets a lot of information by interrogating people, but that doesn't make for good storytelling on TV. Or maybe it does, just hook me up to that weird helmet thing that has ear-piercing noise and I'll probably tell you that I'm a girl and wearing pink undies (now you're wondering, eh?).
  • Fox, hire some acting coaches, or better writers.
    I can't tell what the problem is exactly, it could be a mix of both. Each year the level of acting, and storytelling, has dramatically decreased on the show. I've already mentioned the "Kim crap" from seasons past, but this year takes the cake. The character James Heller (played by legendary monotonic actor, William Devane) paints such a dreary bad-acting coat of paint over the entire cast, that every other character must utter out their lines in equally bad ways. Everything is so formulaic and "from point a to point b," that if next season continues this I won't watch. The LONE bright spot is Jonathan Ahdout (who plays the teenage Behrooz), who truly looks like he's going to crap his pants every time his father or mother tell him to do something. Now THAT'S acting!
  • Can one day have 24 cliffhangers?
    Apparently so.
  • Would a day like this...
    ...have the President in a plane for 12 straight hours, just flying around? ...ultimately be decided by a group of 12 people inside CTU? so poorly planned by terrorists for four years that ONE man could solve it all in a matter of 18 hours? ...not show anyone taking a nap or using the restroom?

I could go into more, but I won't. The show is still very fun to watch, but something needs to change. How about a different storyline completely? How about an entirely new cast? Or how about dropping it for a season or two?

I don't know what the answer is, that's why I don't work in television. But if something doesn't change, then I'll be forced to take my 24 (18.5) hours of life back and devote it to some other show.