Tuesday, May 01, 2007

LA Times: Is '24' running out of time?

Like I've said over and over again, 24 isn't doing so well. It's sick and has been for the entire season (I'd even argue that it was sick the last two seasons, as well), but after Salon's rant about the show and now the LA Times article, hopefully America will realize that 24 is a has-been. The article is called "Is '24' running out of time?," and it talks about how the fans are tired of the re-used plot points, how 24's ratings are dipping and the median age of viewers has increased.

Interesting. So you're saying that as more and more older people watch 24, the show becomes dumber, we're allowed to re-use plot lines and focus on torture? I'll tell you what, I don't think that's the best way to follow up your Emmy-winning season.

But what might be more telling is this quote from Executive Producer/Writer, Howard Gordon:

"I don't dispute it's been a challenging season to write for us. But it's reinvigorated our determination to reinvent the show. This year could be seen to be the last iteration of it in its current state."

How exactly was it challenging to write the show? Did FOX come in with a list of requirements?

  • Three pointless love triangles
  • Presidential assassination attempt
  • Nuclear bomb explosion on US soil
  • 25th Amendment
  • Endless chain of enemys
  • Introduce 7 characters that fall off the face of the Earth after a few episodes
  • Recovering alcholic
  • Mole in CTU
  • Jack has to bite someone to death
  • Whatever else sounds implausible

Please. And don't try telling us that there's a twist coming up for the finale which will change everything. No one's buying it, and apparently, 1/3 less of your viewers from the first episodes are watching it. Have fun doing all of your writing and tinkering, but you're not half as clever as you think you are.

But if you really want some ideas on how we can get back to the root of the show and make season 7 better, then please, take some of my suggestions.


ivan said...

"And don't try telling us that there's a twist coming up for the finale which will change everything."

And how abou this: Jack dies and Doyle replaces him. I think that is very possible.

I mean, look at Jack:
He's been through EVERYTHING bad that could or could not happen. It's becomming increasingly silly for him to work for CTU. There's no future for that character, no place the writers could go that would'nt be either totally stupid or re-used.

Now look at Doyle:
He's new, he has "mystery" surrounding him that the writers can explore (Denver, of course). There's not much we know about him, so there's much space for his developement, and new things that can happen. He was basically replaced Curtis, so why not replace Jack, too? Also, They are trying to make him into a good guy, crlaerly because they decided to kill off Jack and they don't want the new hero to be an asshole.

Seth Gunderson said...

Interesting thought, Ivan. While I like it, I don't think FOX is that extreme. Viewers would probably take a small airport hostage if Kiefer wasn't on the show anymore.

But to play off of your idea, maybe something happens to Doyle and Jack has to save him next season and that's when Jack kicks the bucket.

Chris said...

"I don't dispute it's been a challenging season to write for us..."

It's been even more challenging to watch. I've missed the last 2 weeks and don't even care.

Just make the f-in show about something other than terrorists attacks in Los Angeles. Oh, and make it so you don't insult the intelligence of your viewers with the unrealistic events. I'm still waiting for Jack to catch a bullet with his teeth.

modifoo said...

...plus that K. Sutherland has already signed on for the next 2 seasons, so that would not be a good investment if they'd just kill him off.

Now, what would be cool if there happened something that would plausibly make it look like that Jack has switched sides, and fights for a truly "good cause" against all his "buddies" at CTU.

Something good and new and exciting and unexpected better be happening soon if they expect any fan to even bother watching the next season...

Chris said...

modifoo - Jack would need to actually have buddies at CTU for that to be a possibility. Let's break this down - other than Chloe, who there is it realistic for him to have a friendship with (even she is a stretch)? They started off the season Bill and Curtis being his "buddies" but in reality, they've spent all of 2 days with him. Bill came on half way through season 4, then jack went into hiding. Then they spent Day 5 together, and Jack was in China for the 18 months. Everyone else is new (milo was barely around in season 1)

At least in the first 3 seasons he was in the same office the whole time, so him having bonds with people was realistic.

I read that LA times article and I personally don't think the show will better again. In music, television, or anything like it, once it's gotten to this point, it almost never recovers. Find a new show. Seriously - if you don't watch heroes, buy it when it comes out on DVD. It's incredible.

ivan said...

Wow, chris. I never thought of that. Jack really does know Bill only for two days. Interesting. Good point.

But arguably, they are friends with Milo, because although he wasnt around much in season 1, he met Jack and he helped Jack save his Family. Also, he was a freelance guy working for CTU quite often, so they might have met off screen. (The same way Jack probably made friend with Michele between s2 and 3.)

Jonk said...

Jack and Bill's first on-screen encounter was the episode immediately after Air Force One was shot down on Day 4. Jack approached Bill upon entering CTU and there were no introductions or anything.
While this doesn't mean they already knew each other, it's not in the slightest bit implausible that they did. The writers didn't go to the trouble of establishing the exact nature of their relationship, but there was no evidence that Jack and Bill didn't know each other.
Remember that Henderson was also aware of Bill, possibly implying that Jack likely knew him prior to Day 4 as well.
For what it's worth, according to the character profile at the Fox website, Bill has been employed at CTU long enough to have worked at the New York and Los Angeles offices, as well as stints at "Division" in LA, NY, and Seattle. Perhaps the Los Angeles guys like Bauer and Henderson hang out with Seattlers like Buchanan in the off-season.