Wednesday, July 11, 2007

24 Season 7: Starting Over!?! Season 6 Sucked!?! Do Tell!

Hmmm. So I guess the first episode script I read a few weeks ago may now be complete trash. A loyal reader/commentor has pointed me in the direction of the latest and greatest news from the 24 camp. Here's a few snippets from the article:

Execs at the Fox hit have scrapped virtually their entire story line for the season, delaying the start of production by roughly three weeks. According to sources, the 11th-hour time-out was called after the network put the kibosh on a costly plan to shoot a number of episodes in Africa.

Wow! Scrapped the entire story line? That's pretty crazy to do, especially since they were so close to principle photography for next season. It also sounds like they were just going to try to find a suitable area around LA to fake the Africa scenes... heh, okay.

Let's see, what else. Oh, this is what Mary Lynn Rajskub had to say about the situation:

"I don't know what's going on over there, but they're going crazy," says the scene-stealer, who learned only last week that Chloe would be returning. "We usually start [back up] at the end of July, and I don't think we're starting until a couple of weeks into August now. It's kind of exciting, because I think [the postponement] means that they're really having to dig in there and come up with new stuff."

So Mary Lynn only found out last week that she was returning? What would be the point of the whole baby story line from last year if she didn't return? And please, you think this is exciting to have an ENTIRE SEASON RE-WRITE right before you start filming? If that statement doesn't have your publicist's finger prints written all over it, I don't know what does.

As the article mentions, and what I see to be icing on the cake, is that this news oddly came out the SAME DAY as this news:

The show's creative team was no doubt already feeling the pressure: Day 6 was considered to be about as explosive as a wet firecracker, so for Season 7 they really needed a plot that was incendiary. In fact, news of the setback comes on the same day the semiannual Television Week critics' poll (in which yours truly participated) named 24 the second-worst show on TV, behind ABC's best-not-traveled October Road.

What have I been saying all along!?! This show took a MAJOR dive TWO seasons ago... and critics are just now catching up. I'm sorry, shows don't go from Emmy-winning to second worst on TV in 6 months. That's residual. It's ingrained. It's also hilarious that they decide to scrap it the same day they find out their show blows.

News about season 7's new turn can only come fast enough. I guess they have three weeks to come up with something. Maybe they're awaiting next week's Emmy-nominations to find out if their show truly sucked. Crystal ball time – they'll get a few nominations, for technical stuff. Zero in the acting, or genre, categories.

If only there were "Worst of" awards...


bryan h. said...

It'll be pretty amazing next season, to be watching new episodes of 24 and think, "wow, they came up with all this in three weeks." Some context would be helpful, though. How long did they spend thinking up season 5? Between 10 and 12 days? And how long did it take to mastermind season 6? A couple afternoons or so?

I still have affection for the first four seasons, but I think my anticipation for season 7 has officially turned ironic with this news.

JBauer2977 said...

I don't think they spend much time writing any episodes. For example, isn't it widely understood that they write everything on the fly, and they don't even know what's going to be happening as soon as four episodes in the future?

I just hoping that they come up with something way better the first episode synopsis that was originally posted. Chloe and Morris in Division? Jeez. That's like exactly the same thing as CTU, only under a different name. And LEAVE THE BABY OUT OF IT!!!

Chris said...

to me, this might be the best news in a while. Not because they are scrambling, but because the past few years have gone downhill due to the shows increased popularity and "critical acclaim" - the writers were getting positive feedback for putting out garbage. Each year got more and more ridiculous, and they couldn't go one episode without a shootout. Instead of writing a really good season, they were constantly trying to get a new viewer with every single episode. You can probably blame FOX for that one. The writers just gave into the pressure from the network.

Now that the show is getting bashed, maybe they can let the creativity flow a little bit. Unfortunately, I doubt a good season can be written in 3 weeks. I can already see the inconsistencies caused by multiple writers who aren't communicating with each other.

Reinhardt und Dario said...

I read this on one page:

Preceding the poll, TheEnvelope released predictions for the nominations that were stunning. First, the actual Emmy voters are calling for Heroes, not Lost, to get a nomination in the Outstanding Drama Category. Secondly, they are in agreement that 24 will also get nominated, despite delivering a famously bad season.

How lame would it be if they won?

JBauer2977 said...

It's funny how a lot of people say that 24 fell apart TWO years ago rather than this year. I remember watching Season Five earlier this year for the first time, and although it was exciting, after the season was over I thought that things were getting a little ridiculous because it was too fast paced. The thing that killed Season Five for me was the fact that for like ten episodes, Jack was trying to find the recording that implicated Logan. He finally got it back to CTU to be analyzed, and that Miles guy managed to completely erase that recording with one swipe of his hand, like he was using The Force from Star Wars. Then they jumped into the same repeated storyline of one gas cannister being left, and that rendered the previous TEN HOURS of the show a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!!! The only thing that saved Season Five for me was the incredible acting of Gregory Itzin and the actress who played Martha Logan (forget her name right now).

Even Season Four jumped around way too much. The first 1/3 of Season Three was garbage, and lots of people say that the 2nd half of Season Two was a letdown. So as truly great 24 seasons, that leaves Season 1, the first half of Season 2, the second half of Season 3, and select parts of Season 4. The rest of it borders on mediocre and ridiculous.

bryan h. said...

re: JBauer2977's post about 24 and it's good seasons:

I think this post makes an important point. There are really very few stretches of 24 that don't contain something either silly or ridiculous. The strength of the show (and until season 5 this was a significant strength) has been it's sense of excitement and suspense (not its "Wire"-like verisimilitude).

Season 6 (and, also, much of 5) was in that way not so out of character for the show. What those seasons largely lack is the good stuff that, in previous years, made it all worth watching anyway. The crappiness did not come out of nowhere, it just wasn't balanced by something that was actually mysterious and tense.

For my money, the 2nd half of season 2 is their best work. I think it's thrilling, brutal and even touching. The second half of season 3 and the first half of season 1 are close behind. The first season, again, just to my way of thinking, is severely hobbled by the amnesia subplot, Teri's sudden descent into child-like inanity, and the presence of Dennis Hopper.

JBauer2977 said...

I liked the 2nd half of Season 2. I actually liked it more than the first half. However, when I talk to 24 fans, the general consensus seems to be that they felt that the second half of Season 2 was a bit of a letdown. Perhaps because the nuclear subplot was over? You can't have nuclear bombs going off every show!

I thought that the the end of Season 2 was brilliant. I like how the antagonist was not a terrorist, but a businessman who wanted to start World War III so that he could make more money for himself through oil. It was an interesting twist.

JBauer2977 said...

By the way, bryab h.

What you said regarding the crappiness being balanced out by something mysterious and tense:

When preposterous and seemingly impossible things happen in a TV show or movie, you're supposed to put it out of your head with something called "suspension of disbelief". Seasons 1, 2, and 3 had that. It contained a story that was so tense and so exciting that you would forget about the ridiculous things like driving across LA in ten minutes with no traffic. Or at the very least, put it in the back of your mind. The problem with Season 6 was that there was nothing exciting to make you forget about the wacky stuff that was going on, so you weren't able to "suspend disbelief". The disbelieving part became the focus of the entire show for me, with the absence of a good plot.

For example, we all mocked the writers for having Wayne Palmer coming in and out of comas so many times. But if there had been a good story surrounding it, the majority of us wouldn't have cared. Or all of the CTU bickering. There's been bickering in CTU in the other seasons, but that wasn't the main focus. In Season 6 that was the entire plot for CTU, and it became utterly ridiculous and unwatchable.

bryan h. said...


i hope i didn't come off like i was disagreeing with you; you and i are on the same page about suspension of disbelief. that's exactly what i was trying to get at. (we also agree that the last half of season 2 is great, even though it seems underrated among 24 fans.)

as you say, 24 has always relied on our indulgence of their cheats on things like driving across town, never-dying cell phone batteries, never even letting the fact of everyone being awake 24 consecutive hours ever actually affect anything (nobody ever gets drowsy, delirious or confused).

i agree that in the early seasons it was easy, even a pleasure, to suspend disbelief. for the most part in those years, the producers seemed to have an earnest enthusiasm for the sort of diabolically suspenseful story telling that has totally evaporated.

JBauer2977 said...

bryan, I agree with everything that you said. Hopefully the writers will listen to people like us so that they can improve next season.

Chris said...

they wont listen. They stopped make a good show for the real fans a few years ago. Now it's all about getting the new fewer and making the ratings go up.

I disagree on the points that the show has always been ridiculous, but we've looked the other way cuz it was exciting. I agree, there have definitely always been ridiculous parts or scenes, but it wasn't the whole story. Now basically everything that happens makes you yell out "come on" at the TV. Not to mention it's the same story over and over again. Think about it, the last 3 seasons have all involved Jack NOT working at CTU, but then somehow he gets thrust back into it. It's just stupid.

I liked the idea posted on here last year that this season should be about Jack escaping/being rescued from a Chinese prison. That would have been great. Instead we have to see every season be about a terrorist attack. Remember the 1st season was written and shot before 9/11 and had nothing to do with terrorists trying to kill a mass group a people. Since then, every season has been about a huge terrorist plot.

Maybe we should make a show about all of us trying to kill Osama Bin Laden because he ruined 24.