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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jack....

After missing Seasons Four and most of Five, I've started watching 24 again this year. I missed the "four hour premiere event", so I'm not entirely sure what's going on, but I know that one nuclear bomb has been detonated in LA and there are four more out there, somewhere. (Which has to make Jack crazy, since he spent half of the day in Season Two successful trying to prevent a nuke from being detonated in LA -- and now, a few years later, somebody else does it.)

I don't know what makes 24 so compelling, really, because the cold hard truth is that great whacks of the show are downright boring. Seriously. One quarter of each episode consists of people lurking about the periphery of the Presidency of the United States, at least several of whom are nefariously scheming for their own ends; another quarter of each episode consists of people at CTU walking up the staircase to the offices, or alternately glancing up at the offices to see if they're being watched by the BossMan or glowering at their computer screens while they hack into various systems or process incomplete data procured by Jack.

That just leaves about twenty-four (!) minutes or so each episode for Jack, who is usually driving from one place to another, while muttering in rapid-fire fashion directives to Chloe, usually with the helpful reminder that "We're running out of time!". He's always looking for someone to whom he refers by surname only: "We haven't found Fayed yet!" "We have to locate Saunders!" "Where is Graham!" I think it would be fun to have Jack going up against the IRA, so he can say into his eternally-charged, never-roaming cell phone, "We're running out of time to find McGillicuddy!"

And when he's not doing things like that, Jack is torturing the bejesus out of people, or exorting them to "Put down your weapon!", or just looking hopelessly grim in the face of it all.

Ach, who cares. It's still a fun show, even if it's pretty much a parody of itself by this point. They have the United States being led by its fourth President in four years, and the current President was present at the violent death of the former President's ex-wife while that President actually was President!

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