As I do every Monday night (during the season), I’d like to share some thoughts about 24.
No, not about tonight’s underwhelming episode (although we’ll get to that). But about 24 in general. I’ve been watching the show since the beginning hours of Day Two. I’ve been blogging about Jack’s adventures here at the Kingdom since the first hours of the awesome Day Five. I like to think I know the show. I also pay attention to my blog statistics. I don’t get thousands of visitors each day (more in the 20s or 30s each day), but I get a solid number of people each week who arrive at the Kingdom having searched for something 24-related. Taking some of these most popular searches reveals a lot about what interests 24 fans. Here are some of the most popular terms which have brought 24 fans to the Kingdom:
- Jack Bauer stabbed
- Jack hotwire bulldozer
- Jack Bauer screwdriver
- Jack Bauer German Glasses disguise
- Jean Smart Cleavage
- Tony betray Jack
- Jack Bauer Mad Cow
- Brian Hastings Hunchback
- Jonas Hodges
- Jonas Hodges killed a guy on a balcony
- Jonas Hodges killed a guy with a liquor bottle
- Buchanan Yoga
- Charles Logan horny
Quite an interesting list. Most of these are about Jack and the various ways he’s taken out bad guys or killed their lackeys. The ones that aren’t about Jack are about other, interesting main characters the show has had over the years. I can say that I have never gotten Web hit from any of the following (and we’ll only cover those plots from the time I’ve been blogging):
- Wayne Palmer action scene
- Wayne Palmer coma
- President Wayne Palmer
- Chad Lowe convincing villain
- Dumbass teen terrorist
- Dana and rubes
- The IRKian first family
- Janis Gold, effective FBI agent
- Martika and Ike Dubaku romance
- Audrey coma
- Jack Bauer Rain Man
Unlike the previous list, I’ve gotten none (or close to none) Web hits from people searching for these terms (or similar items). Leading to the conclusion that not only are plotlines such as those on the second list not interesting, but people don’t want to find out more (or read more) about them. It’s understandable that 24 can’t feature 24 straight hours of Jack running around, killing people with staple guns, circular saws and other items you’d find in a hardware store. No, Jack is subject to the rules of real life and will get stuck in traffic.
The show needs supporting characters with plotlines to set up Jack, and occasionally, waste time. The thing is, in more recent seasons, those additional characters haven’t been worth paying attention to. The early days featured the Palmer family drama (which yes, was tedious in Day 3), compelling stories like the romance, break-up and re-romance of Tony and Michelle, and villains who you actually feared.
These days, the supporting characters are boring (or, as made popular by Kingdom fave Edgar) are killed off all too soon. The political plots are predictable re-hashes of what we’ve seen before. And the villains are cookie-cutter stereotypes who don’t even last long enough to get interesting. The two exceptions- Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges, who was Blofeldian in his evilness and David Anders as, well, he didn’t last long enough to get a nickname, much less have me care about his real name.
I can’t tell you who the villains are this season, except for some dude stuck in an oxygen chamber and his cronies hanging out in a diner. And I can’t tell you about a non-Jack storyline I care about. And I wish it weren’t that way.
I’ll continue to watch 24, more out of duty and the promise that Jack might do something awesome once every three or four hours. But it’s tough.
Now about tonight….
I don’t know why, but tonight was tough to follow. Sure, there was some good action at the hospital at the end, but a lot of tonight dealt with the aforementioned boring subplots. The important stuff: the IRKian President’s weasley brother is dead and his body was used as bait. The not-too-smart terrorists sent a suicide bomber to track him down. CTU Agent/Intern Owen, fresh out of 8th grade, successfully brought in the bad guy, but the bad guy fled to some high tech oxygen chamber.
And that’s all the interesting stuff. Some other thoughts:
-When they had the teleconference, I was expecting the general to talk about a military retaliation, or at the very least, how the national guard would help with the evacuation. Nope. He was there to talk about property values.
-Special Agent Freddy is acting like he’s never hidden dead bodies in a swamp before.
-So Ernie Anastos is handling breaking TV news tonight. Hope there are no stories about chicken on the rundown.
-If Hunchback Hastings heard Jack was arranging for CTU to bring Agent Renee to his apartment, how long would it be till the perv volunteers to set up the surveillance equipment himself?
-And I thought Jack was moving to LA and staying in a hotel during his time in New York. Can next season show Jack going apartment hunting? I’d rather watch that than Freddy and Dana dispose of the Mystery Machine.
What did you think?