Tuesday, March 24, 2009

24 = Muzak

I realized something about 24 last night. It has become a total background show for me. What I mean by background show is that I can watch it on in the background, go about other business like email, writing, reading, etc and still not miss any substantial plot points or moments of interest. It is like Muzak, with guns, yelling and horrendous national security. This change didn’t come on quickly. I have been tuned into the show for pretty much the duration. What I realized last night is that there is nothing new or particularly thought-provoking happening here. 24 follows such a template and format that, at this point, I am not sure what would even surprise me about it. For instance, last night Jack and Tony tracked down the WMD being brought in by Jon Voight and his Blackwater-like cronies (yawn), got in an intense firefight with the Gang who Couldn’t Shoot Straight (boring), rescued the WMD, got exposed to some kind of poison gas, got in another firefight, and finally lost the WMD (snooze). This all happened in about 10 minutes.

So much of this is recycled from previous seasons that I honestly think the writers have run out of ideas. They probably ran out of ideas three seasons ago actually. I don’t blame them. 24 is by all measures a concept show run amok. It was a long miniseries that kept getting re-upped because the idea was awesome and Keifer Sutherland was legitimately great as Jack Bauer. But concept shows only go so far. It would be like The Bachelor re-airing every season with the same exact guy looking for love. How many new scenarios could they put that guy in before it got totally ludicrous? (Oh wait…)

The 24, real time terrorist struggle, concept must be so mind-bogglingly difficult to write for that I actually commend the writers for still going at it. There are only so many ideas floating around there in the ether. I will watch the rest of the season, but short of machines launching Judgment Day beginning a war with the Jack Bauer-led resistance, there is little that would intrigue me about the ending.

1 comment:

  1. I noticed this as well. I used to love 24. And I still definitely don't mind it. I mean, who doesn't love chaos, and Keifer. But yeah... I rarely watch it anymore just because it had become such a 'no need to follow' show for me. I could tune in 4 weeks from now, and feel like I haven't missed a beat. Not good.