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TV Review: 24 – A Newbie Tries to Join In

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It was my daughter who first clued me in, although it was Rush Limbaugh who really pushed me over the edge. The reasons were many and varied.

Daughter had been waxing on about Fox’s hit TV series 24 for over two years before Rush got on the bandwagon. Planned visits were always accompanied by a warning that we’d all have to watch 24 or I would simply have to leave early. Fortunately planned visits were arranged around nights that 24 was featured because, from what I had seen of this hit drama, there was entirely too much fire, bullets and mayhem in this show for my middle-aged sensibilities.

Not that I’ve ever been an anti-violence zealot. It’s more that I was a Dancing With the Stars sort than such as high drama. Besides, too often my brain cells get crossed when I try to follow a complicated plot but that could be middle-aged crossed-synapses as well.

But I tuned in anyway.

I was hooked, lined, and sinkered the very first show.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comFor the first time since memory allows, I saw a show packed with entertainment and drama. The characters were imperfect but very real. There were several sub-plots going on all over the place and just to keep track of them all was an intriguing challenge. The women in the series didn’t wear low-cut clothes everywhere, even when frying dangerous popping bacon. There were bullets, sure, and sudden firebombs. But the show is about a counter-terrorism unit going up against terrorists for God’s sakes. The violence wasn’t gratuitous is what I’m saying here and frankly other than the exciting sight effects, viewers weren’t treated to constant gore and dismembered limbs.

There was one problem.

While I understood the individual show’s plot lines, I had no idea just who was who, how Jack Bauer came back from the dead, what the hell all those government agencies were, why the terrorists were never Arab or what on earth a first lady was doing getting all involved in affairs she should be kept from.

In a desperate bid to put it all together I began to research, first from the show’s own web site. Which was a help in that I might learn, for example, who Audrey is in terms of her government position and the actress who plays her. None of this helped me understand the interplay of all the characters, their history and still there’s that bit about Jack Bauer dying and coming back to life.

I turned to Blogcritics.org as surely, my mind reeled, other Blogcritics have watched the show and written about it. This was how I ended up in the Twilight Zone of 24 and the Blogosphere. A really weird place by the way.

Two Blogcritics were out and about and regularly writing about the show. Mary K. Williams , author of 24 – Hour Ten: CTU – You’re Fired! and Jeff Kouba, author of 24 Day 5: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM crossed my radar and so I tuned in.

What I read was hilarious and spellbinding. Both of these Blogcritics had a take on 24 that, well you have to read them to believe it.

Only problem, as I read Williams’ and Kouba’s missives on the show, I began to get more confused. I could follow the plots of the two individual shows I’d watched easily enough but these Blogcritics know their stuff and, hey, I didn’t.

The humor and satire wasn’t lost on me, but when Williams called the Russian President and his wife the “Subarus” well, maybe you hadda be there.

None of this helped me learn the background of the characters but I’m hanging in there.

I made notes on the episode aired Monday, 2/27/06 and I’ll risk looking dumb. Because I love the show, love the characters, love the action.

I understand the President is Logan, who another Blogcritic compared to Richard Nixon, heh, in Separated At Birth: 24’s President Logan and the USA’s President Nixon. I don’t know who Mike Novak is except the guy Logan asked to pray with him when his wife went off in a motorcade due to be ambushed. Which leads me to Logan’s wife, Martha, and why is she such an idiot.

As for the Counter Terrorism Unit that Jack Bauer works for (at least I think he works for CTU, could be that was his employer before he died, I’m not sure), I don’t know how all this works except they always seem to be monitoring something called “chatter”. To my amazement, the head of CTU commands more monitoring of chatter even when news of a planned ambush of the Russian motorcade is in process.

Then in steps a Curtis Manning who takes over though I still don’t know who Curtis Manning is and why he even hangs around the CTU. Heck I don’t even understand that clock thing except it evidently ticks constantly on.

On Monday, 3/6/06 at 8 pm, 24 will present a 2-hour show. I’m going to watch it with the fervor I’ve acquired.

Maybe someday I’ll understand how Jack Bauer died and came back to life. For now I will continue to work on sorting it all out.

With a little help from my friends on Blogcritics, heh.

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About pat fish

  • Curtis from Roswell

    If you enjoy the Blogcritics take on 24, try Dave Barry’s.

    Oh, and Jack Bauer’s death was fake in order to fool the Chinese. If I told you any more I would have to kill you. LOL.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Patfish, very nice post. It shows it’s never too late to become one of the 24 crowd. I’ve been watching from Episode One/Season One and have never even thought about not watching. I can’t say that about any other show I’ve ever liked, except maybe Twin Peaks in the very beginning before it got all messed up.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Hey Pat:
    Welcome to the party. We supply the beer and chips – but it’s a BYOP (Bring your own Protocols)
    Enjoy!

  • http://patfish.blogspot.com/ Pat Fish

    Well thanks guys. Tonight-3/6/06-I shall watch the two hour episode.

    Maybe someday I’ll be smart enough to write one of those hilarious parodies. For now, I’ll just read them.