Pop Culture Gadabout
Thursday, January 13, 2005
      ( 1/13/2005 01:32:00 PM ) Bill S.  

IN REAL REAL TIME – Like Fred Hembeck (see comments to the post below), I avoided reading any blog posts on the opening episodes of 24 'til Becky and I had a chance to view 'em ourselves. Now that I've got the season’s two-hour debut under my belt, I see that there's little for me to add to the discussion already carried on in places like Tom the Dog and Unqualified Offerings except to perhaps note that I've found this series' attempts to plant the storyline more firmly in our real world (as with the first ep's slam reference to Michael Moore) actually worked against the storyline for me. There's a comic book/soap opera wonkiness with the series' timelines, for one, that doesn't mesh with the attempt at making it all look here-&-now. I mean: the events we're watching are at least two years down the road from the previous season – and there've been comparable gaps between the other seasons, too. By my reckoning, the events we're observing should be set in 2008 or '09. Will Michael Moore jokes still have as much currency by then?

I will note that I accepted Jack (Keifer Sutherland) Bauer's rapid adoption of kneecapping as a valid interrogation technique, incidentally, because it seems consistent with his established character. The guy's had three seasons of officious boobs keeping him from doing the expeditious thing – and has himself been subjected to prolonged torture straight out of The Passion of Martin Riggs. So who can blame him for being a mite, umm, impatient in the presence of a known terrorist? Besides, there's an element of doing-it-coz-the-pissy-witch-who-fired-me-doesn't-want-me-to in Bauer's actions that you can't help irresponsibly cheering.

I also like the fact that supremely irritating passive-aggressive Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) O'Brien turns out to be the only regular from last season who's remained employed by the CTU – and is the only one to really take notice of the warning signs that Something Big Is Yet to Happen. Just because a character is really really annoying doesn't mean they're not doing the work. . .
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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