24 – Day 6, Episodes 3 & 4, 8:00 – 9:00 and 9:00 – 10:00

Reading Ain’t it Cool News this morning there were a pile of reviews of the first 4 episodes of 24.  Looking down the list I finally saw the words that perfectly captured why I’ve grown increasingly unimpressed with 24 over the past year.  Here’s the excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle:

For the purposes of retaining some semblance of critical respectability, it should be noted yet again that “24” only works if you unplug your brain. Now firmly ensconced under “wildly implausible” in the dictionary, this is a series that’s nearly as funny as it is riveting, although that equation is not necessarily intended by the creators.

That “24” could be seriously considered for Emmys and Golden Globes is incomprehensible, not to mention wrong…

Over the past 5 seasons I’ve learned to accept the ridiculous plot twists and eye rolling moments and just enjoy the action packed ride like any big budget blockbuster shoot em up.  But the thing that drove me insane last year is the critical acclaim this show received.  It’s like Casino Royale winning the best picture Oscar.  Great fun, fluffy movie but worthy of awards, not so much.  That 24 is nominated and The Wire isn’t is a sad statement.

Enough griping about 24 in general.  Time to gripe about tonight’s episodes.  Just kidding.  I’m not only going to gripe.  The truth is I liked these episodes.  They were truly entertaining with lots of great action moments and an ending that makes me excited for next week’s show.

That being said there were way too many of those typical 24 moments that even my unplugged brain had trouble processing.  Here’s 3 quick examples:

  • They can’t access a satellite for 15 minutes but 2 episodes ago they scolded Chloe’s husband for instantly tapping into a third party satellite.
  • In a shocking twist just as they’re about to catch the terrorist, he blows himself up.   I thought he was going to escape out the back but this is pretty much the same.
  • A bunch of no name members of a tactical team are closing in on the terrorists – was there any chance that the building wasn’t going to blow up.

Even the shocking moment when Jack killed Curtis wasn’t shocking for anyone used to watching 24.  We’re so trained to expect the unexpected that the unexpected is now what we expect.  I’m just waiting for them to uncover the mole in CTU and the White House staff.

In the meantime the show is still fun to watch despite its problems (although it will be in second position when Heroes returns next week).  Just don’t forget to shut off your brain.

Avi’s Episode Ratings: B+

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