24 highs and lows

Good I read my concerns about the third season of 24 – because otherwise I would elaborate on many things I can now just briefly confirm. Yes – again – lots of dead, smart people doing stupid things, hardly believable reasons for their actions. Just to name a few. It’s the day of the crisis again – after all they must have noticed all those cameras shooting another 24 season, so they must have known that it IS a serious crisis! Yet when some agent loses his key-card he will not report it for four hours! I don’t know how he got back into CTU. And the card – hardly believable – was stolen by a friend of agent’s addict sister when the agent predictably meets his sister on a parking near to CTU – yet out of all cameras – like the sister’s friends knew he will do so and have his card in the first pocket because somehow someone had contacted the rascal before just to get the card for some money. Of course – don’t tell me it’s a spoiler, because it’s not, it’s 24 pattern actually – sister and her friend would get shot by the card “buyer”. Hard life. Easy death.

Another typical 24 pattern is this. Jack (mostly he, but you can replace him by any agent – but other agent’s are more “by a book” – so again, mostly Jack :-)) gets some nearly unrelated person – for instance a manager of some bank – in the middle of the night to get to some specific item. Now villains get on them when they are in the bank. I – being the poor manager – would close myself on a safe place, waiting till tomorrow, claiming I was forced to open the vault by Jack Bauer (everybody knows he’s the second best – right after Chuck Norris – so who would refuse?) – that all is actually true, so there should be no consequences. But no – in 24 they all go out and guess who will die?

a) also present Wayne Palmer?
b) bank manager?
c) Jack Bauer?!

No, unlike in commercials, c) is obviously not right. You get it, right? It’s no fun when you can say “this poor fellow will die soon” – and you can say so right after they meet him! That’s how it is in 24. I’m still strongly backing the opinion that 24 in overall is fun and it is catchy and thrilling, fast-pacing action. I watched fourth season and I was extremely satisfied after the previous one. But right after that one I took the fifth season with all the aforementioned stupid catches. Fourth season is compact and working, and there are also two innocent people who will NOT die! Isn’t that beautiful? There was even moment I realized I was shouting “yes! yes!” – when Tony Almeida appeared on the scene. Highly recommended season, I mean it.

Fifth season – on the other hand – seems to be a series of loosely tight threats that all happened to be based on weaponized toxin gas in cans. Last one of them – of course – appears at the end of the season and I honestly don’t know if it was planned or the season somehow took only 20 hours and they needed to shoot 4 more. Let’s say with a submarine. Good old faces from previous episodes are the highs of this season – Mike Novick, Wayne Palmer, Aaron Pierce around the presidential sub-plot. But the CTU operations were rather puzzled. When homeland security took over CTU – pointing out their mistakes – I was confused why nobody told them what I was screaming inside of my head: “Last agent sent by the White House was so embarrassed when he lost his key-card that he rather didn’t tell us at all about it! That’s why half of the CTU died, that’s why White House is sending us you now!”

Man! So many things didn’t make any sense on this season. Shameful. Watchable, yes. Enjoyable, yes. But believable? No – not even by 24 standards. And many favourite characters dead don’t change a bit about it. On the contrary.

Yet I started with season 6 now, because I AM curious what will happen with Jack “The Second Best After Chuck” (by a close margin only) Bauer!

24 catchy and cheap

“Than why the hell do you watch it?” Right? No… I said catchy and that’s why I watch it. It’s more catchy than Prison Break, although it’s not as good as some older series. I plan to elaborate on this maybe in some future post. Now about 24. It’s action, 24 episodes of action in every season, it has its twists, surprises, it’s simply cool. But not all scripts are good enough. Trouble is that bad plot here means the whole season is ruined.

I’ve watched second season without having a need to extend my previous 24 post. Now – in season 3 – I have the need. I have it since episode 3 or so… because I’m willing to pardon a lot to the first two episodes. I was curious if I’m the only one who thinks this season is different and I’ve found that the general view is with me. But there are many fans who consider third season to be the best. Strange, but it’s probably about every viewer’s needs and expectations. 24 is not supposed to be sci-fi (or plain fiction for that matter) in our times. It should be thrilling action I can believe in.

But I can’t believe that so many smart people … how to say it nicely… screwed up big time in this season. When CTU wanted to catch Kyle in the mall… disaster. And he managed to run away! I also can’t understand how Michael Amador could get to L.A. without CTU being able to trace him. Maybe I’m naive, but I also can’t believe that when there is a copter in the town attacking offices in a building it can disappear without a trace. I’d think it can actually be traced before it even lands. I’m watching the series in English without subtitles which means I miss some details here and there but that doesn’t pardon so many situations when the good guys were not able to do something. Ok, maybe there was no satellite cover of Amador because the only possible satellite had just collided with some retired one. Whatever.

Now I know that when the mole is revealed to us from the start – it’s no mole at all. To be fair to the season it started to be pretty interesting in the second quarter when the secret plan of Jack, Toni and Gael is revealed. Finally the Nina is gone (not that I don’t like her face though ;-)). But still I have the feeling that the plot is bad. Not the threat, not the idea, but all those little elements you have to put together to get a good plot. But there are lots of dead instead. I’m not talking about virus victims because they are rather anonymous to us. But many people are simply killed just to make 24 look more serious, so it seems.

It’s quite boring to watch people die under not so believable circumstances. Yusuf Auda in season 2, few agents/doctors during Nina’s last strike (guards so sloppy? can’t believe that), it happens all the time. I’m really glad that Nina is dead because the ever-cliché of many movies and series is “we still need him”… just to let him cause even more pain. (Like Joker in The Dark Knight – he should be killed in cold blood sooner than the half of the movie… but what movie would that be, right? :-))

24 still is good fun to watch. But this season is much, much cheaper than the previous two. Luckily for me (hopefully) seasons 4-6 are reportedly better. And I’m looking forward to them.

24 defiled

I’ve finished watching 24 season 1 a few days ago and it was quite good. I was really curious about it before I started – how can any 24 hours be so interesting to satisfy TV show? Some people even lost their interest during the show – but rather because it was difficult to wait another week for just another hour. With such a complex plot it’s much better to see the show in just a few days. So did I – with some pauses during the first quarter of the season. I probably watched last 9 episodes in just two days!

So – some people like it, some not. I do like it – yet there were some glitches I was really nervous about. I did not suffer that much as I did with Prison Break but some cliches were really annoying. Some might question the stubbornness of officials that Jack Bauer dealt with – for instance when he was caught for the first time. These really are the moments when your blood boils and you’d like to kill those stupid bastards you’re just dealing with. Anyway, I can accept these situations because that’s just the same bureaucracy we can find anywhere else. Even in private companies. So no points down here.

Things I really don’t like are those I saw so many times in other movies or shows – yet they repeat again and again – like we couldn’t have learned from those movies before. 😉 When David Palmer didn’t want to say to his son why he had backed off… why? I can’t see why this was the best thing to do. It only drove his son to the hasty reaction that only happened to turn out well. With luck. (Also his son’s immediate checking of the recorded tape was amazingly stupid, but not punished. With Luck.)

When Bauers stopped their car on the edge of the cliff I noticed immediately – “Jesus, why she stopped the car like this?” I expected something unnecessarily dramatic. Ok, I know that in a series like this you have to have dramatic moments all the time. Maybe that’s the price – that sometimes they are unnatural. I also can’t understand why Kim decided to go to Rick in spite of his disapproval of such step. But I’m not a girl in puberty.

The biggest disappointment came between 8 and 9 P.M. when Jack Bauer – professional counter-terrorist – put down his gun when threatened “otherwise we kill him” (some other guy). He put it down and they killed the guy anyway. I understand that the show can’t end in its 21st hour with Jack Bauer dead… but it was a tough moment to swallow anyway.

All this said – it’s a good show really! 24 episodes with only a few “aaargh!” moments in such an up-tempo story – I think it’s a good result. I’m rather forgiving viewer and I simply like what people can create and come up with. Maybe it’s funny that those really bad guys appears in the half of the day when those who were bad before (and worked for those “really bad” ones) messed-up with their assignment and were also killed. There are too many bad guys I think – starting with that bad girl in the plane. Bad guys line up is saved by the mole in the CTU that is revealed at the very end of the story. Spoiling it completely: It breaks your heart so much that you even forget to think about why she helped Jack Bauer during the whole day. It doesn’t make sense – that’s why it’s so staggering. Anyway – it gives the whole story some final twist.

So if you don’t mind many dead people I can recommend 24 for an easy – yet breathtaking – watching. That is if you can make it in a few days and not an episode a week. 🙂