the following was written between 1&2am


We interrupt your usual baby diatribes to bring you a special edition of Shit I’m Watching on TV, or, more specifically, Shit I’m Watching While Rocking Ol’ Ironsides To Sleep.

Actually, even more specifically, I have to say I’m intrigued at how the fine folks at “24” manage to keep their show going. Don’t get me wrong, I basically love every episode (especially the ones with our bud Sarah Clarke in them) but this season they seem to snatching brilliance out of the jaws of utter inanity.

Why do I care about these things, you might ask? Because I’d like to be writing on of my own shows one of these days, and series like “Alias,” “Lost,” “Veronica Mars,” “Numb3rs,” “House,” “Boston Public” and “24” are excellent studying templates for the final exam in front of a batch of network executives. Today’s television, as I have said countless times in these pages, is not like the crap we grew up with (check out Steven Johnson’s excellent article from this Sunday Times for the biopsychological perspective).

“24” is up to some pretty strange shenanigans of late. Entire characters and plotlines have disappeared (the lady who ran CTU – Driscoll – has been axed, as well as Kim Raver’s father, the defense contractor’s militia, the redhead who flew the stealth bomber, and other elements nicely detailed over at TWP) with the insouciance and ease of a TV writer taking out the trash. It’s as if they were drawing the plot on a chalkboard, and they ran out of chalkboard. Which sucks, because I really, really loved Shohreh Aghdashloo.

Right now, they’re trying to portray an “undecisive President of the United States,” who looks an awful lot like Richard Nixon. His inability to act on anything should seem Hamlet-esque, but in a steroid-fueled show like “24,” it merely comes off as EXTREMELY ANNOYING. Also, the Powers That Be have given Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) a bunch of shit because he tortured somebody while trying to find a stolen nuclear warhead.

The fact is, if the government knew there was a stolen nuclear warhead, they would torture every single motherfucker in the country, and they’d start with liberal asshole bloggers like me. That plotline, again, has been EXTREMELY ANNOYING.

Enter Chloe, the bizarre-faced dork at the Counter-Terrorist Unit (in a “geeks hate other geeks on the food chain” rivalry with Edgar) coming out tonight with guns blazing. You really had to be there, but that was AWESOME TELEVISION. Score another one for “24” – just when you decide to go to the bathroom, they nail the dismount.

Um, do any of you readers watch this show? Uh, okay. Back to Dungeons and Dragons for me.

11 thoughts on “the following was written between 1&2am

  1. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Sounds like good TV. Unfortunately, all I get to watch these days is Cartoon Network with my kindergartner.

  2. jenn

    I could not believe that Chloe went all rifle on that guy’s ass. HOW DOES SHE KNOW HOW TO SHOOT A RIFLE?! I love Chloe. The best part about “24” for me this season is when they surprise you with the flashes of “look who’s coming back!” like when Tony came in like a cowboy a few episodes back and then last week during the “scenes” when Mike tells the pres. “I know someone who can help” and they show PALMER. OMG. Awesome. I watched the first season and sort of fell off the wagon for 2 & 3, but this year I got sucked in. Yeah, it can be totally ridiculous at times (I am so sure Marwan could get cell reception in that tunnel), but it’s TV! It’s supposed to be ridiculous.

  3. scruggs

    24 is the one show my husband and I don’t miss, been that way since season 1 (well, that and I’m a sucker for nanny and wife swap shows, ugh). I am the annoying type that complains during shows and movies about how realistic something is. What first drew me in was that it all seemed plausible, and 24 is the ultimate cliffhanger. I love how they know when its time to wrap up a plot line and move on to something else. Though this season, as you mention, that’s a little sloppy. Also, when the “real” president learned they were going to be attacked by a bomber, um, there was no real hurry for folks to SIT DOWN AND AT LEAST PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON OR PERFORM EVASIVE MANEUVERS???
    But how awesome was it earlier when Jack’s against the wall, makes a phone call, and Tony’s back! Love him…and yes, that scared/undecisive president bit had me yawning from the get go, but however they get Dennis Haysbert back is great. And the Shohreh chica was incredible (she and behrus? were together as well in House of Sand and Fog), still rooted for her even after she knocked off the teeny bopper girlfriend. At least Jack’s daughter, Kim, is M.I.A. this season so far, yawn. And I’ll miss Nina and Sherry.
    Anyway, yes, the end scene was Chloe (who is so annoying, her writer is a genius…she is always true to form obnoxious) was fantastic! I was still complaining how, though they send some nonfield person to this house, they could at least have given her a weapon…AND she goes out with 2 two 2 agents? Given the importance of the computer and its function, do you not think someone else might be interested in protecting it? OK, I digress, as soon as they made it to the car, we were both freaking out. And when she opened up on the attacker, we were cheering like Carolina bball had won, well maybe not the national championship, but at least an away Wake game!

  4. another stinkin' Greg posting on Ian's blog...

    I have studiously avoided 24 for the simple reason that I haven’t had time to get addicted to yet one more quality television show. Of course, I’m a sucker, so season 1, disc 1 of 24 arrived yesterday via Netflix and it’s just a matter of time before I can re-read this blog and appreciate the brilliant insight that eludes me in the first go ’round.

  5. lee

    that was so great! chloe going from the whimpering damsel in distress to uber gun blasting bad ass rocked!
    i agree that the torture ethics thing was dumb…they didn’t have any trouble torturing Heller’s son just a few hours ago. and with the bumbling idiot president, who thinks mike looks like dick cheney??

  6. oliver

    It’s risky mirroring a world the public vehemently disagrees about. When I was young I used to think it showed that the country was OK and on top of things that we had movies like Rambo implicitly addressing the Vietnam war, but now I’m as inclined to view such stuff as a mind-numbing toxin to dull the political will. Lazy writers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  7. Josie

    Don’t know if you ever followed The Shield, but if you did, could you offer your opnion on why they changed the Strike Team dynamic after season 1? I loved Season 1…the cops were crooked, but it was a kind of honorable, sympathetic corruption – in the name of cleaning up the streets (and a little for themselves). But in ensuing seasons, they became pretty dispicable, and to me, totally unlikable. I stopped watching because I needed the sleep, but mostly b/c it was no longer fun. Do you have an opinion?

  8. kevin

    It was great with Chloe going all Rambo. I was shocked she had it in her. I guess impending death brings out deeply rooted survival instincts. A corking good episode last night. I think the show has been a bit too unrealistic this season however. The whole plot about how Marwan was able to know where in the desert AF1 would go down so he could be there to get the football.. even more implausable how he was there where the right section of fuselage went down. ( I know it has a beacon built in, but debris from a plane crash can be spread over many many miles)I thought he was in LA!! How did he get in the middle of the desert in a jeep and get away from a helicopter? And then the VP turned dunce, I mean president, that can’t make a decision?
    I still enjoy the show however.
    No one has mentioned Veronica Mars.. thanks for the heads up on this show Ian, otherwise I might have missed it. I wonder who the murderer of her best friend is? I like how the shows are interesting as an episode, but can continue a plot through the entire season. I wonder what the follow up will be for next season on this show and Desperate Housewives as well.

  9. eric g.

    I watch “24.” Tonight I taped it while I was in Berkeley looking at a house that I’m not going to buy, and I returned to my apartment at 9:59 to the surreal sight of Chloe with a very large automatic weapon smoking in her hands and an even more crazed than usual look on her face. Kudos to the folks at “24” for this arresting closing image. The fact that it is the only snippet of last night’s episode that I have seen yet just makes it better.

  10. Ian

    Josie, I’ve only seen Season 2 of “The Shield” and loved how Michael Chiklis and his merry band of rogues were slightly evil, but not quite adept enough at pulling anything off. I have this season on TiVo but haven’t started yet.
    Kevin, “Veronica Mars” is produced by someone who worked with me and Josie at High’s Ice Cream in high school. They just got renewed for season 2, which is awesome.

  11. kevin

    I don’t think you know it Ian, but i once had a date at the Norfolk Acadamy High School prom.. Of course, that is as close as i got to the place.
    Did you get that link for the film festival i sent you last week? k

  12. Tim

    Josie, I’d give The Shield another shot. This season, you get the feeling Vic (Chiklis)is trying to somewhat clean up his act and regrets what his leadership of the Strike Team spawned with the truly despicable and now completely out of control Shane (Walt Groggins). Lemon/Lem has almost turned into a 100% “good cop” (e.g. working with young street kids)and is at least one character to root for. $.02


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