‘24’: You are so wrong

| Cadenza Reporter

Well, it’s finally over. Just a few weeks ago, Fox pulled the plug on its venerable series, “24.”

How do we think the series is going to end? Honestly, who knows? Like the entire plot of “Lost” packed into every season, nothing is ever what it seems. I mean honestly, maybe President Logan is a good guy and totally not evil now. Actually, that could never happen.

So, while this season hasn’t been its strongest, Cadenza felt a tinge of sadness when we learned the clock was finally winding down. Actually, one of us felt that way; the other did not. The two writers were at odds with each other, and they had to find a way to settle their differences. We suggested pistols at dawn, hot dog eating contest at night. Then we realized we should just let our writers write. Here’s what they came up with.

“24” is gone, and good riddance. Few shows have overstayed their welcome so much as “24” has. Believe it or not, Cici, I was once into “24” just like you. The first season had me on the edge of my seat the whole season. I found it to be a fresh new show with limitless potential for suspense provided by the constant tick of the clock. I even felt the use of torture was an interesting plot device. Jack Bauer was the gritty, real-world equivalent of James Bond who could operate in modern times. Unfortunately, following the first season finale, “24” died.

It was clear that the writers were following the ages-old wisdom of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Every subsequent season has been nothing more than a reimagining of the first season. By Season 3, I found myself able to predict every single event. Bad guys kill lots of innocents. Jack beats someone up. The bad guys are actually working for completely different bad guys. Totally unrelated sideplot. Jack calls the president. There is a mole in CTU. One of the main characters dies. Jack beats someone up. Counter-terrorists win.

Every. Single. Season.

There are other problems that persist each season that continue to bug me. None of the villains has believable motivations for his actions. The rare few who do have motives decide to proceed by carrying out insane schemes that don’t translate to their goals. This applies to all the politicians as well. On a more humorous note, when do characters go to the bathroom? Also, the workers at CTU are always typing 24/7. Typing, typing, typing. What are they typing? Are they defeating terrorists by sending out a plethora of e-mails? How much paperwork does Jack have to fill out daily?

A lot of people bring up torture as the most pressing issue depicted. This is only with regard to the later seasons. In the fictional world of “24,” where everything is pushed to its limit, I understood that the torture should be viewed under the same lens. But the writers were apparently dismayed that an infinitesimally small percentage of society used “24” as an argument in favor of torture in real life. Instead of pushing that the show is merely fiction, they tried to make the torture realistic with problems, consequences, public opinion and court hearings. This does nothing to combat those who are simply looking for political ammo. It does, however, justify the previous and more successful use of torture in a situation which is now portrayed as more realistic.

While there are those that claim that the political issues of “24” are what make the show a failure, I am firmly against “24” because it is simply bad television.

Cici Coquillette offers an alternative opinion of ’24’.

  • D

    You say that every season has the same things. I am a huge 24 fan, and I’ll agree that every season does have relatively the same basics to it. However, comparing it to any other series on tv, perhaps other than Lost, would reveal that 24 is a lot more original year after year. Shows like CSI, Law and Orders, NCIS, have the same exact story every episode. Is this a bad thing? Perhaps, but I still enjoy the shows.
    24, on the other hand, provides a unique 24 episodes storyline that will never be found in books, movies, or other shows.

    By your rationale, every show is bad television, perhaps with a couple of exceptions. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but are there any shows that you actually do enjoy? Perhaps television is not your thing.

    Look at 24 for not only being entertaining, but highly thought provoking. Looking at 24 as something that is realistic is the same as viewing Lost as something realistic too.

    Just my 2 cents.