Monday, May 7, 2007
Counting the Hours
The following TV Eve blurb is reprinted from Providence Monthly Online
With few exceptions (Gunsmoke, The Simpsons, Mary Tyler Moore Show) long lasting television shows neither sustain their creative highs or are deft enough to get outta Dodge before a creative malaise sucks the show dry. The much vaunted and highly popular 24 is currently plodding tepidly through its sixth season (or in 24 parlance, Day 6), and it’s rapidly losing viewership and the all-important Internet buzz. From the show’s inception it’s carried with it a built-in deathtrap, albeit one that has also functioned as the drama’s calling card—the unwavering focus on it’s scrappy, mad dog protagonist Jack Bauer. Neatly embodied by former brat packer Keifer Sutherland, Jack is a so-called CTU Security Agent, a seemingly indestructible one, the Nietzschean Ubermensch Americanized as a kinda MacGyver with rabies. How many times can an audience be expected to watch Jack go wack, grim-faced and tightly coiled, bite his way through jugulars, Houdini himself out of yet another Mexican stand-off, plunge a makeshift sharp object deep into a baddie’s innards, and rejigger the high tech terrorist world with the simple use of GPS, cell phones, computer diagrams, and Chloe, Chloe, Chloe. The season appears to be a mere mirror of what’s gone down before, spending time on another doomsday scenario, a rescue, ruined family ties, and the usual overdose of backroom whispers and salient glances subbing for plot progression among the government types. As 24 woodenly barrels down this year’s all too familiar road one hopes it rights itself next year, perhaps by returning boldly with new supporting cast, new surroundings, a freshly torqued save-the-nation plot, and and a truly twisted, damaged, and whacked-out Jack.