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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tube Time: 24 (Day 4)

Four weeks ago, I was perhaps the only person in the country not watching 24, the hit Kiefer Sutherland show on FOX. But on the strong recommendation of A. and A. (no relation), I gave in and TiVo'd Season 4 (or "Day 4" in 24 parlance), just to see what all the fuss was about.
And now that I've finally finished the heart-stopping 24-episode season, the reviews are in:
24 is ridiculous. With a capital R.

For example, here's what happens during Day 4, a supposedly continuous twenty-four hour period:
- terrorists blow up a train in California, which is just a cover for a plot to:
- kidnap the Secretary of Defense and his daughter Audrey (coincidentally, Jack's girlfriend), which is just a cover for a plan to:
- melt down all of the country's nuclear power plants, killing millions, which is just a cover for a plan to:
- steal an F-16 fighter jet and shoot down Air Force One, killing the president, which is just a means to:
- recover the "nuclear football," so that terrorists can steal a nuclear missile and fire it at Los Angeles.

Whew! Can you imagine the planning? I can barely do my laundry and shop for groceries on the same day, and these people planned not one, not two, but FIVE horrendous acts of terrorism in one 24-hour period.

Or, let's recall the emotional and physical toll on Audrey Raines in this one day. First, she confessess to her boyfriend Jack that she's falling in love with him, then she's kidnapped by terrorists and held hostage with her father, attempts to commit suicide to thwart her kidnappers, is rescued, returns to work (still looking good), tells her ex-husband Paul she no longer loves him, then discovers Paul may have terrorist ties, and as a result has to watch her boyfriend Jack torture Paul, after which her ex-husband Paul is shot while saving boyfriend Jack's life, so Audrey waits and watches Paul undergo life-saving surgery, a relapse, and a 2nd surgery, before she decides she does love him and wants to quit her job to help him rehab. At which point, Paul relapses again, goes into surgery (again), and then dies tragically after boyfriend Jack barges in and forces the doctor to stop operating on Paul. At which point, Audrey tells Jack she hates him, only to then watch him be killed an hour later in a shootout with the Secret Service.

Whew! And I thought my day was stressful...

In short, this show is ridiculous. No one ever gets tired, absurd plot twists just keep on coming, the intelligence analysts always find the perfect information just in time, and the country is in incredible peril for 24 hours, only to be saved single-handedly by Jack Bauer in the nick of time.

Like I said, 24 is ridiculous. Ridiculously good, that is. When does the next season start?


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