Sunday, July 10, 2005

Review Blogging
But before I start that, I must say how nice it is to have Paul posting things of substance while I get to drivel about music, movies, TV and such. Good on ya brother.

Now, the fluff:
I borrowed the divids of the first season of "24" from the Enigmatic Misanthropes and have finally pushed through the whole set. Whew. I understand now why people like it so much. It starts slamming right out of the gate with the exit from and subsequent destruction of an airliner by the first of the bad guys (in this case a bad girl) at the end of the first hour. And it just doesn't let up. The fact that the writers manage to go from a first set of bad guys to the next set of bad guys who are even worse to yet another set of bad guys who are worse yet is truly impressive. All the motivations are in place and the plot twists gyre like, well, let my borrow from a master:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
(BTW: If you don't recognize that, shame on you!) It seems as good an epigraph for the series as any I can imagine and, a stanza from a great poem is, even in the debased currency of Hollywood, proper tribute to great writing.
Having praised the show, I now need to join the law firm of Bitch, Carp and Moan. The female leads are just not my cup of tea. The fact that Jack Bauer is married to one and had an affair with the other makes me question his taste in women but that's not a material criticism. What I find interesting is that the women (Leslie Hope and Sarah Clarke) have a passing physical similarity which makes sense. If Jack Bauer were attracted to one, he probably would be to the other. That's smart casting even if they don't float my peculiar boat.
On the other hand, Jack's daughter, played by Elisha Cuthbert I actively hate. If her character had a brain in her head, she never would have put herself in the situations that lead to the peril played out over the course of the day. But then there'd never be a show so my complaint is moot. However: Dee you em bee See you in Toledo. Moreover, I'll be happy if I never see Elisha Cutherbert again. She has, in the inelegant if accurate words of Chandler Bing, a "face ass" (cleft chin). OK, so there'd never be an offer but, no thanks. Pity the daughter survives while the wife cacks.
One salient screwup in the last episode is Victor Drazen's semiautomatic handgun. He and Jack Bauer are gun-point to gun-point and Drazen pulls the trigger causing the gun to go "click, click, click." Bauer then blows Drazen away. However, as anyone who knows handguns knows, when a semiauto runs through its magazine, the slide racks back and locks. After a new magazine is inserted, the shooter pulls the slide back, unlocking it and chambering a round from the magazine. I suppose it's possible with a malfunction that the slide might not chamber a round in which case the gun would click on an empty chamber. But such a malfunction is a slim thread to hang a tale on.
One lingering question is include why Senator Palmer keeps trying to sell me Allstate insurance. But that's a matter for another day.

I had the great luxury of watching the show at my own pace, commercial free. I sincerely hope my friends keep buying the seasonal DVD packages so I can continue to leech off them. Isn't that why we have friends?

I FORGOT: Two glaring continuity errors that may be artifacts of the divid and not have been visible on TV. At one point CTU turncoat Nina is in a building looking for something when a production worker appears almost dirtectly in front of her (though to one side of the scene). Then, again the same thing at the tpoint Jack's wife and daughter are about to be rescued from their initial captivity. The daughter says something like "There's nobody around for miles!" just as a production guy comes into the camera frame agin almost directl in front of her. Of course the payoff of the line she says is that a rifle shot cracks at her feet so there is someone within miles. But still, it was a bad time for that particular continuity mistake.

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