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24: Jumping The Shark

by @ 8:14 pm on April 17, 2007. Filed under 24, Television

Before diving into his recap of last night’s episode, Rick Moran says what many 24 fans are thinking:

I may be the last person who comments regularly on the show who has faced up to the fact that 24 has hopelessly jumped the shark. The plot has collapsed into a heap of unfinished threads, an endless exposition of plot lines to nowhere. Do you care one whit if Milo gets Nadia alone for 15 minutes? Is there no further use for Jack?s father in this set up ? a very promising storyline that has dropped off the scope with nary a word on his fate? I?m even beginning to yawn at the by-play between Chloe and Morris ? a sure sign of something having gone out of the show.

In fact, Chloe?s character has absolutely gone off the banal scale. To take this beautiful bitch of a woman and rob her of her snark, her scowls, her hooded looks of disapprobation when a co-worker made a mistake, is like taking away Betty Grable?s gams or Marilyn Monroe?s ? smile. Chloe?s thoughtlessness and inappropriate behavior around her fellow CTU officemates ? always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person ? has disappeared. She is now simply a geek appendage to the show. Need someone to hack into CalTrans? Let Chloe do it. Need someone to download the updated schematics for the suitcase bomb? Piece of cake for supergeek Chloe.

But perhaps the clearest indication that the show is done for came from a speech that Little Ricky made to Jack thanking him for saving the United States. Since there has been plenty of speculation on the boards about Ricky Schroeder taking over for Kiefer Sutherland whenever the producers decide to kill off Jack Bauer, I ask you to imagine Jack Bauer saying this at any time in his life to anyone:

First of all, Schroeder has been, without a doubt a horrible addition to the cast. His acting isn’t that great and his character, if it is meant to be the replacement for Jack Bauer some day, is about as inspiring as a glass of warm milk. If they are going to keep Mike Doyle around, they need to really rethink what they are doing with him because, so far, it’s not working.

Second, the recycling of plots from previous seasons has been maddening. Consider this:

1. ??? We had a nuclear weapon in Season Two, and more nuclear weapons in Season Six.

2. ??? A terrorist who hijacked a drone missile in Season Four and a terrorist who hijacked more military drones in Season Six (and I hope to god that the real drones are alot more secure than the ones on 24)

3. ??? A raid on the Chinese consulate in Season Four and a raid on the Russian Consulate in Season Six (from now on, all the Consulates in Los Angeles should just have a separate gate for Jack and Tac Team to enter when they need to launch the raid)

4. ??? A Vice-President conspiring to take over the Presidency in Season Two, and a Vice-President conspiring to take over the Presidency in Season Six (something really must have gone wrong with the Vice-Presidential selection process in the 24 universe, because every Cabinet meeting seems to have the potential to turn into a modern day version of the Night of the Long Knives).

Finally, the characters just seem off this year. Jack is still Jack, but everyone around him just doesn’t work as well as they have in the past. Rick Moran already mentioned the problems with Chloe, but there’s also the disaster that is President Wayne Palmer. If 24 fans needed any confirmation that David Palmer really is dead, it’s been the crappy way his brother has governed……..if David were alive he’d break down the door of the White House bunker and show little brother who’s really in charge. Fayed makes me long for the days of Habib Marwan….heck, even Behrooz would make a more believable terrorist leader. And even the three glorious weeks that saw the return of the President we love to hate were a let-down that has left us hanging for a month now.

And now, the nukes are secure, and we’re supposed to care about Audrey Raines ? Sorry Audrey, but you’re no Teri, heck you’re not even Kim

I’ll continue watching this season, but at this point I’m just hoping that the writers turn things around next year.

2 Responses to “24: Jumping The Shark”

  1. Steve C says:

    Yep. I’m running a week behind on my viewing thanks to the miracle of the dvr, so before tonights episode I sat down to watch last week’s installment.

    The season started off in a promising fashion: Jack we need you… to die. Wow. You’ve got my interest. The best moment of the season: Jack chewing the neck out of his captor. I said to myself, “Self, this is going to be a gooood season.”

    I lied to myself.

    20 minutes into last weeks episode, I was bored and turned it off. I came to the computer to see and googled the term, “24 jumped the shark”. A more interesting plot turn would be to send Jack a video of Chan gutting Audrey with a spatula and turning Jack loose as a vigilante. If you’re going to slip in an entire second and completely unrelated plot, go for broke. Sutherland signed a multiple year contract. We know they’re not going to kill him before it’s halfway through. HE CAN’T DIE and we all know it. Surround him with something we could give a hoot about. Audrey is not that hoot.

    24 has joined the Fonz on the other side of the shark, and they both smell like wet leather.

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