Friday, September 14, 2007

24 Talk and Now What?

I am usually 5-7 years behind every trend. So, if it's too late for readers to be interested in commentary on 24, the television series of now six seasons, I understand. I just got hooked a few months ago. My wife and I, who tend to buy or rent a television series instead of watching it during the year, got introduced to 24 recently. Before that we were introduced to Lost, and liked the first two years of that and lost interest during the third. I think it was my daughter who suggested both.
We're almost done year five of 24, with no flagging interest and I'm sorry year six is the last. Here are some general comments and a few criticisms.
  • Year 1 is fantastic. Palmer is great as is Jack.
  • Note to Kim: Men = Lock down in cave, car, or jail cell. Consider other sexual orientation.
  • Seriously, there has been no year when the "daughter thread" hasn't annoyed me. Even now in Year 5. Here Jack has just kept her alive by keeping anonymity and she's "needing time" before she can forgive him. Of what? She annoys the hell out of me, big boobs and all.
  • Chloe is a favorite character.
  • Tony's tilted head twitch is annoying.
  • Why are a lot of the bad guys gay, slightly gay, or metrosexual? Kims latest boyfriend, a lot of the terrorists, Kay's assistant in Year 5.
  • I disliked the Year that had the blood nose dripping disease. That was gross.
  • I liked Michelle's low cut dresses and heaving breasts. I miss them, I mean her.
  • Jack doing the paddle heart shock treatment to Audrey's husband was "jumping the shark." I can understand him flying airplanes and all the acrobatics but where in CTU training do you learn that?
  • Year 4 is my favorite, especially the end, when Jack is cast off, James Dean style. Righteous and rejected rebel. Great stuff.
  • Year 5 is good. Is the Secret Service agent cool, or what? The President is a great character, because you have to dislike him, but you sometimes pity and almost like him. He is a complex character not often seen in TV. I do see flashes of Nixon, or the public perception of Nixon.
  • The Department of Defense guy (Audrey's father) was out of character when he attacked Jack. All along he had been the cool, sensible one, then he turns into Mr. Politician, zaps Jack in the neck and runs off leaving his daughter behind. Not believable.
  • How many woman can Jack fall in love with in a six year period? He's had more soulmates than a squad of high school cheerleaders. James Bond made no such pretense.
Please, I am at the end of 24 and need suggestions for a similar television series? 24 has about all the soap opera type element I can take, and at times Jack gets a little too in touch with his feminine side, so Desperate Housewives is out for me, as is anything with a hospital in it. Suggestions? Jeromey? Andrew?


jeromey said...

hmmm... i never thought a post about what tv show to watch would make me think so much.

i haven't watched much tv other than pbs or selected news shows (60 mins., 20/20, etc.). (*quick aside: when one news magazine reports on the "bad practices" of another think, "to catch a predator," you know they've jumped the shark*)

i just looked through my mythtv scheduled recordings (to remember what i watched last fall), the titles that i saw were unimpressive. first my list (for fun), then a little commentary and suggestions. :)

what my pc records for me:
charlie brown
dancing with the stars *wife*
fawlty towers
independent lens
rock star (supernova)
boston legal
monty python's flying circus
Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman
Desperate Housewives *wife*
The Office
All My Children *wife*
One Life to Live *wife*
General Hospital *wife*
Hell's Kitchen
The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson
My Name Is Earl
Grey's Anatomy
Ghost Whisperer *wife*
So You Think You Can Dance *wife*
Last Comic Standing
Star Trek
NASCAR in Primetime
Beauty and the Geek *wife*

the shows marked *wife* are shows that only she watches (usually). i tolerate some bad tv to watch together, but these shows are too bad for me to watch. it annoys both of us because i'm miserable and making wisecracks through the whole show, so she watches these alone. :)

tv shows today are generally bad. i heard a news story on NPR yesterday about the tv show that's being shown exclusively on myspace this fall: quarterlife
i'll definitely be checking that one out - for no other reason than the networks rejected it but the creator believed in it and kept at it. i always like to check out a "labor of love" even if it looks cheesy. the only reason i'm suspicious is that myspace is owned by news corp, which owns a tv network (fox), and may just be looking to generate enough buzz to "decide to move it their schedule." they're not as sneaky as they thought they were.

the NPR story also mentioned how badly networks have become at creating/choosing new shows. maybe if it weren't so hard to break into the entertainment industry and there weren't so many levels of production/management ($), they could find much more quality content. it wouldn't surprise me if the networks had no one trolling myspace or google video looking for new shows. they, like the music industry, seem to be stuck in the "old school" frame of mind. i don't know what will happen to them, but if they lose money and get taken over/morphed into something lesser, they certainly deserve it.

now, for my tv show picks:
1. boston legal
i was a fan of The Practice. while this is not really significant, i think most spinoffs suck. this one doesn't. james spader is a *SUPER GENIUS* and complements william shatner's character perfectly. yes, the plot has had some dud lines, but overall, the current-day conflicts and cynical parody of our life in America is a treat to watch.
wish they'd ax: julie bowen her character has no moral backbone but is self-righteous. that's annoying.
never should have cut: rhona mitra she was sexy with an accent. enough said.

2. lost
you already watch this show, so i can't expand it further. i agree last season started off like a corporate team-building exercise. it did get better, but here's to hoping they get it right this year.

2.5 House
this show has hospitals, doctors, and icky tv shots of "internal stuff" supposedly indide bodies. i can't watch those parts. i know this show is out for you because of the hospital bit, but it's still worth a mention for one reason: hugh laurie. he is another brilliant actor that makes the entire show watchable. i have no idea about the accuracy of the medical information presented. i am certain the plausibility of dr. house being able to keep his job long-term acting the way he does is not possible - especially given the current state of malpractice insurance and our overly litigious society. the other characters support fairly well, i suppose, but the main attractions of this show are 1. hugh laurie and 2. solving (not necessarily curing) the "condition of the week". i love mysteries, and this has to be what draws me to this discovery process. the secondary plot lines are all garbage, but i suffer through for the 2 points above.
wish they'd ax: omar epps he plays the angry black guy terribly. honestly, what black guy do you know who intentionally stays away from his non-abusive parents (especially his mother)?

2.75 grey's anatomy
this show is unbearably soap-operaish at times. yes, it's another hospital show that shows guts. (cover your eyes and forget any of your medical knowledge) mcdreamy makes me mcpuke. i like t.r. knight and justin chambers performances. they're way underrated and waaaaaaay better than ellen pompeo. she reminds me of a man. maybe they should make her get "the operation" on the show. the REAL gem of the show is katherine heigl. it's a joy to watch her heaving, um, lines. i know this is sad, but true. i'm interested to see what happens with the real-life dismissal of isaiah washington. i wish they'd have kept him. he was is a decent actor that made the mistake of being a person with personal feelings. boo on hollywood! having feelings is not wrong. sometimes acting on them is - but having feelings is not wrong - it's human.

ok. so that's the dramas you asked for. there are also 3 comedy shows that deserve my watching time. maybe they will get yours, too.

a. the office (us) and, if you like brticoms, the office (uk)
i lump these together because they're really the same show, plot-wise. i like them both, but i can relate better to the characters in the us version. steve carell is good, but not great. john krasinski is really good as is rainn wilson. also worth mentioning, cree bratton, whose character name is "creed" on the show, plays the psychotic office worker scarily well. yikes! this show is just as good, if not better, than the movie office space. i don't really know how to describe it better than that.

b. my name is earl
this show exudes the essence of white, trailer-trash americana in all of its terrible glory. it's always good to be able to make fun of yourself - and this show does - for millions of americans. i'm just not sure the people that this show pokes fun at realize this fact. i can't think of a bad performance in this show. they're all awesome. this show has no redeeming intellectual value except earl's simplistic interpretation and application of karma. we could all benefit from embracing this credo.

lastly, in the "reality" category (which is no longer "real" people acting how they "really" would), when it comes out next off-season, you really should check out hell's kitchen. forget the sprinkles of drama and character conflict edited in. watching chef ramsey teach and manage a kitchen is a thing of beauty. what a prime example of efficiency and perfection stemming from loving what you do. i'm sure he's not completely responsible for the entire show's success (as with anything in hollywood), but he appears to be "very awesome."

that's it. my take on tv today. hope it helps or at least entertains. :)

i'm off to watch a 20/20 john stocil special about health care. i like him, too. "gimmie a break!" lol. i need that on a t-shirt.

until next time, i'm jer-0-mey
good day.

jeromey said...

by the way, i have never watched 24. maybe i should. :)

jeromey said...

i can't believe i almost forgot this too:

if you like action and any sci-fi at all (or even if you don't like sci-fi), you should check out Battlestar Galactica. it's super cool and has lots of twists. very good production - and for the most part, excellent acting. edward james olmos is enough for me to watch, but the supporting cast and great writing makes it twice as good.

i know for certain you can get it on DVD.

if you don't watch any other show i mentioned, you should try this one for sure.

Francis Shivone said...

Jeromey -- Thanks for the posts. I will concentrate on post 1 shortly. I have been traveling. I have never watched B.G. I'll give it a try this week.
My wife and I have done every British serial made before 1990. Good Neighbors, Fawlty, Rumpole, Yes, Minister, Morse (my favorite) et al.
The newer ones never grabbed me much.
Actually as far as sci fi -- I actually like Star Trek up to when the woman was the Captain. Nothing against women, I didn't like the whole setup.