January 23, 2006
The new season of "24"

Unlike Jim, I'm happily engrossed in the current season of 24. It could all fall apart at any time, of course, and as Heather Havrilesky observes, "even when it's firing on all pistons, it's also uneven and dorky and campy and leaden and obvious." Like Heather, I think that's why I like it. It's pure guilty pleasure.

And I think Kevin is on to something here:

In seasons 1 and 2 we watched in order to find out just how comically farfetched the "Kim in peril" scenes could get. Last season we were spellbound by the bizarre and ultimately unfathomable torture fest. This season we have....

No, not datamining, although we do have that. What we have this season is President Charles Logan, possibly the most worthless excuse for a fictional leader of the free world ever. Just how much of dink will they make him into? Will he eventually panic and order the assassination of Jack Bauer? Start rolling around on the floor and chewing the carpet? Or will the scriptwriters chicken out and allow him to redeem himself with some unexpected act of moral bravery at the end?

That's what makes this season worth watching: basking in the utter worthlessness and steady emotional deterioration — on Fox! — of Republican President Charles Logan.

Tiffany was almost at the point of hurling objects at the television whenever Logan was onscreen last week. His inability to handle the crises that arose in the first four hours were enough to stretch her suspension of disbelief to the snapping point. I admit, I just want to see if Logan gets his in the end. This show isn't particularly sentimental about its characters, even its Presidents, so he could buy it at any time. If it's a good, cheesy, poetic-justice kind of demise, so much the better.

I can think of at least three other reasons to watch as well. Since they're spoilerish, they're beneath the fold.

1. Do the bad guys have an actual reason for wanting to hang a frame on Jack Bauer, a man whom only four people even knew was alive, or was that just a convenient plot device to bring about a shocking opening scene and get Jack back in the game? Why frame him and not simply kill him, assuming they knew where to find him? And how did they even know he was still breathing?

2. What did David Palmer want to tell Mrs. Logan? If it really was a matter of national security, and Logan himself had (understandably) shut Palmer out, why not try contacting Mike Novick? Surely Novick, whose political compass far outstrips his moral one, would at least take his call.

3. Will Chloe's boy toy turn out to be evil? It wouldn't be the CTU if there weren't at least one mole, right?

Answers to these and other burning questions coming up in the next 20 weeks. I hope.

UPDATE: Looks like I called #3. Poor Chloe.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 23, 2006 to TV and movies | TrackBack

I'm personally hoping this season that Loagan either really ends up being behind the Assassinations, or he does something real evil. I hope, in turn, Jack will be forced to kill Logan. While I love our hero killing Terrorists, I'd like to see if he can "administer" justice to the country's leader, if need be...

I also couldn't believe thwy killed Palmer! How could they do that! He was one of my favorite characters!

I can't wait to see how this season ends!

Posted by: Adam on January 23, 2006 4:41 PM

You know, I've tried watching the show. There was a marathon on Spike a few weeks ago and I was going to watch the whole first season. Two episodes in, I stopped. I just couldn't watch anymore.

I'm not sure what it is, but the show just seems so ludicrous to me. I need to be able to suspend my disbelief, and the only show that feels real enough to me to do that has and will be The West Wing.

Failing that, I'll take replays of Dead Like Me on Showtime.

Posted by: Nate on January 23, 2006 8:26 PM

Have you seen The Jacktracker?

Posted by: Jim Thompson on January 24, 2006 7:49 AM

I enjoyed the first year or so as a guilty pleasure. The last season lost me - right around when it started looking more like a propaganda piece to get people used to the idea that torture is good than an actual TV drama.

Posted by: John on January 24, 2006 10:28 AM

I vaguely enjoyed the second season of 24, skipped the third season, and gritted my teeth through the fourth season for all the obvious reasons. My suspension of disbelief (which can tollerate a wide variety of B.S.) just gave up and I only continued watching to spot-the-blatant-bull-hokey. The Cisco product placement was probably the icing on the cake. This season, I've tried, but I just can't do it. No more 24 for me.

Posted by: Dan on January 26, 2006 1:08 PM