Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Jack Bauer Hour of Power

As a rule I don't do network TV. Most of the programs in the past 8 years or so have been stupid, vulgar, tasteless and silly. Or too insipid...Touched by an Angel comes readily to mind. Crap, that was a dumb show-but America loved it, I guess. The last network series that I allowed myself to get completely sucked into was E.R.-that was a Don't Miss for many years. But when they killed off Dr. Greene with brain cancer, that was too much for this ol' gal to take. At the time, the parallels to my own life were too similar. I was dealing with cancer in my own home. Dr. Greene's on air passing came just weeks after my own husband had passed away. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I couldn't take it. So no more getting emotionally invested in TV for me.

Awhile back-many moons, actually, I had heard and read the buzz about a new show on Fox. The concept was novel enough: a series that runs an hour-in real time! It was an action/adventure show, focusing on the life of a CIA-type agent-the character's name was Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland-who, in my opinion is a purty darn good actor-better than his old man, actually. Each episode would cover an hour of events in whatever latest global crisis was on tap for that season. A season would be 24 episodes, as in hours in a day, hence the title: "24" This sounded absolutely brilliant!
Alas! I could not even so much catch the premier episode-at the time we were still enslaved to DirecTV-so no local channels. Oh yeah, I could have got the network channels for places like NYC and Detroit-but why? It added too much to the already steep tab I had with them. Nope. Sorry. Then Dish Network blew into town with local channels at the same price I was paying for Direct with no locals-it was an easy decision. We switched.
But by then "24" had fallen off my radar screen. I had other fish to fry and attend to-I couldn't get bogged down with watching a weekly show-besides, I didn't even know if it was still on.
But prior to the holiday I heard the buzz again-"24" was launching their 5th season in Jan. AHHA! Time and days were noted for the season opener. OK...let's give this puppy a whirl and see how it flies...
HOLY CRAP!!!!
That's all I can say.
I'm am now totally and completely sucked into this show.

Think of every Bruce Willis/Die Hard film you've seen, compressed into an hour and you get the idea. The tension and action is nonstop. I was screaming-yes-screaming at my TV the whole time ("NO! Don't tell him anything! He's a mole!!!" "What is that? A tracking device?...OH crap! Get out now! They've spotted you!!" "Oh My God...It's plutonium!!" ) It sounds ridiculous now, but I guess I'm not alone. Alot of people were screaming at their TV sets this past Sunday and Monday evenings.
Just an unbelieveably amazing show. Violent, hell yes, and at times rather graphic. Realistic? depends on your view of our government and how all the different branches of it works. But the suspension of belief works it's magic as you get so drawn into the non-stop unfurling of events and the insane twists and turns.
The cast, brilliant. The writing superb, the pacing and editing unreal for a TV show. The 4 episodes I've seen so far are movie theater quality, not some cheapass network drama.
This show kicks ass.
I'm so there! I can't wait for the next episode.
This is truly MUST SEE TV.


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