24 the whole nine yards

by fp on June 15, 2010

in Propaganda

Seasons one through seven of the Fox fantasy “24″ are available in their entirety for commercial free streaming from Netflix. The last season, number eight, will presumably be available someday. For eight years I avoided exposure to this pestilential propaganda, but now that it’s been wrapped up, I’ve made a commitment to my atavistic inner tough-guy to watch all of it right here at my desk. It won’t be easy. Kiefer Sutherland plays Jack Bauer, a character so one dimensional that it requires an actor with Sutherland’s skill to project all that anger and angst and to lard it with supercilious self-righteousness. The format, a whole season taking place over a single day has one major challenge in addition to Sutherland’s execrable acting skills: wardrobe. Costume changes are few and far between. One can but imagine the body odor.

I don’t have a good excuse for watching the world according to Fox, but then neither do I have an excuse for listening to Rush Limbaugh unless it’s simply to gauge the drift of the risible right. Call this a study of how the Cheney-Rove administration enlisted Rupert Murdoch to help stretch American values to include torture and to bury the Bill of Rights.

I’m about half-way through season one. So far I haven’t been converted. Water boarding is still not on my list of approved interview techniques. Of passing interest to me is that season one bad guys were forged in the crucible of the war in the Euro-zone formerly known as Yugoslavia. The Iraq/Afghanistan wars were still in the future when the series was first scripted.

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Ronni Bennett June 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I am aghast that you are committing to this. At 24 episodes per season, that’s 192 HOURS, Frank – eight whole days of TV watching. Well, without commercials, it’s about 44 minutes per hour, but that’s still 140.8 hours or 5.9 whole days. Although I trust you are tough-minded enough not to fall victim to the “24″propaganda, I’m not so sure your eyeballs won’t fall out.

However, I must admit, now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m curious to know how the show’s political philosophy changed after 9/11. And then, how it may (or may not) have changed again after Obama’s election. You will be reporting back to us, I assume?

fp June 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I intend to write about it, Ronni; but, based on this first season, there may be little to say. It’s literally a cliffhanger. In one episode the nubile young lust interest goes over a cliff in a car that explodes at the bottom. The explosion cuts off her screams. “Good,” I thought. “They’re tying up loose ends by killing off the supporting characters.” Sadly, after a suspenseful interval, the character is resurrected for another little soft-core waltz around the violence and quivering cleavage dance floor.

This first season is plotted around the candidacy of a true-blue candidate for President, a black senator whose enemies would like to see him dead. There’s something compelling about the life imitates art aspect of that.

I’m sure i’ll have more to say about this season and those that follow, but maybe not enough to justify the eyeball burn of scores of hours viewing.

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