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This Day in My History

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23 August 2006

There must be a "24 Game" out there somewhere.  A nice pub game. 

Every time someone says "there's no time for that now" someone drinks a pint of beer.  They'll be drunk before the end of the show.

Perhaps the other competitor in the competition could down a pint of beer every time someone says "you'll just have to trust me" (extra beer if the person saying it is totally untrustworthy).

I'm into Season 3 now, in my marathon DVD watching.  In Season 1, Jack Bauer had to prevent the assassination of a presidential candidate; in Season 2, there was a nuclear device due to be exploded in Los Angeles; in Season 3, we're dealing with bioterrorism and a fatal virus ready to be released in Los Angeles (you have to wonder what writers have against Los Angeles.  I thought Indiana was the top terrorist target in the country.).

Ned had warned me that there is a lot of violence to get through between Season 1 and Season 5 (which hasn't been released yet).  I'm finding that I'm dealing with the violence a lot better than I am dealing with the stupidity of the sub plots.

For starters, will someone please drown Kim Bauer, Jack's daughter?  She was kidnapped or arrested so many times I lost count in Seasons 1 and 2, but now she's working for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit, a fictitous government agency populated by more incompetents than the United States congress).

Now get this.  They learn that the most lethal virus in the world is about to be released into the air, every CTU agent is hard at work, frantically trying to track down the virus, and Kim decides that now is the time to let her father know that she's getting serious about one of the agents in the office.  "Kim, can we talk later?" "No, Dad, I have to tell you now!"

Later, when Jack is pretending to work with the evil Nina Myer, who murdered his wife, in order to get his hands on the virus, Kim makes the current head of CTU promise that he will stop it because she can't stand the thought of her father working with the woman who killed her mother.  Never mind that if this works it will save all of Los Angeles.  Just don't let Daddy hurt my feelings any more.

I remember in Season 1 when her father was dodging bullets from the bad guys and Kim would call and ask when he was coming home because she needed him.

In Season 3, she discovers that a baby is not actually the daughter of one of the computer people (who has hidden the baby under her desk) and just as Jack is about to get handed the deadly virus, and the head of CTU is organizing all his men to grab the virus and save the world yet again, Kim pulls him aside to let him know that there is something not right about Chloe's claims to motherhood and to demand that he "do something" about it.

Kim Bauer wins the "totally clueless" award of all time.

Then we have President Palmer, a man of great stature and great integrity, in Season 1, who has become less effective than a CEO at some second-rate insurance company.  In Season 2 he gave his ex-wife access to all of the country's highest level security documents, unaware that she was the person who is working to bring down his presidency.   That worked so well that in Season 3 he gives her an alibi for the murder she's just committed.  The man rarely leaves an office which is as plush as Walt's cubicle and he never confers with anybody but his brother, who is now his Chief of Staff after his first Chief of Staff (who looked and sounded remarkably like Dick Cheney) turned out to be a bad guy.

Everybody calls the president "David," instead of "Mr. President" and he seems to have only one Secret Service man.  He is able to slip in and out of...wherever he is (it certainly isn't the White House) without being detected.  He never meets with foreign dignitaries, or congress persons and he seems to dedicate 100% of his time to waiting for news from Jack Bauer.

He's not Jed Bartlett by a long shot.   Heck, he's not even MacKenzie Allen (Geena Davis' character in Commander-in-Chief), and I had complaints about how un-presidential she was/is (I stopped watching the show).

Worse.  He's not even as presidential as the current occupant of the White House, and no greater insult can I level.

CTU.gif (36373 bytes)How about that CTU?   One would think that the Counter Terrorist Unit, the elite group that it is, would employ only the very top, absolutely the most trustworthy agents in the field. 

From a description of the fictional agency that I found on Wikipedia:

The Counter Terrorist Unit operates domestic counterterrorism divisional headquarters in major U.S. metropolitan areas. The purview of the CTU is to investigate the activities of domestic or foreign terrorists inside America's borders and to prevent terrorist attacks. CTU divisions are made up of investigative agents, intelligence agents, undercover operatives, crack tactical squads for major raids, and special agents to oversee unit activities. CTU is specifically set up to coordinate activities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, and the Secret Service as well as local authorities. As a branch of the CIA, CTU operations are overseen by both Congress and the Executive Branch of the federal government.

Well...for one thing, the department heads seem to change several times in a 24 hour shift, as someone decides that whoever is in charge is incompetent and puts someone else in charge until that person is relieved of duty.  In Season 1 alone (one 24 hour period) there were four different heads of CTU-Los Angeles in charge, each being put in place when it was determined that their predecessor was unfit for duty.  In a 24 hr period.  Four.

There were two moles discovered in Season 1 and one who was thought to be a mole in Season 3, but it turns out he was just working a sting operation, because though these operatives work together, they all end up going off on their own, you know.   So much more efficient.  ("I have no time to explain that now; you'll just have to trust me...")

In Season 2 the office was bown up by a massive bomb and was back up and running within 15 minutes.  Oh, there was still paper strewn around the floor for the rest of the season, but none of the sensitive computers appear to have been damaged at all, all the broken glass was repaired, all the furniture survived intact, and somehow the important files were all where they needed to be.

Now in Season 3, we have suddenly have a baby dropped off at CTU headquarters just as things are moving into high gear for finding the deadly virus.   The initial story (which, of course, we know isn't really true) is that the baby is the daughter of the boyfriend of Chloe, who is apparently the only person who can operate some high tech computer. She is hiding the baby from the boyfriend's wife, who has legal custody, so the baby has essentially been kidnapped.   The big cheese (who appears to do nothing but walk around causing trouble) says "Get rid of it...I don't care what you do.  Just get rid of it."

Chloe has left the baby in Kim's care and when she comes back, the baby is fussy.  "What did you do to her?" she demands, glaring at Kim and snatching the baby out of her hands, certain that Kim had been abusing this child, totally oblivious to the fact that maybe the baby might have been bored sitting in a carseat for a long time and being held by a total stranger and maybe that was why she was fussing (or she might be hungry, or have a full diaper).

Also, nobody ever sleeps in a 24 hour period and if people slow down they are chastised for not being 100%.  Nobody seems to take a coffee break or eat a meal either.  They do visit the bathroom — but only because that's a good place to make secret phone calls.

The message of "24" appears to be that foreigners are no damn good.  In Season 1, Jack was fighting terrorists from Kosovo; in Season 2, he's fighting middle eastern terrorists; in Season 3, it's the Mexican Mafia; and I understand that middle eastern terrorists under control of a guy from Turkey are in Season 4; and it's the Chinese in Season 5.

I think that if each of the "24" seasons were to be shortened to cut out all the stupid stuff and made into movies, they would be all be blockbusters, but all the filler they have to stick in there to make the story line last 24 episodes just stretches the limits of disbelief, sometimes to the breaking point.

If you haven't seen this show at all, you'll just have to trust me on this point.  I don't have time to go into further details with you.

Here are some great faux "24" facts -- some of them I've posted before, but there are lots more and they are mostly all funny.


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