24 Hour Party People (Update Below)

I am a “24” watcher. I’ve watched all 5 seasons on dvd and am now watching the 6th season in “real time,” for the first time. It sucks, watching tv in real time with commercials and whole weeks passing by to wait for another episode. I don’t agree with that. But here I am, doing it.

Yesterday I read this article in the New Yorker about the right-wingin’ nut who’s behind the show, and it’s almost enough to make you want to stop watching. But then, it’s just a tv show. At least, for me it is. Some people, though, like to have their feelings vindicated by the events that take place on the show. Like torturing people to get information. Now I see that Sullivan has written about it today (if only I was getting paid to blog, I wouldn’t been all over it yesterday!).

The thing is, besides the torture stuff they’ve had two black presidents (presumably Democrats), one of whom was an unmistakably strong and effective leader (the other remains to be seen this season), and a Nixon/Bush II hybrid president who was in cahoots with terrorists and removed from office. Furthermore, this current season has a chief of staff who is completely off his nut, trying to put Muslims in detainee camps, enforce martial law, and curtail all civil rights while this thing blows over. If this is somehow supposed to make those ideas look sane, I would say that it’s not working.

It may be that the results of acting (or not acting) in an extreme manner will attempt to prove a point — if the terrorists succeed and President Palmer did not take the advice of his nutball adviser or Cheney-like VP — but the bottom line is that this is a tv show, and has no basis in any kind of reality. None of this shit would happen like this. Jack Bauer is gonna save the day no matter what – copy that — and he will do whatever it takes!

The one obvious downside is that the too-large percentage of folks who absorb this show as more than entertainment may possibly believe that America should torture its enemies and detain Muslims because of what they saw on “24.” These folks may also believe that Jim Belushi is funny and “American Idol” rocks.

And there really is not much we can do about that anyway.


The Tribune carries on with this in today’s Watcher with Mo Ryan, a true student of “24:”

…by making the weak, inexperienced Palmer virtually the only advocate for civil rights, the show is making it seem as though only indecisive, wishy-washy people are against setting up internment camps and against severe, open-ended restrictions of civil liberties. That’s just ridiculous, not to mention condescending.

Some good criticisms and observations about the show in her column. If you’re a “24” nut, that is. Because thousands and thousands of lives are at stake. Copy that, over.

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