Monday, 14 April 2008

Things That Have Occurred To Us While Watching Season Five Of 24 (2 - 4)

Our headlong rush through the fifth season of 24 has been partially curtailed now shows are returning to air (CSI, The Office, 30 Rock, and Battlestar Galactica are all back), but we're still watching it and still loving it. More observations follow thusly...

2. Curtis is the black David Puddy.

With Tony out of action and Jack having to deal with the usual bureaucratic nonsense, the role of second-stringer grunt goes to Curtis Manning, played by Roger R. Cross. As far as we've seen in season five he hasn't had much to do other than run around with a nerve gas canister and arrest jerkoff hobbit/bureaucrat Lynn McGill. However, it was at the moment that he was asked to do that by Audrey Raines that we realised that his peculiar stilted line readings and intense facial expressions reminded us of David Puddy from Seinfeld. He has the same build, the same monolithic presence; he even talks in monosyllables!

You got a ask the 8-ball!

3. I dread the non-existent tolling of the silent clock.

I couldn't care less about Edgar. We already have Chloe, who is one of the ten best characters on TV right now, so why have someone else as socially inept as Chloe, except not as good at his job as she is, not to mention far less entertaining? It was a total waste of a spot on the regular cast, and I couldn't understand why he was such a popular character.

In season five Edgar is killed in the middle of a nerve gas attack on CTU headquarters (which is possibly the most vulnerable place on earth, having been breached numerous times by now, not to mention employing more moles and terrorists than the International College of Terroristics and Molery at the height of its popularity). This plot development was no surprise. I knew about Edgar's death on the day after it originally aired in the US as Yahoo! News had a big feature on their front page about it. I couldn't believe there was such an outcry over a character that had never seemed that important or popular, but apparently people were really shocked by it.

Of course, when I saw it, my cynicism evaporated. His death was horrible, and I was a bit peeved about it, but the silent clock at the end got to me anyway. It did when Teri Bauer died, and when Ryan Chappelle died, and it happened again here. I totally didn't cry, though! I just got all choked up and sad, that's all. It's totally different!

That said, if Miles Papazian, backboneless hyper-bureaucrat, weaselly tattle-tale, and pencil-pushing world champion were to die heroically and get the silent clock treatment (doubtful, as he is to heroism what Jack Bauer is to risk-averse middle-management), I would use those few seconds to dance a jig in honour of his long-delayed demise. Die, you feeble unpopular geek, die!!!

4. Was the existence of Tony's soul patch a directive from former producer Joel Surnow?

One of the many many reasons for Canyon's apathy toward the magnificent he-man known as the Tonytron 5000 Heroismbot is the existence of the soul patch, which appeared on and off over the past few seasons. But why is it there at all? What was the inspiration? Maybe show creator Joel Surnow knows.

Surnow is, of course, the man responsible for creating the polar opposite of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in that it was right-wing, unfunny, mean-spirited, lifeless, desperate, and a blatant propaganda tool borne of the paranoid, ossified, humanity-hating, addled mindset of the extremist conservative anti-democratic media machine that is Fox News, whereas The Daily Show has Rob Riggle, John Hodgman and Samantha Bea and therefore wins booyah! That show, The ½ Hour News Hour, failed. Badly. Any Conservatives or Republicans who stumble across this blog will be incensed by this, and might insult us in comments and then obsessively come back over and over and over to check to see if we've taken the bait, but humour is subjective, and subjectively (in other words, in my humble opinion) this show sucked. Actually, if I'm being honest, it sucked objectively as well. There's an equation that proves it. The ½ Hour News Hour is the Platonic ideal of suckage that casts the shadow onto the wall of the cave that we recognise as the watered-down version of suckage that we use to describe things like Rob Cohen movies or Judd Winick comics.

What has this bitchery to do with 24 and the soul patch? Nothing. I just like remembering that Fox News tried to be funny and didn't even understand the concept. Don't believe me? Watch this, if you can get past the opening crawl, which screams, "IMMINENT, CATACLYSMIC ÜBER-FAIL FOR THE AGES!" so powerfully it throbs like an absess under a wisdom tooth.

Anyway, enough of the schadenfreude. I will add that Surnow has left 24 in the hands of Howard Gordon (and probably David Fury), so we don't have to think about him anymore, unless he creates another compelling action show (that features a lot less torture, please). Bye Surnow. Don't let the nerve gas canister hit you in the ass on the way out.

So, we're still making our way through, and there are more things occurring to me as we go along. This will predictably involve Robocop references. Prepare yourselves.

1 comment:

Masticator said...

I have a feeling that Edgar's popularity may have had something to do with the fact that he reflected the dreams of the show's audience in a way no character has done since that guy from King Of Queens: a dopey, hapless shlub who - gasp! - just happens to have a cool and enviable life, whether by being a computing genius with an awesome job fightin' turrists or by speaking entirely in sitcom zingers while married to a Scientologist of unlikely hotness.