Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I thought Keifer Sutherland was a great actor from the time I saw him in Young Guns. I haven't followed every film of his career, but I've seen a few over the years and mostly enjoyed them and watched several a second time.

And then came 24.

I'm not a big TV watcher of network and cable TV shows. The wife likes her fixing stuff and cooking stuff and making stuff shows and teary women's channel dramas about a mother whose babiy really does get switched in the hospital and they are unable to prove it. You wanna talk about, as perhaps Brando best put it..."the horror". I'm telling you.

At our house, we watch a lot of movies as well as Nick and Disney. I like several of the shows on these channels, particularly iCarly, who last night had Jack Black in a major hilarious role with a lot of screen time. I know Jack has a son, he's probably like me, watching iCarly with his son and likes the show as well.

iCarly reminds me of some of the shows I grew up watching, generally harmless but with some values or lesson or moral somehow woven into the show. Something that entertained and perhaps educated in some minor way.

So we watch those shows as well as Discovery and National Geo and of course, The History Channel as El Fisho Jr. is already a fairly knowledgeable Civil War and WWII scholar. He's now into American and Texas western history and unfortunately, he knows more about current world war events than I'd expected, but school and geography teach current events, and he goes to school with a few soldier's kids.

So this having more or less been a trend in our lives for our long marriage, along with movies and such, I have not been much of a network or cable TV series watcher. In fact, the last series I can recall watching regularly for several years was the excellent Hill Street Blues in the early 1980's. Excellent show, by the way.

And then, skip to maybe 2006, and some co-workers and I are discussing favorite action movies and tv shows and such. And one co-worker, Ruby, mentions that she thinks I would like 24. I'd never seen it, and didn't really know what it was about. I thought at the time it was one of those paranormal FBI alien shows or something, instead of being a national-security-defend-the-nation-show.

And so off to Blockbuster I went, and there lay what would become a goldmine of entertainment for me. Several seasons of 24 on the rental shelves. I began watching Season One and found I liked it. On a trip to the new/used video game store, I found several box sets of various 24 seasons for like $12 bucks, which was cheaper than renting the discs from Blockbuster. And off I went, watching 24.

Over the next few years, I didn't buy the 24 dvd releases as they appeared, instead waiting until they appeared on ebay or at the used shelves at the game store. In fact, the only one I've gotten new was the latest and last season of 24, Season 8.

To get to the point, one reason I enjoyed 24 as entertainment was that there was always a cliffhanger, at the end of every episode and at the end of every season. Twists and turns. Surprises.

I'll say again, I don't go in for law enforcement shows, but I do enjoy 24. I know our homeland security doesn't operate with the slick efficiency of CTU, but I know many of our agents are as dedicated as those shown on 24. I suppose the technology is there for tapping into video and computer systems and having everything at the touch of your fingers to basically access all data in law enforcement and government as does CTU.

Again, one hopes that at least some of the schemes and scenarios encountered by CTU in 24 are likewise responded to with investigation and surveillence when nefarious characters are found to be on our shores.

SO the reason I say damn it to Jack Bauer, as the collective representative of the show and writers and producers and so on, is that once again they've let me saying "Damn you!" at the TV at the ending of Season 8. You've done your job well, and left me ready for the yet-unmade but rumored 24 movie.

I'm hanging on, and how many more years until Jack Bauer gets some sort of relaxation and happy life?

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