Wednesday, April 16, 2008

24? Oh, you mean a "two-four"?[*]

I've mentioned here before that I don't get a chance to watch much TV these days. This week, however, I've been watching repeats of 24 (season 4) on Fox Japan. Now, I have a computer and all that, so I've been aware of this show from it's first season, and I've even read posts about it on a few different blogs. I get the impression that certain segments of the American right are particularly fond of 24, but for the life of me I can't figure out why...

It seems to me (after watching a handful of episodes this week) that 24 portrays the USA and the American people generally as the stupidest, most incompetent, greediest, back-stabbing-est lot of retards in world history. (Look, I don't write the fucking show, so don't go getting all pissy with me, OK? I actually have a much kinder view of Americans than the writers of 24 seem to.) "Oh yeah", some of you are no doubt thinking, "Americans look bad because of all the torture scenes, this Kyklops guy is some kinda lily-livered leftie." Well, actually, no. In fact, in context the torture scenes are the one aspect of the show that might be seen as relatively flattering to Americans (I think I've seen 4 or 5 people tortured so far this week, and two of them were actually bad guys--that's better than baseball!).

No, I'm not talking about all the maiming and torturing. I'm talking about how the show portrays every level of the American government as incompetent and corrupt, and (seemingly) the vast majority of American citizens as traitorous scumbags who'd sell any old Islamofascist a nuke for a pack of smokes and a few beers. Don't know what I'm talking about? Fuck, a blind man could see it.

Take the episodes of season 4 I've been watching this week. There's this evil mastermind Islamofacist (at least he seems to be an Islamofascist), Marwan , who in the few hours I've been watching has been able to evade every imaginable level of American security and 1) cause a bunch of nuclear reactors to go into meltdown mode, 2) shoot down Airforce One with an American fighter plane, 3) snatch the "football," and 4) steal a nuclear warhead and launch a missile attack.

What, I ask, are we to infer from this? That this Marwan guy really is a mastermind? Give me a fucking break...

And then there's all the help Marwan seems to be getting from "actual" Americans. From people inside CTU, inside government, ex-military personnel, spies, and beer-drinking good old boys, right down to your average thug on the street--they're all on Marwan's fucking payroll!

I ask again, what are we to infer from this? That Marwan is rich and the Americans on his payroll are simply following the dictates of a free market? Give me a fucking break...

I love this show, and I love that it's on Fox, the same network that gave us The Simpsons and X-Files. 24 is quite possibly the most subversive show in TV history...

[*] Where I come from a "two-four" is a case of 24 bottles of beer.


  1. Whenever I sit down to watch 24 I always find myself counting how many people Jack Bauer kills in that episode, whether Jack gets killed himself in that episode (he has more lives than a cat) and which old cast member have they brought back, because you know that they are going to get killed very soon.
    The thing that annoys me the most about the show is that it makes your brain incapable of logical thought. Well done for breaking through all that.

  2. Verilion,
    Nice to hear from you!
    I actually enjoy watching 24 for, I suspect, some of the same reasons I enjoy pro-wrestling...

  3. I thought you meant "twofer;" i.e., two fer the price of one. Or something less amenable to posting in a family comments section.

    Two-four for a case of beer? You Japanese people sure talk funny.

    Thanks for the rant, though. It gives me another reason to avoid the show, as if I needed one. Something about the star's real life first name bugs me.

  4. Brendan,
    Heh, I meant where I really come from--Nova Scotia! And, yeah, we talk funny there!

    More "proof" the show is subversive--the star is Canadian! Oh, the vicarious thrill!

  5. Yah, I know you're from Canada originally. I just like to exaggerate my persona as a clueless American, eh?

    And, in all seriousness, I do love to hear regionalisms. Adds spice to the language.