Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Killin' Time With 24

Welcome to "Killin' Time With 24." A weekly morning-after 24 discussion hosted by your faithful That's A Wrap editors, Billy and Jim.

Every Tuesday morning we get together to discuss the previous evening's episode of 24. What we liked, disliked and where we would like to see the series go while avoiding any real work. It's like a virtual coffee break.

Sit back and let us do the complaining for you.

And don't forget to check out the first That's A Wrap Podcast

As always, spoilers after the jump.

(10:22:00) Billy: So, 24.
(10:23:40) Jim: hey
(10:24:09) Jim: well, it's like an old friend that retells the same five stories
(10:24:26) Billy: True, but this was at least an interesting episode
(10:24:32) Jim: you don't really need to pay attention, smile at the highlights that are still enjoyable
(10:24:36) Billy: Right
(10:25:03) Jim: which I have to say... having them shoot the First Gentleman was a pleasant surprise to how I thought the shootout would go
(10:25:16) Jim: When he took one in the chest, I admit I smiled.
(10:25:21) Billy: Of course, we're now one-third of the way through season 7
(10:25:42) Billy: The episodes shot before the strike have now all aired
(10:26:12) Jim: well, perhaps now will see some of the benefit of the long break with everything a bit more thought out
(10:26:34) Jim: I really would prefer if the plot didn't remind me of every other 24 season
(10:26:36) Billy: My hope is that the season improves since the writers had a year and a half to fix the ho-humness of this season
(10:27:04) Billy: I am glad that the "threat" isn't a U.S. wide threat right now
(10:28:09) Billy: Though we all know that won't last long
(10:28:23) Jim: absolutely... after three or four times of making the threat THIS BIG, it just comes off as unoriginal
(10:28:40) Jim: sorry, I meant THIS BIG
(10:28:48) Billy: Sadly, having the first gentleman kidnapped would have been just the kind of small plot that I've been BEGGING for 24 to go back to
(10:28:57) Billy: and they solve it in 45 minutes
(10:29:23) Jim: how many times after nuclear bomb, are we going to be dragged in by the scope of the problem... we should be dragged in by how it affects people we see and have seen before and care about
(10:29:46) Billy: Sure
(10:29:54) Billy: We got that after the bomb in season 2
(10:31:01) Billy: Some highlights from last night, for me: Dubaku's alias with his girlfriend?
(10:31:08) Billy: Samuel Aboah
(10:32:04) Billy: Also the name of the villain in the African Squeeze rip-off episode of the X-files, Teliko.
(10:33:18) Billy: Since Howard Gordon(Executive Producer and show runner on 24) also worked for The X-files, it's probably a big in-joke.
(10:33:27) Jim: well, good catch
(10:33:55) Billy: If you like THAT, I can connect Ronald Reagan to Kevin Bacon in SIX DEGREES!
(10:36:16) Billy: Best line of the evening, by far(and the only time I've really felt invigorated by the season's events) was Jack's response to the President asking if she could trust him on his credentials. "Ask Around." Classic.
(10:36:17) Jim: can we at least hope they might be done hammering home the, "that's against the rules. that's torture." angle that they have harped on every week since episode one?
(10:37:35) Jim: yes, by far best line of the show, but I really thought it was a weak scene... remember how utterly jazzed you were when Jack and Palmer met for the first time at CTU? no other presidential interaction has lived up to the standard they set with palmer
(10:39:44) Billy: We can stop hammering home the torture angle at the end of the season when Jack Bauer is sent to prison for it. It's being set up right now. Bauer saves the day by breaking all the rules and then does something that goes too far for even his own tastes. LivingGunTeri dies(because the writers on this show can't writer without killing someone)somehow and Jack submits to the Senate hearings willingly.
(10:40:58) Jim: I was leaning Presidential pardon until the FG got shot
(10:41:22) Billy: Sure
(10:41:24) Jim: by the way, loved the slide by keifer in that sequence, nice to try and make each repetitive gunfight feel unique
(10:41:44) Billy: Agreed, the gun fight was very entertaining
(10:42:06) Billy: Jack going the wrong way on a one way street to catch Vossler was fun too.
(10:42:39) Jim: did I miss a bit of dialogue where Jack knew the vehicle Vossler was driving?
(10:43:03) Billy: I think they were tracking his phone
(10:43:06) Jim: Because I thought it was rather lucky he hit the right one... I mean thank god head fbi guy's computer wasn't lagging
(10:43:23) Billy: GPS on secret service or some such nonsense
(10:43:32) Jim: I mean which of the three cars crossing the intersecetion do you take out, even with GPS
(10:44:01) Billy: Eh. That's the least of my concerns with the writing.
(10:45:52) Billy: I loved when HeadFBIGuy met with Jack and Renee--er, LivingGunTeri(I actually know her name now!) and they did the "Let's meet at a place that you can conveniently see either the Capital Building or the Washington Monument." In this case, BOTH!
(10:46:44) Jim: well, gotta show the money men why they paid to shoot in DC
(10:47:04) Billy: I like the move to DC, but it's a bit too hokey to assume that whenever someone goes outside they can see those two monuments.
(10:47:40) Billy: It's like the old film joke that every apartment in Paris has a great view of the Eiffel Tower
(10:48:03) Jim: i really hope they continue to keep the feel of DC over LA, especially in the night time hours... I'm worried they might fall into familiar patterns.
(10:49:09) Jim: hopefully they stay in the city, avoid anything that looks remotely like desert or an arid climate
(10:49:22) Billy: Ha, ha.
(10:49:34) Billy: Well, they rarely did that in previous seasons
(10:50:07) Billy: This isn't Heroes where half the outdoor scenes are clearly shot in the desert outside LA.
(10:50:54) Jim: true, but aerial shots and skyscrapers are probably more of a threat.
(10:51:42) Billy: Any establishing shots have already been made. And any errant skyscrapers in the background of shots can be digitally removed
(10:52:21) Billy: Look how good The X-files was in LA, and that was a decade ago.
(10:54:04) Jim: are we deep enough into the season to confirm it as better than the last? I think it's better, but the lowered expectations and long wait are probably playing with my perceptions.
(10:55:42) Billy: It is most certainly better than season six.
(10:55:56) Jim: huzzah!
(10:56:01) Billy: The question is whether it's better than four.
(10:58:01) Billy: Better than six, but season four was watchable but just mediocre. It looks like seven is going in the same direction.
(10:58:24) Jim: that's about as apt a description I'd give it so far
(10:58:51) Jim: they have the room to pull ahead of four, but it'll mean they need to be somewhat better than we've seen so far
(10:58:56) Billy: Time will tell, but honestly I think it's time for Jack Bauer to holster his guns.
(11:00:09) Jim: I started thinking in that direction about two years ago, but besides reintroducing Tony, they haven't done anything to build up a replacement
(11:00:23) Jim: and I can't see them canceling the show right now
(11:01:00) Billy: No, they are under contract for at least one more season.
(11:02:14) Billy: I remember back in 2002 when a second season was not a sure thing, and how we were so worried that it wouldn't come back.
(11:02:27) Billy: How I miss those days.
(11:03:25) Billy: I think that 24 proper needs to end, but the producers should spin the formula off like they spoke of doing in the early years.
(11:03:45) Jim: I don't think we can complain about it coming back every year. It's still a program we've watched more than 150 episodes of
(11:03:57) Billy: Forget terrorism. 24 with a cop trying to solve a murder case.
(11:04:04) Jim: even if it has dropped off, we still show up every Monday.
(11:04:14) Billy: 24 with an er doctor following a natural disaster
(11:04:51) Jim: of course to do a spinoff, they would have to introduce and develop a cool character without killing them off in short order
(11:05:02) Billy: There's so many things you can do with this formula, it's sad to see it wasted.
(11:05:07) Jim: or maiming them a-la chase or doyle
(11:06:01) Jim: because if they do spin it into a new direction, it should at least be somebody Jack encounters in the show, even if in a indirect way and not the main plot
(11:06:08) Billy: No need
(11:06:24) Billy: It just has to exist in the same world.
(11:07:30) Billy: Oh man, 24 with a private investigator trying to solve a mystery.
(11:07:34) Billy: Gold.
(11:07:38) Jim: I'm against you here. For the show to continue, it would at least need some sense of history... that what mattered before and the characters you watched and loved and what they did mattered. otherwise it's just hitting a giant reset button
(11:07:56) Billy: Fine, HIT THE RESET BUTTON.
(11:08:16) Jim: How easy would it be for Jack to encounter a cop, private investigator or doctor a couple times?
(11:08:25) Billy: There are three CSI's that cross over but were spun off by premise alone.
(11:08:38) Billy: There are a million Law and Order's that do the same thing.
(11:08:53) Jim: yeah, shows I don't watch or give a shit about
(11:09:08) Billy: There is absolutely no need to have Jack meet the main character of a new show.
(11:09:38) Billy: This isn't All in the Family and we are no spinning off into Maude or The Jeffersons
(11:10:22) Jim: don't you go saying anything against the Jeffersons, man
(11:10:28) Billy: Spinning off from this series brings baggage that a new series cannot have.
(11:11:52) Jim: you don't have to take baggage or characters, but how about more something that says, what happened before existed, Jack mattered to the world... otherwise don't call it 24... Call It Joe Blow, Real Time Private Eye
(11:12:05) Billy: But, this discussion is neither here nor there since they will never spin this show off.
(11:12:10) Jim: but don't argue that 24 isn't tied to the bauer character in a fundamental way
(11:12:17) Billy: So, it's entirely moot.
(11:12:57) Jim: well, yeah, but it's an interesting conversation... probably not a great sign that this was as emotional I've got about anything related to the show this year
(11:13:12) Billy: Ha ha. So very true.

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