Television Without Pity: 24 – Season 6 Edition


At the outset I want to say that I watch 24. I won’t go so far as to say I enjoy it. I think that it is more of a fine line between pleasure and pain thing. Ms. Mac and I watched the first season in a weekend and we have been pretty much consuming them ever since. The first one was extremely enjoyable. Later seasons – not so much.

But if it’s so bad, why do you watch it Mr. Mac? Good question and I’m glad you asked!

You see, for me, 24 is a kind of rite of passage. I do actually enjoy the program, but I find myself going “Pffftt!!” more and more as the producers deviate from any semblance of reality or plausability.


Ok, so Jack has been held prisoner by the Chinese for the last 20 months and he gets rescued by the President for a mission. A special mission. In fact the mission is to be a sacrificial lamb a la St. Jesus (generally acknowledged to be the most famous of all the saints). Hence the outfit and visage that you see on the left. Hmm, it is starting to seem far-fetched already.

To make things worse, they prepared an area for him to get cleaned up inside the 453rd abandoned hangar that the series has used – they really have a lot of hangar space available in L.A – and it is curtained off like a scene from The English Patient! Honestly, right down to the chipped enamel bowl for him to shcave with and the old-school hospital curtain/screen things.

Cut to the Oval Office, and the President is none other than Wayne Palmer!?!?!?! Puhhleaze. I was really hoping that they would have come up with someone more plausible but I digress. He’s the President and we better get used to it.

Anyway lot’s of things happen between 06:00 and 07:00 that really do beggar belief. I won’t bore you with a synopsis but instead will give you some of the funny comments / observations that were made during its viewing.

1. To be a successful terrorist, you must have a LOT of computers! Every bad guy is hooked up in some sort of computer den with multiple screens and racks of servers but only ever one keyboard and never a mouse! Plus, they prefer to use predominantly green text and graphics on their screens. They never seem to set up a sweet desktop wallpaper and some cool icons – they don’t seem that 1337 to me. According to Ms. Mac, all terrorists are geeks. Ergo, all geeks are terrorists

2. Only losers use a mouse! Whether you’re a terrorist or a top CTU agent, the mouse is your enemy. From redirecting some satellite coverage to establishing a protocol, it’s all done with just the keyboard. What’s more, you will never pwn the USA unless you can type sans mistakes.

3. When an inspector asks for your ticket, tell him about a bomb on the train and that you’re a federal agent. Ms. Mac said that she would be saying that next time her and Antipo are kontrolliert on the S-Bahn – should be interesting. I’ll just get ready to pay the CHF 80 and be done with it.

4. How stupid do the producers think we are. As a self-confessed computer geek, the premise of 24 seems highly interesting. Use of technology for exciting purposes like counter terrorist actions – sounds awesome right? Except that they have the most unbelievable user interfaces and ridiculously advanced capabilities. Also, they always have to write scripts for everything that they do. It all comes back to point 2 – you’ll never beat Osama if you’re using a mouse.

5. What is wrong with Chloe?? I am going to invent a new drinking game whereby you have to take a shot every time she puts on that stupid duck-faced scowl. You’ll be smashed before minute 34 of any episode – might make some of the things more plausible though – must try it with the next ep.

Anyway, I could ramble for hours here about the program and its flaws. Ask Ms. Mac how many times per episode I roll my eyes or tut at something they have done, yet, despite the lack of credibility of the program, I will still be sitting down to watch the next episode as soon as it is ready.

My name is Mr. Mac and I’m addicted to 24…