Tuesday, May 25, 2010

24 Finale

Hey! Howdy!
Hope things are A okay.

Let's see....
The series finale of 24 was on last night. (some spoilers to follow) Ratings have been lagging for a while, and the show definitely didn't get anywhere near the attention or the hype that Lost received in its final days, but I think the general consensus for a while has been that the show sort of jumped the shark a while back and that it's best days were behind it.
So truthfully, it was sort of time for 24 to come to an end. The show had a really strong start (the first season was really exceptional), but over the last few seasons the show had become more and more outlandish, employing some pretty ridiculous plot twists and using increasing amounts of brutality in order to hold attention of its adrenaline hungry audience (I realized that things had gone just about as far as they probably needed to go as I watched Jack Bauer disembowel an enemy and root around in his stomach for a lost data card during one of the last episodes).
Anyway, I've blogged about the importance of 24 before, and looking back at the series, its pretty hard to deny that the show has had some cultural significance over the last decade. The first episode of 24, a show about government agents who are trying to protect America from terrorist operatives, aired on November 6, of 2001- only two months after our whole country reeled in shock from the events of September 11th. By virtue of an ironic historical twist, the creators of 24 suddenly had a show on their hands which no longer dealt with far fetched, action thriller intrigue, but a show that seemed to shine a light on the hidden evil which threatened the nation and which offered a look at the kind of iron-willed solutions that might ultimately be needed in order to combat those threats.
And 24 never lacked in controversy as it spelled out what sort of action was needed in order to fight the terrorist menace. Lawyers from the Bush administration actually referred to various episodes of 24 on a number of occasions in written briefs and memos, taking the show's ticking time bomb hypothetical scenarios and using them to argue for justification of the "harsh interrogation techniques" employed in America's real world war on terror. Americans watched 24 and bore witness to a modern world of espionage and counterterrorism. They watched intelligent, calculating, and routhlessly evil terrorists and the noble, highly professional, patriotic, efficient government agents who fought against them, and in the wake of 9/11, the whole premise seemed infinitely more plausible than it would have in 2000 or before.
Anyway, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed just about the whole run of the show, although I'll quickly add that some seasons were much better than others (with the best seasons tending to be the ealrier ones).
There was torture on the show and lots of violence and all kinds of other stuff, and sometimes I thought that the show really wasn't doing the world any favors from a humanitarian standpoint (it was definitely the kind of thing that could stoke some xenophobia and paranoia), but it was usually a fun ride, filled with lots of tension and action. Also, I used to get together with Reed to watch 24 back during the early seasons, so I have some fond memories of hanging out and watching it and laughing about all of the crazy things that happened on the show (anyone else remember when terrorists made Jack shoot his boss? That still kills me...).
The show ultimately did its final wrap up with another sort of ambiguous, open ended conclusion (it wasn't all that touchie feelie, and it didn't really seem any more "final" than any number of other 24 season finales), so I'm guessing that the producers might still be thinking about a 24 movie or miniseries at some point. I'll probably go see whatever they come up with next once it comes out. Even if it doesn't make any sense, I'm sure it'll be a fun ride.

And that's it. Sorry for the short post, but that's all that I've got!

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