Death Pool Blues

I hate to say it, but this year’s version of 24 is boring.  I never thought I would use that word to describe 24.  Wildly improbable?  Yes.  Outrageous?  Sure.  Ultraviolent?  Of course! One-dimensional, certainly; absurdly coincidental, absolutely.  But boring?  Never!

This season has changed that.  I have faithfully watched, hoping for some mindless action, maybe an unfortunate torture scene or two, a bit of snark from Chloe — and have consistently been disappointed, episode after episode.  Jack Bauer remains Jack Bauer; he is the indefatigable focus of the government’s efforts to stop some ill-defined terrorist plot even though he is not an official government agent and was stabbed a few hours ago by a crazed and abused FBI agent.  Other than Jack, however, the show has become pretty thin gruel.

The various plot lines this season have been even more silly than normal and the tension that used to characterize the show has been almost totally lacking.  The show’s writers need to understand that constant scenes of characters talking intently into cell phones simply aren’t very interesting.  The ridiculous plot line centered around the blonde CTU agent, her nefarious past, her ex-con ex-boyfriend, and now the parole officer trying to track him down has sapped all energy from the show.  (Although the parole officer, calling people at 2 a.m. as he drives through the night, trying to find the ex-con, may be the most dedicated civil servant ever depicted on TV.)  Every time an episode turns to that character as she trots around CTU, hissing into her phone, the interest level drops off the meter.  The storyline with the family woes of the president of Whocaresistan isn’t much better.

C’mon, 24 — you can do better than this.

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