Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Suspending My Disbelief

I enjoy watching "24." Sure, it requires a major suspension of disbelief in order to accept everything that happens to Jack Bauer in the space of a day, but the show is, overall, an exciting roller coaster ride and the modern equivalent of the old movie serials.

It's important when watching the show to not think too much about how many times Jack is beat up, tortured, shot, stabbed and generally slammed around and then gets up and carries on as if nothing happened. You also need to ignore the fact that he never seems to eat, drink nor use the bathroom. (There have been articles saying that those things happen when he's off-camera. Along with his miraculous healing, I presume.)

Much ado was made in an early season when Jack's daughter Kim was lost in the California hills and was confronted by a coyote. Yes, this was a rather silly situation, but in the grand scheme of things, it was just one more cliffhanger.

Far more ridiculous, however, is the subplot this season that involves a woman working at CTU (Counter-Terrorism Unit) as a senior intel analyst. This woman has been blackmailed by a former boyfriend into using her computer abilities and access to engineer a break-in of a police department evidence warehouse. That she does it is par for the course for the series; there is a history of seemingly-intelligent characters making some pretty idiotic decisions in the show.

What pushes this particular scenario over the edge for me is the reason she is able to be blackmailed. Turns out that she is a convicted felon who has changed her identity. Her blackmailer is her former boyfriend. It certainly doesn't say much for CTU's ability to stop terrorism if they haven't even screened their employees well enough to find they have a criminal in a top position. Yes, CTU has had employees who've "turned bad" over the years, but, come on! Are they really expecting us to believe that this is the way such a government organization would be run?

Then again, eight years ago, they asked us to believe that an African-American would be President of the United States.

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