September 23, 2007

Friday Night Lights

I’m surprised this show even completed Season 1, let alone be renewed for a second one.


If the spoilers for Season 7 of 24 are to be believed, the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) has been disbanded and the setting of the show has been shifted to Washington DC. Who would have thought that the American government would be so ungrateful to an organisation that has saved their ass so many times. It’s a known fact that since 24 started airing on TV, America hasn’t been hit by the terrorists at home. Will 24 be able to outlive the agency that has become synonymous with it? Only time will tell. As a homage to CTU, I list here five things that I will miss, once CTU is no more.

  1. Terrorist attacks on CTU : Jack Bauer might have stopped terrorist attacks in a lot of places, but CTU’s office in LA hasn’t been one of them. CTU is a must-visit spot for terrorists stopping over at LA. This over-used plot device is the default go-to for the writers when they hit a creative brick wall. In fact I am surprised that they managed to stave it off till the fag end of that shitty Season 6.
  2. Protocols, parameters and other mumbo jumbo : Raise your hands if you think CTU agents spend too much time “setting up protocols” or “opening up a filter to some satellite.” I mean, I’ve tried to look at all possible definitions for protocol on the net, but still can’t find one that can be “set up” in the short time span afforded by 24. But again, we are willing to give a break to the writers – set up all the protocols you need, just as long as Jack kicks some terrorist ass.
  3. Servers : CTU Los Angeles has quite the server farm, and I used to think all those machines shown were the futuristic models, only meant for fictional government organisations like CTU. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got a chance to fiddle with servers such as those in 24 at our institute’s computer centre. Makes me appreciate Chloe even more.
  4. Whack-a-mole : It’s hard to recall a season of 24 where CTU wasn’t infiltrated by a mole. They should get Jack to interrogate all new recruits. There is no secret/conspiracy that a gun shot to the thigh won’t bring to light.
  5. Eye candy : From Nina Myers to Michelle Dessler, recruiters at CTU have always had a soft spot for the hot babes. Not that anyone’s complaning. Especially not when Kim Bauer herself decided to start fighting terrorists instead of cougars.

If like me, you too are suffering from 24 Withdrawal Syndrome, be sure to check out these inspirational 24 posters here. I personally prefer the ‘Daughter’ one – it is currently my wallpaper.

It was the summer of 2006. I was curiously browsing through Myspace – just to figure out what all the fuss was about. And I somehow landed on BurgerKing’s page. They were having a promotional offer then. The first two episodes of a series called 24 free for download. Remaining upon payment of a certain sum of money. Jobless as I was at that time and lured by the snazzy ‘Free Download’ image, I did just that. My first impressions weren’t that great, although I was pleasantly surprised to find Elisha Cuthbert on the show. Anyway after watching the mildly interesting first two episodes I figured I didn’t have the patience or the resilience to download the remaining from shady file-hosting sites. Two months later I found the series on our LAN and decided to finish what I had started. And boy, did I enjoy it! It was the beginning of a long love affair. I went on to finish all five season till date in the very same season, even watching the whole of Season 4 within 24 hours. So today I award my Special Merit Star to Jack Bauer, for helping me get through an otherwise boring and uneventful semester.

Of course Jack Bauer has got to be the coolest federal agent around. How many do you know that have hijacked Marine One and kidnapped the President? He has killed a grand total of 161 (and counting) people in a span of 5 days and 20 hours. He has single handedly invaded the embassies of China and Russia and has even spent 18 months in a Chinese prison. And does he have the X-ray vision of Superman or the webslings of Spider-man? No. He does it all with his handy JackSack (aka the world’s deadliest man-purse) and his trusted cellphone. It would then come as no surprise that my first bestselling book is on Jack Bauer himself.


Detractors of the show might be mentioning a crappy sixth season, but give the guy a break. He’s just gotten back from China. And he sure wasn’t vacationing there! Others say that the show is unrealistic and this is not how things work in the real world. But don’t you get it? That’s the whole point of the show. Lord knows how many times I have felt like shouting at the professor during the lecture – “Put down the chalk and step away from the blackboard!”

Special honourable mention: Kim Bauer

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Yeah, we love her! Crappy storylines and boyfriends notwithstanding…