Thursday, May 26, 2005

O'BSERVATIONS: THE FINALE OF "24"

I always knew I'd never be able to make the commitment to a full season of '24'; there are so few shows that can get that guarantee from me. But for the last four seasons I have been keeping track via epguides, TV Tome, TV Guide etc, and I would always tune in for the last hour. Or in this case, the last two hours.

One reason it never could hook me was because I am so deeply into this whole connected TV Universe idea of Toobworld. And '24' just doesn't fit in there except as an alternate dimension. The main Toobworld will always have the Real World's president and Palmer, Logan, and the guy in between them all throw their monkey wrenches or cosmic spanners into the works.

I really did think going into the season finale that this would be it for Jack Bauer. I thought the producers would have gone for that audacious an ending, with the intent of recasting an entirely new character into the lead trouble-shooter for CTU in the next season.

Of course, such a ploy has not really been successful before - I'm thinking of 'Wiseguy' and 'Murder One', specifically. 'Nichols' did something similar in their series ender. But since James Garner would have been just returning as the main character's twin brother, it doesn't really count (even if the personality would have been totally different.)

I can't wait to see how 'The West Wing' handles regime change on a larger scale next season. Even if the Democrats win in their alt. dimension, to be believable they all should be shown the door and a new team brought in to serve at the pleasure of the new President.

But it looks like Jack has survived and yet it's still possible that he may not be a factor for the next go-round. Actually he may still be on the run and living undercover.

Maybe he'll team up with the '24' dimension's counterparts to the Mulder and Scully who must still be on the run no matter which universe you're in.

Those final moments of seeing Jack as he "walked the Earth" like Kwai Chiang Caine, I expected to hear the theme music for 'The Incredible Hulk'. Maybe even see him hook up with David Banner as his traveling companion.

I'd say that if President Logan can keep from getting the country screwed over in some international crisis, the people will still see through him and realize they could elect somebody better to the job.

But then again, I thought the same thing over here and was proven wrong.

I've liked Mary Lynn Rajskub since I first saw her on 'The Larry Sanders Show'.

But Chloe spells her last name WRONG! The ever-growing clan of TV O'Briens (latest - and last - member? Lady Cassandra O'Brien in episode two of the new 'Doctor Who'.) must deny her membership.

Sorry all you other O'Brians and fans of Hugh.

BCnU!
Tele-Toby

3 comments:

WordsSayNothing said...

I don't understand why you can't get into 24 but still like The West Wing. They both have fictional presidents that obviously don't fit into Toobworld. What's the difference?

Toby said...

Well, first off, I started watching 'The West Wing' right from the beginning back in 1999 and so already had invested plenty of interest into those characters before '24' came along.

Also it's a matter of having the time to watch. To feed my soul, I dabble in televisiology. But to keep the roof over my head, I work an overnight shift in my chosen field.

That means I sleep during prime time. And that means I have to make choices in taping. For me, there's no possibility for most nights of taping one show and watching another.

(Not that I've ever been able to figure out the A/B switch stuff.)

I read more about TV than I actually get to watch it. But thanks to the Internet, I am not only able to keep up with what I've missed, I sometimes learn more about those shows than I could have back in the old days when my only option was to watch the programs and read TV Guide.

Finally, 'The West Wing' has a big advantage in that it airs on Wednesdays. (Or at least it did up through this year. It moves to Sundays, but I'm in it for the long haul and will add it to my taping mandatories.)

Even after 15 years, I'm still low man on our 3-man totem pole at work, so Wed/Thurs combo is my poor version of a "weekend". I have the luxury to watch a show unspool in real time.

(And since I need to consider and study commercials for their contributions to the TV Universe, I can't always just fast-forward through them.)

And for some reason, Mondays and Tuesdays have always been tough nights for taping. Not for making the choices of what to tape, but when to find the time the next day. A lot of shows fall by the wayside that way and it becomes too overwhelming to keep up.

(I love 'House' - it's my second favorite of all the new series this year. But as it airs the night before my days off and I might end up traveling to Ct. as soon as I get off from work rather than going home first, that made it hard for me to finally get around to watching the tape days later.)

That's one reason 'Lost' got the chance to get into my head and take up residence. I've been living and breathing 'Lost' for the last few months and I don't think that might have happened if I had to depend on making the time later to watch a tape of it.

With '24', I watched a few of the first episodes, scoffed at a few of the temporal discrepancies (like just getting across town in the time they do), and came away thinking - I'm sure there will be sites that can do this work for me. And there have been plenty.

So that freed me up to concentrate on things like at what point in Time did the '24' universe split off from the timeline of the main TV Universe. Could Jack Bauer of Springfield ('Guiding Light')have fathered this Jack Bauer during a secret affair?

Perhaps it was the decision to have that affair or not that caused the 'many-worlds' theory of Hugh Everett III to kick in to create the 24verse.

Oops. That's an essay for another time.....

At any rate, it's a long answer for that good question, but I just wanted to splain that it wasn't really a matter of preference, more of priorities.

But with 'West Wing', I do have the connection made to Toobworld in that I know what happened to Josiah Bartlet in the main TV Universe.

Instead of going into economics and politics, he went into medicine and works in Boston. (As mentioned in an episode of 'St. Elsewhere'.......)

Thanks for writing!

Tob3

WordsSayNothing said...

Well, if mainstream Jed is a doctor, then you have to make mainstream Abby a politician. ;)