It's Getting More and More Difficult to Take 24 Seriously

24 doesn’t just require a suspension of disbelief. The show requires that you put your disbelief aboard a rocket, launch it into space, and let it settle into a permanent low-Earth orbit.

So my emerging worries about the current season of 24 are centered less on, say, how the Russian informant Ziya managed, within minutes, to use vodka to sufficiently numb the pain of his circular saw-amputated thumb and converse casually with Renee Walker as they drove over to see Vladimir. Besides, he was dead by the end of the show. Ziya, we hardly knew ya. Or yee.

Rather it’s the gaping holes in some major storylines that are currently driving the show. Consider Renee. She’s been to the dark side and emerged tough, cold, and ruthless. Let’s be fair, to dub the newly mono-thumbed Ziya “a drama queen” suggests that Renee could be crowned with a different kind of title. The Queen of Mean.

The problem is that in Monday's episode, we caught glimpses into what transpired with Renee when she had gone undercover with the Russian mob six years earlier. She endured physical brutality and possibly rape. However, last season—despite all the apparent trauma she suffered at the hands Vladimir—we saw Renee as a by-the-book, do-the-right-thing FBI agent romantically involved with the seriously unimpressive Larry Moss. She resisted Jack’s brutal methods until events finally overwhelmed her.

Maybe an explanation is forthcoming. But as things stand, I’m wondering just how Renee so completely regained her emotional equilibrium following her previous undercover escapades with the Russians that she could play the good cop to Jack’s bad cop. Last season is already a long time ago, but I don’t think we received any hints that Renee had suffered through and recovered from such a dark experience.

What would Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil say about all of the women in peril this year? There was certainly not much girl power in the air last night, and as Renee pointed out, “It’s hard to look your best with a gun in your face.” I had initially been intrigued by the revelation of Dana Walsh’s secret past. Now I can’t wrap my head around how she managed to survive even the most lenient background check by CTU, although it was hardly the first time in 24’s history that someone penetrated its security as easily as Mr. and Mrs. Salahi crashed the White House. Come on, there are movie theaters that are far more vigilant about people sneaking in their own popcorn than CTU is about its monitoring its employees with access to classified information.

Top Secret Memo to Hastings, For Your Eyes Only: Try Google.

Thus, my 24 disbelief is beginning to wobble, and I worry that, not unlike Skylab back in 1979 and the Russian Mir space station in 2001, it could fall out of orbit and crash back to Earth sometime soon.

Letting go of such matters as how Jack will navigate midtown Manhattan traffic is one thing. But major plot points demand a higher level of believability, even on a thrill-ride series like 24. Especially because the focus on Renee effectively neutralized Jack and left him a bystander throughout Monday's episode.

If I go to a Lakers game, I want to see Kobe shooting the ball, not Sasha Vujacic. When I watch 24, I want to see Jack in action and not providing a Marv Albert play-by-play: “Gunshot to Ziya’s head. Yesssss! And it counts.”

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I love Dana Walsh's storyline! Katee Sackhoff is the only reason I'm watching the show!
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in my opinion they had to make season 7 the last one. that way the wouldnt disappoint the fans with making another season.
i am a fan of 24 and as one i prefer it was ended when it was on top. not with some excuse of another season. Oh and i dont care about the dark past of Dana Walsh with the exception that if they make a connection with the whole story. anyway Jack Is Back....sort of
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To all those saying that "haters" should change the channel... If you go to a very expensive restaurant and they serve you crap do you say "I didn't come here to eat normal food anyway" or do you complain?
This season of 24 is like it was written for 10-year-olds. Lame, filled with gaps, truly unbelievable (in the bad sense). Do not get me wrong, I do not expect a real-life replica. I just want things to add up. Plots to make sense. Sequence of events to be doable.
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24 is anything but plausible. It is a mindless mix of crime and action scenes.
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A bad accent makes everything more evil, have you never seen 1960s WWII movies?
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how come terrorists in 24 always speak perfect english right up to the point when they break cover? that's when they get a really bad accent, usually from a made up country - but they still speak english, even with their families and even if they aren't in america...this has really bugged me since season 1...does a bad accent make a terrorist more evil or something?
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I agree with the article also instead of all the time spent playing 20 questions the Russians could have checked Rene for an ear piece. Jack was extremely out of character in condemning Rene because he once sawed a mans head off in the CTU board room granted that guy was scum and the situation was more pressing. .
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If you want to bash this episode because you think it was "slow", may I suggest you go back and watch seasons 1-3. If this past episode is the standard for "slow" then you have to consider those first 3 seasons "slow" as well. This episode was very much like those earlier seasons in its pace and those first 3 seasons were the best.
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IF you hate the show just stop watchin it !! please haters STOP ! , and am tellin you 24 is always like the you have to wait to what this all going to be! .

till now it's going OK. Jack will be back to the action ! . and renne last scene was really breathtaking .

and really what a bad article... 24
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All of the 24 haters really need to go away! I can't stand the so called "fans" who complain all the time and pick the show apart! 24 has never been believable! It's a tv show. If you want something believable then don't watch tv and live your ordinary life. I love how everyone is complaining about how unrealistic the show is now when this year has been pretty small scale so far. And the show's most acclaimed year had the president of the united states as the big bad guy for the season. Yeah that's believeable. I love season five but I feel like people shouldn't be complaining about whether the show is realistic or not. I think season 7 and what we've seen so far of season 8 has been great! It's returning the show back to its roots where action takes a back seat to character development. I love 24 dearly, but all of the haters are really getting on my nerves.
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Yeah, that Ziya / Renee car ride was hard to believe : he just had his thumb CUT off and he's just chillin', shootin' the breeze?!
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I agree!
I was thinking exactly the same.
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The new season isn't bad so far even though the last episode was slow. I have to agree that the Dana Walsh story is awful. Minor or not when she got busted, how does CTU not have her fingerprints file even with a name change? Chances are Dana's "friends" will tie into the whole Russian/nuclear plot in some way later into the season.
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i agree with what the article is saying about the Dana Walsh story, the writers really need to find a way to explain how she got in CTU with fake identity... i think we should give the writers the chance to explain it.
But i disagree with what the article said about Renee, i think the story is believable and at the very least explainable. well Vladimir ATTEMPTED to rape her in the past... still, she was a by the book cop last season(there's nothing with that), then, last season she saw things, she tortured somebody to death and was fired, so she's having a breakdown, there's nothing wrong with it
actually, i enjoyed the last 10 minutes of the latest episode and renee being in danger and Jack monitoring the operation... i saw many people saying why Jack always does everything by himself, but in this season we have Cole and Renee to help him and i like this idea
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I can't believe how much this season of 24 is bad. I hate Renee. I hated her last season and now she's back this season and she just makes me not wanna watch the show. Every episode, I wish her character dies. Dana is beautiful to look at, but her whole story about being in jail in her past life and an harassing ex-bf coming back to haunt her, it just makes no sense. You're supposed to be checked before working for such an important organization. And just the fact that she lets him have his way with her is just dumb. All that presidential drama is getting annoying too. There's too much focus on that. As early as the first episode, when Jack shot a lock to open a door and the lock broke and fell, that's when I knew this season was going to be bad as itw as proven on Mythbusters that there's no such thing as shooting a lock to break it.
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I'm still curious about the show but I lost any major interest in it after season 4.
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No offence... but what else would you expect since the original creators, writers and directors have left the show or leaving !?
Now its being run by the damn Star Trek: Voyager guy. Tony Almeida coming back from the dead was the first sign that this show is about to go downhill.
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Not only that the wife of the president and her mood swings, the Russian mob with nuclear material and an over head drone (tot those drones could detect radioactivity) Renee is a big gap and all that moodiness not covering the gap. hastings is so incompetent its a joke.something seems seriously off this season doesnt look recognisable as the 24 i have come to expext. for first time i was reluctant to boher watching and just tivoed a 24 episode!
this season the writing seems to have taken a beating....sofar
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The dana walsh story is dumb, but other than that I'm really enjoying it. I'm hoping the dana storyline leads to something good. I kind of agree about Renee's change of character, but at the same time it's really interesting. I say relax and enjoy the ride. That's the point.
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What?? A very good NBA player???? Sasha's career numbers are 5 points a game on 39% shooting ... he's a below average role player at best(if even that now) who's inconsistent on defense..
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Hey, Sasha Vujacic happens to be a very good player. Your ignoratn, starstruck attitude is the reason why NBA basketball has stopped being a team sport, sir. Sorry, did I get distracted?
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Benf13 if some people have invested time in a program and are disappointed with the current direction they have a right to give constructive criticism hoping for it's improvement.
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How about "If you dont enjoy the program then dont watch it" DOH, I suppose some just like to complain, 24 is a fantasy anyway, the Technology is not real, the "in the nick of time Saves" are not real, the satellite images and button sized bi directional GPS units are not real, suspend reality for an hour and enjoy it or watch something else.
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The entire day so far is great, except for the Dana Walsh storyline. However, I take comfort in the fact that although its poorly acted, cast, and written, it's an entirely separate subplot and in 24, everything ties together in the end. The Dana Walsh storyline is going to reach a fiery conclusion one way or the other.

As for Renee and Jack, they switched perspectives. Renee went undercover and emerged a changed person. Jack decided to throw off the yoke of a government jobs to enjoy the freedoms he fought for. OF COURSE things are going to be a little rough in the beginning! Give it time.
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The Dana story is the worst.. it just annoys me everytime its on now.. I loved her in BSG but now i just want her killed off so we can be done with it.. i know they need B-side stories but this has been one of the worst ones yet.
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24 is getting ridiculous... The Dana sub plot is terrible... Jack is immune to punches from the cop... CTU head is nuts as usual.. renee is suddenly making Jack look weaker...
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we beg to differ. On the Renee story line anyway. The Dana story line I agree, is as lame as it gets...
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Maybe you have to wait till the end of the season for some twists to shed light?
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I agree, this 24 season is so bad that it barely deserves to be talked about.. Isn't any one home at the production meetings? Jack is being portrayed as a sqimish "oh my god, I can't believe you just did that" nerf ball when through out the shows history he's doing the wet work. Also, the blond with the bad ex boyfriend, it just doesn't get much stupider than that. Man, this show has gone so far south that it is now frigid. Bad writing, bad plot, bad choice of actors, bad, bad, bad.
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wrong
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Interesting Critic of the current state of 24. Though pretty much spot on, I think Mr. Jaffe forgot about the point of 24; The intensity of the day, the struggles of the "good guys" and the "bad guys", My take so far this season is obviously hinting at bringing Jack back into CTU; the incompetence, the lack of experience, the resolution with Kim. Of course, by making it look this way, the opposite could also happen. I'll just enjoy the ride ...
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I just can't wait for Dana to go all Starbuck on that guy's a$$. I don't think this season is any less believable than the last. I mean, Renee pretty much had the structure of the FBI and her love for Larry to hold on to after such brutal treatment from the Russians. I think the events of the last day brought all of those feelings to the surface and she never recovered from that, so I can see how all of a sudden, it's a big deal. I mean, it's not as if Jack won't have some major action later on, so I'll allow Renee to have the spotlight for now since she's only one of three or four main characters from previous seasons that's still around.
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Good work pointing that out about the plothole involving Renee and her mental instability, pretty good article and it describes the current season as it is perfectly.
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I usually fastforward the dana/wade scenes. Unless he's carrying a .12 gauge shotgun and a thermal nuclear device : i don't give a crap.
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Wow Matthew, jumping the gun or what, the show is only 5hrs into the day and you want holes filled already. Why would you want a show that spoon-fed you every bit of info about whats going on 2 wks into the season? This is a complete series full of twists and turns like no other on tv. 24 is not a 4 hour mini-series. Have you know patience or imagination sheesh....
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@SusanGM: Maybe for the same reason his scars (of being tortured by the Chinese for 2 years) have gone missing - tough skin? @s2konstantine: I can only agree. That felt just wrong. But the whole episode was weird so let's just hope it gets better again? Even though they reused the weapon-grade-uranium-plot far too many times already for the show (not exactly *that* but similar storylines; I'm starting to get annoyed by all the WMDs the terrorists are carrying around the US).
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The picture you have of Dana Walsh and her ex is IMO the weak link of the show. She seemed so in control and on top of things at CTU and turns into a whimpering weakling whenever bully boy is around. UGH! I prefer Renee's cold as ice tough broad.
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I did not like how president hassan and his wife spoke in english to each other when they were alone, it was painful and awkward.
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Why doesn't Jack have any cuts or bruises after his beating from the cop ?
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I respectfully disagree with this article. The day started at its best, I found it the most interesting until now. In every episode we discover something new about the plot and in my opinion it will only get better.
And I think also that it won't take long until we find out (actually Chloe becomes suspicious) about Dana Walsh's past and secrets since she's been acting so weird (already sensing it coming on Monday's episode).
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No, not bad at all. MJ is right on target with his criticism. I've been saying the same things on the forum
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i can see what you mean with the dana story but i think everything else is just overreacting this is looking to be a great season and it seems to me that whoever wrote this isnt quite a 24 fan
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The point about Renee's temperament is a good one though
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I thought she was undercover with the Russians in between seasons. I think you're missing something.
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Wow , such a bad article...
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