I don’t get to watch much t.v., except for Comedy Central and Cartoon Network. Couple of years ago, we got hooked on 24 in its second season. I thought it was wonderful Camp (dead serious, extravagent, predictable for its infantile fixation on “twists”). I didn’t see the last season but we taped and watched the four episodes of the new season which started Sunday. Frank Rich, in the NYT, already wrote up this new season’s dramatic return to Middle Eastern terrorists. And a return it is. The terrorists are all off the set of 1994 True Lies – swarthy, sweaty men in fatigues with klashnikovs. The masterminds, so far, are a Persian(?) family cell who have been plotting their mayhem for 4 or 5 years. Even the rebellious 16 year old son is down with the program, complete with a unibrow. Muslim-Americans are center square as sleeper cells and terrorists amongst us. I would feel bad for a 16 yr. Muslim kid in Peoria going to school after watching these episodes but I am too busy being entertained. Also, ripped right from the headlines is the delicious irony of seeing the sec. of defense in Gitmo/AbuGharib orange jumpsuit taking down the terrorists with an AK-47. Rummy who?
Anyways, what has caught my eye so far is that “torture” issue is magnificently highlighted. What with A. Gonzales hearing and the Abu Gharib trial in the news, one wouldn’t have clear thinking on such a crucial issue – human rights and all. 24 tells you straight away: You gotta bring them in the House of Pain. Traditional methods are not getting our heroes anywhere so Jack has to shoot a terrorist (who despite being a top planning guy never learned to wear a disguise, or at least, a toupe√à) in the knee to make him spill. Awesome. Torture works. Next up, is the son of the sec. of defense. He is hiding something. Immediately, torture is authorized but the interrogator recoils from using some chemical and sissies out by doing sensory deprivation tricks from the 70s. Hopefully, Jack will get back to CTU soon and shoot this kid in the knee as well. And this is only in the first few episodes.
I look forward to next week’s show.