I’ve watched most of two seasons of 24. The show relies on the kinds of coincidences of which Victorian novelists were overly fond, and the plots can be predictable: somebody is always going to kidnap Jack’s nearest and dearest — there’s always a mole in the CTU — Jack is always going off the reservation. And plot twists used to escalate viewer tension can be absolutely absurd: Jack once refuses to let a dying man take his place on a suicide mission, because he isn’t sure that chap will do the job perfectly in his impaired health. We must be 110% safe, you know. Jack survives anyway, of course.
But if you watch a few sequentially, and start getting concerned about that ticking bomb and the fate of the hostages, and begin rooting for Jack Bauer to begin delivering some good old fashioned American justice, they can become addictive. The body counts are impressive, and sooner or later Jack is going to interogate some deserving terrorist. One morning I’m going to run into Glenn Reynolds burbling happily about the release of the however-many-seasons-there-are set on DVD, and I will be a goner and Amazon will be a little richer.
The Listkeeper commenting on Polipundit supplies a list of facts about Jack Bauer:
5) Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.
6) Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.
7) Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.
8) Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.
9) 1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.
Hat tip to Tom Maguire who titled the whole list I Need a Hero.