September 2003 Archives

24 Season 2

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So, on Labor Day FX had a marathon of all the episodes of 24 from the second season. Since I watched the first episode on DVD a few months ago -- when Mary was sick and needed lots of TV -- I thought I'd TiVo it.

So TiVo recorded 24 hours worth of this show, and I watched it over the next week. It was fun to watch, but I noticed some interesting trends which persisted from the first season. I have learned some things about how 24 is put together, and would like to humbly present my

Formula for Fox's 24

  • Never trust female characters. They're all one or more of the following:
    • foreign spies
    • local spies (working for the other guy at CTU)
    • power-hungry maniacs who manipulate their way through life
    • emotionally crippled victims
  • Don't ever tell your daughter any secrets. She'll tell her scruffy-ass boyfriend, who will tell everyone else. She'll also be victimized by a variety of people in the process of trying to act on whatever it was you told her.
  • The President is always readily available via cell phone.
  • The System (government, law enforcement) is riddled with jerks and maniacs.
  • Terrorists are always foreigners. If you're dealing with someone who doesn't look like a foreigner but is clearly a terrorist, just wait -- they'll start babbling in a foreign language soon enough.
  • Guns solve most problems.
  • If you shave at the beginning of the show, stubble will not be visible until the 23rd show.
  • Good guys use Mac laptops, bad guys use Dell laptops. Sometimes these are reversed when the show is trying to manipulate you.
  • The main character can't die. Okay, well, if he dies, he can be resurrected promptly by a nearby doctor.
  • 50% of all other characters will die or will turn out to be evil, or both.

So there you go. Go make your own season.

Contacting Chris Higgins

I'm a writer based in Portland, Oregon. I mostly write for Mental Floss magazine (and their website), though I recently had a story on This American Life, and had a cover story last year in The Portland Mercury.

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