At the risk of damaging any tenuous perception that I have an intellect, my must-see-TV list consists of the following programs:

  • 24
  • American Idol
  • Lost
  • Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
  • Survivor

Susan and I were both into Heroes pretty diligently, but then it went on a lengthy mid-season hiatus around Christmas only to come back rather sluggishly which waned my enthusiasm big time and I missed the last two or three episodes — which I promptly stopped feeling guilty about when I found out the show went on yet another recess (that I don’t think is over).

I’m now about ready to give up on 24. Though it induces a facial tick/seizure everytime Keifer Sutherland has his Jack Bauer say “noo-kyoo-lure” instead of “nuclear” in exactly the same assinine way as Duh-bya does… that odd homage is a minor point and one I can get past.

What I can’t put behind me is the bullshit. Be it absolutely useless scenes detailing various of the lesser players’ entanglements be it romance or revenge driven, or cookie-cutter characters such as the hellbent and irrationally agenda’d vice president dead set on nuclear retaliation against a Middle Eastern country (to be named never), it’s all just cheaply written and weakly realized.

This week they even gave us a minor civilian character who seemed an amalgam of Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman and Leonardo DiCaprio’s in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. What’s scary is that when pressed into the service of Jack to nab one of the bad guys he seemed to be the only one in the damn show who follows and executes orders. Pretty much the whole rest of them are in some throes of lust, jealousy, deception, drinking, bigotry, insubordination, doubt, blah blah blah blah blah. What gave the writers and producers the idea I give a crap about these people beyond their ability to kick ass and take names?

For gawd’s sake last week in the midst of a nuclear bomb-equipped drone launched by terrorists toward San Francisco, you had a distraught Jack stopping traffic on the main floor of CTU headquarters to angrily demand the file of Audrey — his love interest last season — who he’d just learned had been killed in a suspicious traffic accident… in China… where he had been imprisoned for several years. WTF Jack!? You are the last one to slow down the wheels of justice!

And as to the shoe-horned announcement that Audrey’d been offed? Hmmmmmm. what is it the church lady used to say? How… conveeeeeeeenient!

Pretty much since its inception, I’ve always rushed to the show’s defense and said that even when 24 is bad it’s still some of the most riveting and entertaining stuff on TV. I’m not so quick to say that anymore.

It still may be riveting but the more the show’s powers deem it necessary to fill an hour with the Chloe and her off-the-wagon ex-husband subplot, or with Ricky Shroeder as some tough ass racist jackass named Doyle, or Regina King as the president’s conflicted sister, the badder it’s gonna get and the less inclined I’ll be to keep coming back for more.