Why I love 24-#2
Friday, July 8, 2005

I'm a big fan of tragedies. I think it's more effective in a drama that is something bad happens to a character, it's because it's the character's fault and not by some outside force of evil or some shit. And the thing that permeates 24 more than anything is it's grand sense of tragedy. That all these people are doing what they do because they think or know is right, but because of some inborn characteristic, they can't achieve it and actually end up losing it.

I'll give you an example of it by comparing it to another show. 24 and ALIAS both debued in 2001. Both shows have the main character lose a significant other in the first season. Sydney with Danny (played by our own Atherton Wing), and Jack with Teri. Syd lost her fiancee in the pilot ep. I think he got killed at the half hour point, I think. So we never really got to know him, their relatinship and what it would've been like. For all we know, he could've become an insensitive jerk. That, as well as the strain a marriage might have when one of them is a spy, might end up destroying the marriage. So while Danny's death was a pivotal moment in the pilot in that it became her motivation in bringing down Arvin Sloane and SD-6, in the end, it really didn't matter much. It was a plot contrivance, which was further solidified by how soon Syd skipped past mourning and jumped into the sack with Vaughn.

But with Jack and Teri, you really got a sense of who they were as a couple. They had been together for years, had a child with one on the way, and went through the same trials and tribulations as any other married couple, but ended up coming out stronger. Throughout the day, you saw how the two needed each other. That for Jack, Teri was the thing that kept him sane and from losing it completely. The first day was just as much about Jack trying to protect his family as it was in trying to keep Palmer from getting killed. So when the final two minutes of the day ticked down, and you saw him hold her body in his arms, you were genuinely affected. You were rocked to the core with the fact that even though he could save the world, he can't save his wife. And of course, the whole second day was just seeing how much her death had affected Jack so much in that he was willing to fly a nuclear bomb into the desert and detonate it on a suicide mission, and not even blink. And not just with Jack. You take any character, even Kim, and watch their character and story arc, you can see that they are tragic figures trying to break free of their fatal flaws, and end up failing.

I'm not trying to provoke an arguement or start a falme war. I am merely professing my love for a show that is similar to FIREFLY not only in occassional casting, but in that it went were very few dared to go, pushed the boundaries of what network tv can do and succeeded admirably. The only difference is, 24 is going into it's fifth season (or day if you want to call it that).



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