Sunday, July 22, 2007

What I'm Watching Right Now

To start off with, I have to quickly summarize my general feelings on the two TV shows I am watching this evening. I write without spoilers, so as not to minimize anyone else's viewing enjoyment.

Prison Break was fun from the start, surprisingly well done with all the suspense created. I loved the endings of many of the final episodes of the first season. It was never a great show, but it was always fun. Recently, it has gotten a bit preposterous, but nonetheless it is still enjoyable to watch.

I consider the first season of 24 to be the best season of television I have ever watched. It was daringly original and constructed one of the most compelling storylines I have ever seen. The second season was an impressive follow-up, certainly subordinate to the first, with a few minor plotlines dragging it down (Kim caught in a bear trap for a few episodes, for instance). The third season fell was great, fell a bit in the middle, but got better towards the end. The fourth season introduced new characters and plotlines which were not as great, but its first and final episodes were spectacular. Season five started out well, but then suffered a major downfall in the middle with a hardly believable plot twist and increasingly bad storyline. My feelings on this season are represented by my review of this week's episode.

Prison Break: Season 2, Episode 20 "Panama" (C)
It's nice to see the characters finally getting somewhere, that is, developing their own independent yet somewhat believable storylines. The plot has become so convoluted that there is little that can be done to "get out of it," but this episode is better than some of the recent episodes have been. The final two episodes of the season, airing in the next two weeks, should be fun if nothing else.

24: Season 6, Episode 14 "7:00pm-8:00pm" (F-)
It truly saddens me to have to give an episode of 24 an F-. I reserve that grade for truly awful, despicable hours of television. Unfortunately, 24 has become the same thing over and over, worst of all following an extremely predictable course. The dialogue is laughable, and sounds increasingly like lines taken from the film "Team America: World Police." Plotlines are recycled, especially concepts and ideas used in past seasons, which worked far better when they were first used. It has become tiring to think of Jack Bauer as an invincible superhero, since clearly nothing can hurt him and he'll always be the most competent one for the job. Some concepts, like Nadia's clearance being limited due to her religious affiliation as a Muslim, sound good in theory but come off poorly when they are played out on the show with less-than-engaging banter about how long a file takes to decompose, or something like that. The fact that everyone in power is so clueless and can simply do whatever they want is also too much. The show seems to have reached a nadir (I would hope at least). If it gets worse, I might have to consider something which seems almost tragic: giving up on the show that was once the best show ever.

In the next few days: The Riches, NCIS, Jericho, In Case of Emergency, Lost

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