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May 08, 2007

NOW THEY TELL US

Another reason to never watch "24" again: In what has to be the most careless slip of the tongue in recent memory (or a cavalier announcement of how stupid television really is), one of the executive producers of "24" told the industry magazine TV Week that the show hadn't mapped out its story lines in two seasons.

Uh, what? You're running a complex serial drama  --  albeit one that often makes no sense (which certainly makes sense now)  --  and you're admitting that nobody knows where the story is going? Unbelievable. And yet, not. This kind of disdain for the viewer, which came back to bite "24" in the butt this year as viewers revolted and ratings dropped, should not be forgiven. All promises of fixing the format next year should fall on deaf ears. The producers have admitted that they're not flying the plane and that they don't know where it's going, which is a dereliction of duty. Someone at Fox should be fired for not keeping better watch on one of the network's most popular shows.

(Thanks to marfie)

Comments

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Jack Bauer should set up a perimeter and shoot the producers and writers in the thighs.

What is this "24" of which you speak? Should I be concerned? Did I miss the memo or something?

Well, that sure explains a lot. I know they are paying Keifer a lot, but surely they can afford a storyboard.

Well duh! that explains a lot.

They'd better fix up "24" or I won't have anything to watch when "Heroes" goes on hiatus.

In faint defense of the producers, I will say this: if they hadn't plotted the show on the fly, there would have been no Martha and Aaron last year (their storyline was not part of the plot initially) and we wouldn't have gotten so many good scenes with Handbag and Mrs. Handbag, either. They wound up carrying the entire season and that wasn't supposed to happen, and they are the whole reason "24" was nominated and won its Emmys, IMHO.

That said, I have to agree it's a really stupid policy.

As opposed to Season 3, where they threw the map away after 7 or 8 episodes (the druglord-brothers Jack-on-smack plot) and started over.

They've always worked on the fly; Habib Marwan wasn't supposed to be the main villain of Season 4, but Arnold Vosloo kicked so much ass in the role that they used him all the way to the end. It's just that this year, the fly is so obviously open...

If I wanted to go moment to moment, episdode to episode with no plan or goals, I'd just live my real life.

I have to say that this is the one thing that I KNEW would get posted when I sent it in. :-)

There's something to be said for both:

1. Foresight
2. Flexibility

You can actually have both at the same time!

(LOL casey and yay marfie! You single-handedly explained the whole season!)

YAY marfie!! WTG!

Well, I am absolutely gobsmacked by this news.

Stevie W: that's Comment of the Day material! Love it!

Plot? Why spoil it with a plot? Give Jack a gun, Chloe a computer, turn on the wooden dialogue generator, get some popcorn, and watch the show.

Hammie, you forgot drinkage...PLENTY of it.

DocA - when I saw you're from LA, I wondered if we went to med school together. But then I remembered - I didn't go to med school!

But seriously - thanks.

(And I didn't even play one on TV. Did you?)

In all fairness, I did like the part where they turned Audrey into a babbling idiot.

"The show hadn't mapped out its story lines in two seasons?" Oh, come on: they've been making it up as they go along for the entire run of the series! That was part of the fun of "24."

The problem is that the writers have been flying by the seat of their pants for so long that they've totally lost track of what they've already written, leaving stray threads of plot dangling everywhere. And, having apparently run out of ideas, they're not only recycling past storylines - how many times have terrorists attacked CTU, for example? - but they're ripping off other shows on an episode-by-episode basis. Like Rain Man a few weeks ago and Die Hard last night.

If they're going to save the show at all, they'd better bring a whole new crew of writers and start over from scratch...with a basic storyline already mapped out.

Wes, I agree. Let them get the writers from LOST or even better...Desperate Housewives.

As with Marwan in season 4, I read that Christopher Henderson was originally planned as a small arc within season 5, but, from there I understand Peter Weller did such a stellar job at his performance, the writers kept him in until the end and made him a far more important villain. ie. the recording and the conspiracy.

SteveW: nope, never did. I'm much less interesting than that. :)

Well, THAT explains EVERYTHING!!!!

WTF24BBQ??!! You ALWAYS have a storyboard. If an actor does better than expected, you do what's called a (Attention, 24 writers) rewrite - it's what's for dinner...and breakfast.

This is not brain surgery - it's tv!

And, as everyone knows, at this blog, we're professionals at saying what's the right thing to do with 24, right?

It is our Dave-Given right to comment and make fun of anything and anyone out there.

Dave for President...Eventually!

Judi for Chief of Stuff!

snork @ marfie's "Chief of Stuff"

And this is a surprise, how???

Me thinks this blog has a Fox Televison mole in it. (Stares directly at Kathybear) TELL ME WHO YOUR WORKING FOR?
Marfie, go get Agent Baker and the interogation kit.

Just kiddin' with ya KB.

"the show hadn't mapped out its story lines in two seasons"

Anyone who has been watching could tell you that. I now watch just to predict the obvious "twists" that the writers throw in (like Jack getting arrested about every other episode and then getting loose again before the hour is up.)

The place that it really shows in when the writers kind of lose track that it has only been ten hours since the show started but everyone has changed love interests four or five times.

"the show hadn't mapped out its story lines in two seasons"

Anyone who has been watching could tell you that. I now watch just to predict the obvious "twists" that the writers throw in (like Jack getting arrested about every other episode and then getting loose again before the hour is up.)

The place that it really shows in when the writers kind of lose track that it has only been ten hours since the show started but everyone has changed love interests four or five times.

"The place that it really shows in when the writers kind of lose track that it has only been ten hours since the show started but everyone has changed love interests four or five times."

Just once, I'd like to see this nod to the reality of the premise: someone delivering sandwiches and coffee so the office can stay awake and functioning!

The writers are clearly bogged down in writing this as if it were a normal series -- one that spans several months. I think they've lost sight of the concept of 24 in trying to put togehter all this character development, love interest, Jack and Kim getting arrested and kidnapped multiple times over the course of the "day". They are falling back on the plot devices that carry a normal series through its run. Still, we have to love it, don't we? I, for one, won't tell Jack his show is sucking.

This is the first season that I have watched 24, so I have no other season to compare it to, but it reminds me of that game kids play where one starts to tell a story and continues for a set amount of time, then that one stops and it moves on to the next person to tell the story, and so on.

... it has only been ten hours since the show started but everyone has changed love interests four or five times.

Please tell us, ellasmom ... this is different from Real Life in whut way?

(HAR! Merely kiddin' ... my "love interests" don't change more often than once or twice a day ...)

And how many times do you end up shooting them in the thigh, Otheu?

OtheU - I'm tellin' the Mrs. on you!!!

I for one nominate Steve as head writer for 24 next season.


Soooo --- the grandfather, who somehow has gotten connected to the head chinese dude and has somehow gotten the scret board from him in just minutes, not orders the chinese fanatic guy to attack CTU, kill bunches of innocent people, threaten his daughter-in-law at gunpoint -- and why?!?! -- in order to kidnap his grandson, who btw was going to be released and sent home in the morning!!! ohmygoodness

You'd think that even if they aren't writing out their storyboards, they would at least stop watching the DVDs for previous seasons to get 'new' ideas. =/

Whaddya wanna bet that the re-invent for next year is Jack Bauer being in charge of CTU? Oh wait. That's how this whole thing started...

While I readily agree this has been the weakest season, I'm quite unclear as to what credibility this guy has. The producers say they will address this issue, and his response is to say "it should fall on deaf ears"?

And not to be political, but he also wonders why Isaiah Washington can still "get a paycheck" because he....said something mean? Under that scenario, I guess all of us get fired.

Dave, Dudes, and Dudettes,

The heck with Jack! I've gone over to "Heroes." Fortunately, I have a teenager in the house to explain it to me, but even if you don't have that advantage, I urge you all to jump the sinking "24" ship and join us in the Audrey-Free Zone.

You'll love it. How can you not love a villian who looks like Young Spock and gains superpowers by lasering off the top of other super-heros' skulls and eating their brains?

'Save the cheerleader, save the world"

In several other message board/forum systems the question is being asked already:

"Did "24" SUCK this season? What do you think?"

My one-word answer for the description of this season in general is "disjointed."

Never before have we had so many different pieces floating around, that never come together to form something solid, and it has not only hurt the "show" but it's hurt the most important piece of what is 24 fandom - the viewers. Only a few shows have the "honor" of being on the top 20 all of their run on television, and last week? You guessed it:

24 wasn't even on the Top 20 shows last week.

You have to write smarter, you have to write with respect to the viewers and my most vital survival comment this week on our 2GuysTalking: 24 Podcast:

24 MUST find a way to write for us, more intelligently, in a way that takes out the hallmark "SOAP OPERA-esque" crap out of it. There has to be smart writing that allows our characters to interact without thinking that they all want to go into a corner and hump or be jealous that someone else is doing the same thing every time we see them. it's sickening and MUST STOP for 24 to survive.

What do YOU think? Are you ready for some smart, intelligent, engaging writing? I know I am.

Mike - you got it. We need not only better writing, but quality writing. One show that had way above average writing and story-telling was Joss Whedon's "Firefly", and of course, that's why it was cancelled after 12 episodes: it was not written for the lowest common demoninator. Sigh. If anyone could save this show and great cast and completely turn it around, it's Joss. Too late for this year, of course. I'm not even sure if investing the last 20 weeks watching will spur me on the see it through.

So the writers have been pre-occupied with what would happen if you didn't enter the numbers every 108 minutes and then splitting the season. Is that dumber than this season of 24? NO, MAYBE, are these people writing both shows?

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