Monday, July 28, 2008

"24" Enters the Wonderful World of "Plotting"

“24” is going to be...interesting next year.

Which may be damning with faint praise. But if you saw last year, which started out with a torture-broken lead who kills a long-time partner AS VALENCIA IS NUKED!, but somehow ended as dull as humanly possible, "interesting" the best you can really pray for. Even if it involves the logic-backflip of bringing Tony Almeida back from the dead, when we watched him die (this wasn’t “we didn’t see a body” dead, either – this was “his heart stopped and Jack cradled the corpse” dead).

But the producers have promised pulse-pounding thrills AND sense-making plots this season. Apparently, the writer's strike helped the show by allowing for a) a prequel movie running in November (freeing the show, however briefly, from its one-day constraint, allowing the producers to show their oft-envisioned "Jack's building houses in Africa" idea), and b) a chance to, for a change, COMPLETELY PLOT OUT THEIR SEASON.

See, "Lost"? This is why people don't believe you when you say you have a plan. Because here's a show that hinges on real-time continuity, finally coming out and admitting it usually just flies by the seat of its pants when it comes to the season’s story-arc. Sometimes, it leads to balls-out lunatic seasons like 3, where it was actually sort of fun watching writers clearly making it up on the spot (even if it resulted in Jack Bauer as the world’s first decathlete heroin addict). And sometimes...well, if you blow up a nuke too early, all you’ve got left by the end is “Hey, let’s blind Ricky Schroeder.”

So congratulations, “24.” I think you'll find this experiment in "plotting ahead" to be a pleasant surprise.

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