Thank you. I think it’s supposed to be a serious action/drama show, but I spent most of my time doubled-over from laughter.
Well there are lots of minor mistakes, but they’re the type of thing I would expect on any show, and as such I tend to ignore: wardrobe magically changing, hair perming or de-perming between frames, the sun showing surprisingly little tolerance for the show’s one-day schedule, and so forth. They do have some neat tricks to minimize this, such as taking care to never (to my knowledge) put the sky in frame unless it’s for a dramatic shot like a poorly CGI-ed nuclear explosion, but it doesn’t really show. What does bother me is that, except for perhaps for one or two moments in the entire series, nobody ever seems to sleep: every single character is equipped with incredible stamina and a built-in caffeine dispenser. A lot of the seasons feature various characters’ emotional issues (many of which the narrative could easily do without) getting worse over the day as stress builds up, but I can’t remember fatigue ever being a problem for these people. I know that as elite super-anti-terrorist guys they’re supposed to be used to working under immense pressure, but the occasional “Gee, I’m kind of tired after not having slept for 22 hours” would do a lot to make it feel more realistic.
Actually, I personally think that the 24-hour format kind of suffers as the show goes on: in the first season it was a really neat gimmick, but it feels increasingly underused as the show continues, and by season four I started forgetting that everything was supposedly real-time.
The two big things I took from the show were “Foreign people are scary” and “Laws don’t apply to law enforcement”. :smack: I actually found the political subtext to be increasingly offensive as the show went on, not for the somewhat conservative angle the writers take on foreign policy and national security, but for the extremely ham-handed and awkward way they went about it: I’m probably exaggerating, but off the top of my head there are four major types of characters on the show: terrorists, who want to stir shit up, government workers who work in counter-terror and best understand the realties of the work, the politicians, who focus too much on theory and often blunder because they don’t understand that the realities of crime-fighting often involve running around like half-cocked vigilantes with no regard for laws, ethics, or anything that makes it harder for you to stop bad guys, and the Civilians, who seem to be constantly displayed as bad caricatures of right-wing stereotypes about the left wing: they’re often naive, unaware of what’s going on, and routinely get in the way of the counter-terror operatives.
The whole thing is really somewhat silly, and I tend to take it in stride, but the one thing that really bugs me is the way in which civil rights and due process are routinely depicted as impediments to law enforcement: CTU, the government anti-terror agency that all the main characters (usually) work out of, has this “Do whatever is necessary as long as you stop the terrorists” vibe going on, and to that end they routinely taking advantage of the patriot act (or often just go in without any legal justification) to kidnap and torture various people to figure out what those wacky terrorists are planning next. The thing that bugs me about it (other than the fact that I don’t like watching people get tortured) is the fact that they are never, ever wrong: every time they arbitrarily abuse the Geneva Convention it ends in a win, and I just find that somewhat annoying.