Monday, May 22, 2006

"This is personal"

Some things are simply beyond criticism. They are:

1. Puppy dogs;

2. Rainbows (heh);

3. Happy songs;

4. 24, the TV show about America's least bureaucratic government employee, Jack Bauer; and

5. (this included for purely political reasons) Fluffy kittens.

But let's focus for the moment on the TV show, which ended its season tonight with a two-hour special.

Leave us face it

The acting on 24, while enthusiastic, is lousy; the writing never misses a cliche (the post's title is from Jack on tonight's show); and the plot requires a reset button on your suspension of disbelief.

But it sure is fun to watch. Others will wax waxily about that. I'll just note one of the cliches the show didn't miss.

When the evil president finds out he's been betrayed by his wife (Jean Smart), he grabs her by the wrists and she actually says (all together now), "You're hurting me!" Everybody's seen it dozens of times. It signals that sooner or later the person doing the grabbing (almost always a man) will be killed.

"You're hurting me!" is a cliche almost on a par with the one the Drunkawife always notes triumphantly when we see it: A character talking to somebody on the phone is hung up on. With varying degrees of concern, fear or terror he or she will say, "Hello! Hello!"--sometimes to an audible dial tone. Why? We all heard the other guy hang up.

Update: Talk about cliches! The show ends with Jack on a slow boat to China.

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