Two brief things I want to jot down.
A) The governor of California should not be digging up the street to make commercials. It is not that hard to find real potholes. Really. If he can't find ANY in all of California (and I am sure that pggmilltn will tell us that Oxnard has a few roads that could stand improvement) then I invite him to visit New York where we have MANY lovely potholes for his filling pleasure. Also I like how he's totally distancing himself from his action hero heritage by not striding around with an army of workers implying he can fix everything with a little sweat and his manly manly muscles. Oh wait, that is what he's doing. Well he should stop that too.
B) I used to be a big fan of the television show "24." The first couple seasons were really great, and it was a pretty edgy concept to debut right after 9/11 (though the first season started filming before the events.) Shows about cops or counter terrorists are always somewhat conservative in nature, good guys vs bad guys, respect for authority, that kind of thing, but 24 managed to have some liberal aspects. A multi-cultural cast including a black president (and a really GOOD black president too), some balance between the desire to torture for information and the need to maintain standards for suspects, and people in the government who were kind of assholey. It was also unrealistic at points, especially around the character Kim who was constantly being attacked by cougars (in Los Angeles) or having Kevin Dillon try to force her into becoming his bride in an underground bunker (Okay, I've heard this actually happens to people out there, or at least did before Entourage.) They'd stretch reality in other places, but Kim was sort of like comic relief. After watching her stumble from implausible situation to implausible situation you could accept that Jack Bauer could drive from one side of L.A. to another in 20 minutes at 4:30 PM.
This season I haven't been watching as religiously as I once did. It didn't pull me in. In fact about 2/3s through the season I got my Tivo and I stopped watching altogether, letting the big gray box record the show for me, with the intent of watching it sometime later when I could see a bunch of episodes together (which I'd heard is a more enjoyable way to view it.)
Well later is now, the season's over, and I've been catching up. This season still sucks.
Kim's gone, which is sort of a mixed blessing, and this time the terrorists are Arab. Part of the reason behind this second change was that conservative groups complained that having European or Asian terrorists somehow trivialized the threat that this country actually faces. I don't understand that at all, 24 is a television show, it doesn't claim to represent reality. Part of escapism is that it lets you...escape...from reality. When I watch Star Wars I don't say "Wait a second, who would hire such an army of incompetent soldiers? The empire needs better basic training for its troops." Why do we need realistic terrorists? Just so we can stick it to the towel heads? Anyway having Arab terrorists just reinforced the unreality of the show for me.
But what really reinforced the unreality was an episode I saw last night where a bumbling president sends the secret service to arrest Bauer when he is actually IN THE MIDDLE OF INFILTRATING THE TERRORISTS HIDE OUT. That's right, he's about to catch a guy who will set off a nuclear weapon in 2 hours and the secret service demands he come out and give himself up.
This is, mind you, after an amnesty international lawyer saves a terrorist sympathizer from interrogation and marches right into the counter terrorism unit to take him into custody.
Okay, maybe the show writers wanted to show they could bash liberal ideas like due process and accountability for government agents, but did they need to get this ludicrous? If I wanted to see something completely outside the scope of plausibility that stuck it to those liberal bastards I'd wait for the Left Behind novels to get made into movies.
I'm not against entertainment with a conservative bent, but if this is what it takes to placate the masses then DON'T DO IT. Of course it could just be that the writers ran out of ideas and pulled shit out of a hat but still...
This season is most definitely a: