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Beep-Boop-Beep-Boop: "24" Real Time Review

By Alexander Joenks | TV | May 6, 2014 |

By Alexander Joenks | TV | May 6, 2014 |

I’m pretty sure that I watched most of the seasons of 24, but I can’t for the life me actively remember anything after about the third season. Somehow I don’t think that my lack of memory is going to be punished by the deep and nuanced plot of infinite complexity. So here we go, I’ve got a tumbler of whiskey, a laptop, and two hours of the finest terrible television this side of the Atlantic.

11:00: London? Well that took three seconds to make something I said look stupid. But seriously, I will kill someone for a Doctor Who crossover.

11:01: Benjamin Bratt! I last saw you as the saucy new fertility specialist on Private Practice. I need to watch better television. You know, after these two hours.

11:03: You think with five fancy secret agents, they could have blocked the back door. Or the roof!

11:04: No way, Chuck and Dexter’s girlfriend just got fired but is, seriously guys, the smartest one in the room.

11:05: Bauer growls: “They’ve got me surrounded. The poor bastards.”

11:06: beep-boop-beep-boop

11:07: I was all set at this point to point out that I know for a fact that this season is only 12 hours, so how can this be the longest day of his life, like by definition. Why’d they have to take that away from me?

11:08: Ha! President is crotchety and knows history! Well, when he can remember it. I guess he’s doomed to repeat it then. Not that he’ll notice.

11:08: “The drone system just works, period, no one denies this! Except all these foreigners!” Ah, from the mouth of senility, eh? I’m glad we got any chance of differing opinions dragged out behind the shed and shot right up front.

11:09: Man, random cabinet member is kind of a dick. I just looked it up and he’s Chief of Staff. So we’re going with Chief of Douche. Also: red herring who ends up being a good guy. Calling it.

11:10: Torture Jack Bauer?!? Man, Cheney is going to have a moral crisis over this. I’m just saying, don’t go hunting this week with one of those orange vests, they just make it easier for him to line you up.

11:15: Drone pilots! Arrested Development cross over? Someone get this man a juice box, ASAP! He’s a hero goddamnit!

11:16: Weekend pass revoked! I love how 24 has three categories of characters: assholes, assholes who are secretly nice, and nice guys who are walked all over by both.

11:20: “He’s unnaturally calm”. Obviously Bauer’s a cylon.

11:22: “revenge spree”?!? RAMPAGE! Has someone made a version of 24 that has all the dialogue replaced with Archer quotes? Come to think of it, not much would change other than tone.

11:23: Of course the Torture Terrarium is down in the basement. That’s where you always put it. Ask Ted Mosby, he designed the building.

11:28: From my past as a programmer, I can verify that we always code “Confirmed Kill” to print in red. That’s just Computer Science 101.

11:29: Ooh, Chief of Douche is married to Jack’s old girlfriend. And Christina Yang’s old mentor. Are we sure this isn’t a Shonda Rhimes show?

11:30: “Is there an alternative?” YOU SECRETLY SEND PEOPLE TO BE TORTURED. Do you really have to ask if you have an alternative to due process? I mean you’re a terrible human being, but that doesn’t mean you need to be an obtuse Vice Chief of Douche.

11:31: The least plausible thing on this show is that many British people giving a crap about the US using drones on the other side of the world.

11:32: Kim? I choose to believe that she really was that stupid, and moved to Chicago having changed her name, and that Happy Endings takes place in the same universe as 24. The Serbian connection even carries through to both shows. Suddenly everything is making sense.

11:33: If they mention the roof one more fucking time, it better be to assert that it’s on fire.

11:34: Obviously the CIA’s interrogation room locks from the inside. Did Ted Mosby design this too?

11:40: Tasing the security guard escorting you from your job in a top secret facility is totally a good career move. I’m sure it will have long term and thoughtful negative consequences.

11:42: Do you think Dean the Torture Dude tells his mom what he does for a living? I’d also like to note that we’ve heard the words “enhanced interrogation” about seventeen times now with no mention of that treasonous liberal word “torture”.

11:42: “Nothing you haven’t done.” But … I’m the good guy, I’m allowed to torture enhanced interrogate people.

11:43: So Chloe is a good guy and she’s basically Wikileaks, right? I have no idea how to reconcile these events with Fox News.

11:43: Friendly hacker guy totally laments that he’s in Yvonne Strahovski’s friendzone, doesn’t he? Dead or a traitor or both by episode eight.

11:45: It may look like I’m trapped, but I have a secret buddy with a rocket launcher. That’s the real key to success in all walks of life.

11:51: Confirmation of presidential mind slippage. This is totally like West Wing for idiots.

11:54: Come on coach, put me in the game! The roof! The roof!

11:55: Tosses drugged torture victim wanted by CIA into middle of random street: can you get somewhere safe? Yeah buddy, totally. Wait a second, this isn’t Las Vegas. How drunk was I?

11:56: Why aren’t the controls responding? Why is my drone killing friendly soldiers? I’M A MONSTER!

11:57: Did someone take control of the drone, or is the drone secretly in love with its operator and punished the man who took away his weekend pass? I know what I’m betting on.

12:03: The CIA has paid informants inside the British police to run phone numbers for them instead of like calling MI-5 or Scotland Yard? That just seems inefficient.

12:05: Oh gravelly voice huggy hacker man is totally one of the good guys. You can tell because Jack doesn’t like him at all, so he’s going to end up being a good guy in the end. Or Jack will kneecap him. Really it can go either way. I don’t think Jack’s exactly mentally stable.

12:08: Ok Jack does think ChloeLeaks is treasonous. I was worried there for a second that liberals were writing for the show.

12:10: And Jack learns a very special lesson about friendship: ask for help, don’t take it at gunpoint. I mean, that’s just a good lesson at kindergarten or any age.

12:11: Rap music, you know that means bad guys.

12:12: Come on, if Catelyn turns Lannister, you’ve got to at least give us a few bars of “Rains of Castamere”.

12:15: Wow, it only took 18 minutes of real time to get Drone Patsy into handcuffs, to a warehouse, and complaining about not being able to make phone calls. And they collected evidence to decide he was guilty. Military justice is wicked efficient.

12:18: “Weekend pass” is the new “the roof, the roof!” It gets mentioned again, I’m changing Drone Patsy’s name to Leeloo Weekend Patsy.

12:21: Um, so, boss, I kind of lost the prisoner. But I think he just wanted to bust out another secret prisoner, so no biggie! Bratt should go back to his fertility practice.

12:24: Wow they get a lot of info from happening to see a ten second BBC clip.

12:25: “You’ll need com support!” Why? So he can talk to himself? I mean it is a nice voice and all, but I don’t think he needs electronics for it.

12:30: With all due respect, sir, you can barely remember your name so we don’t think you speaking to Parliament is a good idea. They’re British and they’re mean.

12:30: How can there be allegations of whitewashing less than half an hour after the incident?

12:32: They’ll respond to honesty! Dude, Mr. President, have you ever met another politician?

12:34: Wait, wait, wait. The plan is to start World War III by assassinating an American president and framing American troops for it? Who are we going to nuke? The Pentagon?

12:35: Access their closed circuit television? Man Britain has some high tech heroin dealers. Also this is the first occasion to celebrate the wonder that is travel in the 24 universe. Ten minutes from hacker loft to heroin dealer building, including the time it took to set up the whole van with com equipment. Remember when Jack used to drive from one side of Los Angeles to the other in three minutes. Man, nostalgia, right?

12:40: Name the other British soldier … “Can I phone a friend? No … Winston! It’s got to be Winston!”

12:45: All super fancy hacking technology is made of glass, glows, and fits in a custom little metal case. It’s the first thing you learn in hacking graduate school.

12:47: That’s two smoking computers in two minutes. Because the way you wipe a computer is to open the case, leave the hard drives behind, and use a taser on the motherboard. Again: hacking graduate school, ITT Tech is now accepting applications. Helpful hint: you’ll get in if you are capable of signing a federal student loan form.

12:48: Hmm, the way you become a successful fancy drug lord is to do things like see a dozen guys with automatic weapons not paying attention to you and tossing off a few potshots with a pistol just on principle.

12:49: Oh no! Jack got shot! I’m sure it won’t slow him down. It’s well-established canon that guns only hurt pussies and bad guys.

12:50: “He’s heading down!” Bullshit, what about the roof? Plus: you’ve got a dozen agents and you go after the fugitive alone?

12:54: Head butts female character number one, then orders female character number two to slide over because driving is for the men folk. Jack Bauer: because feminism ain’t free.

12:55: “They can control up to ten drones!” If only they had more GigaTwats in their microwizzits, they could control a baker’s dozen!

12:58: Damnit Cyril, once they stab you in the ear, they’re called hookers!

12:59: Come home to mommy. Oh, my god, that’s classic her.

Sweet Reagan’s Ghost, that was crappy television right there. I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t remember seasons three through eight of this show because the neurons storing those memories hung themselves out of shame. This is like a Tom Clancy novel with all the actual meticulous research and realism stripped out, scripted by a ten year old with ADD whose entire knowledge of world affairs is gleaned from listening to his Uncle rant about what he heard on Rush Limbaugh last week.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at You can email him here and order his novel here.