24 Jumped the Shark

(see update below)
“24” jumped the shark in season 4 between 4 an 6 pm PST. Up until then, the scale of how things unfolded was large and seemless. The terrorists had comandeered 106 nuclear power plants with a remote override control. I had nightmarish visions, wondering feverishly if America’s nuclear power plant system could be so suseptable to a single directed attack.

And then…. Ta-da. only 6 plants were under attack. And then 1. Yes it’s sad that a nuclear plant had a meltdown but they averted a disaster that literally would have destroyed America and the people involved didn’t get so much as a wayward smile… instead, they instantly became worried about the next great threat… well, there weren’t any next great threats so they worried about other, much more petty things. At that moment, the walls of the set fell down for me. It stopped being real-ish and started resembling (just a little bit) like The A-Team with constant nonsensical action, snide remarks, pat cliches and cardboard acting.

The clincher was Jack’s phone number. In a recent episode, Jack gave somebody his cell phone number. It showed on-screen for a couple seconds, 310-597-3781. So of course I called it. How could I pass up an an Easter Egg like that?!

Hurumph! The message on the voicemail is:

[female vmail voice]The mailbox belonging to [man’s voice] Nextel phone for twenty-four [female vmail voice] is full. It cannot accept any more messages. Please try again later. Goodbye.

TVTome.com says that at one point, stagehands and such on the set of the show picked up the phone. That sounds tremendously cool… but now that the folks on the set have gotten bored of answering the hundreds of calls a day, they’ve just left the phone off with nothing fun for anyone else. At least have Mr. Sutherland or someone could leave a short message there.

update: After a bit of googling, I found several message threads talking about how they called and got through to people on the set. – – – – Ok…. I’ll admit it. That’s cool. There could have been better follow-through, but that was cool.

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I still watch, but now it’s just for the sake of completeness.


Update 5-5-05
Grr. Ok, maybe I spoke too soon. Maybe I’m weak willed, but I just watched 2am-3am and it was terrific, like really terrific.

Ok, so they had a lull, and the pace had a weird hiccup, and there was a slipup and how the plot flowed in one storyline for a moment. But darn it, that’s good TV!

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