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May 17, 2005


24: [wink]

Now that 24 has re-entered the honeymoon phase with its devoted and long-suffering viewers, its producers have also decided to start adding a few in-jokes into the dialogue. On last night's episode, did you catch the little Dennis Haysbert/President Palmer Allstate ad reference? Each of the Allstate ads ends with Haysbert looking presidentially into the camera and asking, "Are you in good hands?"

As the ambitious, grouchy Speaker of the House confronted Mike over the newly sworn-in President, and his questionable choice of selecting former President Palmer as his chief advisor during the national crisis they're embroiled in, rather than turning to his own staff, this is what the Speaker says: "If [the President] is not going to ask his cabinet for help, or the leadership, it comforts me somewhat to know that he's in good hands."

Little in-jokes like this serve mostly to make loyal viewers feel acknowledged and appreciated by the writers of the show, and it's espeically smart to use them when you've just spent the last two or three months making these loyal fans sit through tedious episodes, wondering why the hell they still bother.

I would also like to take this moment to recognize the producers of 24 for following exactly the same pattern of story development and quality that they have done for the previous three seasons: a great opening, a generally strong first third of the season, a mid-season slump of implausible story developments and way too much talking, during which ADM stops watching the show, and then a final 3 or 4 episodes in which all the good ideas that they have been hoarding all season get crammed into a few hours, and the fans decide they love the show all over again, despite everything.

One more thing. The return of Mia Kirshner--again. Hers is possibly the most uniformly strong character on the show, because she is behind or connected to just about every seriously evil plot of the show's history (blowing up a passenger plane; setting in motion the plot to assassinate then-Senator Palmer; slipping President Palmer some trans-dermal poison; helping to set off a nuclear warhead within the U.S.; next--who knows, but it will definitely be evil.) She perfectly combines two of the best character types for a show like 24: sexy spy and vicious assassin. Suck on that, The L Word !

categories: Media, TV
posted by amy at 12:17 PM | #

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