24 and Seat Belts

October 13th, 2007 by Potato

I’ve been catching up on 24 (a show I initially dismissed as gimicky, and while I do find some faults with the execution of the concept, it’s actually quite watchable). I think it really is meant to be watched in rapid succession like this. There have been a few things that have bothered me, such as the computer people constantly “opening sockets” to do anything. It’s really strange technobabble, and it kind of annoys me that they keep repeating it (it is ok to make up some new technobabble).

What gets me the most though is that nobody seems to wear seat belts. Which is strange considering how many accidents they all get in… Likewise, Jack Bauer goes on all kinds of raids without strapping on a bulletproof vest, except for one or two times when he goes out of his way to put one on, and those are the times he actually gets hit.

Some unrealistic things are just going to be a given to help the show along, things like magical security cameras that can be enhanced to show an incredible amount of detail, and send their images over “a socket” to CTU. And the fact that this high-security government agency can’t go a single season without a mole or traitor sneaking in. They stock a good number of security guards (who have recently started wearing red shirts to indicate that they’re disposable), but apparently keep them in a closet except when called since they never actually stop anyone from getting in to or out of the building, or keep an eye on the people while they’re working. And it just wouldn’t do to have commuting across LA take more than 10 minutes…

A number of other plot inconsistencies bug me, though.

Spoiler alert!

For instance, in season 5 there is much lamenting over the terrorist threat to attack Suvarov’s motorcade. The whole time I was thinking: if you’re the kind of person willing to sacrifice a few secret service agents for nothing, then why not send the motorcade on, but send the Russian president by helicopter instead? Then many, many episodes are spent trying to recover a certain voice recording. Several times Jack has it in his possession only to lose it again. The big question I was practically screaming at the TV was why didn’t Jack just copy the stupid thing?! He had a cell phone and a tape recorder, he could have just called CTU, played it up to the receiver, and let them archive it that way. Or later when they capture Henderson and the recording isn’t on him, and Jack figures out that he’s using it as insurance (otherwise he would have destroyed it), why not just kill Henderson? After all, as he threatened, if anything happened to it, that would be made public. That would save all the effort of tracking it down, and just get it out there. Sure, it wouldn’t be ideal chain of custody procedures for evidence, but in a case like that it probably doesn’t matter as much. Plus it would help a ton for all the people who say “I think Bauer is telling the truth, but I haven’t heard the evidence myself…”

2 Responses to “24 and Seat Belts”

  1. Ben Says:

    Do you have Season 5 on DVD? I saw all but the last disk so I still don’t know what happened… stupid 1 week rentals :(

  2. Netbug Says:

    24 is a documentary, didn’t you know that? I open sockets all the time to troubleshoot problems and retain my dominance as a world power.