Tuesday, February 28, 2006

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 10 - 4pm-5pm

We're only 10 episodes into the season and already I am riveted to my seat waiting to see what will happen next. Not only do we have a great episode here, but we've got a prelude to a 2-hour extravaganza NEXT week! I can't wait.

I also wanted to announce that a friend of mine and I have intiated an online Internet Talk Show dedicated to - you guessed it! Talking about "24!" Be sure to check out the details at the Mothershow's website, The LunchTime Gab, located at www.lunchtimegab.com All kinds of details, news, views and opportunities to participate await.

With that, let's get to this weeks 24 Blow By Blow!

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 10 - 4pm-5pm

-- Love to Hate Factory: I just don't have the words to describe the inherent genius of "24" as a "love to hate factory", the likes of which we've rarely seen. If you run down the listing of the characters in place, you either love them or love to hate them and I can't remember a show in recent times that has brought that to me in as many instances so quickly with a cast. More on tha as we go along in this episode.

-- Hour for Motorcade to Get to Airport: Having never been to LA, is it realistic for a Presidental Motorcade (regardless of whether or not the President is present) to take an entire hour to get to the airport? Would any of our listeners/readers chime in on that one?

-- Will the Motorcade Be Recalled? The Answer is...: We don't know yet! Another genius hallmark of this series is the ability to lead people into a (almost sometimes rediculous but entertaining) tension-filled situation, which has you leaning, forward, and forward and just as you're about to get the goods, they turn the wheel! Love it! Realistic building of tension is never a problem on this show and I appreciate the time and pacing that the writers take in almost every episode of this show.

-- When In Doubt -- Head to the Server Room! It's time to participate in the dark and brooding goodness of the Server Room! This season, the Server Room has been the source of much turmoil. Shootings, stabbings, attempted murder and more! Wouldn't Lynn be watching these three a lot more closely at this point? How we have avoided the "No, I'm going to the bathroom" joke at this point is beyond me, but the fast-paced technoschpeak is entertaining as ever. I need to bottle Chloe's "your so incredibly more stupid than I am" stare - what a piece of on-screen gold!

-- Lynn Clearly Eeeking into the Abyss: Samwise has finally taken a turn toward the incredible. While over the last several years I've had stress on the job, I can't even imagine something like this occuring in a workplace. Are any of you experiencing stress at the level that Lynn dishes it out? I sure hope not!

-- Omicron Background, and Jack's Recruiter Revealed! I love backstory inserted into current storytelling in just about any incarnation. Spy novels, movies of all kinds and here, "24" doesn't disappoint either. We learn some quick and dirty information about the mysterious Omicron company, but more importantly we get some dish on Jack from WAY back when he was recruited. Folks, I smell bad blood and it smells HEAVENLY.

-- Identification-Schi-dentifiation: Audrey and company are able to set up the "John Barrie" identity into the main database that Omicron will be accessing to verify "Jack is who he is", but I wonder to myself: any of the Top Secret or authorized access buuldings that I've ever been in have REQUIRED me to have an actual valid piece of identification on hand in order for me to enter - without question. Jack is able to tell this dude who he is, give his thumbprint and walk into the joint. A bit strange, but it's just a device to get him into the same room with...

-- PETER WELLER RULES! Yet another genius piece of casting, Mr. Peter "ROBOCOP" Weller makes an appearance as Jack's mystical and apparently misjudged recruiter from way back. I have always liked Peter Weller, not only from Robocop, but from Buckaroo Banzai, and a host of appearances on television including STAR TREK, The Law series and more. In this role, Peter is able to showcase his talents as the proverbial fisherman, reeling us in until the net can be sprung! A masterpiece! He is totally underated and will clearly make a stellar addition to the cast - until he DIES that is!

-- Jack's On-Screen Tsunami Scream! A new and exciting segment on the 2GuysTalking: 24 show I referenced above is one called: Jack's On-Screen Tsunami Scream! Jack ALWAYS screams about something and this episode is no exception. This week we find him shattering the sound barriet with the line: "11 people died in the mall!!!!" Did you think another one made the same impression? What was it? Click the link above to tell us about it or to talk about Jack's "Outside Voice" obsession.

-- Expanding Edgar: I know that I've mentioned this in previous blogs, but I believe that Edgar is getting even larger than he was when he started this season! One of the local now Ex-St. Louis Cardinals named "Ray King" was whom I called "Kuato" in homage to the character in the Schwarzenegger romp "Total Recall" with the giant hump in his stomach that was actually a little psychic pseudo child. Ray has NOTHING on Edgar, in fact it looks as though Ray King and Kuato BOTH may be under Edgar's shirt. Time to get some esteem counciling into CTU as well as perhaps the addition of some fresh fruit, vegetables and food coaches into the CTU Cafeteria.

-- Chatter, Chatter - Does It Matter? As per the 9/11 Report, one of the largest circles of failure in the "failure of imagination" was the inability of the US and it's varying agencies to decipher/translate all the chatter that was available from a variety of sources. Yet in the span of 18 minutes, Edgar is able to take some chatter that is thrown to him from an outstanding filter on his system, put several things together, and formulate a credible threat that eventually is the lynchpin for CTU's worst-ever director! Goooooo Expanding Edgar!

-- Section 112!! Mentally unfit! This is yet another piece of what I hope to be American lexicon that I hope begins to infiltrate the ranks of the office-working class. I would LOVE it if someone used this to denote an effort, action or function that was just so incredibly mentally retarded that it can hardly be believed. the usage for things like this could be VAST! Do you have thoughts? How about: "Ah, Jerry, a total 112, yup." Perfect and thank you again to the "24" Writers for providing us with a new standard.

The Factory Churns! Earlier in this segment I referred to the ability of this show to offer a buffet of characters you either love, hate, or love to hate and that fact has never been more valid than when the President and Mike kneel in front of the unlit fireplace in their Presidental getaway and pray for something good to happen with the motorcade/crazy first lady situation. I love Mike Novick. I hate the First Lady, and I Love to Hate President Logan! Who on the cast do you have that fall into these categories? I've love to hear you chime in. Check the Forums at LunchTimeGab for more!

-- Pray With Me Mike...: Uhh, no. Let's not. I'm guessing that when President's Logan's Daddy told him there is a "solution for every problem" that it didn't include getting on your knees, asking others around you to join in and hope that everything just works out. This Mike won't be praying with President Logan, except perhaps to pray that they get Voodoo Witch Doctor to somehow resurrect President Palmer to replace you! Bah!

-- Lynn Has Left the Building: Well, not realy - he's in holding now which is where he really belongs. I had such high hopes for this character and the skills of craft for Sean Astin, but alas: He's been a great sonovabitch now that he's become completely unhinged. What's left for Lynn? Ah ha! They KEYCARD! What do we have to look forward to with that? What do you think?

-- The Dreaded Downtown Corridor: Note to All Future Presidential Motorcade Planners: If there is an area of downtown that every single governmental protection organization can pinpoint as the place "most likely to be used in an attack on a presidential motorcade", maybe that's a bad place to send the Presidential Motorcade? I also see that CTU, the President's Computer Bungalow, and a variety of terrorist screens have a live overhead view of the area. Don't they see the hoarde of angry, hell-bent terrorists getting into place?

-- Mike Novick Rocks! President Logan begins slumpping in his chair in idiocy-induced paralysis when Buchanan tells the President about the motorcade attack. When Buchanan asks if the President heard what he said there is silence. Buchanan across the blue line with a limp-wristed pass from Logan, speeds towards the crease and shoots -- SAVE by Novick! Oh baby! For those missing the incredibly hockey-laden reference, Novick chimes in perfectly to save Logan's bacon yet again. They have really made an all -around great character with Mike Novick and I really do hope that he's not dirty, doesn't get killed and continues to be a beacon in a great show.

-- Secret Service Leave the Bulletproof-protection of the Bulletproof Cars to Engage: While I am not a Secret Service Planner, nor do I understand the intricacies of modern urban battle-engagement with Terrorists, I DO know that the place to be when bullets start a'flyin' is inside the bulletproof confines of one of the Secret Service Motorcade vehicles. Two agents get OUT of the lead car to engage the hostiles at the ambush points and I was completely aghast. I'd like to see what some real-life folks that have done protection detail etc think of the progression of detail here.

-- Humility Is Often Overlooked: As we come to the end of this episode, with Jack discovering a bomb left for him to end his life, we hear from his own mouth: "How could I have been so stupid?" One of the great things that people forget about Jack's character, is that the man is not only the unstoppable, super-interrogator go-to man for people that are in a world of shit - he's also a man. A guy that has heartache, ups, downs and piles of shit that land on his head regularly, and if you ask me - that is the magic of the character Jack Bauer. He is everyman as they often want to be but aren't. Again, more kudos to the writers of the show and the staff that pulls off magic like this so often.

We see that there is MUCH to be garnered next week Monday with a 2-hour episode and I cannot wait! Again, be sure to check out our "2GuysTalking" segment on "24" at www.lunchtimegab.com and see you next week!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fourth Horseman Alert - Happy Pretty Woman Man

Richard Gere is clearly on the list of people's favorite actor. He clearly has talent in that vein but one the hardest things to do is to separate the cast created by actors in their films, and their external adventures while delving into the realm of political activism.

On ABC News' "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, there was a recorded segment where Richard Gere, a very staunch detractor of President Bush's, actually praises the strides in the fight against HIV and AIDs efforts in India. While it would have been great to have a solid positive comment, sadly in the latter half of the sentence he also mentions that Bush's "obsession with Anti-terrorism" should (sic) take a back seat to the monumental effort required with battling the HIV/AIDs effort.

All good things require baby steps I guess.

Monday, February 20, 2006

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 9 - 3pm-4pm

The gear has shifted in to 3rd as his ebb over the 1/3 point on this season of "24!" Let's get to it blow by blow!

-- Warlock Boy!! Actor Julian Sands joins the cast of "24" this season and I am elated! There was a little movie called "WARLOCK" back in the late 80's that provided Sands as the evil Warlock in an almost-as-good-as "HIGHLANDER" romp. I totally recommend it and cant wait to see where this role takes him in the realm of "24".

-- Erwich is Gone!! One of the golden hallmarks of television shows I've been watching over the years, is their ability and tendency to take established characters and KILL THEM! Not to be outdone by the prison show, "OZ" this year's "24" continues the proud tradition of establishing characters and then yanking them out of the mix.

-- Druggy Jenn and the Keycard: Does anyone else have a job where you're in charge of hundreds of intelligent personnel, hoping to save the free world from almost certain chemical gas release? You do? Oh - well do you also have a drug addict sister that apparently calls you at all kinds of day and nite to ask for fix money, to ask you to meet her in the alley next to your governmental secret workplace and then roll you like a homeless guy with the help of a pimp/boyfriend/dopefiend? I didn't think so. Ahh, the magic of "24" and it's writing emergeth! :)

-- Sam is on the Warpath: As this episode unfolds, along with Lynn's remaining sanity, we see that he is this close to donning a tattered brown cloak, grabbing a short stubby blue sword and screaming "Get back or I'll have you, Longshanks!" While I had high hopes for Sean Astin in this season, he is sadly headed down the road to complete and utter stress-induced destruction. Note to Lynn: Solve time-sensitive terrorists-with-nerve-gas crisis before venturing out in the BACK ALLEY of CTU to rendezvous with sister that provides oral sex to whoever's on the corner for drug money.

-- Conference Room Door Opening Sound: One of the great items about this show is the sound design. Anyone else noticed the authoritative >thud!< style="font-weight: bold;">-- Jack Into Custody?? Hasn't Lynn watched the previous seasons of "24" on DVD yet? Everyone KNOWS you don't take Jack Bauer into custody! You know why? Because he will render your ass unconscious in less than 8 seconds, that's why! More on that later.

-- Nathanson/Earbud Guy has Num for CTU and Desire to Talk to Jack? Can someone please call 411 and get me the number for CTU's station number 5? Yeah the one with the cute blonde named Audrey, please. Thanks! While I LOVE that we've now basically shoveled guilt onto someone else that we probably know, I am awestruck when stories take turns like this because the request for suspension of disbelief is a tall one, but hey - I'm on board!

-- Walt Wasn't the Only Mole: Intrigue is only one of the main reasons I watch this program folks. When you roll together all of the items that are as implausible as as they are entertaining, things like his are the perfect breeding grounds for the black helicopter lot. When in doubt, and you've killed what is apparently the last lead - inject more guilt on people you already probably know! -- Dialog Genius - Audrey, Jack and Nathanson: Wow - if you have to wonder why "24" wins so many awards, I invite you to watch this short, less than 1 minute exchange between three charcters, all of whom are in mobile/remote/moving locations. It's done perfect, the facts needed are there, and then you're done. That's how you make television, folks.

-- Real Life Graphic Novelesque Shots:
another wonderful trait of this show is it's propensity to provide you with what is moving, real-life graphic novelesque pictographs during what is almost the entire show. The proof of this is being able to take almost any still that is provided, regagrdless of the content, put it in a picture frame and hang it on the wall. The cinematographers on this show REALLY have flair and it makes the icing of the actual visual presentation even more elegant and satisfying.

-- Holy Rabbit Punch! Down Goes Curtis! While I was watching the "Chronicles of Riddick" this weekend guess who I noticed? That's right! There was Curtis in his silver-armored glory gettin an ass-kicking by Vin Diesel. Here's your second chance to see a little bit of non-lethal sleeper-hold, taking him down in less than 8 seconds flat. "Don't fight it Curtis, don't fight it..."

-- Like to Be Like Jack: You talk about wanting to be like Michael Jordan? I want to be like Jack. How would you like to have an argument that ended in less than 8 seconds with a non-lethal sleeper hold and an excedrin for your friend who "sees things differently?" Hook a bruddah' up. That would have worked WONDERS in college without question.

-- Order Boy is Losing It: It really looks like it's long bottom leaf time for Lynn at this point. He is clearly out of control and not able to discharge or provide effective delegation of required duties. Why don't any of the people there ask that HE be taken into custody until things can be sorted out? Until he stops thinking that everyone is conspiring against him to dillute the solving-skills of CTU? I'd like to see the Riders in Black show up and haul his ass into a holding cell.

-- Tea with Terrorists : Logan Style: one of the best books I've ever read is one called "Prophet of Doom" by Craig Winn. It's just about as straight-forward as it sounds and provides a dialog where the terrorists tell him what they want and what they will do to achieve it. Without taking a complete departure on a television show review, the bottom line is that terrrorists, however rediculous they may seem, have an overall goal. Warlock provides his goal and asks audience with the President to secure it. Would it actually every happen? Would the President "get into bed/negotiate with terrorists to save potentially hundreds of thousands of lives? More important is this question - would the terrorists ever "do what they say they will" and not go any farther? The sad answer is that they would do what they said, and then try to kill more, which is why you CANNOT DEAL WITH TERRORISTS. Period. Enter in your own thoughts here because the questions initiated from something like this are huge and worth the dialog.

-- You Make the Call: IF YOU were the President, would you give up the Russian Presidential entourage in lieu of "potentially saving hundreds of thousands of American lives?

-- The Dreaded System Glitch: Having filled out my own share of HelpDesk tickets at my workplace, I can tell you that stranger things have happened than an entire phone log being made to disappear. I really would have appreciated something else inserted here though. "A system glitch" just seems so incredibly inane at this point and there is SO much technobabble used already inthe program - why not use something more exotic?

-- "CTU is Porous": While our chubby, recently Rosey Cotton-marrying Middle-Earth friend is losing it, he is spot on when he tells Bill that "CTU is Porous." After the internal "problems" I can't imagine anyone being allowed any slack at all, much less some of the things that go on currently. While I think that his actions are sound, his method has a lot to be desired. Perhaps that's why we have the shallow introduction of yet another CTU family member "in distress" stressing out a valuable operative again. What do YOU think?

-- New Type of Cell Bud - Very Slick: For those of you that don't know me, I wear hearing aids, and have MARVELED in the innovation of new earbuds making their way into the mainstream. While it makes a saunter down the street for me a lot less uncomfortable, I am always on the look out for things that are being introduced into the technology realm. In this case, Jack's new Nathanson-provided earbud. It looks very much like a chubby drop earring, but I'd love to see more of it. Looks like it has the function stuff right on the (where the jewel would be) nubb.

-- Captioning Hiccup - Hostile Identities: When the hostiles arrive via "black helicopter!", Jack explains to Earbud Man/Nathanson that they are entering. In the captioning, it also states that "they are not CTU!" I find this strange that it was either deleted or never ADR'd in session as it really could mean the difference between Jack getting anything from Earbud Man and not.

-- Ahh, Instant Card Reader: I would at a computer company, everyday, and even I am never able to have a card reader/required port when I need it. It's AMAZING that Jack has a device on him that will apparently accept what is the connection that will allow him to see the data on now Dead Earbud Man's Thumbdrive, also apparently now known around the world as a "T-Drive."

-- Casting Brilliance: I am VERY impressed this season, with the casting of both known, and literally foreign actors using a variety of languages to keep us guessing. While I am always willing to see and support the fact that the next "set of attackers that do their best to harm us" will be of Arab decent, all of what is going on still falls into the same real of believeability that every American can take to heart and use as real knowledge to keep your eyes peeled. The mall is a great sample of things that could yet become reality.

-- Wifey Needs to Go: While I was initially curious where they would take the character of Mrs. Logan, I am now more certain than ever that she needs to die. :) Looking at how the episode ends this week and continues next week, we may just be witness to that. When they mention the attack how about telling her that... he's having a lumbago attack! A Chocoattack! Anything but telling her the truth and have Aaron take her for some quiet time in the room with white paint until the nerve gas crisis is done!

-- Budget Cutbacks? How come the President is only capable of having one to two advisors at a time. Doesn't he have, like, a huge staff of directors and cabinet secretaries dedicated to dealing with these disasters. Instead, he has Mike Novak. A guy who hasn't figured out that Logan will always take the EXACT OPPOSITE approach that he recommends. How about some good old parental-reverse-psychology, Mike?

-- Captioning Hiccup: Upperhanded Terrorists: Something that was omitted again in this episode from the captioning reference (which is usually taken from cues from the original provided script) is that the President apparently was scripted to tell his wife that "These terrorists have the upper hand" which is what shuts her up as they walk to the limo to greet the soon-to-be-coughing-lung-tissue Russian Presidential entourage.

-- Samwise's Section 23 Redundancy Paranoia and Micromanaging: How about a Section 8 for our micromanaging, paranoid wee-one from the Shire? Can you imagine a room of what -- 25+ people all having their screens and activities monitored, mirrored and reviewed by one person before things can move forward in a situation like the one that's been painted for us so far? If you go back to my previous point of why things like this and prior points would make a very solid case for Lynn to removed, you'll see that there is a clear case of something being awry. Our country couldn't possibly stand that kind of micromanagement.

-- On the Next Episode of "24": Lynn McGill begins his journey to retrieve the keycard and toss it into the firey pit of Mount Doom, CA. Thankfully, Mt Doom, CA is a short 10 minutes by motorcar, courtesy of the CTU Driver, Gollum.

SideNote: "The Unit" In addition to being the voice of Allstate, my own insurance provider, our own President Palmer, actor David Haysbert, will be playing a member of our United States Military in a show beginning in May called "The Unit." I don't have many details but did see a commercial for it recently. Check the link provided for more details and be sure to Tivo that to see what allowoed David to leave the "24" realm :)

-- Mrs. Logan Decides to Go for a Long Drive on a short and Soon-to-Be Foggy Pier: Why is it that while I know Mrs. Logan is headed for almost certain doom, the only person I care about is Aaron, the venteran Secret Service dude? :) Is this the end for our redhaired friend?

-- Look! We're Watching FoxNews! One of the greatest benefits of Fox hosting the series is that they can make incredibly real news notes on television screens without fear of lawsuit! It really does help to sell what's going on and add an aire of total legitimacy!

New Segment! "24" Trailer Review -- Tell Us YOUR Thoughts!

-- Mrs. Logan Riding and Pre-reacting to the Events to Unfold: Up or down vote, folks, do you want her to stick around to nag the Logan administration into the ground or is it time for the white Cloud White House in the sky?

-- Jack Rides/Infiltrates Again! Jack will apparently, again, infiltrate a top secret government facility to collect some information/personnel next episode. All I can say is MORE less-than-8-second takedowns!

-- A Black Rider: Looks like Curtis, the "other black dude" on "24" is going to be delivering some confronation to our stout Ale-drinkin' Frodo buddy next episode. If Curtis leads him to a golden, wooden ship and the Annie Lennox song starts up, I may have to draw a sidearm myself and go on my own CTU shooting spree.

-- Presidential Path Ready to be Struck: We see a series of terrorists in place and ready to attack and I have to tell you from first hand experience: the realm of believeability for his is ZERO. I've had the happenstance of being on the highway, heading in the opposite direction of both the President (GW), and Vice President (Cheney) of the United States and there is a forward team that look for things just like this, that includes AH-6 light attack helicopter, that would rain down all kinds of bad news on a terrorist set up like that - period. Between that and the always available alternate routes on things like that, it wouldn't ever happen - unless someone on the inside was helping!

-- Do They Recall the Motorcade or Not? As is made clear by our Internet Radio show, and by my previous blogs, I want to see destruction like what will be depicted here for more reasons than I want to see wanton destruction. There is something to be said for a "sample of what may come" in shows like this, and I think it's the perfect delivery system for a populace in the United States that have apparently forgotten much about the 11th Day of September.

The show continues to escalate, excite and keep you guessing! It's all about entertainment and consider me entertained! See you on the show this week, and for next weeks Blow by Blow of "24!"

The '06 Winter Olympics Horrification Continues...

I have to admit I thought we had reached the pinnacle of embarrassment when Lindsay Jacobellis biffed her way into the Silver medal in Torino this morning.

I was wrong.

I was even more astonished to see this picture of Gold medal winner Seth Wescott, and fellow "show-off" and biff-induced Silver medal winner Jacobellis holding their 'medals' for the camera:

Umm - I think I have several HUNDRED of the silver medal encased in the CD bins I get from Best Buy. Who on earth "designed" this years' medals? They look like cheap CDs and the "wrap-around ribbon" - what's up with that? How about some kind of stately way to attach the ribbon to the CD? Not so amazingly, these medals bring to mind another second-rate piece of merchandise:

The weapon used in the movie "I COME IN PEACE" which I find terribly appropriate for this years Olympic effort - they truly came - apart - and are in pieces. Perhaps the "cd-inspired medals" could have Jacobellis' biff reel burned to it so she can always be reminded how "cool it is to be a show-off"?

Pardon me while I go burn some music to my Silver medals.

Where Are the Winter Olympic Athletes in '06?

Last nite while getting a very late-nite snack, I sat down to view our early-morning Winter Olympic events in Torino and was horrified when I saw something that should be every athlete's nightmare.

In a quick dash to the finish line and a very solid gold medal, world-class snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis decides to showboat, crashes ass-ver-teakettle and ends up with the silver medal in the only Winter Olympics to be held this year. While you might think that this is the most horrifying part of the incident, you're wrong.

The truly horrifying event?

Fellow snowboard Olympian, gold medal winner Seth Wescott insisting that "Jacobellis did nothing wrong. By nature, snowboarders are show-offs. It is what they do."

I am stunned - can we, just for two weeks while they travel overseas to a foreign country, put aside the show-off dunderheadedness as they represent our country in games where there is one chance for 1st place?

Where are the Winter Olympic athletes that had previously heralded greatness in the past? Scott Hamilton, Eric Heiden, Kristi Yamagucci, Tara Lipinski, Mike Eruzione -- All have more heart and true olympic spirit in their little fingers than any of the people at this years' games and I simply don't get it, folks. For many of them, this is it - this is the one chance they'll get and it just gets put into a bucket to collect the entrails spilled while showboating, recovering from "a hard nite's drinking" and in-fighting with teammates.


Monday, February 13, 2006

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 8 - 2pm-3pm

As we wake from what we all hope was merely a drunken nite out for the crew last week, we see that there is still grave concern about Cummings' death, and how there might be a way to possibly spin the circumstances of his death to the Logan administration's advantage, but also to the benefit of Cummings himself.

-- Cumming's Death Turnabout: Will Walt end up being a man that simply couldn't deal with the stress of the current political climate, or the traitor that led terrorists to the nation's front door to deliver a healthy mouthful of toxic nerve gas? Only time will tell but it's clear that it could be the savior of what could be a very tarnished politically-laid turd.

-- Logan Cares What His Wife Will Say? One of the things that was spawned last episode, was that Logan is trying to let his wife have a viable say in the operational policies of what he's enacting during this current crisis. Does thiis strike anyone else as sheer lunacy?

-- Lord of the Healing Lip: Apparently Frodo from the Shire hath provided his plump companion Samwise with some magical pixie dust with which to heal his recently acquired broken, bleeding lip. If any of you have ever had either a broken or plump lip, you know that there is a series of bruising that accompanys an experience like the one that Lynn had. I'm curious to see if he will have marks that arise over the next few hours.

-- So Sayeth the Manic First Lady! Mrs. Logan's aid must really have fallen on hard emotional times because she is now asking the previously-committed and often-eratic Mrs. Fruitpie for advise on life and official protocols of how to deal with life's emotional rollercoaster. Ping-pong anyone? How about a helping of lithium?

-- Terrorists Tendencies: It's not that they all look like they need a bath - it's not that they are always armed to the teeth - it's not even that they are willing to die for their cause - it's the tendency to drive brand, spankin'-new, polished-like-they-just-bought-it vehicles. Once again, the "blue van" that is referenced in the phone conversation is a shiny new Dodge cargo van. Apparently this season's terrorists also need to travel in shiny style.

-- Fabulous Keifer Continues: There will be few people that can match the acting skills of Keifer Sutherland, folks. His ability to step into the role of Rossler is amazing and he plays it to the hilt.

-- Excuse me, Mrs. President: On what grounds does Mrs. Logan feel that she can command and order the people of the President's administration around? Where is Aaron, everyone's favorite Secret Service Agent to issue some quiet yet wieldling sensibility of "shut up, ma'am."

-- Nerve Gas: Does anyone else want to only have a gas mask to protect them from what ails you when the cannisters are broken open or released. While I've never had the style that Jack has on on my own face, the ones at the Military Surplus stores don't seem to offer much of anything that I'd want to be at ground-zero of a gas release with.

-- Employee Dress Code Quality Control: For those that are curious, Jack, and the "other terrorists" who have worn clothing, bags that have nothing to do with holding tools, and their suspect glances at every step are some of the many things you should take note of if you're in a mall anytime in the future.

-- Jack Doesn't Follow Through? For once ever - well nevermind. Jack once again decides that the original orders provided by President Logan will be something of CTU Broken-Order Lore. Thankfully, the brilliance of the writing department comes alive in this episode and the day is saved again - except of course for the 20 or so souls that die a horrible nerve-gas-induced death at the mall.

-- Who the Hell Does Audrey Think She Is? Of all the people in the room to spring out of order back at CTU, it's Audrey? Were there no more staffers left to play out the emotionally-laden card?

-- No CSI for Walt: They call Walt's wife to come to the place of death, an hour ago, to pick up the body and there is no crime-scene review, no autopsy, nothing? Doesn't that sound strange?

-- You Gotta' Know When to Hold 'Em -- Know When to Fold 'Em: Thankfully, Mrs. Logan realizes the folly of reporting the "truth because it will set the administration free" and tells Walt's husband that he died as a man that loved his country very much.

-- More Musical Brilliance: Something that has been completely left out (because that's where the music goes sometimes sadly) is this season's musical score. Yet another wonderfully portrayed set of music, highlighted by the wonderful heart-pounding momentum builder right at the end as we get the characteristic framed-storytelling staple of what is a great and fast-moving show.

We'll see you in a short 7 days!

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 7 - 1pm-2pm

There are many things that I think about this episode, but only one thing can be truly said about this one - it's probably the worst episode in "24" history.

After some long thought, and an even shorter weekend I've decided that this episode will be one that we'll save for a "Special Extras" segment on a new online show that I and a co-worker will be creating shortly. If there's anything that makes for riveting entertainment, it's the "Bad Ones" of television and folks: This one was a stinker to be sure.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Surviving Twilight -
A Beacon of Positive Energy

Greetings, Shane!

I wanted to take just a moment this morning to thank you for your service to our country, and also for what looks like a fine book, “Surviving Twilight” that sheds a lot of light on things that simply don’t get to the American public often enough.

I had the pleasure of hearing your interview this morning on our local FM Talk station, 97.1FM Talk, and found the website you have set for your book a refreshing breath of air in regrad to our war effort in Iraq.

Enclosed are two photos – they were taken from the one you have on your pictures page at the books website.

The first is just an enhanced photo providing some light to the picture of yourself and the other brave soldiers in your squad.

The second is the same picture with an American flag comped into the background. If you’ve got a higher resolution image of that photo, send it along and we’ll get an even better version of that done for you.

Again, my thanks from my family to you for protecting the things that we hold dear for this and future generations. Your service is admired and appreciated beyond measure.

The Wilkerson Family
Jade, Gloria, and Mike Wilkerson

Saturday, February 04, 2006

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 6 - 12pm-1pm

Last weeks episode was a fantastic "bridge" episode that sent us into what is sure to be a series of coaster-like ups and downs over the next several episodes. Without further ado, lets get to it!

24 Blow by Blow: Season 5 - Episode 6 - 12pm-1pm

-- Spencer is the Weakest Link: Spencer has just confessed to being forced/requested to be a mole inside CTU via a contact at the White House inside the administration - none other than the scumbag extraordinaire, Walt Cummings! Now that he's passed this golden nugget onward, isn't it time to ensure that he too doesn't "disappear" like so many of CTU's operatives, leads and hopes have in the past?

-- Writing Brilliance - Jack and CTU: One of the teasers since last November is that Jack will not only be kicking ass once again this season, but he'll be doing under the banner of "I'm Jack the BadAss EX-CTU Agent" rather than under the "controlled" banner of CTU. The little 2 minute responsibility-looping conversation had to describe this with Jack, Bill and McGill is the stuff of writing genius. Congratulations!

-- I'll Get Him: In a short exposition from the mysterious earbud man to Cummings, we discover that once again, a mission to kill Jack Bauer will again ensue shortly. It's incredible that in just 10 or so episodes, they've been able to make us hate Cummings so much. Again, a very hearty congratulations to the writing staff. It takes a lot to create characters that you like, but takes even a greater effort to make ones that you love to hate -- and even GREATER effort to make you crave potential adversarial relationships!

-- Mike Novick - Extraordinaire: While Ex-now-dead President Palmer was one of my favorite television characters of all time, Mike Novick is a close second as far as faux-Political officials goes. They have created a genuine spirit, personality, and character that makes you want to have things go right for him. Kudos, folks!

-- People That Ask for Last Parts of Payment Early Always Die: Just in case you've ever wondered, don't be in too big a hurry to request your last payment for anything, because you will DIE. Eventually, we learn that this gentleman is part of a much larger Cummings-centric plan, but the fact remains that greed killed this gentleman - not the bullets that riddled his body.

-- Blah Blah Blah, Jack, Diane & Audrey: I have always loved the Audrey/Jack paring since day one. They feel like a couple merged in every way when I see them together. Audrey has a lot of what Jack doesn't have and vice versa, but I'm not sure I understand the continual insertion of Diane's character. Aren't they saved? Can't they go back to Bumblewood in northern California to have more "ranch hands live in their palacial home?" GO AWAY, Diane! Go away! Jack's trying to be happy and you're screwing it up!

-- Today's Captain Obvious Point: Logan really IS a sniveling wet noodle. I don't have sufficient time to type the samples from this episode alone, much less this season, but it's safe to say the gentleman has the spince of a grapefruit.

-- Oh No! I've Jinxed Mike!: That will teach me to extoll the virtues of Mike Novick. I was sure that when he got out of the black sedan that we'd see a brief glimpse of the back of his head and a crimson spray, floowed shortly by the sound of a high-powered rilfe in the distance. Thankfully, we didn't have that. What we also DIDN'T have was Jack kicking ass! I was sure that we'd see something along the lines of a chop-sake movie where Jack takes on 40 guys one-by-one until 6 of them team-up to take him down sanitarium-style. Amazingly, he gives up with no resistance.

-- Mrs. Logan's Logic: Mrs. Logan asserts that "he's the President of the United States - he would have been there if he wanted to be" when referring to his absence before her intended trip back to the mental care facility. I have to completely disagree here. Sadly, like everyone else in life, people have priorities, and tending to the toxic, going-to-kill-millions-of-Americans nerve gas wins out in this case. While I hope they have something more interesting readied for Mrs. Logan, the direction of the character currently has something to be desired.

-- Aaron, the Old Bird Secret Service Agent Becomes a New Bird: The attitude, reasoning, and actions of Aaron, the reserved and collectlively cool customer Secret Service agent in this episode are class "24" writing. What a great and regularly-recurring role.

-- When In Doubt, Let There Be Another Cummings Beatdown! I just read an article on the function of Torture and whether or not its effective. In television, let me tell ya' - it is. :) I disagree with most of what the article talks about, and I absolutely am in favor of extreme measures to get information vital to our nation's security. Why you may ask? Because the bad guys now assume that we don't have the sack to do what is necessary to get the informaiton we need to have because we "don't want to become like the Terrorists." This is the line of thinking that will destroy our American way of life, folks. The Terrorists aren't going to back down because "we don't bother them." If you're vain enough to believe that, then we've all got a lot worse problems than Terrorism.

-- The I Knew It/I Told You So Look: Something that Keifer is so excellent at in this show, as are many of the players, is the ability to convey what they're thinking without uttering a word. That is a classic skill that so few television shows take advantage of, and one that "24" is a master of, thanks to it's director and players. In this most recent episode, there is a portion of a phone conversation that Jack is participating in, and he leans slightly over and gives "this look." It's CLASSIC.

-- Walt Beatdown: Take TWO~!: After the initial Walt Beatdown, Jack asks him again about it and what ensues is a classic sample of why Jack is THE ultimate badass. I'll see if we can get some screenshots of this and the previous note because they truly are worthy.

As we end this episode and realize what a real mess we're in thanks to the work of Cummints and Company, I wanted to congratulate Keifer Sutherland on being named the Best Dramatic Actor in an Action series on television! What a great honor!

More on "24" after the next episode and be sure to chime in with your thoughts and observations! It's always appreciated!