Chuck vs 24

May 5, 2010

I’m a big fan of Monday night spy shows: Chuck and 24.

I was discussing the repetitive nature of 24 the other day with a friend of mine, and then later revealing to my parents (Chuck fans) how Chuck will probably get canceled after this season. And then I had an epiphany for how to save both shows.

First off, we have Chuck. Everyone loves the characters, but rapid change has had to happen to Chuck because they are on borrowed time. We loved him, Casey, Sarah and the relationship with his real-life friends/family. But because the show is on such a short run, they’ve had to change the Chuck character over three seasons. He goes from “why is this happened to me?” to “Ok, I’m starting to get this” to “Now I’m going to a whole other level” and a lot of the audience can be uncomfortable with the Season Three Chuck character.

Then we have 24. Jack Bauer is like Jason Vorhees at this point: He’s awesome. We want to see him be awesome. But it’s really difficult to do eight times over without becoming a mockery because there’s no way to do eight seasons without repeating the same old tired plots (informant gets killed before he divulge information! Mole is tipping off the terrorists! The mastermind is really someone much more evil/powerful!)

If I was in charge of a TV network, I would buy both properties and do a season of 24 featuring Casey, Sarah and (the season 2) Chuck.

Casey is the Bauer character. Bad ass spy who’s a noble patriot and ruthlessly efficient.

Sarah is the Renee character on this season of 24: substitute “love” for “emotional basketcase” and you’ve got a hero who’s good at her job, but not the complete pure awesome spy that Bauer/Casey is.

Chuck (season two) is like Chloe when she’s running point on a tactical mission: Provide intel, but not really a bad ass. She moves all the plots along, and is uniquely qualified to help the pure spy.

In Chuck, we never see the analysts work, it’s all provided by Beckman.

In 24, we never see any kind of real-world items. It’s all ignored for 24 straight hours of action.

Chuck, in season 1 & 2, gave equal concern/attention to the missions of his personal life (relationship with sister, job at the Buy More) something they’ve completely abandoned in season three. Which is something 24 sorely lacks.

And the mission aspect of 24 is something Chuck has kind of glossed over as they focus on the relationships/changes of the main characters in season three.

Combining the two shows, you’d get the benefit of letting Chuck be Chuck (likewise Walker and Casey) without constant changes to the essence of the character, and so fans could just enjoy the character. And you’d also get the ability of filling 24 hours without resorting to the same old mole/lead chase/escalating villains formula 24 uses, because you’d have Buy More/Sister missions in between the action.

The secret/hard part would be to find the balance between the light Chuck tone, and the serious drama of 24. Which I think could be done. The idea is to use the lightness to poke fun at some of the things we see in 24 that could be comedic fodder, but leave it to the audience to find the humor. Enter Morgan.

Have Morgan be on a mission to pick up a package and deliver it to CTU. Only have the package be food, so they can actually eat something.

Have someone escorted out of the building in the first episode because they had ties to a terrorist organization, before they can be a mole, and then have a mole-free season.

Have someone enter the restroom before a commercial break, and exit upon return from break.

But treat the missions as ridiculously serious, well choreographed, dramatic events.

That could totally work.

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Twenty Four for 24

January 18, 2010

So I was watching ESPN’s series 30 for 30 after I was watching the season premier of 24. And I got the idea for the title. So here’s 24 thoughts from the season premier of 24.

1. I spent the entire two hours hating the new bad guy just because of how he looks. He just looks annoying. Then I realized he’s Percy from The Green Mile. And I feel justified in hating him.

2. The new head of CTU? Bubba Blue from Forest Gump.  Somehow, I actually think he’s going to live this season.

3. Baby Terri is a really ugly baby.

4. Ok, there’s items in which 24 needs to use to do something they have to do each season to keep the plot moving without resorting to the same old tired things they’ve done before. But The last one is new and ridiculous reasons to drag Jack back in. Like the NY CTU is going to let Jack just run an op with no official status. “Hey, be a vigilante! It okay! Take some guns!”  If they just said “Jack, you’ve saved the world like 18 times the last 15 years. You’re the best, we need you.” After all, he just brought to their attention a plot to kill a president at the U.N.

5. How about Bubba just listens to the guy who brought them a very real credible threat. And we know it’s a credible threat since the bad guys killed two CTU agents.

6. Chloe not being the best? See, there’s a good wrinkle.

7. What’s the big deal with CTU taking down the reporter. Never trust any member of the media, period.

8. Already rooting for Freddie Prinze, Jr. to die.

9. Ok, I realize Freddie is playing a CTU agent, and isn’t Freddie Prinze, Jr., but he could do so much better than the ugly chick he’s working with at CTU, Dana Walsh.

10. Highly doubt a sitting president gets divorced while in office. I’d think their lawyers would use the obvious leverage of “we’ll give you everything you want in the divorce if we don’t actually do the divorce while we’re living in the White House.”

11. Also highly doubt Kim Bauer tells her dad to go risk his life. I think by now, her mindset would be more “How many times are you going to cheat death? Get on the freaking plane.”

12. I also love how Kim Bauer did the first three seasons before leaving the show to advance her career. And now she keeps coming back because she has nothing better to do. Well, besides hockey players.

13. Why is Dana so worried about that dude calling destroying her new life? What could she possibly have in her past that would come back to haunt her? She was arrested? Murdered a person? Was a drug addict? Jack’s done all of the above and he’s the greatest CTU agent in history. Unless she was in a terrorist cell (which I don’t think they have in trailer parks) I think she’ll be fine.

14. The NY CTU? Wow, what a waste of money. Do we really need an interrogation room door that opens electronically from above? Hinges are really cheap and really efficient.

15. And yet, Jack somehow knows his way around it quite easily, despite having never met the boss or anyone who works there but Chloe.

16. They also have easily accessible parking for people, like Kim. Kim shouldn’t have any idea where CTU is, since she doesn’t work for them, nor has she ever. Nor has Jack. Yet they know how to get to their underground bunker.

17. Speaking of, I think the most unrealistic part of 24 season eight after two episodes wouldn’t be that Victor Aruz found his old contact Jack Bauer about five years and a fake deaths after working for him as a contact in CTU LA, but that he got a parking space right out front.

18. A game show host in India is also the President of Kamistan.

19. And while we’re all thinking its his brother or wife who’s the inside person trying to kill him, it’s probably the younger chick.

20. I figured that Jack’s visit with a Muslim Imam at the end of last season brought him peace, they could get away with using a real country this time, instead of “Kamistan” and say “hey, the hero is a Muslim who FIGHTS terror.”

21. I don’t expect to hear about the three guys who got murdered in the first episode ever again. Why would anyone notice some random people got shot in New York City.

22. But when they show the news on TV, they need to mention the two cops gunned down in an alley by machine guns and the ROCKET LAUNCHER EXPLOSION that occurred on West 21st and Ninth Ave.

23. Two hours and two deaths? One by accident? I mean, axe to the chest was pretty cool, but the other guy just fell. Then again, that’s something kinda real. He should have shrugged like “alright, quicker than I thought.”

24. They changed the clock that goes to and from commercials. The colon between hour and minutes and minutes and seconds used to be spaced in the middle of the numbers. But now the dots are way lower.

Yes. I’m a loser.


Stream of Consciousness VI: A New Beginning

May 20, 2009

More random thoughts

I think I’ve been working in photoshop too much when my response to a friend who has to paint the walls inside his house is “Just use the paint bucket, it’ll take like 12 seconds.”

Ever slack so much in a week at work that one day you have like three things you need to do and it seems like you worked all day? Yeah, me neither.

The idea of labeling these updates like movie sequels was fantastic. Well, until the viewers start thinking “Again? Can’t this guy just stay dead?” Don’t worry, I’m not going to pull “The Final Consciousness” only to comeback a while later with “KevFu Lives.” But I’m definitely not ruling out “KevFu goes to Hell” and “KevFu Takes Manhattan.”

I had no idea how much working baseball games completely sucked away my ability to have interesting things happen to me, but here we are. End of an eight-game home stand, and I realize I’ve written nothing in the past week.

This might be blasphemy, but the finale of Fringe was much better than the finale of 24. I think it’s time to freshen up 24 by putting a Director of Common Sense in the writer’s room. And also to go for broke. No new fans are coming in unless the old fans recruit them. So give us what we want. I think I’d make an entire episode of one interrogation by Jack Bauer, with torture escalating and escalating until the viewer is mildly uncomfortable. Speaking of season finale’s, did the My Boys season just start? What is this, a six-episode season? And no, watching that doesn’t make me gay.

Maybe I should play the lottery. My friend is getting married, she picked Nov. 28 as the date. I figured “no F’ing chance” of me not having games to work. But, lo and behold, we have no women’s hoops and no volleyball. Have football on the road, might have men’s hoops, but that’s only a three-person commitment, so I should be free!

You’d think that having a vast arsonel of free, cheap liquor would be awesome (and short-lived), but there’s just no way to get rid of this stuff.


Stream of Consciousness V

March 3, 2009

Probably last post of the week as we host the Conference tournament. I know its March when my stomach magically turns off. I was kinda hungry and then couldn’t finish 12 wings. My stomach knows when its tourney time and tells me “I know you won’t have time to eat. Just gimme one meal a day. That’s all I ask.”

Sunday was scary. I woke up at 4:30 am with the deadly feeling that the contents of my stomach wanted out. And I didn’t know which exit they wanted to take. I just had to pray I made it through my two plane connections home.
I thought I was coming down with the evil 24 hour flu. I had it once at it was devesatating. I was incapacitated for 2 days. Nothing stayed down. There were projectile ejections. My whole body, joints and muscles were in intense pain and I could not sleep or function. All I could do was lie on the floor and pray for death.
… and one of our players on the trip had it. This would be the WORST possible time to come down with that, and I felt it coming.
So far, I’ve been okay. I think it was just bad onions from dinner Saturday (stomach), my back was just killing me from the aforementioned Southwest flight, and my knee was hurting from climbing under the bus to grab luggage. My general feeling of sickness was dehydration from a few beers. My exhaustion was due to it being a 5 a.m. wakeup for our flight. And my cold shakes were really just having bare feet on the freezing bathroom floor in 20 degree Tulsa.
Needless to say, I took no chances. I did as much work as possible Sunday night (even thought I felt like doing none), went to bed early, and took a change of clothes to office in case of emergencies. (sorry. Graphic.) Let’s just say I’m eating nothing but crackers to be safe, and taking zero chances.

24 tonight was pretty awesome (subtle spoiling to follow. MASSIVE SPOILERS HERE). Some very unrealistic situations. No way Bauer opens the door, and no way Pierce just sits down on the rug. Also, they probably should have silent clocked Buchanan.

The SEC is a total joke, and it’s laughable that LSU suddenly jumped to #11 in the polls in two weeks after doing nothing but beating bad SEC teams. This is the team that lost by 30 to Utah, and lost at home by 10 to Xavier… and they are ranked ahead of both? The conference logo on the shorts is all that matters.

I love March, but I’m disappointed basketball is almost gone for the collegiate season. If there was another sport waiting in the wings to suck me in. Oh, hi baseball, didn’t see you standing there. The Mets are at Houston during a summer weekend. I’m going to have to trick someone with a David Wright crush into making a road trip to check another ballpark off our lists.


Sensory Input & My Hyper Imagination

January 20, 2009

As I was watching the Inauguration today on BET, and my thought was process reminded me of yesterday’s acclimation point. Specifically, how it applies to all sensory input.

For example, my thoughts when they noted that the President was five minutes late in taking the oath, because Bush’s term expired at noon, made me think “Now is the perfect time for a terrorist attack.”

Because it was. The whole power of the government was sitting outside on a deius, and no one could react to a national security threat without alerting all major networks and most the minor ones, too. And creating a panic is most of what terrorism is all about.

As this applies to my point: The reason I’m thinking about terrorist attacks and not the sociological significance of the event is because I’ve seen five hours of 24 in the last nine days. My mind is in Jack Bauer mode.

Torture might be a little extreme.

Torture might be a little extreme.

Jack Bauer mode means I see people acting shady and I want to apprehend and torture them in case our national security is at stake. It’s not a rational thought, but “What Would Jack Bauer Do?” is a mindset most 24 fans find themselves in after watching.

And I don’t think I “just” have a hyperactive imagination.

My friend Dawn put it brilliantly after we noticed about a 3000% increase in her use of profanity, “Sorry, I’m watching the Sorpano’s now, going through all the seasons on DVD. I didn’t think it was really affecting me that much. But I guess it must be, since you just heard me say ‘fucking cocksucker'”


Phone Home

January 13, 2009

Erin Andrews has a redheaded sister. If she was kicking ass on the new season of 24, I’d be in love.

My phone hasn’t been able to text message for five days. So I was excited that CLM found a way to send me one: via post-it left on my desk. I was going to take a picture of it with my camera phone and post it here, so you could see my glorious text. But then I realized the only way to get it off my phone was via text message. So screw that.

Old Phone

Old Phone

Speaking of my cell phone and of 24, every year, people make a big deal about how Jack Bauer has a ridiculous cell phone that can do things that no cell phone in existence can do. But this is a stupid comment. Of course it can do ridiculous things. The current season takes place in the future.

In 2000, when the series debuted, it was the day of the California Presidential Primary, which occurs in March of an election year. Since the show came out in October of 2000, we know that Season 1 was in March of 2004.

Time for an upgrade?

Time for an upgrade?

Season two would be: September/October 2005

Season three: September/October 2008

Season four: March/April 2010 (second year of next presidency)

Season five: September/October 2011 Jan)

Season six: May/June 2013

Season seven: Spring 2017

So naturally his phone can do all kinds of awesome stuff (All their computers, too), because he has a phone from the future. I’d like to get me one of those phones from the future, because mine sucks.

When you set up automatic bill pay online, it’s really important to put in your account number and not your old one. Because that’s how you end up coming home to a dark apartment and realizing you need to go to the bar across the street and take advantage of their free wireless internet to pay your bills immediately, charge your cell phone, eat dinner, and kill time until it’s bed time (which is going to be really early tonight).