Monday, February 12, 2007

24: Won't Someone Please Think of the Interrogators?

Some people are imitating what they see on TV, and, for once, they're not children. An advocacy group has found a link between TV torture and torture in real life, by real military officers. And, sure, they mention other shows, like Lost or The Wire, but let's get real here - it's 24. 24 is like Discount Torture Warehouse. In fact, the article implies that the interrogators get their ideas directly from 24, which seems like a very bad idea. All of Jack's various methods of torture - the plastic bag, the neuroinflammatory, the lamp and electrical cord, shooting the wife in the leg - were concocted by writers who are only interested in entertainment value. Jack Bauer's towel trick is good TV, but would it really work? And just because it always works for Jack, and he never gets his comeuppance, or at least does get his comeuppance and then gets repatriated the next season, doesn't mean it'll work out the same way in real life. 24's producers say they show the consequences of torture - the toll it takes on Jack. Yeah, we've seen that this season. Jack gets leery of torture, but then an hour later he's suffocating his own brother. Somehow it's always his only option.

Personally, I'd like to see Jack get away from the torture. Torture's gotten old on 24. It's no longer as shocking as it used to be, which is why they have to go to greater lengths, like having him torture his own brother. But they're going to reach a point - very soon, I think - where the only thing they can do to spice up the torture is to have Jack torture himself. I want to see Jack turn to more creative ways of getting information, like that stunt he pulled with Assad, Fayed's minion, and the hit-and-run. They got the information they needed, and it was an extremely entertaining scene, because it was surprising. More of that, please. I mean, I know I probably won't get my wish, but I can ask.