Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Lost and 24: A Guide to Last Seasons

Posted by Mr. Feeny on April 6, 2010

Let’s just avoid the big apology for not posting. I could come up with a bunch of BS excuses. I’ve done it before, and sadly will probably do it again. So, I’ll just profusely thank CJ for keeping this thing going. She’s been more than diligent and pretty much fantastic. Mad props to her.

What finally got me off my butt in the arm chair and back onto my butt in the desk chair was last night’s double episode of 24. Of course, as you’ve no doubt heard, this is its last season. It still posts respectable numbers for Fox, but was too expensive to make. And frankly, an 8 year run is pretty darn good (many of my favorite shows went 7 seasons at the most). I even said in previous posts that 24 should have just packed it in after last season. It was huge bounce-back year, with one of the best they’ve ever done. They should have gone out on top, I said. Even seasons are always bad, I said. They could have left Jack’s fate open-ended, I said.

Well, I admit it…I was dead wrong. Season 8 isn’t the best season of 24. It’s not even better than last year. But as even seasons go, it’s definitely my favorite. I only have a few gripes (Dana. Walsh.), but even those are overshadowed by some tremendous acting and some new plot devices.

SPOILER ALERT! This is where I start talking about last night’s episode.

The best acting of the whole season has been by Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire). He played the leader of a Middle Eastern country, trying to broker a peace accord. Kapoor’s portrayal of a resolute but flawed leader was tremendous. You knew he was a good guy, but not a saint. He took away civil liberties because he got paranoid when his brother betrayed him (wouldn’t you be a little suspicious of everyone after that, too?). He had an affair (but he admitted it rather than let someone take the fall).  He had some shady dealings in the past. But he was a good man. An honorable man. And a deeply layered character, perfectly acted by Kapoor. And for once, the writers had us get to know and love a foreign leader, much more so then our own (Cherry Jones has been tragically underused, until last night).

You may have noticed I used all past tense there. That’s because last night, in a shocking move, the writers killed him off. Why so shocking? Aren’t characters killed on 24 more frequently than dreams on American Idol? Yes, but not this way. Jack was assigned to protect Hassan. That was his mission. And they set it up to look like once again, as always, Jack would succeed. But he failed. He was too late. That doesn’t happen to Jack. Innocents have died before on 24, but I can’t remember Jack being unable to stop someone this prominent from dying. Way to up the ante in the 11th hour, 24. (Actually, I think it was the 17th hour, but you get what I mean).

I'd take acting lessons from Dr. Linus

And that’s exactly what LOST has done, as well. They’ve upped their game in the last round. Disappointed with seasons 4 and 5? Not to worry. LOST has returned to its roots. Moving, emotional, deep storylines based solely on characters. No more hodgepodge of plots. Everyone working toward one end, but each person’s struggle isolated every week. Oh, and just for fun, how about a ton of answers to your burning questions every episode. This is the best season of LOST since the first.

Some time in the future (fingers crossed) I’ll go into more detail on why, both for LOST and 24. I think it can be summed up with this. Kapoor, Keifer Sutherland, Annie Wersching, Michael Emerson, Nestor Carbonell, Terry O’Quinn. They all deserve Emmy nominations. Performances like that combined with excellent storylines makes for quality television.

Part of me is sad that in two months, both these shows will be gone. No new episodes. The stories done (except for a possible 24 movie). These are my two absolute favorite shows on television. The only things I rush home to watch. I don’t know where do I go from here (homage to the last show I was depressed to see end). But, I can’t be more excited to finish these exciting rides.

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One Response to “Lost and 24: A Guide to Last Seasons”

  1. CJ Cregg said

    Hah. Characters killed more often than dreams on American Idol. Nice one.

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