04.29 | '24' : An hour of realism

"For it to have any believability and resonance, we had to deal in the world we're living with, and the terrorists are the jihadists," Mr. Surnow says. "It wouldn't feel realistic if you did anything else."

Labeling the show as conservative-leaning is "a fair assessment," says Mr. Surnow. "Doing something with any sense of reality to it seems conservative."

That kind of defiance of Hollywood groupthink has right-wing talk show hosts like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh paying notice. Both hosts have given generous airtime to the show's story lines, with Mr. Limbaugh bragging about meeting the show's creators and visiting the set in recent weeks.

Christian Toto of the Washington Times interviews Joel Surnow, the co-creator of '24', who talks about the show's new conservative cult following.

04.24 | Mary Lynn Rajskub finds '24' reasons why it's cool to be kooky

"She is really just like an exaggerated aspect of myself," Rajskub said of CTU's tech guru. "The more I get to do this character, the more I realize that she's not just annoying. It's that her strength is not interacting with people socially. She just doesn't have time because she has so much going on in her brain."
Here's a great interview with Mary Lynn Rajskub - Chloe on '24' - which doesn't feature any spoilers for US or UK viewers, but which does reveal her own web address - themarylynn.com.

Though, as the article reveals, Mary Lynn doesn't read '24' fansites, so she probably won't be reading this. Oh well. Sorry for those 'potato' jibes.

04.22 | Jack Bauer is back on the clock with '24: Midnight Sun'

JC Vaughn and Mark L Haynes, the writers of IDW's two previous one-shots based on the top-rated Fox TV drama, '24: One Shot' and '24 Stories', deliver a new challenge for Jack Bauer with the upcoming '24: Midnight Sun'. This time around, the United States's oil supply is in jeopardy when terrorists threaten to attack an experimental oil drilling installation. It's up to Jack Bauer to prevent ecological and economic chaos. Vaughn and Haynes are again joined by Renato Guedes, whose photorealistic style graced the pages of' 24: One Shot'.
Hurrah! '24: Midnight Sun' will feature 52 pages and will be published in July.

04.16 | 'Enterprise' producer beams up to '24', but 'Star Trek' lives on

Enterprise executive producer Manny Coto, who won praise this season from fans previously disappointed with the Trek prequel, said he has a proposal for another Star Trek series. He said he plans to wait a while and then pitch his idea to Paramount Pictures. For now, he's preparing to join the Fox real-time drama '24' as a producer

That's right. Manny Coto, executive producer of the recently cancelled 'Star Trek: Enterprise' is joining '24' as a producer. I guess this means that season five of '24' is practically confirmed.

Coto has almost no experience outside of sci-fi. Maybe this means Jack Bauer in space for the fifth season.

04.13 | Pointing the Camera Backward

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation is putting together a series of DVDs - entitled 'Journeys Below the Line' - showing how TV works 'behind the scenes'. The show chosen to be the focus of the first installment? '24', of course.

The first installment, '24': The Editing Process' documents the distinctive way in which Anne Melville, the show's script supervisor, oversaw each scene in last season's finale, as well as the role of the editors and postproduction personnel. The popular Fox series was a natural, the filmmakers suggest, because editing is a strong suit.

The DVD includes an interview with '24' co-creator Joel Surnow, another with Penny Johnson Jerald - AKA Sherry Palmer - and an introduction by Kiefer Sutherland.

You can buy the disc from First Light Video Publishing. The only downside is that it'll cost you $80. A bit expensive, but probably worth it if you're a mega-fan of '24' who really wants to look into a career in editing for TV or film.

04.11 | 'Dropping E with Kiefer' in the '24' podcast

This could well be a first... podcasting is a way of making audio blogs or fullblown radio shows available via mp3 and rss. You can download them through your computer straight to your iPod - or any type of mp3 or media player - and do all kinds of cool shit with them, like play them on the move, for example.

Podcaster Kelly Dolan posted a piece - available as a 2.4mb (clever, eh?) eight minute mp3 - all about '24'. He talks about jumpin' the shark and the Armin Van Buuren theme remix I posted about the day.

That's definitely the first time I've ever heard someone talking about '24' in a podcast. Hopefully not the last time, either. All you'd have to do is record you and your mates talking about '24' during and after the show each week, upload it, and you'd have a pretty entertaining podcast. I'd subscribe to it.

04.10 | Jack Bauer is once again whored out for a Japanese Calorie Mate commercial

Yummy
Yummy


Following on from this report the other day, here's the video of Kiefer Sutherland's '24' style commercial for the Japanese brand Calorie Mate.

Even though season four is excellent, it can't compare to this... "TEAM A AND B REPORT IN NOW"

04.07 | Foxs '24': propaganda thinly disguised as television programming

The weekly Fox network television series entitled '24' is an extreme example of this genre. Its propaganda value is revealed in story lines that promote racist stereotypes of Arab Americans and other ethnic groups. Even more politically insidious, this year's season is replete with scenes of torture administered to various suspected terrorists or their associates by US government operatives. '24' offers such stomach-turning scenes every week. These sequences no doubt reflect, first of all, the sadistic imaginations of those producing the program. They are also designed to shock and presumably appeal to the most backward viewers a politically perverse example of the scenes that characterize a show like 'Fear Factor'. Moreover, this systematic presentation of torture is intended to inure the population and convey the message that this barbaric treatment is somehow acceptable in the 'global war on terror'.
Here's some nonsense that claims that '24' is tool of Rupert Murdoch's anti-Arab agenda and forms an excuse for America going overboard in its The War On Terror. I call 'bullshit' on that, frankly. Yes Rupert Murdoch is a funny little man, but he'll love anyone, even Arabs, that sign up and pay for his TV channels or newspapers. After all, he's got mouths to feed so they can grow up and take over his world-sprawling and tax-avoiding empire.

It does make some good points about Karl Rove's pleas to Hollywood in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, though.

On a similar note, bottomhalf.blogspot.com Go to your-free-ipads and win world’s best tablet right now asks "is '24' trying to legitimise the use of torture?"

04.06 | Why the '24' writers killed off Claudia...

Apparently this month's Cult Times has an interview with Vanessa Ferlito, who played Jack's 'fling' Claudia in the third season of '24' and who is currently appearing in 'CSI: New York'. In it, she reveals that she left '24' of her own accord halfway through the season. So the writers killed her off:

"Kiefer was a doll," she says. "It was a great experience. I'm not Latin, so I got to come up with a different accent. What a great cast and crew. I cried when I had to leave. They didn't want me to go, but I made the choice because I got 'Man of the House' and I wanted to do a movie and I wanted to work with Tommy Lee Jones. So I got the best of both worlds. I did 12 episodes of '24' and in the middle of that I started working on 'Man of the House'.

And with Ferlito having made her choice, '24's writers elected to kill off Claudia, although the original plan was reportedly to hook up the two characters. So, in day three's 10PM-11PM, Claudia died helping Chase flee his captors. "I was sad," the actress says of her character's demise. "I was crying. It was horrible. But I had to go. I had to go. I had to move on. And I'm glad I did. It was the best move I ever made."

Serves her right. The transcript of this comes from the Mission Log.

04.06 | People Buy Into Any Premise For A TV Show

It's hard not to love this real-time, pulsating show, but if there's anything on television that is hard to believe, it's 24. First of all, how many times can Kiefer Sutherland save the world within 24 hours? Secondly, have you noticed how often he gets tortured? It's far more than any normal human being can withstand, and yet he never seems to be suffering from any lingering physical or psychological damage. He also consistently breaks rules and never gets himself fired. In reality, this character would not only be out of a job, but he'd also be out of his mind.
AskMen.com compares '24' to other utterly unbelievable TV shows including 'MacGyver', 'CSI' and 'Knightrider'.

04.05 | Watch the video for Armin Van Burren's remix of the '24' theme tune

LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!

Armin Van Buuren - who I believe is a popular 'trance' DJ (I don't really understand these things) - did a remix of Sean Callery's closing credits theme for '24'. It's called 'The Longest Day' - and you can buy it on vinyl.

You probably already knew this and, like me, thought 'Meh'. However, Fox have deemed to shove the video to the song up on the official website. So here it is:

Windows Media Player - broadband or Windows Media Player - 56k

Real Player - broadband or Real Player - 56k

You'll need either Windows Media Player or the Real Player, natch. Be warned that the best bit is the 'Touch my hands to enter my world' part of Armin Van Buuren's official website. Besides, the only '24' music you need is Sean Callery's original soundtrack CD, which you can buy for under a tenner nowadays.

Hold tight the private caller.

04.04 | Jack Bauer appears on a Calorie Mate advert

You know how a lot of western celebrities often appear in Japanese adverts to hawk products that us lot over here can't buy in adverts that we will never see?

Well, is this Kiefer Sutherland in a Japanese ad? Or is it Jack Bauer? I'd guess by the handset held to the ear and the open SHOUTING mouth that it's actually supposed to be Jack Bauer.

Kiefer Sutherland's Calorie Mate ad

Calorie Mate appears to be some kind of disgusting looking energy snack bar.

04.04 | '24' cast and crew welcome teenager suffering from terminal bone cancer

This is probably the saddest shit I'll ever post on this site:

Peter Meslow never missed an episode of the TV show '24'. He was such a fan that he asked to visit the set of the Fox series last year through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He left with a standing invitation to return.

In February, Peter went back to Hollywood for his third visit. By then, he was part of the '24' family. Crutches handy and oxygen available, he spent hours on the set during three days. He appears in a scene that will be broadcast in tonight's episode.

"He was going strong," said Jeff Meslow, Peter's uncle and traveling companion. "He was living large."

Living strong had been Peter's mantra since 2003, when he was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 17. Despite missing half his junior and senior years, he graduated on time with the class of 2004 at White Bear Lake Area High School.

Peter always felt he would beat cancer. He endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But the cancer returned, forcing him into another cycle of difficult treatments. Once, when his mother asked him how he managed to handle his condition, he said it was hard but he refused to despair.

"Mom, I know I could go there," he told her. "But I just choose not to."

Peter was in the midst of new treatments when a window of opportunity opened for the return visit to Hollywood. He later described it as "his best trip, ever."

After coming home, he planned to undergo surgery to amputate his foot. Then he intended to move forward. He had been accepted at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. He had taken a shine to a young woman from his high school class.

He was also toying with an offer to work behind the scenes on '24'. Maybe he'd try that before heading to college.

Needless to say, the story doesn't end well. You might need to register to read this story. In that case, I recommend bugmenot.com.

Once you've read the rest of the above, and seen tonight's episode - which Peter appeared in - you might want to make a donation in honour of Peter Meslow.

04.02 | Any time is torture time on '24', and people are tuning in

So far this season, a suspected terrorist was shot in the leg during an interrogation, an accused traitor was zapped in the neck with a stun gun, the son of the secretary of defense was subjected to sensory deprivation and a government agent pressed his thumb into the bullet wound of a woman connected to terrorists.

And that's just the good guys!

Here's a pretty good spoiler-free article about the use of torture on '24'.