'24' will include fewer torture scenes in its final episodes this season, according to the show's executive producer.
Howard Gordon claimed that the change was not due to pressure from the military, but rather because it had become cliché:
"What was once an extraordinary or exceptional moment is starting to feel a little trite. The idea of physical coercion or torture is no longer a novelty or surprise"
The Street Corner Society blog points out the LA Times report that '24' is responsible for 67 of the 624 depictions of torture on TV during the past five years.
Here's an excellent Jack Bauer Kill Count, which tots up how many baddies Jack has offed during the course of each season.
If you haven't seen all the latest season five episodes, I wouldn't bother with it as it'll tell you how many people are dead and also has clips and screengrabs of each kill.
Would it be a surprise to tell you that he kills the most people during season four?
01.25 | Don't tick ... tick ... tick off Jack Bauer
And those on the Political Left like the show because it allows them to complain about President Bush's cavalier attitude and call Bush the Jack Bauer of American presidents, as if this hurts his feelings. However, they conveniently forget something equally important: Two of their favorite fantasy programs, "The West Wing" and "Commander in Chief" (the Hillary Clinton infomercial starring Geena Davis) are miserable flops.
The Chicago Tribune's John Kass writes a column about 'the left' and '24's common sense approach to the war on terror..
"The Left Wing" has already been canceled. The "Geena Clinton" show is probably next, although it stars Kiefer's father, Donald Sutherland, as an evil, back-stabbing conservative. He's a fine actor because in real life he's no Republican and condemned the Bush White House for the Iraq war and handling of Hurricane Katrina.
3D Visualisering 01.15 | Jack Bauer: A Perfect Post 9/11 Hero
We watch spellbound as he relentlessly pursues the enemies of the United States with a frightening determination and dedication that brooks no opposition from friend or foe. His disputes with the national security bureaucracy are fought with the same tenacity and brutal win-at-all-costs mindset with which he battles the terrorists seeking to destroy us. In this respect, Bauer is a man outside the law rather than someone of the law. Ricj Moran writing at The American Thinker calls Jack Bauer the perfect post-9/11 hero.
Slavoj Zizek writes in yesterday's Guardian that the message of the TV series, that torturers can retain their human dignity if the cause is right, is a profound lie:
In the fourth season, Jack Bauer agrees to be delivered to China as a scapegoat for a CTU covert operation that killed a Chinese diplomat. He knows he will be tortured and imprisoned for life but promises not to say anything that might damage US interests. When he is informed by the ex-president of the US that someone has ordered him to be killed, his two closest CTU friends fake his death. Both terrorist and CTU agents operate as examples of what the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben calls homo sacer - someone who can be killed with impunity since, in the eyes of the law, their life no longer counts. While they continue to act on behalf of the legal power, their acts are no longer constrained by the law. It is here that we encounter the series' ideological lie: in spite of the CTU's ruthlessness, its agents, especially Bauer, are warm human beings - loving, caught in the emotional dilemmas of ordinary people.
Bloody hell. That's a bit deep. The rest of it I don't understand.